30 June 2016

Where to find Live Music

Live Music in Bali is separated into three parts; top 40 bands, jazz and blues, and the local original music scene. Top 40 cover bands can be found all over the island in hotels, restaurants and bars. Some of them are very good, some are ordinary, but they have all come a long way since back in the day of only playing tracks like ‘Hotel California’. The jazz/blues scene features top musicians from around the archipelago and the world. There are many talented musicians in the live music scene around Bali in the cover band and original scenes. Over the past decade the local original music scene was dominated by punk music but has become more melodic in recent times. Here below are some of the best venues to catch live music on Bali.
* Hard Rock Café: Live Top Forty bands are on stage seven nights a week from 10pm till late. Special guest bands from around the country and the world play here periodically. Jalan Pantai Kuta, Kuta.
* Centerstage at Hard Rock Hotel: Up the driveway to the Hard Rock Hotel Bali you can find Top 40 bands playing seven nights a week on top of the stage in the centre of the bar. It starts and finishes early and is normally quite busy. Jalan Pantai Kuta, Kuta.
* Boshe VVIP: the right place to see big bands from all over Indonesia. They have different bands every week and big event every month, worth checking out! Jalan By Pass Ngurah Rai no 89x, Tuban.
* Ryoshi Seminyak: The jazz and blues centre of Bali offers great old time classic, modern style jazz, ska and blues played by some of the best musicians on the island every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Jalan Seminyak Raya no 17, Seminyak.
* Laughing Buddha: Live music six nights a week with a mix of soulful jazz, guitar and world music. Special international guests are often playing here too. Jalan Monkey Forest Kedewatan, Ubud.
* Zappas: Zappas is a fun top 40 spot where an older crew gathers for the good times with live bands seven nights a week. You may even catch the owner up on the piano between band sets. Jalan Oberoi no 54B, Seminyak.
* Casablanca: Cover bands seven nights a week and normally quite busy with locals and tourists filling the bar. Jalan Danau Tamblingan no 120, Sanur.
* The Straw Hut: A hidden gem on Jalan Sari Dewi where you will find a young hipster type crowd. They have live alternative music every Friday by local bands sometimes from Jakarta. Jalan Sari Dewi no 17, Oberoi
* Old Mans: Come every Friday night after a long day surfing or just a friendly visit to this bar and you will find a band playing rock n rollmusic. Head down early to get a seat, because normally it will be packed! Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong, Canggu
* Single Fin: They have acoustic gigs almost every night, but we can assure you that Sunday is the best time to visit this place to get a large beer, to see the sun setting and catch the live band. Jalan Mamo, Labuan Sait, Uluwatu.
* Deus: Sunday is a fun day in Deus backyard, let them warm you up with live band, beers and babes! Jalan Batu Mejan no 8, Canggu
* Republik 45: Republik 45 provides a dedicated music program covering jazz, soul, funk and melody driven grooves. The in house musicians perform live acoustic sets every Monday and Thursday and additional live events are held throughout the calendar month and are announced on a regular basis. Jalan Raya Kerobokan 86A, Seminyak.

28 June 2016

Klungkung's history tour

Klungkung regency was once the political and cultural nucleus for a Balinese kingdom that reached its heyday between the 14th and 17th centuries and had a territory that stretched from Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara to Blambangan in East Java. Klungkung is also recognized as one of the island’s most historic sites and is where Puputan Klungkung, the deadly and heroic fight against the Dutch colonial occupation, took place. However, compared to Denpasar, Badung and Gianyar, Bali’s most prominent tourist destinations, Klungkung is relatively unknown and lags behind in tourism promotion, not even being included in Bali’s top 10 destinations. The Klungkung regent has big plans to change this and has launched a comprehensive tourist promotion program through the Semarapura City Tour to explore the city’s history. In conjunction with Klungkung Festival 2016, the regent introduced the tour last April. The Semarapura City Tour is a walk around Semarapura, the capital of Klungkung regency, and takes in sites such as the Puputan Klungkung monument, Klungkung palace, Kertha Gosa hall of justice, Balai Budaya cultural center and the art market. Puputan Klungkung monument is 28 meters high and built in the form of the Lingga Yoni with 19 lotus carvings on its octagonal peak. With four entrances, the numbers in the architecture reflect the date of the Puputan Klungkung — April 28, 1908. Inside the towering monument are wall reliefs portraying the courageous acts of the Klungkung kingdom and its subjects while fighting the Dutch. Other scenes illustrate Klungkung’s history from pre-historic through to more recent times. Next on the tour is Puri Agung Semarapura, or the Palace of the God of Love. Built in the 17th century, the palace was once Bali’s most intricate and decorated royal residence, blending Balinese, Majapahit and Dutch architectural elements. Unfortunately, during Puputan Klungkung, the palace was almost entirely destroyed, except for its lavish kori agung ( split gate ). After series of renovations, the palace is now occupied by the present royal family and the king, Dewa Agung Cokorda Gede Agung, regularly chaperones visitors on the tour around his palace. The site of Puputan Klungkung, across from the palace, is now a park with public and sporting facilities being built to create a meeting point for Klungkung’s residents. The historical Kerta Gosa, or hall of justice, and its rectangular floating pavilion are popular spots on the tour and feature extensive Kamasan paintings on the ceiling portraying myths and legends, the astrological calendar and the kingdom’s legal system. Originally, the Klungkung king would go to Kerta Gosa to consult with his advisers, while during colonial rule, it was used for plaintiffs to await their judgment. The final stop on the tour is a visit to the vibrant Klungkung art market, where visitors can find stunning traditional Balinese textiles, such as tenun and songket, as well as other beautiful handicrafts.

Ulan Danu Beratan Festival

Fun in Bali’s Mountain Lake District with the Ulan Danu Beratan Festival. An expected 1,200 artists are expected to perform and a number of cultural competitions be held at the 3rd Ulan Danu Beratan Festival that opened on June 5th and will run until August 14, 2016. The purpose of the annual Ulan Danu Beratan Festival is to celebrate the rich heritage of the area and attract more tourists to visit the picturesque mountain lake district of Bali. At the same time, local and national officials are working to make the Ulan Danu Beratan area an international tourism destination capable of welcoming 500,000 visitors annually. The Ministry of Tourism has awarded Rp. 300 million in support of the Festival.

