31 January 2016

The protestant church in Blimbingsari

In Bali, many Christian churches have incorporated local architectural finishes that lifts both the eyes and the spirit of worshippers who attend Sunday and Holy Day services. While there are a number of churches in an around Bali’s capital of Denpasar with Balinese “touches,” the full expression of this genre is encountered in the village of Blimbingsari, Bali. The Protestant Church that stands in this picturesque village was referred to until recent times as the “Pura Gereja” – blending the term of “Pura” or temple for Balinese Hindus with the Indonesian term from the Portuguese of “Gereja” for church. Those travelling the well-kept roads leading into the village cannot help but notice the neat arrangement of homes built and the obvious commitment to trash-free cleanliness, worthy of emulation in other parts of Bali.
In front the Village Hall for Blimbingsari stands the Protestant Church – one of the oldest and most unique churches in Bali.
The existence of the community traces back to 1939. After conducting a survey and obtaining permission, the village was built. At the time this was a dense jungle called ‘Alas Angker’ filled by dangerous animals such as large snakes, tigers and other vicious denizens of the forest. The elders of the village of Blimbingsari then cleared away the jungle to make space for the first wave of settlers that numbered around 30 people. The trees cleared away, home were built, gardens established and village streets marked out. Among the essential structures erected was the Protestant Church of Blimbingsari.
Originally, the church of the Village of Blimbingsari was built in a European style. But, in 1971, an earthquake damaged the old church and a new church was built adopting Balinese architecture. That church, still standing today, resembles a Balinese religious temple with an outer yard of jaba sisi, a traditional Balinese split entrance or gapura, and a central place of worship. And, like a Balinese temple, but very much unlike a traditional church setting, the central worship area has no confining walls.
The churches architectural finishes includes many Balinese style carvings made by an Ubud artists depicting stories from the Bible. One base relief shows Jesus washing the feet of his disciples with Jesus wearing Balinese dress. Also unique to the Village of Blimbingsari, local church members attend services in traditional Balinese costumes for services that are conducted in the Balinese language. In the lead up to the Christmas holidays, villages make traditional Balinese Penjor stand that adorned local streets while the womenfolk prepare the traditional dish of lawar Bali for the coming communal feasts. And, while other churches in Bali use the Western convention of a bell to call worshippers to prayer, the church at Blimbingsari strikes a wooden kulkul to summon the devote. Desa Blimbingsari is now home to 270 Christian Protestant families living a short distance from the nearby village of Palasari settled in the late 1930s by exiled Balinese of the Catholic Religion.
More on www.balidiscovery.com

25 January 2016

Cheaper Fuel price

The Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources has provided background on why fuel prices will be reduced on January.
A number of recent government policies have brought greater efficiency to the energy sector clearing the way for a reduction in the price of fuel paid by consumers at the gas pumps. Effective January, 2016, the price of premium will reduce from Rp. 7,300 per liter to Rp. 7,150 per liter. Diesel fuel prices will also go down on that date from Rp. 6.700 per liter to Rp. 5,650. These lower fuel prices already include a special levy of Rp. 300 per liter for premium and Rp. 200 per liter for diesel fuel that will be introduced in 2016 to create funds for the development of alternative energy sources. The reduced cost of fuel at the pumps  reflects cost savings in the supply chain, currency exchange rates, and lower cost of fuel globally.

