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Sunday, January 11, 2015


Ubud is a town on the Indonesian island of Bali in Ubud District, located amongst rice paddies and steep ravines in the central foothills of the Gianyar regency. One of Bali's major arts and culture centres, it has developed a large tourism industry. Ubud has a population of about 30,000 people. Recently, it has become difficult to distinguish the town itself from the villages that surround it. The area surrounding the town is made up of small farms, rice paddies, and dense forest. The main street is Jalan Raya Ubud (Jalan Raya means main road), which runs east-west through the center of town. Two long roads, Jalan Monkey Forest and Jalan Hanoman, extend south from Jalan Raya Ubud. Puri Saren Agung is a large palace located at the intersection of Monkey Forest and Raya Ubud roads. The home of Tjokorda Gede Agung Sukawati (1910–1978), the last "king" of Ubud, it is now occupied by his descendants and dance performances are held in its courtyard. It was also one of Ubud's first hotels, dating back to the 1930s. The Ubud Monkey Forest is a sacred nature reserve located near the southern end of Jalan Monkey Forest. It houses a temple and approximately 340 Crab-eating Macaque (Macaca fascicularis) monkeys. Ubud tourism focuses on culture, yoga and nature. In contrast to the main tourist area in southern Bali, the Ubud area has forests, rivers, cooler temperatures and less congestion although traffic has increased dramatically in the 21st century. A number of smaller "boutique"-style hotels are located in and around Ubud

Friday, January 9, 2015

Tenganan Village

Tenganan Pegringsingan is a village in the regency of Karangasem in Bali, Indonesia. Before the 1970s was known by anthropologists to be one of the most secluded societies of the archipelago. Rapid changes have occurred in the village since the 70's, such as the development of local communications by the central government, the opening up to tourism, the breaking of the endogamic rules. [1] Tourists are attracted to Tenganan by its unique Bali Aga culture that still holds to the original traditions, ceremonies and rules of ancient Balinese, and its unique village layout and architecture. It is known for its Gamelan selunding music and geringsing double ikat textiles. Village layout Houses in Tenganan Pegringsingan village are built on either side of the north to the south concourse with their doors opening on to it. The entrances of the houses are narrow, only allowing one person to enter or leave at any one time. One enters the village through the gate on the southern end. On either side of the entrance are two small temples. Across from these is the long balé agung, where the administrative decisions for the village are made. Next to that is the drum tower (kul-kul). The kul-kul is beaten 21 times each morning to start the day.Up the center are a series of communal pavilions (balé banjar) for formal and informal meetings, ceremonial gatherings.[3] At the northern end is the village temple Pura Puseh, the temple of origin. The People of Tenganan Pegringsingan The people of Tenganan Pegringsingan are called Bali Aga—the original Balinese. They descend from the pre-Majapahit kingdom of Pegeng. There are strict rules as to who is allowed to live in the village. Only those born in the village can stay in the village and become full members of the community. There are rules regarding marriage and anyone who marries outside of the village has to leave. A strict protocol regarding marriages among the kin groups have steered the Tengananese through the genetic perils of intermarriage although with increasing contact with the outside world these rules have relaxed somewhat. Rites and Rituals Many of the life-cycle rituals of the Tengananes are similar to those of the Balinese in general, but have subtle differences. Some ceremonies are unique. One of the distinguishing features is the use of geringsing. By virtue of their magical qualities geringsing are not only capable of keeping impurities and danger out of the village, but also shield and protect humans from baleful influences during rites of passage as they transition from one phase of life to the next. The Tengananese receive their first geringsing at the hair cutting ritual. His hair is cut and placed in a basket which is placed on a folded geringsing on the balé tengah, on which the Tegananese both enters and leaves the world. In the ceremony that admits a boy or girl to the youth association of the village, they are carried in a geringsing

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Very Good Driver

“Very good driver” 5 of 5 starsReviewed December 9, 2014 NEW Mr Gede was our guide on the second day of our trip. He is very punctual. It is a good thing he is very fluent in english so we got good info on the places we were visiting. It is very convenient and comfortable that he has his oqn air conditioned car. Just in case he is not available, he makes sure there is a good proxy for him, but I very much prefer he do the tour. We got to see a lot of temples, a waterfall, a rice terrace and lots more. On our last day we he gave us Bali coffee, which tastes great btw. If you want to visit Bali and want to know more about the island I would recommend this guy. He has reasonable rates.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Such a memorable & wonderful trip ever !