27 June 2016

Weather in Bali, July 2016

Overloaded trucks

Drivers of overloaded goods trucks traveling between Gilimanuk and Denpasar continue to resist official efforts to enforce maximum weight limits by turning back. Meanwhile, the Governor of Bali remains steadfast in his desire to enforce load limits and end corrupt payment at weigh-stations. To this end, the Governor recently decreed the relocation on the Provincial Transportation Office from Denpasar to Cekik in West Bali, near the Gilimanuk ferry crossing.Recalcitrant truck drivers are trying to retaliate and force the Government to allow their overloaded truck to travel the roads and continue to cause traffic jams and damage to bridges and road surfaces. Heavily burdened trucks are now parked in the middle of the main highway in protest of the current strict application of the law on maximum permissable loads. Drivers were parking on the side of the road and in side streets near the weigh station, waiting for a massive backlog in queuing trucks that would force officials to suspend, at least temporarily, weight checks. As a result, hundreds of overloaded trucks were seen parked along a 3-kilomter stretch of road waiting their chance to pass the Cekik Weigh Station without inspection. These waiting lines of trucks also caused gridlock in the city of Negara.

25 June 2016

Riding Your Scooter in Bali Safely

Riding a Scooter in Bali is a great way to get around. You can zip through the traffic and you never have any troubles finding a place to park. However, there are many risks and rules to consider before you decide whether to hop on a scooter. Here are some tips:

#1 Make Sure Your Insurance Covers You! If you get on a scooter in Bali without a license, you will immediately void your insurance. You will need to check with your insurance provider to see if they will cover you on an international driving license on a 125cc scooter (all scooters in Bali have 125cc) without a motorbike license at home. Most do not!

#2 Don’t Get on the Road Until You Have Plenty of Practice! The roads in Bali are crazy and there is not a lot of sympathy for shaky new riders. You need to be confident and make quick decisions riding in Bali, so practicing on small roads or on an open parking lot or field is a good idea. Whatever you do, don’t get on the bypass until you’ve had a lot of time on smaller roads.

#3 Wear a Helmet!!!! You wouldn’t have thought this needs an explanation, but everyday in Bali thousands of people ride around without protecting their heads. It’s your head people!! Your brain is in there…I think.

#4 Wear a Shirt. Apart from getting ridiculously sunburnt, driving shirtless is practically asking for a full body gravel rash if you happen to get in an accident. Even wearing a t-shirt could save you a few layers of skin.

#5 Carry Your International or Local License with You. There are police everywhere these days and with new laws about ticketing you can’t be sure to get out of official fines as easily as before. They can (and will) take your bike depending on the mood of the day. Having your license and registration makes a police stop a non-issue. Your license from home won’t cut it.

#6 Remember People are Going to Pass on the Left and Right. It’s not something you would think about at home, but bikes and even cars will pass you on the left and the right. It’s easy to forget and also to get angry about, but it’s just the way they roll in Bali so remember to check over your right and left shoulders before making a move.

#7 If in Doubt Get a Driver. There are plenty of other options for getting around in Bali, so if in doubt, don’t get on that scooter! You can get a taxi, a private driver or Uber, and if you want to hop on the back of a bike with an experienced driver, get the GoJek app for a simple way to order a ride. It’s really cheap too.

#8 Don’t Drink and Ride. Many people seem to think that the drink driving rules they abide by at home don’t apply in Bali. You might not get stopped and breathalized, but drinking and riding is dangerous for you and others on the road. Know when you’ve had too much to drink and get someone else to take you home. You can always pick your bike up in the morning.

#9 Put Your Bags in the Seat. Not to scare you, but there have been some awful incidents of bag snatching on the roads in tourist heavy areas. If your bag is in your seat, thieves have nothing to grab, so are much less likely to target you. This is especially something to take note of if you’re riding at night.

#10 Beeping is Good! Horns in Bali on both cars and bikes are used more as a warning that someone is there, than comment on something you’re doing wrong. So, if you are getting beeped at it’s most likely someone saying they are going to overtake. You can beep to, to let people know you’re coming around a tight corner, you’re passing behind as they are reversing or are getting close to overtake (on the left or right). 

Think Hard Before Riding a Scooter in Bali. There are some real pluses to riding a scooter in Bali and many thousands of locals, tourists and expats ride responsibly every day. However, if you have any doubts about it, just don’t. There are plenty of other options for getting around.

The war on Dengue fever

In Bali right now, it’s all about the “war on mosquitoes.” Bali Provincial Health Office is inviting the public to take up arms (or electric rackets) against mosquitoes following a high number of dengue cases on the island this year. There are dengue cases across all provinces in Indonesia, but the cases in Bali are the highest. In just five months, already 10,000 cases have emerged. The number of dengue cases throughout the first five months of 2016 in Bali have doubled compared to the same period of the previous year. Moreover, there are 31 people on record who died this year from dengue. Dengue cases are highest in Gianyar, followed by Buleleng and Badung. So because of all this dengue the people are asked to fight against mosquitoes by eradicating their nests. People should drain their tempat mandi, close water shelters, and get rid of other stagnant water spots. In addition, people should practice hygienic behavior and stay healthy—both of which decrease the likelihood of either getting bitten or getting hit hard by dengue. Once the community comes together to fight against mosquitoes some of the diseases that the mosquitoes carry such as dengue, chikungunya, and malaria can be eradicated. The governor has issued a circular related to “battling” mosquitoes, but this “war” can really only be successful if the whole community participates.