22 January 2016

Tenganan and the Bali aga

The Gringsing cloth found in the village of Tenganan, East Bali ranks among the most-rare and most sought-after form of traditional textile found anywhere in the world. Made from hand-spun threads that are tie-dyed with the final design embedded in both the warp and weft (woof) at the time of dying. Almost unimaginably complex in its execution, a fine quality gringsing can take 2-5 years to produce. The word “gringsing” is derived from “gring” meaning “sick” and “sing” meaning “no.” The meaning has evolved to mean a way to ward off armies or enemies in a wide variety of forms. Accordingly, gringsing is an important omen of good and plays a central role in religious rights of passage such as weddings and tooth-filings performed in Tenganan.
The people of Tenganan believe the gringsing possesses magic powers, necessary for religious practice and capable of warding off sickness and bad influences. Textile experts say that the complex “double ikat” cloths can be found in only three locations: Tenganan in East Bali, Japan and India. While the varieties of gringsing once numbered around 20, there are only around 14 types of “double ikat” extant in Tenganan today. An listing of some of the remaining forms of gringsing still being made by the village's traditional weavers are: Lubeng – is characterized by a scorpion motif and used as traditional dress and worn at religious rites. There are several variations of Lubeng including the Lubeng Luhur that is the longest piece comprised of three flowers resembling scorpions; Lubeng Petang Desa comprised of a one complete floral scorpion surrounded by half-flowers on its border; Lubeng Pat Likur - the smallest piece of the Lubeng sub-class. Sanan Empeg – characterized by poleng or a checkerboard design of red and white. This cloth is used for religious rites.

19 January 2016

New prison in Bali

As support grows for closing Bali’s restive Kerobokan Prison and relocating it to a new location, Bali’s deputy-governor, I Ketut Sukerta has voiced his agreement for the Governor’s suggestion that a new prison be built at Denpasar’s rubbish tip – Suwung TPA. Sudikerta said: “We support the relocation of the Kerobokan Prison. The region of the current Kerobokan Prison is not representative. That area is packed with transportation and also packed with the dense urban population living there.” Sudikerta described the proposed new location at the Suwung TPA as spacious, covering 32 hectares, 10 of which can be allocated for building a new prison. Sudikerta proposed that any new prison be surrounded by a man-made moat stocked with man-eating crocodiles to devour any prisoner trying to make an escape. The Deputy-Governor said any final decision on relocating the prison rests with the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights.

More on www.balidiscovery.com

17 January 2016

Bali' 3 main problems

In an attempt to lure many more tourists to visit Bali, the provincial administration will soon take special measures to better organize the island. Three main problems must be urgently resolved, according to Bali Governor I Made Mangku Pastika. These problems surround the garbage issue, traffic congestions and the uncontrollable building of new hotels, the governor said. Those problems were identified through a recent survey conducted by the Bali administration, the governor told reporters, according to Tribun Bali. On the garbage issue, Made Mangku Pastika said that some visitors had complained about unclean environment in certain areas like Kintamani and Batur. Meanwhile, Bali’s economic growth and the rapidly rising number of vehicles coming from outside Bali had significantly contributed to traffic jams in some parts of the island. The governor said growth centers must also be developed in north Bali, East Bali and west Bali. Currently such centers are mostly found in south Bali. “If a moratorium on new hotel projects in south Bali is more seriously implemented, hotel developers will surely relocate to the north, east and west areas,” said Made Mangku Pastika, who is a native of Bali and a former two-star police general. The Bali governor also said that his office would need participation of other stakeholders to resolve the problems identified in its survey. Bali is Indonesia’s most famous tourist destination.

13 January 2016

New roads in North Bali

Proposals to build a toll road connecting Seririt and Singaraja are the earnest hopes of the people of Buleleng, North Bali as critical steps in fostering development in their region. The desire for better road access between Bali’s North and South has received a positive response from the Ministry of Public Works (Kemen PU) who has asked the Regional Road-Planning Agency (BPJN) to expeditiously coordinate the project.  Also a short cut between Singaraja and Bedugul should be realized and acted upon by BPJN.
The development of the economy and tourism in Buleleng is lagging behind the rest of Bali, a fact that is connected with problems of access on the twisting and winding road between Singaraja and Denpasar via Bedugul. This means a trip that can now take 2.5 hours could be reduced by 1.5 hours. If the shortcut road can be built the development of the economy and tourism can be improved. Information supplied by BPJN reveals that plans are under discussion to build a 65-kilomter long shortcut between Singaraja and Bedugul in ten sections. The next step in the project process is the formulation of a detailed engineering design.

