Enjoy the best places to see in Denpasar with a plan including Bali Driver Gede

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

Creamation

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!

Friday, June 27, 2014

“Awesome Service, highly reccomended”

“Awesome Service, highly reccomended” 5 of 5 starsReviewed June 26, 2014 NEW Thanks heaps again for the two days spent with you, your help and understanding was highly appreciated. Gede driving skills were also a plus, a smooth and comfortable ride, bali roads are crazy so it made our experience a lot better than previous tours we had been on. Gedes knowledge and honesty of Bali was both helpful and informative. We have recommended you to our friends and hope you hear from them next month. Also we were able to get the buffalo head into Australia through customs with out any problems so we were over the moon. We have since found them on eBay selling for approx $600 au so over the moon on our purchase. Visited June 2014

Friday, June 20, 2014

Tanah Lot The Most Favorite Tourist Destination

Tanah Lot The Most Favorite Tourist DestinationTanah Lot located in Beraban village, Tabanan regency, 18 kilometer to the west from Denpasar, is the most favorite location in Bali both for the domestic and foreign tourists. The tourists love to see the two temples built on the big rock and the other one on the cliff. Tanah Lot Temple is a part of Sad Kahyangan Temple, one of big temples on the island. Tanah Lot location managed professionally so that tourist would love to visit the place as the road is good, the parking lot is wide and its environment arranged beautifully. Out of many tourism objects in Bali, Tanah Lot gets high demand from both domestic and foreign tourists and it is the most crowded place visited by tourists. Tourism Department of Bali Province recorded that the number of tourists both from Indonesia and overseas visited Tanah Lot in the last five years is still the highest. The number of tourists coming to Tanah Lot in 2012 was 2.577. 299 people consist of 1,649,655 domestic tourists and 927.644 foreigners and in 2013 was 2.842.281 people consist of 1.805.193 domestic tourists and 1.037.088 foreigners, it increased at 10.28 percent. It is reasonable that Tanah Lot gets the most visited tourist attraction, said Made Sudiana, a local guide, besides its location is near from the tourism center in Kuta and Nusa Dua, in here the tourists could enjoy the beach view and temple, which none in the world could compete. Moreover, this tourist attraction offers arts performance in the form of ‘kecak’ for tourists with the background of ocean and temple view. (BTN/015)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Tumpek Landep A moment for Purification of Ancestral Heritages

Tumpek LandepTumpek Landep is celebrated every Saniscara (Saturday) Kliwon Wuku Landep. The phrase Tumpek Landep is derived from the word tumpek meaning close and landep meaning sharp. So, in the philosophical context, Tumpek Landep poses a milestone of sharpening the citta, buddhi and manas (mind). Therefore, people always behave according to clarity of mind with the foundation of religious values. With a pure mind, devotees will be able to pick and choose what is good and bad. Tumpek Landep poses veneration to Lord Shiva Pasupati as the god of taksu or divine inspiration. So, after celebrating the Sarasvati Day as the coming down of science, people invoke in order the science will be auspicious or gives sharpness of mind and heart. On the Tumpek Landep is also performed a cleansing and purification ritual to different ancestral heritages such as keris dagger, spears and so forth. Layman often considers it the anniversary of iron or metal. However, over the period, the meaning of Tumpek Landep increasingly deviates from the true meaning. Now, the community even tends to interpret the Tumpek Landep as a ceremony for motorcycles, cars and equipment made from the iron works. Indeed, this is very much distorted. It is okay to perform a ritual on Tumpek Landep to motorcycles, cars and working equipment, but do not forget the core of implementation of Tumpek Landep itself so that people always remember to sharpen their mind (manas), buddhi and citta. By doing so, people are expected to fight against ignorance, darkness and misery. Ritual of Tumpek Landep actually reminds people of always sharpening the mind so as to suppress the evil behavior within the self. In terms of the meaning of feast day, the ritual to motorcycles, cars or working equipment is more appropriately carried out on Tumpek Kuningan, namely as a thanksgiving for the facility gift of Supreme God. Hopefully, the facilities can help the activities and function well and safely. Tumpek Landep poses a milestone for introspection to improve the character pursuant to religious teachings. On Tumpek Landep, devotees should do worship in family shrine as well as in temple to invoke the blessing of Lord Shiva Pasupati to be given the sharpness of mind so that we can become a useful person to society. It is also resumed with the cleaning and purification of the ancestral heritages. For the artists, Tumpek Landep is celebrated as a worship to invoke divine inspiration so the art becomes more developed, gains an appreciation from the community and ability to convey a moral and intellectual messages to educate people. Again, it is affirmed that Tumpek Landep is not ritual for motorcycles, cars, furniture or iron, but it is more about the awareness of always sharpening the mind for the welfare of mankind. It’s okay to give ritual to motorcycles, cars and so forth as a form of gratitude, but it is only the additional value. Do not let the celebration focuses on the added values, but forget the basic core of the celebration. (BTN/ist/015)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Top tips to avoid methanol poisoning.