16 June 2016

Be careful when you rent a Motorbike

Riding a motorbike in Bali is commonplace for many foreigners, even for those who never drive motorcycles in their own countries. Most of them rent motorbikes in tourist areas like Kuta, Seminyak and Ubud. The Bali Police recorded four deaths of foreign motorcyclists in the first four months of this year. Bali Police head of public information said there were a total of 15 foreigners involved in traffic accidents up to last month. Four foreigners died in accidents, while the other 11 foreigners sustained injuries.
Many foreigners who got into motorbike crashes wore helmets, but they did not wear them properly. Most accidents with foreign nationals involved are caused by themselves. They lose control and fall down by themselves or hit something in front of them. A motorbike can be rented for between Rp 50,000 ( US$3.65 ) and Rp 100,000 per day. Owners of rentals mostly do not require driver’s licenses from foreigners who want to rent their motorbikes. They usually only ask them to show their passports and they will take a picture of the passport. That is easier than for domestic tourists who mostly have to bring their ID cards as required.
Bali Police recorded a total of 486 traffic accidents across the island from January to April this year. In all accidents, 142 people died, 130 people suffered severe injuries and 590 people suffered minor injuries. The financial losses from the accidents amounted to about Rp 1.1 billion. In 2015, a total of 1,492 traffic accidents occurred across Bali. In the accidents, 504 people died, 254 people suffered severe injuries and 1,890 people suffered minor injuries. The total financial losses caused by them was more than Rp 3.88 billion. To control the increasing number of traffic accidents the police had continuously conducted raids targeting locals and tourists on motorbikes.

15 June 2016

Must-See Traditional Dances in Bali

For the deeply spiritual Balinese, performance is more than just an artistic expression; it is also an ancient form of spiritual and religious worship. The tales of Balinese Culture are often told through dance and other performances. In Bali, traditional dances are divided into two types: sacred dances called Wali and entertainment dances called Bebalihan. Wali is often performed during religious events while Bebalihan is a staple in social events.

The Sanghyang Jaran dance is a religious performance that originated in Bona village. Initially, the dance was strictly performed during religious events as protection from natural disasters and diseases. The origin of the dance is told in a folk story wherein villagers rushed to Puseh temple in prayer to protect the community from disease. Legend has it that Lord Vishnu himself possessed two girls, instructing the villagers to play musical instruments while dancing. Because the villagers did not bring any musical instruments, they started singing prayers instead. The dance is quite interesting because the dancers – appearing to be in a trance-like state – perform amazing feats like walking on hot coals or piercing themselves with daggers without getting hurt.

Pendet Dance is a type of dance that serves as an introduction to other traditional dances. The performers are typically young women who imitate the movements of older women. This elaborate show of mimicry symbolizes the importance of setting a good example to the younger generation. Initially performed in temples, this ritual dance is now performed as a greeting, welcoming spirits and audiences alike to enjoy the show. The Balinese believe this dance purifies the stage and temple in preparation for other performances. Pendet is often the first dance young girls learn.

Oleg Tambulilingan. Also known as the Bumblebee Dance, the Oleg Tambulilingan is a stunning show of the bumblebees’ mating ritual. The performance involves two costumed dancers – a male and one or two female dancers – performing very complex movements that symbolize the courtship of the female bumblebee. Wearing tightly bound sarong, the female dancer/s maintain a posture where they keep their feet together while slightly bending forward and moving their arms at right angles. As for the male performer, the movements are more aggressive with a wider stance. Initially, the female bumblebee will coyly rebuff the male bumblebee’s advances but in the end, the courtship is a success!  The Oleg Tambulilingan is performed during special occasions such as the Kuta Karnival.

Topeng Dance is a dramatic Indonesian dance commonly performed in Bali and Java. Topeng literally translates to “mask,” and yes, the costumed dancers wear elaborate masks throughout the colorful performance. Topeng dance is typically accompanied by a gamelan orchestra. Non-speaking masks narrate the story of fabled kings, and heroes that may or may not be relevant to the story being performed. Usually, the story features several comical characters that break western conventions of storytelling to get the audience roaring with laughter!

Mahabharata is a dance performance that narrates the story of a Hindu epic through intricate finger and feet movements as well as intense facial expressions. This form of storytelling is based on Legong, a refined dance form that features complex body movements and exaggerated facial expressions to convey a tale. Mahabharata tells the story of two branches of a royal family so expect showstopping costumes and lots of drama and action!

Kecak. A trip to Bali is not complete without watching a kecak dance! Kecak is a fire and trance dance developed in the 1930s. This traditional dance was based on the older Sang Hyang trance dance, which features a narrative of the Ramayana epic. The performance brings together music, drama, and stunning fire dance in one breathtaking performance. This dance features a group of male performers wearing checked cloths around the waist. The dancers start the show by chanting “cak” while moving the hands and arms to depict he battle from the Ramayana. Swaying to the beat, the dancers wow the audience with trance-inducing exorcism dance and fire spectacles.

Wayang Kulit. This performance involves leather puppets manipulated to retell the stories of Hindu epics in the glow of candlelight. A traditional Gamelan orchestra accompanies the performance. A puppeteer called a Dalang manipulates the puppets behind a cotton or linen screen. The Dalang does everything from moving the puppets to lending his voice for the narrative and special effects. Wayang Kulit’s roots can be traced to a Javanese Hindu-Buddhist tradition of using handmade leather puppets to narrate stories of fabled gods and spirits. This entertaining shadow play is performed across the Indomalayan archipelago.

The Barong Dance features the mythological story of Barong, a lion-like lord of the forest that protects the land and its people, and Ranga a demonic witch bent on destroying all that is good. The performance involves numerous men wielding asymmetrical daggers called a kris as well as masked performers locked in a dramatic battle between good and evil. In the story, the only person who can defeat the witch is Mpu Bharadah. Mpu Bharadah teams up with Barong to lead a war against the witch. The Barong and Kris Dance is performed during the temple of the dead. Once defeated, the witch is killed and her spirit released from a curse.

The Ramayana Ballet narrates the Ramayana saga using modern dance forms, beautiful costumes, and a large Gong Kebyar orchestra. The story brings together a stunning show of dialogue-less drama, dance, and epic tales of duties of relationships. If you are interested in catching the show, we recommend watching the performance in Ubud at the palace or Saraswati Temple.

The Balinese love drama. Their performances tell traditional tales bursting with color and music. Don’t miss some of these fabulous shows of Balinese Culture.

