Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bali Travel: The Undying Balinese Arts

The island of Bali is literally a very beautiful island situated under the equator in Indonesian Archipelago, is one of the most interesting and ultimate tourist destination in Asia. Since the first decade of the 20th century visitors have given to it several nicknames "Island of Gods" - "Island of thousand Temples" – "The Last Paradise" – and also often called "Island of Artist".

The spirit of creativity pervades everything in Balinese life, from the cultivation of the steeply-terraced rice field to the elaborate temple ...

offerings of flowers and foods given to the gods at times of celebration. Dancing, playing the gamelan, painting and carving is as much a part of an ordinary day as working in the offices, in the fields or feeding livestock.

In ancient times, the people of the Indonesian Archipelago followed the ways of animism and ancestor worship. By around A.D. 600 however, Indian ideas and beliefs began to spread throughout Southeast Asia. Both Buddhism and Hinduism became active force on the islands of Sumatra and Java. When Islam gained control of Java in the 16th century, many Hindu princes, their followers and artisans fled to Bali. They established principalities on Bali.

The earliest art of Bali dates from this pre-Hindu era, including highly of decorative works of bronze, as well as skilled basketworks and weaving. During the Hindu era, the princes and their relatives were the patronage of the native arts of Bali, and also sustained by the guiding rituals of its religion. The palaces and temples, as political and religious center of the island, were also centers of the arts.

A prince would adorn his pavilions with the most exquisitely carved wood panels, paintings, silken materials, gilded umbrellas and would be entertained by gamelan music, dances and songs of poetical Kawi language. The opulence of the court – had its religious parallel in the lavish decoration and dances within the temples. So the courts and the temples have been receiving equal high performance in art.

This convergence of beauty and ritual explains why the arts have endured to such a great extent in Bali. Ritual demanded a continuous renewal of communion with the divine through temple celebrations. The people poured their artistic talents into preparations of these occasions. New offerings have to be made, new shrines constructed, new statues of stones and woods have to be carved, dances, music and dramas created and practiced. This kept carvers and masons constantly occupied creating new sculptures or retouching older ones.

The Balinese language has no words for “art” and “artist”. In former times there had been no need for such definitions. Art was never considered a conscious production for its own sake. Rather, it was regarded as a collective obligation to make thing beautiful. And this was always done with a definite purpose: to create beauty in service to society and religion. Thus a “figure-maker” or “picture-maker” as well as a farmer or merchant, he was called upon when his skills were needed. He neither signed his name to his work, nor received money for his labor. His prime aim was to serve his community. As was true in the olden days, the majority of Bali’s artists are highly skilled craftsmen who learned their trade by mastering the traditional forms inherited from their forefathers.

In the first decade of the 20th century, the Dutch took the island, and Bali entered a new era as a colony of the Netherlands. Western education, modern technology, magazines, and a steady tourist trade opened up a new world for many Balinese, and this widening of outlook was reflected in the arts. For the first time, craftsmen began to treat their work as art for art’s sake, experimenting in new style, themes and media. With the arrival of the Western influence, the rigid conventions of the traditional style were no longer binding. Instead of illustrating stories from the great Hindu epics, some Balinese artists began to depict scenes of everyday life and nature in their work. The present art community has two criteria: (a) a work of art is praiseworthy in the eyes of fellow Balinese, or (b) it appeals to the foreign market and is sold.

To day the traditional and modern arts can be viewed at various places: Museum Bali in Denpasar presents a commendable survey of Balinese art from prehistoric times to the early 20th century and modern arts. Werdi Budaya Arts Center in Denpasar offers exhibitions and sales of local handicrafts and hand loomed fabrics. Tohpati for fine batiks. Celuk for silver and gold works. Mas for excellent woodcarvings. Ubud is the heart of arts and cultures, home of the most talented painters. And Klungkung for the traditional paintings and silver works.

So if you are interested in arts, do not hesitate to choose this enchanting island for your Bali Vacation. It also has very nice beaches, hotels, fabulous nature’s views, friendly people and of course excellent foods. Go online and search your preferred Bali hotels or contact your reputable travel agent.