“Such a memorable & wonderful trip ever !” 5 of 5 starsReviewed October 20, 2014 we had been there for 5 days 4 nights. Gede was our trip driver + tour guide + private photographer. He is a super nice man & he always give us useful information & advisor as well. His car is very clean and comfortable. we had really awesome experiences & best services in Bali ! Appreciated that gave us so much unforgettable memories & 100 % will find you again once we visit to Bali again !! Thanks Gede ^.^ Visited October 2014

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Trip to Bali

A trip to Bali is not really complete without visiting at least one temple. The island has over 20,000 pura (temples in Balinese) and even though it’s impossible to visit them all, a few of them are really worth the time and effort. Plus, many of them are close to each other, so you can visit several in one day. I visited these five temples over two days and managed to see rice terraces, a butterfly farm and other Bali sights, too. How to dress : Remember to bring a sarong if you visit a temple. Most temple guards will ask that you cover up your shoulders and ankles, but if you’re wearing pants and a tee, there shouldn’t be a problem. If you don’t have a sarong, you can borrow one for free at most temples. At Besakih, it’s included in your entrance fee so don’t let anyone there convince you otherwise. Unfortunately, the place is crammed with people trying to rip you off! Prices : Visiting a Balinese temple is cheap (cost is between $1-3), but there are different prices for foreigners and locals. You can find the prices below. How to get there : There are three main ways to see the temples. You either sign up for a group tour, you rent a driver (what I did) or you rent a scooter. The latter is definitely the cheapest, but sitting on a scooter all day is probably not the most comfortable way to enjoy Bali’s temples. Remember, if you bring a few friends, you can split the costs which makes it a lot cheaper.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Monkey forest

The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is a Balinese Hindu site at the bottom of Monkey Forest Road and populated by cheeky long-tailed macaques. It's a popular site with visitors to Ubud who come to see the monkeys and the temples within the sanctuary. There are hundreds of monkeys living in and around the monkey forest. You can purchase food for them at the entrance gate but be warned that the monkeys are aggresive opportunists - particularly in their pursuit of food. They will think nothing of climbing on you or raking through your bag in search of something edible. There are 3 temples within the forest, Pura Dalem (death temple), the Holy Bathing Temple and Pura Prajapati (funerary or cremation temple). All 3 of these temples are sacred, as is the forest and the monkeys, who are believed to protect the area from evil spirits.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Great Tour Guide

“Great tour guide ” 5 of 5 starsReviewed August 18, 2014 NEW Gede is not just a driver, but a great tour guide. My experience with him was wonderful and very informational. He not only takes you on day trips throughout Bali, but teaches you about the history of the Balinese people. Gede is very trustworthy, dependable, humble, and very pleasant to be around. He speaks English very well and will recommend different places for you to visit. The itinerary depends on the places you want to visit and he will ensure you get adequate time to do everything on the trip. I had Gede for a two day trip, which was extraordinary! If you are looking for someone to show you Bali on your own terms, look no further because Gede is your tour guide!

Gede enriched our Balinese experience

“Gede enriched our Balinese experience” 5 of 5 starsReviewed August 19, 2014 NEW We recently spent two weeks in Bali and again used Gede Suyasa as our driver and guide. Before the trip, Gede helped us develop our itinerary and choose hotels/resorts to stay. Gede is absolutely prompt, dependable, honest, patient and helpful. He offers good advice, but also listens to what we want to do, what interests us, and then helped us achieve those things. For example, we like real Indonesian food rather than the watered down variety you get in most tourist places, so Gede took us to, or recommended warungs or restaurants we could find what we wanted. We stayed in three different places, and our trips between were fascinating tours through towns, sites of interest, and countryside, where possible on back roads that could avoid traffic. Where we couldn't avoid traffic, we still had an insight into Balinese life and could talk about all kinds of issues. Our one-day tours were enjoyable. We really like Gede and always recommend him to our friends.