13 June 2016

Shopping in Bali

Bali is best known for its stunning landscapes and fabulous beaches but shopping malls in Bali are just as fabulous! Shopping in Bali is never boring because the malls feature restaurants, cafés, and massive toy stores, there is something for everyone. If you are planning to shop during your vacation, don’t miss these shopping malls in Bali:

Park23 is the newest shopping mall in Bali. The mall offers three levels featuring clothing stores, dining spots and cafes. If you want to get the best deals, we recommend checking out the second level for sales and bazaars plus entertainment shows. Different amusement centers and arcades are also available to keep the kids entertained. Want to catch a movie? Park23 cinema’s four screens show the hottest international blockbusters. The mall also has a roadside foyer where exciting events are held during weekends. Chairs and tables are set up in the area while food trucks and carts roll out, offering a unique selection of local and international cuisines.

Mal Bali Galeria is the first Shopping Mall in Kuta. The galleria offers an excellent range of dining and shopping options with a nice open air garden area so you can chill after a little retail therapy. The large shopping complex features mid to high-end retail stores, as well as duty free shopping, a play area for kids, and entertainment hubs. Several artisan shops are also available for those looking for great deals on handcrafted products. Want to catch a movie? Check out the Galeria’s 21 Cineplex. At the heart of the galleria is the Matahari Bali Galeria department store. This is a great place to find local and international fashion products, shop for grocery items, or home decor.

Bali Collection is one of the top Shopping Malls in Bali. The shopping complex features a dizzying selection of retail stores as well as dining options and entertainment for the whole family. Although Bali Collection boasts an impressive selection of international brands, the shopping center also features traditional Balinese goods. This is a great place for those shopping for souvenirs because artisan shops offer handcrafted local merchandise. Bali Collection also has a good number of popular and indie cafés as well as casual and fine dining restaurants. There is also a health and beauty spa to cool your heels after a day spent shopping!

Discovery Shopping Mall is the largest of all the shopping malls in Bali. The three storey shopping center sits across another attraction we all know and love, Waterbom Bali. The mall houses dozens of national and international fashion and lifestyle brands including Osh Kosh, Giordano, Centro, Quiksilver, Nautica, and Sogo. The mall also offers a fabulous selection of entertainment and dining options as well as fast food stores such as KFC, Pizza Hut, and Burger King. Discovery Shopping Mall has an amphitheater on Kuta Beach where exciting shows and special events are held. The mall has a beautiful foyer with water fountains, a great spot to chill out and rest your legs after shopping.

Seminyak Square. If you are all about eating and shopping, have we got the perfect shopping center for you! Seminyak Square is a shopper’s oasis that sits in the heart of Seminyak. The square features a range of restaurants, perfect for grabbing a bite after a long day burning cash on branded apparel or sports gear or reward yourself with a soothing facial or body treatment at the spa. As far as shopping goes, there are loads of sports, souvenirs, and fashion stores within Seminyak square including a cool batik store and a children’s store. The shopping center has two long corridors on the first and second floor that lead to a beautiful tropical garden. Several benches and tables are scattered all over the gardens, offering respite from weary shoppers. And if you are serious about taking a break, the Seminyak Square hotel is located above the arcade, perfect for those who want to stay in the middle of Seminyak’s most exciting street.

Kuta Square is a busy shopping arcade located just a few meters from Kuta Art Market. Because the shopping arcade is just a short stroll from from the beach, Kuta Square is one of the most popular shopping centers and chill out spot in the area. The arcade features two rows, one lined up with retail stores and the other, various cafes and restaurants. Matahari Kuta Square, the square’s department store, boasts of a hypermarket and retail outlets plus juice bars and jewelry stores. The four-floor department store is where you will find grocery items, basic home items, snacks, souvenirs, and apparel. And once you step outside the department store, you can shop for designer items from Armani, Gucci and Versace. The western side of Kuta Square is dedicated to sports items. The rest of the stores along Kuta features souvenir items, money changers, and popular fast food chains.

Beachwalk Shopping Center is the most popular shopping mall in Bali. Known for its unique architecture and relaxing vibe, this shopping center features open spaces and greenery right at the heart of Kuta. Beachwalk Shopping Center provides a laidback shopping experience, unmatched selection of international brands, local artisan stores, and of course, lots of dining options. This is the perfect place to relax, shop from your favorite brands, check out designs from local designers (Oka Diputra and Ni Luh Djelantik), and have a little me-time while the kids play. Beachwalk has an awesome play area for kids on the third floor. It features an indoor playground called Miniapolis, as well as Cheeky Monkeys, a child care and playground area. The third floor is packed with child-centric stores and entertainment areas including Mothercare and Kidz Station. And as far as family entertainment goes, we recommend dropping by with the kids every Sunday to check out the Sunday Kids Parade held on the Lagoon level 3.

11 June 2016

Bali want Medical Tourists

Already one of the world’s most popular tourist spots, Bali is now aiming one step further to become a prominent medical tourism destination. In doing so, the Bali provincial administration is now constructing a new hospital that will be equipped with world-class facilities in Sanur. The administration has provided Rp 199 billion ( US$14.95 million ) of its annual budget for the hospital’s construction. Construction of the hospital had begun last year and was targeted for completion this year. The new Bali Mandara Hospital is being built on a 2.95-hectare plot of land in Sanur and will be able to accommodate 176 inpatients. The hospital would be equipped with high-standard facilities, including for bariatric surgery. The hospital is also designed as an integrated cancer treatment center with facilities for radiodiagnostics, radiotherapy and nuclear medicine. Regarding the cancer treatment facilities the new hospital is expected to be on par with Dharmais Hospital in Jakarta and Hasan Sadikin Hospital in Bandung. A therapy center for the elderly is also part of the plan. As many pensioners from across the world opt to spend their time in Bali, the hospital is expected to provide a quality service for the elderly. To meet the demand for alternative medicine, the hospital will also contain health spa facilities, a traditional herbal treatment center and an acupuncture therapy service. The provincial administration would consult with international hospital-management experts to help establish a world-class hospital.

Head of the Indonesian Tour and Travel Agency Association ( ASITA ) Bali Chapter said moulding Bali into a medical tourism destination would not be an easy task. The foremost thing to do was to establish a high-quality hospital. He cited the lessons learned from Singapore and Malaysia, both of which had become popular medical tourism destinations because of their high-standard hospitals with people from all over the world seeking their services.
He hopes that the hospital being built by the provincial administration would become a high-standard facility. However, he suggested that the administration construct another hospital in a more secluded location, away from the city with natural scenic views. For medical tourism, he prefer areas such as Bangli regency and Gianyar.