Ciao readers, my immense thank to you all.
By: Made Dertha

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bali Vacation: Discover A Breathtaking Panorama Of Jatiluwih

Most people come to Bali to experience the marvelously rich culture heritage; some come for the beaches and the waves; some come for meeting and convention; others for pure relaxation. But if you are a nature lover don’t miss Jatiluwih, is a breathtaking panorama of genuine and fertile rice fields stretch from the foothills of Batukaru volcano to the south coast.

It is located at the western district of Tabanan....

This western uplands of Batukaru are famed for magnificent landscapes. The view from the mountain village, Jatiluwih, takes in the whole of South Bali. Perched on a high terraced slope, Jatiluwih deserves its name, which means “Truly Marvelous”. A wonder of the world. It’s worth a venture.

You can initiate your trip in the morning leaving the hotel at 09.00. A.M. There are many ways to see Bali and each serves its own purpose well. Motorcycles are a pleasant (but extremely risky) way to see the countryside and cooler than ride in a car. Jeep and minivans are also available for hire – with or without a driver. It is advisable to settle the price with the driver before starting on a journey.

After passing the town of Tabanan the road takes you to the north through the villages of Wanasari, Jegu, Buruan and Wangaya Gede. On the route you will be amazed by the wonderful rural ambience; farmhouses, characteristically, a little shrine to place offerings dedicated to Dewi Sri the Goddess of rice, plowing, flocks of ducks that are brought to bathe and feed all day in the flooded paddies, and harvesting, that one pictures when remembering Bali. The cascading terraces of rice fields are the most striking features of the landscape.

If you see farmers are working the rice, planting or harvesting, and if you are interested in experience it, you can stop and joint them, you will be welcomed gladly. “Alo turis, alo turis!” followed by giggles is the standard greeting from children everywhere on Bali. Older people will be more sedate but their curious eyes will follow you, as will their more modest greeting of “mau kemana” (where are you going). Traveling in Bali can be exhilarating and getting off the beaten track can take you right to the heart of Balinese life, although you don’t have to stray far to feel it.

On the route at the village of Wanasari there is a butterflies park, you can stop and watch various kinds of colorful tropical butterflies. And then nearby the temple Pura Luhur is the holy spring of Air Panas, where hot water surges from the river bank. All strange, natural phenomena are believed to be frequented by spirits. Thus, Air Panas is graced by a small temple where people make their prayers with offerings.

The journey continues up the road until it dead ends at Pura Luhur Batukaru (2,278 m / 7,474 ft). Being one of Bali’s most venerated temples, every West Balinese temple has a shrine dedicated to it; it is isolated within its solitary clearing far above the populated farmlands. The dense rainforest of this upland would invite every adventurer to explore it. Wild orchids, healing herbs, fragrant spices and exotic trees could be discovered in this mystical heart and soul of this amazing island.

Then, the last destination (the goal of the journey) is the mountain village Jatiluwih, a breathtaking panorama of genuine and the most fertile terraces rice fields on the island. It is said as the granary of the whole Bali. Perched on a high terraced slope, Jatiluwih deserves its name, which means “Truly Marvelous”. The cascading terraces of rice fields are the most striking features of the landscape. Stretch from the foothill of Batukaru volcano to the south coast. The cool western uplands, overlooking half the island, offer magnificent views.

On the route to Jatiluwih you can observe many kinds of tropical vegetation; coffee, coconuts, cacaos, cloves, jack fruits, bananas, papayas, sirsaks, an extremely juicy fruit, rambutans, mangoes, durians the smelly fruit, etc. The western upland is the most interesting area to hike. If you love hiking (don’t forget your picnic basket). A true journey to the secret soul of Bali. But if you want to have your meals at a restaurant, continue your travel to the east till you arrive at Pacung, there is a good restaurant offers delicious buffet lunch – with its wonderful sight of terraces rice field and the sacred volcano Batukaru in the distance.

Waka Land Cruise a reputable company has been organizing a sacred adventure to the secret soul of Bali. Travel by legendary luxury Land Rover, on tiny country roads and tracks, through terraced rice fields and untouched rainforest to the real heart of Bali.