11 January 2016

Garbage Dump

Bali’s largest rubbish dump at Suwung, near Sanur, is an eyesore that is more than 15-meters high, radiates unsavory aromas over a wide area of South Bali, represents a threat to public health and seeps dangerous heavy metals and other toxins across the southern waters and beaches of Bali. Plainly visible to motorists traveling Ball’s new toll road or the Ngurah Rai Bypass at the Benoa intersection, the Rubbish Dump (TPA Suwung) will earn first notice of the gargantuan pile of trash via its noxious smell. A private company PT NOEI has held a government license to manage TPA Suwung for the past decade against the promise of processing the mountain of garbage and creating 12 megawatts of electrical power. By all accounts,however, PT NOEI has failed on almost every level with the pile of garbage growing higher on a daily basis and its failure to generate any appreciable amount of electrical power. The Governor has personally requested that the contract for managing rubbish at Suwung be revoked due to the lack of technological follow up by PT NOEI. The Governor has asked that the right to manage TPA Suwung be surrendered to the Province, which that would clear the way for terminating PT NOEI’s contract.
more on  www.balidiscovery.com

10 January 2016

Wonderful Bedugul

It is not complete if you do not stop by at Bedugul area, Baturiti, Tabanan when you go to Bali. With just 62.6 kilometers from Ngurah Rai International Airport, a trip to the place is quite enjoyable because along the way we are treated to beauty of nature. This attraction offers natural scenic beauty of mountains and lakes. Located at an altitude of 1240 meters above sea level make it is always cold and foggy. Bedugul Botanical Garden is one of the protected forest as the lungs of the island, next to it there is Beratan that on one side there is Ulun Danu temple. According to historical records, this temple was founded before the year 1556 or 1634 saka M by I Gusti Agung Putu, the founder of Mengwi empire. The temple which consists of four complexes is still used for prayer and worship ceremony to Sang Hyang Dewi Danu in order to invoke the grace of fertility, prosperity, human welfare and the conservation of the universe. Lake area of Approximately 3.8 square kilometers gives a beautiful panorama, with cool temperatures and misty and majestic Ulun Danu temple stands in the courtyard of the lake, providing a blend of a very slick and elegant between tourism and culture. And if lucky on certain days visitors will be able to watch the ceremony of Balinese Hindu community in the temple. Because of its famous as a tourist attraction it is also immortalized on one side of banknote denominations of 50,000 rupiah, if you do not believe, kindly check your wallet.
More on www.thebalitimes.com

08 January 2016

Night safari at Bali Safari and Marine Park

Bali Safari & Marine Park, home for more than 60 different species of animals, continues to develop its facilities for the pleasure of its visitors. After 2 years of successful operations, the Night Safari has become a signature at the park along with the Safari Journey, Bali Agung Show, Elephant Safari, Tsavo Lion Restaurant, Mara River Safari Lodge, Funzone and Waterpark. Another uplifting programs have been added to enhance the existing Night Safari package and make this fun excursion much more memorable. From Walking Safari around the park, continue with Night Safari through the African Savannah, get up close and personal with the animals at animal encounter, watching the fire dance, drumming, and puppet show named Afrika! Rhythm of Fire Show, to enjoying the barbeque dinner at Nkuchiro Bar. The guests will be brought by Safari Rangers to take a walk around the park, starts from Toraja Terminal. The first destination is Komodo Island, where you will enter the komodo’s cave to see bats and Brazilian turtles. Out from the cave, through the bridge in the middle of porcupines’ nest, you will see the komodo dragons roaming beneath you. The walking Safari continues to Ganesha court, you will be welcomed by the 19-metres-tall statue of Ganesha, the God of wisdom, prudence, and salvation in Balinese mythology. You will enter the Bali Theatre, home for the spectacular Bali Agung Show in the day, and out to meet the iguana, binturong, owls, and lemur in the APEC alley. You can also see the white tiger walking in Ranthambore opposite you. After 20 minutes walking, you will arrive in the lobby of Mara River Safari Lodge to begin your journey inside the cage. A specially designed tram with maximum of 12 guests will take you to the exhilarating journey through the African savannah to get up close and personal with wild animals and learn fascinating facts from our team of expert keepers. From hand-feeding zebras, elephants and giraffe, to watching mighty lions and fierce tigers hunt. Satisfied with the Night Safari, you will have an opportunity to play and take picture with exotic animals at the lobby of Mara River Safari Lodge. Snake, macaw birds, or binturong will be waiting for you at the animal encounter. Your night will become more memorable by watching our new night show, Afrika! Rhythm of Fire Show. This show performs fire dance, drumming, and puppet show on the open stage at Mara River Safari Lodge's front yard. The show starts on 7.30 pm and is about 15 minutes play. To wrap the special night, take a breath, relax, and enjoy the all you can eat BBQ dinner and watch the African Panorama view from N'kuchiro Bar & Grill.