Ketut Liyer, the medicine man from 'Eat Pray Love', died

The traditional Balinese medicine man that rocketed to fame on the Ubud tourist trail following the success of ‘Eat Pray Love’ has reportedly passed away. Ketut Liyer was known for his psychic healing readings that he would conduct from his home in Ubud, reading palms and predicting his guests’ destinies. American author Elizabeth Gilbert wrote in depth about her life-changing time living in Ubud and working with the cheeky and charming Liyer in her 2006 memoir ‘Eat Pray Love,’ which later hit the silver screen in 2010 starring Julia Roberts. This no doubt ignited the flames for the healer's fame amongst international tourists—his healing sessions became so in demand that visitors would often report of waiting in super-long queues all day, just to get some time in with him. Following his death, family and community members started gathering at Liyer’s Pengosekan home, while a ceremony was scheduled for later, his family said. I Nyoman Latra, 64, apparently the only child of Liyer, told that his father took his last breath at the age of 100 years old at Surya Usada Hospital on Wednesday night at 10:45 pm. His father had been sick for the past year and a half and would often complain of forgetting things and was easily exhausted. In that time his father handed over the family practice of healing treatments and consultations over to him.

10 June 2016

Popular man-made landmarks in Bali

TripAdvisor has announced its annual list of popular man-made landmarks in Indonesia and apparently travelers find temples in Bali and Central Java the most attractive destinations as six of them have made it into the top ten. Tanah Lot Temple in Bali has been crowned first place, followed by Borobudur and Prambanan temples, both in Central Java, in second and third place, respectively. One of Bali's seven most sacred Hindu temples, Tanah Lot is always packed with local as well as foreign visitors. Other temples recognized on the list include Uluwatu, Tirta Empul and Lempuyang; all located in Bali. As for the world rankings, Machu Picchu in Peru has been recognized as the most popular man-made attraction by TripAdvisor, followed by Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
The company uses an algorithm that takes into account the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for hotels, restaurants and attractions worldwide over a 12-month period, as well as traveler booking interest, resulting in its list of award winners.

Top 10 man-made landmarks in Indonesia:
1. Tanah Lot Temple, Tabanan, Bali
2. Borobudur Temple, Magelang, Central Java
3. Prambanan Temple, Yogyakarta, Central Java
4. Uluwatu Temple, Uluwatu, Bali
5. Tirta Gangga, Karangasem, Bali
6. USS Liberty Shipwreck, Tulamben, Bali
7. Baiturrahman Grand Mosque, Banda Aceh
8. Tirta Empul Temple, Gianyar, Bali
9. Pertapaan Karmel OCD, Bandung
10. Lempuyang Temple, Bali

Top 10 landmarks in the world:
1. Machu Picchu, Peru
2. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center, Abu Dhabi
3. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
4. St. Peter’s Basilica, Italy
5. Taj Mahal, India
6. Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, Spain
7. Church of the Savior on Spilt Blood, Russia
8. The Alhambra, Spain
9. Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, United States
10. Milan Cathedral ( Duomo ), Italy

09 June 2016

The Beauty Of Lombok

Lombok island is located in the West Nusa Tenggara province to the east of Bali. For locals, Lombok exemplifies the “old Bali.” Featuring untamed landscapes, secret beaches, and empty surfing spots. Life on the island of Lombok is very laid back, making it an ideal destination for travelers who don’t like Bali’s hustle and bustle. No trip to Lombok is complete without trying out these thrilling activities:

Watersports. Did you know that the island of Lombok is one of the most popular surfing destinations in the region? In fact, Lombok attracts thousands of surfers and water sports enthusiasts every year! Apart from beautiful beaches with the best waves, Lombok’s wind conditions are perfect for kite surfing. For those who are not confident surfers or those who do not know how to surf at all, Lombok is a great place to learn. The waves in the southern part of the island are suitable for beginners and there are a number of schools there. By signing up, you will master the art of riding the waves in no time at all!

Hiking. If you are into challenging activities that involve getting close to nature, you can sign up for a hike in Lombok and see the island at its rawest. From white sand beaches to mountain villages and rainforests, the island of Lombok is renowned for beautiful natural landscapes. One of the most popular treks in Lombok is the towering Mount Rinjani volcano. The volcano is about 4,000 meters high with a stunning views that span as far away as Sumbawa to the east. However, trekking Rinjani volcano is an extremely challenging 3-4 day trek, so is not for everyone. Older children and teenagers used to trekking can join the trek.

Island Hopping. The Gili Islands are three small islands (Air, Meno and Trawangan) off the north coast of Lombok. All three islands feature white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and exotic marine life. Gili Trawangan is family friendly, but is also known as a major party island, so if you’re looking for something a little more low-key Meno and Air are better choices. If you really want to explore the rich waters of Lombok, we highly recommend signing up for a three-day snorkeling trip. The trip will take you to different points of Gili Islands. You might also get the chance to swim with rare sea turtles!

Handcrafted Earthenware. If you go loco over pottery then the island of Lombok has a special place in store for you. The villages of Banyumulek, Penujak or Masbagik are renowned for their high-quality earthenware. Just visit any of these villages and you’ll be presented with a dizzying selection of handmade earthenware. Independent workshops line the streets, with local artisans painstaking making all types of pottery. You can watch these artists in action or try making your own earthenware to bring home.

Walk Around Tetebatu Village. Tetebatu village is an idyllic town located on the foothills of Mount Rinjani. This peaceful village boasts of beautiful countryside views, and paired with the cool climate, you can go on a tour of the town on foot. The village is surrounded by thick wooden areas, stunning rice fields, and mountainous slopes. If you want to take your tour a step up, there are several hiking trails in the Tetebatu Monkey Forest area. These trails are very easy to cover, perfect for beginners.

Meet Lombok’s Marine Life. Lombok boasts amazingly diverse marine life, so if you love diving or snorkeling, this is a fantastic place to get up close and personal with exotic undersea creatures. Best of all, you don’t have to be an expert diver to swim with the fish. Several diving instructors offer scuba diving lessons near the ocean. You can sign up for a short course and learn how to scuba dive before heading to the water for the real thing!