So keep in mind the beautiful Bali for your holiday, because it would be worth to venture there.

Thank you readers and have a nice day.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bali Hotels Or Bali Villas


Dear Reader,

One says that traveling is not an exact science, to combine between their cultures, traditions, countries and different languages sometimes are not easy. Trust an expert, contact your reputable travel agent may be important.

Most people come to Bali want to see and enjoy its arts and cultures, its fabulous nature’s views, its nice beaches, its friendly people, for pure relaxation and some for business and stay on. Whatever is one’s aim, the accommodation is one of the most important ....

aspects in order to get the comforts and memorable holiday.

There are a myriad of accommodations to choose from in Bali, from five-star luxury Bali hotels or Bali Villas to budget one just a few dollars a night. The main tourist hub is in the southern triangle formed by Sanur, Kuta and Dusa Dua. For those who prefer the comforts of home and the relaxation of the beach, this is a good starting place. Other beach areas are Lovina in the north, Candi Dasa in the east and Canggu and Yeh Gangga in the west.

If you are a sun’s lover, then stay at Kuta (a wild and crazy kind of place) or its quieter sister beaches Legian and Seminyak up the road, Candi Dasa on the east coast, Sanur and Nusa Dua in the south or Lovina in the north. If you are a culture’s lover, then stay in Ubud in central Bali.

Thus for your accommodation what do you prefer Bali Hotels or Bali Villas? Both hotels and villas shall give you some advantages. For those who want a hotel that has a nice beach front or hotel by the sea or a room that facing the ocean, Bali Hotel is an easier choice, because most of luxury Bali Hotels that line the coast of Bali. There are plentiful of hotels either in building style or in Balinese style bungalow, both offer modern comports and excellent service, but without maximum privacy. Most Bali Hotels have one or more restaurants and bars that offer a wide range of local and international cuisines. Also sports and Spa facilities are usually available like tennis, billiards, squash, fitness center, games room, and some with golf course.

For those who want to enjoy a total privacy and perhaps a perfect Balinese lifestyle, stay at a private villa is a right choice. One can enjoy the luxury of a beautiful private villa with air-conditioned bedrooms and tropical bathrooms to dream about, spacious living and dining areas and spacious terraces, a lush tropical garden with your own private swimming pool, and well-trained house staff to take care of everything around the clock. And you’ll appreciate the comfort and informality you can only experience in a private home.

Instead of staying in hotel rooms (bed, two chairs, dressing table, TV set and telephone, wardrobe, small bathroom), your family will enjoy this truly Balinese experience. And you have much more space, more informality, more privacy, and more personal service than even the best hotel can provide.

You can even save up to 50% - 70% of meals and drinks if you stay at a private villa with full furnished kitchen if you decide a self-service vacation. Order your groceries, favorite snacks and drinks to be brought for you at the local supermarket or wine wholesaler. You’ll be surprised at the low cost when you pay the same prices as locals do. Or just ask the villa manager to do so, and a trained cook (with reasonable extra cost) to prepare you delicious meals or any special diet. And also Bali’s 21% tax & service charge and airport transfer is included on villa rental.

There are numbers of luxury villas at Bali’s hotels & resorts. If you prefer a hotel environment and services and don’t mind to pay inflated prices for accommodation and food & beverages, you can also book some villa-like accommodation at one of luxury Bali’s hotels through a reliable travel agent and still enjoy savings and extra benefits.

So, do not hesitate to choose the island of Bali in Indonesia for your memorable holiday. Bali is the most enchanting travel destination in the world, its year-round pleasant climate, its friendly people; its fabulous nature’s views, its nice beach and the absence of major criminal activities guarantee a completely relaxing stay. Because of the physical beauty of the island and its wide variety of attractions, Bali has become for many experienced travelers the “ultimate island”.

Go online and search your preferred Bali hotels or Bali villas or contact your reliable travel agent. The wide choice can be confusing especially for first time visitors, and it’s sometimes difficult to select the right Bali Hotels or Bali Villas. So just let your travel agent knows your personal needs and preferences that he can recommend those hotels or villas it feels will suit you best.

Thanks you reader and have a nice day.