It can ruin holidays, and end lives - but being armed with a few simple tips can help travellers minimise the risk of methanol poisoning. Beware: If the cocktails seem ridiculously cheap, you’re probably better to steer clear. Beware: If the cocktails seem ridiculously cheap, you’re probably better to steer clear. Source: ThinkStock Top tips to avoid methanol poisoning But the risk of methanol poisoning isn’t confined to Bali, a travel expert has warned. It’s also common in other parts of the world, including Eastern Europe, travel safety specialist Phil Sylvester from Travel Insurance Direct says. But in Bali, arak - or Balinese moonshine - is the most well known source of methanol poisoning. Just a small amount of methanol could send you blind, and a decent shot could kill you, Mr Sylvester says. In 2009, 25 people were killed by one single batch. The symptoms of methanol poisoning can start immediately, with headaches, dizziness, amnesia and drowsiness. The next symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, blurred vision, hallucinations, seeing skin over your eyes, snowstorms, dancing spots and flashes of light. When it comes to avoiding the risk the obvious answer is to steer clear of drinking altogether, but Mr Sylvester admits that’s not practical advice. “We recognise that people are on holidays and are going to have a few drinks. We’re not wowsers about that,” he said. He recommends avoiding drinks labelled as arak, but being aware of other drinks that may be laced with the cheaper spirit. “A bar owner concerned only about profit will lace the drinks with the cheaper stuff,” he says. “It’s hard to say don’t drink crazy cocktails in Bali, but good rule of thumb is if the drinks seem ludicrously cheap, even for Bali, it’s not a good idea.” Mr Sylvester warns that from a travel insurance perspective, intentionally drinking to excess can leave you in the lurch when it comes to claiming. “When something goes wrong when you’re on holidays - if it’s as a direct result of being drunk, you’re probably not going to be covered,” he said. “But methanol poisoning can affect you with just one drink - so it’s very likely you would be covered.” The new observational-documentary series What Really Happens In Bali gives a no-holds-barred look at what really goes down in Australia's favourite tourist destination. The series is narrated by Corinne Grant. Courtesy Channel Seven. Phil Sylvester’s top tips to avoid methanol poisoning: 1. Don’t drink arak. Even the official stuff can be adulterated. 2. Don’t drink spirits (including cocktails). While this is hard, it is the only way to be certain no local substitutes have been used. If you are going to drink spirits buy the whole bottle of a brand you know, make sure it’s sealed and open it yourself to share with friends. Or, drink beer! 3. If you start to feeling any symptoms get yourself to hospital as soon as possible. 4. Know and understand the signs of methanol poisoning for yourself and any friends: - Difficulty breathing - Blurred vision - Agitation - Dizziness - Stomach pain 5. Be aware of methanol drink spiking across the globe. It is not unique to Bali, but also pretty common in Eastern Europe. Recent incidents involving Australian tourists in Bali: • Tess Mettam, from Perth, became ill and went blind for two days after drinking two cocktails at a Kuta Bar in December. • Perth teenager Liam Davies, 19, died after drinking a methanol-laced cocktail on the Island of Lombok on New Year’s Day, 2013. • Two 18-year-old Australians, a male and a female, were blinded after drinking cocktails during separate schoolies trips to Bali in November and December 2012.