Take a Refreshing Dip at the Sendang Gile Waterfall. On the foothills of Mount Rinjani is a beautiful waterfall called Sendang Gile. The Sendang Gile waterfall is a 50-meter cascading waterfall surrounded by thick forest. Getting to the waterfalls will take effort but nothing that novices cannot conquer. Just go on a short trek near the volcano and you are well on your way to swimming in Sendang Gile’s cool water! Of course, we recommend that you hire a local to take you to the waterfalls.

Sunning at the Beach. For beach bunnies who’d rather laze around under the sun and take it easy on the beach, Lombok has some pretty amazing beaches. In fact, many of these beaches are unspoiled and totally crowd-free! Some of the best beaches to check out in Lombok are Selong Blanak beach, Mawi beach, and the Pink beach.

Lombok Island is Great for Adventurous Families. Lombok might not have the tourist infrastructure of Bali, but for adventurous families it’s an absolute dream. Quiet beaches, stunning natural scenery and unique culture might make Lombok just the place for your next holiday!

08 June 2016

Register and Report overnight foreign visitors to the Immigration Office

Via letters and public announcements in the Bali press, the Ngurah Rai Immigration Office has reminded all accommodation providers and private residence owners in Bali of their legal obligation to report the details and data of all guests. Signed by the head of the Ngurah Rai Airport Immigration Office the announcement was addressed to all members of the community who provide accommodation, paid or unpaid, to foreign nationals. The announcement reminds: Every foreign national staying in private homes and rented accommodation in Bali must be reported to immigration authorities. A report detailing the personal data of the foreign guest must be provided to the Immigration Office within 24 hours after the visitor checks-in at any form of accommodation in Bali. Reports can be done as usual online via the Immigration office's website. Anyone encountering difficulties of filing the information regarding their foreign guests via the online addresses, should alternatively immediately advise the Ngurah Rai Immigration Office by telephoning 0361-9351038 or 0361-8468395, by facsimile to 0361-9357011 or by email. Accommodation owners or operators who fail to report the hosting of a foreign visitor within the required 24-hour period can be charged criminally under Section 117 of the Immigration Law Number 6 of 2011 with penalties provided of up to three months in prison or a fine of Rp. 25 million.

07 June 2016

Bali go live

The Bali Tourism Promotion Board (BPPD) has formally named “Bali Go Live” as the Island’s Official Channel for travel and tourism videos. “Bali Go Live” will support promotion of the destination via videos presented on Youtube and a dedicated website www.baligolive.com. Covering the entire gamut of social media platforms, “Bali Go Live” will provide updated information via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Thumblr and Linkedin. The appointment of “Bali Go Live” by BPPD is seen as an important step forward in the development of the Island’s tourism image in the modern digital era.
The content manager of Bali Go Live said: “Bali Go Live is a video channel covering all aspect of Bali. Our mission is to become a digital encyclopedia on the Island of Bali to be utilized by business operators in reaching their targeted markets and strengthen Bali’s position as the best tourism destination in the world.”“Bali Go Live” has already produced videos on culture, events, tourism destinations and the Bali life-style, including the launch of a 360-degree virtual reality technology.

06 June 2016

Bali Elephant Safari Park helicopter tour at Taro has stopped

The traditional community surrounding the Bali Elephant Safari Park is complaining about the noise and disturbance caused by the tourist helicopter based at the Park. The Village leader of Taro has written a complaint to the Regent of Gianyar with copies to the Regency's Transportation Office and other agencies and sections of the regional government. The letter made four main complaints regarding the helicopter operation from the Taro base. First, local residents say the helicopter-landing pad is too close to the Suba Toya Temple in Taro, rice fields and local residences. Objections were also raised to the low altitude of the helicopter when flying over the Pujung Sari Desa Pakrama Taro Kelod Temple that villagers contend disregards the religious sanctity of the area. Second, local agriculturalists are purportedly complaining that the noise of the helicopter causes livestock to panic, with one farmer saying many of his chickens have died due to the strong downdraft of the helicopter when coming in for a landing. Third, residents complain about the frequency of landings during the course of a day. And, fourth, residents are questioning the legality of the helicopter’s operation and landing pad and whether or not the required permits and licenses are in hand. A representative of the helicopter operation characterized the complaints as coming from a single individual and said further investigation would be needed in the field. The Taro helicopter operation was still in a “trial operation” period during which the impact of the aircraft is being studied and permits and licenses are being finalized. Helicopters have been operating form Taro since 2002, but were suspended after the Bali bombing, and reintroduced in 2015 with the purchase a new aircraft. Local officials visited the operation to consider first-hand the operation of a tourism helicopter and any possible negative effects on the surrounding area. Officials confirmed the helicopter hangar in Taro was built without the required building permit specifying its planned final use. Gianyar officials have issued an official order halting the helicopter operation from Taro until the company holds all the required permits and licenses.

05 June 2016

Spent a day at one of these amazing pools

A view from your lounger, cool, refreshing water and maybe a nice chilled drink is all you need for a day of relaxation at one of these stunning Bali pools!

Hanging Gardens – Ubud
Surrounded by lush tropical forests, the Hanging Gardens of Bali offers luxurious villas with breathtaking views of the Ayung River, nearby rice terraces and the Dalem Segara temple! This award-winning resort is not just popular for its amazing riverside massage, chic onsite café, three restos, or its traditional Alang Alang thatched roof villas; Hanging Gardens of Bali’s infinity pool offers a different kind of luxury. In fact, Hanging Gardens’ main infinity pool made it onto the list of the 40 Most Unique Swimming Pools in the World by Architecture and Design in 2015. The twin-tiered cascading pool has also received awards from TripAdvisor and Conde Nast Traveller as the “World’s Best Swimming Pool”. Even better, each villa comes with its own private infinity-edged pool! Hanging Gardens of Bali is all about providing the ultimate in relaxation!