05 January 2016

Bali's 10 best night clubs

Bali's top nightlife venues and best clubs are mostly spread throughout its southern regions of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak, and several spots around Bukit. Bali club scene mostly starts around midnight. Diversions come in the form of nightclubs, restaurants and bars - either stand-alone or in-house hotel dining and entertainment outlets. Here is the list of Bali Top 10 Best Clubs. These popular night spots and in-places feature all the right combination of sights, sounds, signature tastes and surroundings.
1 Sky Garden Jalan Legian, Legian Sky Garden is part of the 61 Legian Entertainment Complex, and actually the whole site is a nightlife destination with multiple clubs inside. The rooftop lounge has become a favourite for its all-you-can-eat buffets including free-flow Bintang, and the the clubbing continues down at Sky Dome, with lasers and world-class DJs feeding the beats. Open: Daily from 18:00 until late.
2 The Bounty Jalan Legian, Legian Bounty Ship, or simply Bounty Discotheque, is one of Bali's legendary hotspots, famous for its wet n’ wild parties and a regular destination for schoolies from Down Under. It is a one-stop entertainment complex combining a large discotheque and dance floor, a restaurant and a bar. Open: 20:00 - 04:00
3 Jenja Jalan Nakula, Seminyak Jenja features an ultra-chic Middle-Eastern restaurant on its top level, while a spiraling stairs transports you down to its nightclub where a bar serves a great selection of cocktails and booze adjacent a dance floor, DJ booth and lounges. Open: Wed-Sun 22:00 – 02:00.
4 District Bali Jalan Kartika Plaza, Kuta District Bali (formerly Musro Bali) is Bali's premier nightclub, presenting live cabaret shows not found elsewhere on the island, featuring professional dancers taking to the dazzling stage nightly, and trained by a Spanish choreographer. District Bali also features karaoke rooms, and live band and DJ performances. Open: Daily from 8:00am until late
5 Mint Bali Jalan Petitenget, Seminyak Mint Bali is one of Seminyak’s go-to night venues catering to clubbers looking for great company, with drinks and after-dinner gatherings. Regular agendas feature resident and international guest DJs, spinning their discs at their booths in front of loyal regulars that comprise a dynamic mix. Open: Thu - Sat, 22:00 - 03:00
6 Adora Super Club (Blue Eyes Café) Jl. Bypass Ngurah Rai 888, Sanur Adora Super Club in Sanur is comprised of various entertainment and leisure components, such as a boutique and café, a karaoke centre, and a main indoor stage complete with a bar and equipped with Martin Audio sound systems, massive lighting effects with hi-tech Pro7 Lazer Magnum systems. Open: Midday to 3:00am (karaoke), 22:00-4:00 (club)
7 Eikon Bar & Club Jalan Legian, Legian Eikon is another of Legian's one-stop nightlife spots, combining a restaurant, bar and lounge as one single venue. Its bar rocks live music to a regular partying crowd, and there's a weekly rundown that is always fresh with quirky theme nights and a well rotated DJ roster. Open: 17:00 – 03:30
8 Boshe VVIP Club Jl. Bypass Ngurah Rai 89x, Kuta. Boshe VVIP Club adds to Kuta's nightlife and clubbing options, situated on the outer limits, on Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai. Boshe features powerful Martin Audio sound systems, hi-tech strobe and laser systems. Its karaoke facility boasts 19 rooms. Its clubbing hall has excellent crowd facilities. Open: Karaoke from 13:00-2:00, and clubbing from 22:00-3:00.
9 Pyramid Club Bali Jalan Dewi Sri, Kuta Pyramid Club Bali is located on Jalan Dewi Sri, conveniently between Legian and Kuta. The nightclub welcomes night owls to its roster of international resident and guest DJs who pump out rave and techno over the dance floor, well into the wee hours seven days a week. Open: Mon-Sun, 22:30-06:00
10 Velvet & Hypnotized (VH Bali) Kuta Beachwalk, Jalan Pantai Kuta, Kuta VH Bali on the rooftop of Kuta Beachwalk offers great vantage points to enjoy Kuta's sunsets while lounging on its cosy deck. Occasionally, DJs set up their sets on the deck in time for the sunsets and cocktails. Soon after, the doors to Hypnotized, the main club, opens, welcoming you to a great party scene inside. Open: Wed - Sun, 21:00 - 03:00
Read more on www.bali-indonesia.com