“Gede - best driver in Bali”

“Gede - best driver in Bali” 5 of 5 starsReviewed June 4, 2014 NEW Gede is a great driver, reliable and he knows what he is doing. He drove us around, he shown us the Balinese culture and provide us interesting conversations. Thank you very much for your service. Our vacation in Bali is very impressive. we will definitely return to Bali. and we do not hesitate to inform your service to our friends...

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Great Holiday

We have just returned from a 10 day family holiday in Bali - based in Kuta (wanna go back!!!). We had six adults to co-ordinate transfers and day trips with ... and Gede was fabulous in helping and confirming airport transfers and day excursions. When we required more than one vehicle (i.e. all the suitcases with shopping!!!) ... he bought in extra members of his team - we had Nyoman (Norman) ... who was also terrific. I loved the flexibility of being able to change our mind and head back to Kuta when the kids decided they had enough of sightseeing - and had no problem with communication. They were reliable, reasonably priced, responded same day to emails (which was hugely appreciated Gede - so thank you), and we would all use their services again when travelling to Bali. Cheers :-)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Bucket List trip - Amazing Cultural Experience- Best driver rate”

“Bucket List trip - Amazing Cultural Experience- Best driver rate” 5 of 5 starsReviewed May 4, 2014 NEW I'm 21 and Gede was my mom's and my driver for my senior spring break . It was an amazing cultural experience and a wonderful way to end my collegiate years. I'm so thankful to have spent the week with my mom and Gede Driving, exploring one of the most beautiful places in the world. Gede was the best thing that could've happened to us during that trip! His rates were very fair and he worked so hard to make sure we had the most enjoyable experience possible. If you're planning on making a trip to Bali, make sure to hire him! From jungles to hidden beaches to temples to hot springs, Gede was ready to take us anywhere! One of my favorite experiences was the Ulu Watu temple, pictured above. This is a Hindu temple located atop gorgeous cliffs and it's filled with monkeys! At the entrance you can buy bananas, which the monkeys will eagerly chow down on right in front of you. They are the most adorable little things ever and I really want a baby monkey. At the temple we witnessed the Kecak dance, which uses only the sounds made by a large group of men while other characters perform a dance. No instruments or singing, just sound. The performance occurs in a stadium overlooking these stunning cliffs just as the bright sun sets into smoldering shades of orange, pink and yellow. The thing I love most about traveling is learning about the different cultures around the world. There are so many things we take forgranted, especially in America. In Bali, they are undeniably the nicest people I've ever met and they ALWAYS have a smile on their face. Sellers will bug you to death and make a bargain that's hard to deny, but never once did they ask for something without giving you something in return. That really impressed me and I think it truly speaks to the amazing character of these people and their religion. I know this will be a trip that I never forget and I'm so blessed to have had the privilege to take this vacation "