Karma Kandara Resort Bali
The lavish Karma Kandara Resort Bali sits atop a cliff towering over the Indian Ocean. Apart from the sublime views, the resort offers villas that come complete with their very own pools. The villas come in one to four bedrooms and are furnished with wireless internet, fully functional kitchens, cozy living and dining areas and semi-open air bathrooms. But for guests who want to spend the day lounging in the pool, the Karma Kandara’s infinity pool aims to please. The main infinity pool curves all the way to the edge of the cliff. Surrounded by tropical trees and flowering plants, the infinity pool looks as if it flows freely into the Indian Ocean. And at night, the pool practically glows thanks to strategic lighting.

Ayana Resort and Spa Bali
Ayana is a swanky cliff-top resort that offers gorgeous rooms, villas, and suites. Those who prefer the privacy of a villa can enjoy the benefits of having plunge pools, but for those in the other rooms they will just have to settle for one of the 11 swimming pools within the resort! The main pool is a two-level edged infinity pool hanging over the resort’s private beach and with a great view of the famous Rock Bar. For the kids, there is a separate kiddie pool and near the kids’ club pavilion. And the River Pool with it’s hanging infinity ledge is also worth a mention.

Also looking out to Jimbaran Bay, Sundara is the Four Seasons’ restaurant/beach club that welcomes you to eat, drink and chill in the pool as long as you want. Their 47-meter long infinity pool stretches the length of the restaurant, so kick back and relax with a drink while you watch the kids swim. Stay for sunset and you definitely won’t be disappointed by the views and the excellent cocktails to sip while you watch the sun sink into the Indian Ocean. For non-guests it’s advised that you call to book a day bed before you go.

Banyan Tree Ungasan
Banyan Tree Ungasan is a cliff-side resort located on Bali’s Bukit Peninsula. The resort gorgeous villas with either garden or ocean views, private pools, marble bathrooms, and spacious living and dining areas. The larger villas, ideal for families, comes with a spa room, a kitchen, and a private butler service. Bayan Tree Ungasan’s amenities include two restaurants, two bars, a day spa, a fitness room, an onsite gift shop, a kids club and of course, a fabulous infinity pool! The 10-meter infinity pool overlooks the Indian Ocean. The pool is equipped with private jet pool and a pillow section. The pool blends seamlessly with the overlooking ocean, offering an unobstructed view of the horizon!

The Mulia
The Mulia is an upscale resort that provides world class accommodation, dining experiences and a whole-lotta Instagram worthy design. The Mulia boasts six different swimming pools, each one with its own unique features. But the resort’s main pool is an award-winning swimming pool setting the bar extremely high for other resorts. The overlooking infinity pool is set up in such a way that it feels like the Indian Ocean is just a few steps away, and Balinese-inspired statues tower overhead. To complete the experience, the infinity pool comes with a swim up bar and day beds!

El Kabron
El Kabron has fast become one of Bali’s most iconic sunset spots. Perched 50 meters over the cliffs at Uluwatu, this Spanish restuarant and ‘cliff club’ is a beautiful spot for a bite to eat and a swim. Families are welcome to swim and hang out for Rp 350,000 for adults and Rp 250,000 for kids, which includes Rp 300,000 and Rp 200,000 food credit respectively.

Want magnificent views from your infinity pool, but you’re staying in Ubud? Head over to Junglefish for one of the most stunning jungle views you’ll ever see. Junglefish features a fabulous restaurant and bar and for Rp 150,000 for adults and Rp 75,000 for kids (which gets taken off your food bill) you can hang out all day. Junglefish is extremely family friendly and has a little kid’s pool, kid’s menu and lots of comfy places to lounge and sleep if little ones get tired.

Munduk Moding Plantation
Voted one of the world’s best infinity pools, Munduk Moding Plantation’s pool is unique in its position in the Northern mountains of Bali. Views over the resort’s coffee plantation and Bali’s north coast are absolutely breathtaking. Fences at the edge of the tiled areas ensure little ones don’t disappear off the edge and you can relax and enjoy the views. This is also an amazing base from which to explore the beautiful mountains of Bali with it’s waterfalls, volcanic crater lakes and lush jungle.

Mercure Bali Kuta
Unlike the others, this rooftop infinity pool is smack-bang in the center of Kuta. Looking out to Kuta beach and it’s famous sunsets, the pool at Mercure Bali Kuta is accessible for hotel guests and patrons of the rooftop restaurant or bar. Loungers and seating bales make this an excellent place to relax away an afternoon, or stop in after shopping and exploring the streets of Kuta. Stay for sunset to make the most of this great location.