03 January 2016

Bali one of the world best islands

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said he was proud of Bali for being selected as one of the worlds best islands by the US Travel+Leisure Magazine at the end of 2015.

Based on the New York-based Travel+Leisure Magazine, the ratings of the worlds best islands are Galapagos Islands of Ecuador with a score of 90.82, Bali of Indonesia (Score 88.98), Maldives (score: 88.53), Tasmania of Australia (score: 88.32), Santorini of Greece (score: 87.93), Moorea of French Polynesia (score: 87.90), Maui of Hawaii (score: 87.89), Kauai of Hawaii (score: 87,88), Great Barrier Reef of Australia (score: 87.31), and Malta (score: 86.90).

The minister said he was proud of the trust given to Bali by the world community which appreciated Bali for the beauty of its nature, the uniqueness of its culture and the hospitality of its people. The minister said he would promote other destinations in the country whose beauty were not inferior to that of Bali.

"We have to be confident that our tourism is great for snorkling with the beauty of its diving tourism. We can outclass Galapagos, even with our two Rajaampat and Pulau Komodo tourist distinations," he said.

The Travel + Leisure is a monthly magazine based in New York with 4.8 million readers. It is the biggest competitor of Conde Nast Traveler and National Geographic Traveler.

In the meantime, the Bali Tourism Office has set the target for tourist arrivals at the world-renowned tourist island at 4.2 million for 2016.

"This is a provisional target. We have not made detailed calculations because we still have to coordinate with the Udayana University. Ideally, it should be 4.5 million but we cannot set a target recklessly," Head of the Bali Tourism Office Anak Agung Gede Yuniartha Putra said.
The provisional target would be only 200 thousand more tourists, compared to the target set for tourist arrivals in 2015 at 4 million, he said.

"To achieve the target of tourist arrivals next year, we will receive promotion assistance from the central government. In addition, we have also prepared a calendar of activities to be organized throughout 2016," he said.

With the calendar of activities, tourists would be assured of cultural and tourism activities taking place in Bali, he said.
The tourism office has also set the target of domestic tourists visiting the resort island for 2016 at 7.8 million, he said.

More on antaranews.com

02 January 2016

Bali by camera

New parking lots in Ubud

Speaking recently before the Gianyar Regency House of Representatives (DPRD-Gianyar, the Regent told lawmakers that among the steps being undertaken to reduce traffic congestion in Ubud is the creation of satellite parking lots. The Regent of Gianyar said that a comprehensive study had been performed by West Java’s prestigious ITB University addressing the problem of traffic congestion in Ubud. That study identified three parking areas located a short distance from the City center. Working with local businesses and organizations three parking areas are being developed at: The Sacred Monkey Forest Pura Dalem Puri Jaba Pura Sambahan The ITB traffic study also recommended that Ubud needs a shuttle bus service that visits each bus stop every 10 minutes on a circuit of the City. The ITB study also recommended specific traffic regulations controlling traffic at peak traffic periods and that there be adherence to a Master Plan for the development of Ubud in order to decentralize the concentrated boom now underway in the popular central Bali location.
More on www.balidiscovery.com.