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Saving the Bali starling

Saving the Bali starling Theresia Sufa, The Jakarta Post, Gilimanuk, Bali | Environment | Tue, April 22 2014, 12:43 PM The jalak bali is a beautiful white bird with blue decorative skin around the eyes.
As an endemic species of Bali symbolizing purity and chastity, it is also called the Bali mynah, the Bali starling, Rothschild’s mynah and the Rothschild starling. Scientifically named Leucopsar rothschildi Stresemann, the Balinese call it curik bali or jalak bali. The bird was first discovered in 1911 by German ornithologist Erwin Stresemann in the northwestern part of Bali. As monitored by a team of the Association of Bali Mynah Conservationist (APCB) and Ecosystem Control officers at Brumbun Bay Resort, West Bali National Park (TNBB), the birds like to flock together with sri gunting (ashy drongo), because these song birds are more aggressive toward eagles, which are the natural enemies of curik bali. Curik bali’s presence in the forest attracts attention, with its white feathers making it easy to spot. To avoid detection by eagles, they often perch on branches of pilang (Acacia trees), which have white bark that can camouflage them. For the protection of curik bali in nature, in 2004 the APCB, whose members comprise executives of zoos in Indonesia, the Forestry Ministry, bird researchers from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and members of the Indonesian Wildlife Conservation Forum (Foksi), conducted a survey in the TNBB to ascertain the causes of world agencies’ failure in curik bali conservation. It turned out that the failure was due to illegal logging and curik bali poaching, while the park itself was under threat and unable to optimally support the threatened species. “Since 2004, we’ve been trying to encourage the captive breeding of this endangered species by involving local people in conservation activities, which is backed by a Forestry Ministry decree permitting the public, particularly the community around the TNBB, to keep and breed curik bali,” said the head of the APCB, Tony Sumampau, when monitoring the birds in the park in Gilimanuk, Bali. In 2007, captive breeding activities in the TNBB area spread. The price of a curik bali was initially about Rp 15 million (US$1,310), which later decreased to Rp 6 million. The birds bred under such conditions are not considered ideal due to having been inbred. For better genetic quality, the APCB has sought new stock and collected 96 bird samples tested by LIPI specialists. LIPI curik bali researcher Noerdjito said the birds could be genetically improved in captive breeding. Fledglings should be selected for cross breeding to obtain the best offspring. However, the birds are generally released without this happening. “I’ve repeatedly notified the TNBB of the need to select the young curik bali, but the message may not have been properly received due to frequent post transfers, while the birds kept in several zoos in Indonesia should also be cross-bred for their best broods,” explained Noerdjito. Besides the Ainun Yaqqin Foundation being located some 4 kilometers from the TNBB, 17 curik bali breeders also live in Sumber Kalmpok village, Buleleng regency. They belong to the Curik Bali Conservationists Group (KPCB) of Manuk Jegeg. Based on a consensus between the breeders and the APCB, 10 percent of the birds bred are released. However, the breeders are disappointed by the difficulty in securing a license to sell curik bali. “We breed curik bali the same way we raise our cattle. We appeal for distribution license facilitation to enable us to sell the birds and buy insects and fruit for the young broods. We applied for a license from the Natural Resources Conservation Agency [BKSDA] a year ago but have had no response,” said Gusti, a breeder from Sumber Klampok.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bali with expert

“Bali with an expert” 5 of 5 starsReviewed April 12, 2014 NEW We recently arrived in the beautiful Bali via cruise ship. Our time was limited and we didn't exactly know what to to or see whilst there. Gede was wonderful. He was waiting for us at the dock with a cold bottle of water and a friendly smile. We did a relatively short tour consisting of a silver factory and the monkey forrest in Ubud. At Gede's suggestion we also stopped for a beautiful lunch along the way. We couldn't have been in better hands and we will definitely contact Gede again the next time we visit Bali. If you want your Bali visit informative and memorable we highly recommend you contact Gede ahead of time and let him know what/where you would like to visit. We cannot recomment him highly enough.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Great Tour,No Communication Barrier

“Great Tour, No Communication Barrier.” 5 of 5 starsReviewed April 10, 2014 NEW Me and my girlfriend got to know Gede from our friends who has engaged to Gede tour service last year. We contact Gede 7 months before our trip, and Gede was so well promptly reply to our email, He suggested places we shall visit, but because we were having a short trip so i have give up to some place has recommended by Gede, He sounds no problem to make any request to suits our needs. Booked Gede with an Airport pick up but our flight was delayed on arrival about 1 hour due to a bad weather condition take off from Kuala Lumpur, Gede has waiting us at the departure hall with a piece of cardboard, big enough of Text to spot my own name although there was a large crowds of tour operator same as Gede holding their piece of paper to welcome their traveller. We booked 2 days of trip, And Gede was a well speak english, exactly no problem on communication, along the trip Gede has bring to some topic telling us the culture, current affair and economy and also interesting place in Bali. We have mention to Gede about our plan to have wedding in Bali, he is so kind that to suggest us to contact a wedding planner, and i have tell Gede our next trip on wedding to bali hope he would be able to be a guide driving our friends and family tour around Bali. Visited April 2014

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bali aims to be campaign-free zone for Nyepi