03 June 2016

What to do in East Bali

East Bali is popular with tourists because of its beautiful landscapes, beaches, and sacred temples, but still remains much less developed than the South. If you are planning a getaway in East Bali, don’t forget to add these incredible places to your itinerary.
1. Visit the Bat Cave.
The Bat Cave is an ancient, mysterious cave located about 25 minutes from Candidasa. The bat cave is locally known as Goa Lawah and it serves as a home to thousands of bats. Inside the temple is an equally mysterious ancient temple built in the 11th century. Outside the temple features imposing temple gates and massive shrines. As the sun sets, thousands of bats rush outside to feed and the sight is quite dramatic!
2. Climb up to Lempuyang Temple.
Lempuyang Temple is a sacred temple located in the Karangasem region. The temple is pretty remote and is the oldest on the island. Getting there is quite an excursion itself so make sure you pack accordingly. To reach the temple, you’d have to climb a steep staircase of 1,700 stairs. But all that wheezing and climbing is worth it once you reach the temple and look at the stunning mountainous landscape that stretches out before you. If you are unable to climb to the top to reach the main temple, you can also check out the great view at the temple mid-way up the stairs.
3. Stop at the Candidasa Lotus Lagoon
A trip to Candidasa is not complete without visiting the lotus lagoon! The Lagoon is filled with beautiful lotus flowers and makes a great backdrop for photos. Nearby, there is a beautiful garden island with statues in the middle. A visit to the Candidasa Lotus Lagoon is a perfect stop with the kids, as it’s at the roadside and there is no entrance fee. Just across the lagoon is a temple which features a statue of a fertility goddess, the giantess Hariti. Childless couples come to this temple seeking help from the goddess. You can explore the hillside near the temple to get a view of the whole lagoon! However, you’d have to climb a long flight of steps that lead to the higher level of the shrine.
4.  Check out the Kerta Gosa Hall of Justice
Kerta Gosa is an ancient pavilion located in Klungklung. The pavilion was built in the early 18th century by Dewa Agung Gusti and was used as a court of law. Locally known as Taman Gili Kerta Gosa, it features the best in traditional Balinese architecture. The “floating” grand hall, which is located in the center of the property, features an intricately carved facade. The pavilion also features a hall with ceilings covered in detailed Kamasan or wayang-style paintings. The paintings depict spiritual teachings and the story of karma and rebirth. For just Rp 12,000, you can enter the Kerta Gosa Hall of Justice and go on a tour. The ticket booth is located at the main entrance on the east of the complex.
5. Relax at Pasir Putih Beach
Pasir Putih Beach is one of East Bali’s best-kept secrets. Located in Perasi Village, this gorgeous beach features powder fine sand, clear waters, and a beautiful coastal landscape. The name “Pasir Putih” literally translates to white sand and that’s exactly how we would describe this hidden gem! There are some simple warungs that have cropped up on the beach. So, as far as dining and refreshments go, there are plenty of places to go and hang out. Some warungs even have showers. Hopefully the rough road to the beach will keep developers at bay for a while longer.
6. Explore the Taman Ujung Water Palace
The Taman Ujung water palace is a palace-turned-park located in Tumbu Village in Karangasem Regency, about five kilometers from Amlapura. You’ll have to cross a short bridge to enter the palace. The park features three large pools, manicured gardens, and stony pathways. The palace features a mix of European and Balinese architecture. Beautiful dragon bridges and stony pathways connect the pools to each other. And over the horizon, you’ll see a stunning view of Mt. Agung. This attraction is perfect for leisurely walks, picture taking, and sightseeing.
7. Stroll through the Tirta Gangga Water Gardens
Tirta Gangga was built by the Raja of Karangasem in 1948 and is now open to the public. The name “Tirta Gangga” literally translates to “water from the Ganges”, the river holy to Hindus in India.Tirta Gangga. Tirta Gangga features a labyrinth of pools and fountains surrounded by lush gardens, stone carvings, and statues. This park is pretty massive at one hectare, so give yourself some time to relax and stroll around. The complex was rebuilt and restored after a devastating volcanic eruption in the early 60s.
8. Buy Some Beautiful Fabric at Tenganan Village
Tenganan is a walled village near Candidasa. The village is home to the Bali Aga people, who still follow Balinese tradition and religion from even before Hinduism came to Bali. The Tenganan town folks claim to come from Bedahulu but ended up in Tenganan after King Dalem Bedahulu sent all villagers to nearby regions to look for his favorite horse. Tenganan village is renowned for its traditional Geringsing cloth. This cloth is one of a kind because of the painstaking process of weaving and dying that goes into making it. According to locals, a single Geringsing cloth takes five years to complete!

Source: Bali Kids Guide

02 June 2016

Eco village Nyambu

Trekking along the clean and peaceful rice fields with their cultural water temples is a pleasant sample of the tourist attractions that Nyambu Village is offering. Nyambu Village, which in the pre-independence period was called Mundah Village, is located in Kediri subdistrict, Tabanan Regency, about one-hour’s drive from Ngurah Rai Airport, Denpasar. The community-based ecotourism program in Nyambu is expected to fare well as it has received great support and commitment from various stakeholders amid the rising issue of the farmland conversion. Hectares of farmland in Bali have reportedly been converted into hotels.
Tourism is one of the main economic sectors in Indonesia. The sustainable tourism program conducted jointly by several partners aimed to stimulate economic growth in the village by improving the capacity of local people in managing the potential that they possess. Nyambu Village has ecological and historical tourism potential thanks to its existing rice fields, springs and cultural contact and long history dating back to ancient Bali ( around the eighth century until the 13th ), the era of Majapahit influence ( the 14th century ), until this day. Under the program, the community was not only involved in mapping and managing the village’s tourism, but also had the opportunity to learn more about the long history of their village.
The launch also reflects the goodwill of local authorities, who do not want tourism development to occur at the expense of nature, particularly rice fields.
Foreign tourists can enjoy the stunning natural landscape and culinary delights when they stay at the villagers local houses.

Batur Volcano Museum

The Batur Volcano museum is located in Kintamani District of Bangli Regency in Bali. This is the first volcanic museum in Indonesia. The museum explains huge varieties of information from the history, process, material, studies and many more including Balinese religious perspective towards volcano. Indonesia has more than 500 volcanoes which 129 among them are categorized as active.
Since this museum was built in 2007, not so many people visit this museum in Bali. The front appearance of the building is also more likely to be a market or ordinary building. However, the facilities inside are very interesting and informative. You can find diorama, map, samples of volcanic eruption material, several tools used to detect upcoming eruption, pictures, audio-visual media, computer-based interface, a big theater playing movies about volcanic eruption, and many others.
At the first floor, you will find a big diorama showing the relation of volcanos worldwide. There is also a diagram of how traditional and modern way of early warning system is conducted in the past. When you see the beautiful view in Penelokan, you will feel amazed by the beauty of the wide lake there. In the museum you will understand that the lake was the caldera of the Batur Volcano several thousand years ago. It means that the lake was the basement of the volcano which was very wide, and it can be imagined how high the Batur Volcano was in the prehistoric times. At the second floor, you can see an explanation of how volcanic rock is carved by Balinese people as one of the artistic pride of Bali. A Geopark showing Batur environment and cultural reservation is also exhibited there. Another facility in the second floor is a movie theater with the capacity of more than 100 people inside. An auditorium is also available in the second floor which is usually used by local government or other company. The third floor is specialized as the monitoring and research station towards the activity of the Batur Volcano since it is still active. In this floor, a telescope equipped with aerial photograph is available.
Local citizen are well aware of the might of Batur Volcano based on religious and scientific perspective. Therefore, when a sign of eruption is appear, local citizen will conduct a ceremony that related to this event. Even without modern early warning system, local citizen can notice the signs of eruption trough the changing act of animals and nature condition. And this museum explains all details of the phenomena.