Saturday, August 9, 2014


Within Hinduism, cremation (utilizing fire to reduce a dead body to ashes) is a process that is believed to set an individual's soul free from the body and allow that soul to take part in the reincarnation process. Historically, Balinese Hindu cremation ceremonies have been conducted in such as way as to provide a deceased individual with an elaborate tribute and send off. Many Balinese families have traditionally not been able to afford to cremate the body of a deceased relative immediately after that person's death (today, it is not uncommon for a Balinese Hindu cremation ceremony to cost a family the equivalent of a years income). Therefore, many Balinese families opt to bury the body of their relative (in a cemetery like the one found within the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal), work for several years in order to save up enough money for a cremation ceremony, and have the body of their relative exhumed just prior to his or her cremation. Historically, most Balinese Hindu cemetery and cremation sites were located in remote areas (areas that were not within or immediately next to a village). An exception to this rule is cemetery sites utilized by upper caste Balinese (which have traditionally been located within family compounds). Today, although bodies are still buried within the Sacred Monkey Forest's cemetery, bodies are not cremated within the Sacred Monkey Forest. Instead, bodies are exhumed and prepared for cremation. Cremation preparation has traditionally involved the washing and wrapping a body in cloth (after being buried, most bodies have decomposed to the point that only bones remain). After a body is prepared for cremation, it is brought to another location where it is placed upon a cremation pyre. On the day of the cremation ceremony, village members carry the cremation pyre (and other pyres containing belongings of the deceased person) to the cremation site. However, cremation processions do not go directly to the cremation site and the cremation pyre, as the procession moves along , is turned around in circles. This is to insure that once a soul is released from a person's body, that soul will not be able to find its way back to the village. After a body is cremated, ashes and any remaining bones (after being washed) are placed in urns and distributed to family members. Some of the ashes and bones, as an aspect of Ancestor Worship, are placed in family temples (which are located in family compounds). Remaining ashes and bones are both caste into the sea and placed at several major Balinese Hindu temple sites.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Relieable Driver

“If you are looking for a reliable, honest and safe driver to drive you around Bali, Gede is the man!” 5 of 5 starsReviewed July 29, 2014 NEW As any prudent 1st time tourist will do, I scanned the Trip Advisor looking for reliable and proven driver/guide to drive my family around Bali during our week long vacation in June 14. The myraid of choices were indeed mind boggling! After reading through pages after pages of reviews, I finally selected Mr Gede as my driver/guide. And I think that was one of the best decision I made for the trip! The price charged by Mr Gede might not be the cheapest nor the most expensive, they were reasonable and worth every cent! I booked 3 full days tour (up to 10 hours per day) with Mr Gede and he kindly threw in a free airport to hotel transfer. How nice! On arrival at the Bali airport, Mr Gede stood among hundreds of other drivers who held up name cards at the arrival meeters hall, and the experience was quite overwhelming as we need to look for our name on a tiny A4 size paper! It could be Mr Gede's experience, he quickly identified my family and ushered us to his brand new Suzuki APV. During the short 5 mins drive from the airport to my hotel at Kuta, I felt more assured of my choice as through our conversation, I could tell that Mr Gede is really a typical down to earth and friendly Balinese family man! During the 3 days tour, Mr Gede was always punctual, friendly, and along with his keen sense of direction (as if he had swallowed a mobile GPS), he traversed the narrow roads in Bali like a pro! When asked how can he drive in such a chaotic environment, he told us in a very 'Zen' like manner 'to drive in Bali, you must flow with the traffic like water flowing in a river' Wow! During one of the days, my daughter ran a high fever and we have no choice but to call Mr Gede to cancel our day tour. As we were only an hour from the pick up time, he could have charged me for the day's fare or maybe half instead he did none of that and expressed his concern for my daughter. My wife and I were really touched by Mr Gede's kindness! In short, Mr Gede showed us the true meaning of Balinese style hospitality and I have no qualms recommending him to any 1st time tourists or returning tourists to Bali and did I also said that he is also very good with young children!