Ni Komang Erviani, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar | Election Watch | The Grand Council of Customary Villages (MUDP) has strongly urged all legislative candidates and political parties in Bali to remove their campaign paraphernalia lining the streets by March 30, as Balinese Hindus across the island will be marking Nyepi, the Day of Silence, the following day. The council, an umbrella organization for nearly 1,500 desa pekraman (customary villages), will be sending letters to all relevant parties, including political parties as well as Bali’s General Elections Commission (KPUD) and Elections Monitoring Agency (Bawaslu) regarding the matter. “We hope that all campaign materials will be taken down to maintain the solemn atmosphere of Nyepi,” MUDP chairman Jero Gede Suwena Putus Upadesha said in a meeting at the KPUD on Friday. The meeting was also attended by representatives from several political parties and their legislative candidates. Nyepi, which falls on March 31, marks the start of the Lunar Year in the Balinese Caka calendar. On the day, Balinese Hindus perform the four abstinences, which comprise amati geni (abstaining from lighting fires or lights); amati karya (abstaining from work); amati lelungan (abstaining from traveling outside one’s home); and amati lelanguan (abstaining from leisure activities). The whole island becomes a quiet, peaceful sanctuary on Nyepi. On the day before Nyepi, devotees will perform the sacrificial ritual, Tawur Kesanga. Tawur Kesanga is carried out at several levels, starting from the highest at the island’s mother temple, Pura Besakih, down to the regencies, villages, hamlets and households. The ritual is aimed at strengthening relations between humans, the environment and God. Tawur Kesanga ends in the afternoon and is followed in the evening by ngerupuk, a street parade with village youth groups carrying bamboo torches and ogoh-ogoh (giant effigies in the form of terrifying creatures). Ngerupuk aims to ward off bhuta kala (malevolent spirits and evil forces). Suwena said he hoped all legislative candidates and political parties would respect the rituals by removing their paraphernalia from March 30 through March 31. “Please give a chance to Hindu devotees to perform their worship in a solemn, peaceful and calm environment. It is only temporary. After Nyepi, they can put back all their campaign materials,” he said. He added that the MUDP would be grateful if political parties voluntarily removed their campaign materials by March 28, when the melasti purification ritual would be performed to mark the beginning of Nyepi. During the melasti procession, Hindus take their pretima (sacred objects) to beaches, lakes or springs to be cleansed. Suwena said the reason behind the removal request was that campaign materials could trigger conflict, which could destroy the peace of Nyepi. “The state has acknowledged Nyepi by declaring it a public holiday. The world has also acknowledged Nyepi by accepting the local custom of closing Ngurah Rai International Airport on that day. We really hope that all legislative candidates and political parties will also respect the day,” he said. He conveyed his appreciation for the agreement made between the political parties and the KPUD to halt campaigning from March 28 to April 1 to honor the Nyepi celebrations. Secretary of the Golkar Party’s local chapter, Komang Purnama, said Golkar would respect the MUDP’s request. “We will instruct our candidates to take down their campaign materials,” he said. Ketut Ridet from the Democratic Party also conveyed his support. “We have already told our candidates to take down their campaign materials three days before Nyepi to honor the blessed day,” he said.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Island Of Bali

Bali is located at the westernmost section of the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia. To Bali’s west lies the island of Java and to its east is Lombok. From east to west, Bali is only about 95 miles (153 km) wide and 69 miles (112 km) long with a land area of approximately 2,175 square miles (5,632 sq. km). Coral reefs surround the island of Bali, creating an idyllic vacation area for tourists seeking scuba diving and snorkeling. Bali is a veritable paradise with white sand beaches in the southern part of the island and black sand beaches in the north, drawing tourist from around the world. One of Bali’s striking characteristics is the major religion of the island. Approximately 93 percent of its three million people practice Balinese Hinduism. This fact is extremely relevant because Indonesia, with a population of 237 million, has the largest Muslim population in the world. Anthropologists believe the island of Bali has been populated since prehistoric times. The first people on the island likely migrated from Taiwan through Maritime Southeast Asia (Malay Archipelago). Scientists have found human-made stone tools and earthenware vessels on the island dating more than 3,000 years old. The earliest written records of the island’s history are stone inscriptions from the 9th century. Though little is known about Bali in particular around this time, it is believed that seafaring traders from India brought Hinduism to the Indonesian archipelago. From 1293 to around 1500, an archipelagic empire called the Majapahit (mah-JAP-ah-hit) based on the island of Java ruled much of the Malay Archipelago. Even as the Majapahit Empire began to collapse into disputing sultanates, the dynasty in Bali maintained control on the island. For this reason, many of the intellectuals of the Majapahit relocated to Bali, including Niratha, a priest credited with introducing many of the complexities of Balinese religion to the island. Also around this time, many artists, dancers, musicians and actors fled to Bali, thus generating an explosion of culture there. Today, Bali is renowned for its varied and highly developed art forms. Most Indonesian islands increasingly embraced Islam and it became the dominant religion in Java and Sumatra by the end of the 16th century. Bali, on the other hand, retained its Hindu roots. Balinese Hinduism permeates nearly every aspect of traditional life in Bali. The religion is a combination of Hindu influences from mainland Southeast Asia and South Asia and existing local beliefs. Rooted in Indian Hinduism and Buddhism, Balinese Hinduism also incorporates many animistic and magical traditions of Bali’s indigenous people. The religion of Bali is deeply connected with art and ritual, while the Islam of Indonesia is embedded with scripture, law and belief. The followers of Balinese Hinduism are particularly known for their graceful and gentle behavior. Bali is the largest tourist destination in Indonesia. The tourism boom began in the 1970s and helped bring marked improvements to roads, health, education and telecommunications. Tourism is Bali’s largest industry, making it one of Indonesia’s wealthiest areas. Despite its perceived remoteness, Bali has been impacted by the same Islamic extremism that affects other areas of the world. When militants bombed popular Bali nightclub area in 2002 and tried again in a shopping area in 2005, the tourism industry initially suffered each time, but tourists’ visits quickly rebounded. Some Islamic extremists apparently view Bali as a decadent non-Muslim society in the midst of a predominantly Muslim region. The very fact is, however, that Bali is beautiful, modern, sophisticated, wealthy, exciting and recently relatively safe, making it a desired tourist destination of world renown. Sources: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6788699.ece ; and http://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/bali/history

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Bali International Airport closed for Nyepi

Bali International Airport closed for Nyepi Those planning to travel to the fabled island of Bali towards the end of March, please note that the entire island will come to a complete standstill for the Balinese New Year of Nyepi which this year falls on Monday, 31st March 2014. To allow all to follow the prescribed rituals, all traffic all over Bali will come to a complete halt. No planes will be allowed to land or take off for 24 hours. All shops are closed and no one is allowed on the beach or on the streets. Governor of Bali, Made Mangku Pastika, has sent an official announcement letter to four related ministries (Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Foreign Affair, Ministry of Domestic Affair, and Ministry of Communication) regarding the temporary closure of Ngurah Rai International Airport on the respected day. “The letter has been sent early (dated 30th December 2013) with the expectation that it can be distributed to all related parties, both nationally and the international world” said the Head of the Public Relations Bureau of the Provincial Government of Bali, I Ketut Teneng on Denpasar, Tuesday 25th February as reported by bisniswisata.co. With the announcement, it is expected that both domestic and international airlines will not schedule flights during that day. However, although this is a public holiday for the whole of Indonesia, outside the island of Bali, all air, land and sea traffic as well as other activities continue as normal. Nyepi is the ritual of the Hindus of Bali to welcome the New Year based on the traditional Saka Calendar. For, contrary to other cultures that celebrate New Year with vivacious festivities, the pinnacle of Balinese New Year is a day of complete Silence. Hence the name Nyepi, meaning “to keep silent” in the local language, which falls on the day following the dark moon of the spring equinox. Nyepi is a day fully dedicated to connect oneself more closely with God (Hyang Widi Wasa) through prayers and at the same time as a day of self introspection to decide on values, such as humanity, love, patience, kindness, and others, that should be kept forever. As a day reserved for self-reflection anything that may interfere with that purpose is strictly prohibited. Nyepi mandates a day of absolute quiet, based on the four precepts of Catur Brata: · Amati Geni: Prohibiting the lighting of fires, the use of lighting or satisfying pleasurable human appetites. · Amati Karya: Prohibiting all forms of physical work other than those dedicated to spiritual cleansing and renewal. · Amati Lelungan: Prohibiting movement or travel; requiring people to stay within their homes. · Amati Lelangunan: Prohibiting all forms of entertainment, recreations or general merrymaking. The sudden silence comes after the eve of noisy festivities on the beaches of Kuta, Sanur, Nusa Dua, Seminyak and others with parades of giant puppets called “ogoh-ogoh” accompanied by clanging gongs and other percussion instruments. At the end of the festival the ogoh-ogoh are torched and are totally engulfed in flames. Although Nyepi is primarily a Hindu holiday, non-Hindu residents of Bali observe the day of silence as well, out of respect for their fellow citizens. Even tourists are not exempt; although free to do as they wish inside their hotels, no one is allowed on the beaches or streets, and the airport remains closed for the entire day. The only exceptions granted are for emergency vehicles carrying those with life-threatening conditions and women about to give birth. There will be local watchmen known as pecalang to ascertain that this rule is obeyed. At night, all lights will have to be turned off. Hotels will close all curtains that no ray of light shines to the outside. All sound and music indoors should be held to its lowest volume.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sanur Beach

Sanur Holidays & Travel Guide
Despite being Bali's oldest beachside town, Sanur remains an upmarket area with an abundance of holiday resorts and restaurants. Sanur features a wide range of natural, cultural and historical attractions while still offering the fantastic shopping opportunities and stunning beaches that Bali is renowned for. The laidback atmosphere of this region has made it one of Bali's popular holiday destinations for visitors wanting to get away from the bustling party atmosphere of central Bali. The attractions of Sanur are centred around rich experiences and the vibrant culture. The Le Mayeur Museum is dedicated to the life works of famous Belgian impressionist Adrian Jean Le Mayeur who used to call Sanur home. The area is also known for the colourful giant kites that decorate the skies and are celebrated each July at the Annual International Kite Festival. Traditional Balinese kites of up to 10 metres long are handmade and flown in the competition by teams from local villages. If you aren't visiting during July you can still see the teams practicing flying their kites throughout the year. The Pura Blanjong (Blanjong Temple) is one of Sanur's most sacred temples and is a must see on any Bali holiday. Home to the stone pillar bearing the Prasati Blanjong historical inscription by a 10th century Javanese king, who is said to have ordained the first formal government in Bali. This is Bali's oldest known artifact and is particularly significant to the local people, hence the temple's grand scale.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Kuta Holiday

Kuta, Bali's most popular holiday destination, is situated in southern Bali and is renowned for its fantastic surf beaches. Offering a multitude of accommodation options including family friendly, luxury and budget hotels, all resorts are conveniently located within walking distance to shopping, dining and entertainment. Kuta is also renowned for its vibrant nightlife and party reputation which draws throngs of young travellers on holidays every year. Probably one of the best beachfronts in all of Bali, the 5 km of beach that stretch along the island are immaculate and quite safe. This is also the best place to view Bali's breathtaking sunsets. Bali's top 3 activities are shopping, surfing and partying but there are also a great range of tours and attractions available. If you're up for a bit of adventure, Kuta is a surfing hot spot and with no dangerous rocks or coral, it's also a great place to learn. However if that sounds like a bit too much effort, Kuta is positively packed with day spas and enjoys some of the most competitive prices in Bali. Relaxing aromatherapy massages, body exfoliations and refreshing spa treatments are just a few dollars and are an excellent way to unwind while on holidays. Bali is famous for its discount holiday shopping but Kuta is the island's biggest and best when it comes to surfwear, sportswear and big brands. Some of the biggest names are available at heavily discounted prices 30-50% cheaper than anywhere else. Bali has a tropical monsoon climate and as it is located just south of the equator, the weather is generally fairly mild. Divided into two distinct seasons, November to March is the wet season while the weather is drier and therefore more pleasant for holiday travellers from April to October. Maximum summer temperatures reach 30°C (86°F) with sea breezes keeping things cooler, especially at night. With a dense population, Kuta is a bustling island best navigated on foot and in metred taxis. Motorbikes are also available for hire and if you're feeling game, you can also hitch a ride on the back of a local scooter. Known as ojeks in the native tongue, these scooters are a quick and cost effective way to get around the island and while providing an authentic Bali experience, these scooters aren't for everyone.