How The Village Of Ubud Came To Be

How The Village Of Ubud Came To Be

Long, Long Ago , back in the far misty memory of time, there was an East Indian priest named Rsi Markandeya. It was in the 8th century that this priest, according to a “Lontar”  (traditional palm leaf book), set off on spiritual journey, walking across the island of Java to spread the teachings of Hinduism.

Eventually, he and his large group of followers reached the island of Bali and attempted to settle in the vicinity of Taro (a locale north of Ubud). Unluckily, they were struck down by a cholera epidemic and many perished. Rsi Markandeya led the surviving devotees back to Java, where they re-grouped and after a while made their way to Bali again, although this time their number was somewhat diminished.

Upon returning to Bali, the priest  was drawn to a place where the two branches of the river Wos converged, pulled there by the intense energy and light which emanated from this spot. Rsi Markandeya was inspired to meditate there and while doing so, received a strong message from the Gods. They told him to proceed to Mount Agung(Bali’s center of spirituality), and there he was to bury five precious metals (Panca Datu) in the ground as a foundation of power for the temple of Besakih (known in Bali as the Mother Temple).

This he and his followers did, and afterwards they returned to settle in the spiritually potent location where the two rivers joined, known as Campuhan.  There, in that mystical vortex of nature, he and his faithful followers constructed a temple and they named it Pura Gunung Lebah.

Now growing along the banks of the two rivers were many kinds of plants with marvelous healing qualities, so they christened their new home UBAD, which translated to the healing place or medicine.

Through the following centuries and continuing up to the present time, many Hindu devotees have come regularly to this special place to meditate, bathe and take some of the holy water for cleansing rituals and temple ceremonies. With the passing  of time, the name UBAD gradually evolved to the name UBUD.

(c) Written by  Debora Crowley

About Dirk Weemaes

Keeping an eye on Villa Sabandari since 2009. Google+

At Agung’s Wedding

Agung's Wedding
+Dirk Weemaes

About Dirk Weemaes

Keeping an eye on Villa Sabandari since 2009. Google+

Bali by the Book

Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2013 October 11-15.

Bali News: Bali by the Book

More than 170 famous writers, performers, artists, musicians and visionaries are slated to appear at the 2013 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF) to be held October 11-15, 2013.

Coming to the festival are U.K. bestselling author Sebastian Faulks (Birdsong, Devil May Care), Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk about Kevin), Lonely Planet co-founder Tony Wheeler, Australian cartoonist Michael Luenig and Richard Flanagan.
Coming to the Ubud festival in 2013 are Man Booker long-listed authorsvRuth Ozeki (A Tale for the Time Being) and Tash Aw (Five Star Billionaire) and India literary pop star Amish Tripathi. Other international guests include David Vann (Legend of a Suicide), two-time Miles Franklin winnerKim Scott (That Deadman Dance), American talent Nami Munn, and one of France’s most prolific writers, Alain Mabanckou.
A world-class line-up of Indonesia’s finest and most successful writers and thinkers — including preeminent poet and man-of-letters Goenawan Mohamad; award-winning writer Ayu Utami; bestselling author and singer, celebrated filmmaker Garin Nugroho; Laksmi Pamuntjak, Ahmad Fuadi and more than 45 others — ensures the 2013 Festival represents the best of Indonesian literature.
Along with the 75 sessions comprising the main program spread across three main venues, another 40 venues across Ubud will host special events, literary and cultural workshops, book launches, art programs and film screenings.
Free children’s and youth programs, including a special workshop with bestselling children’s book writer Morris Gleitzman will engage visitors of all ages.

Over five days and nights, Ubud will come alive with live music and performances, food and art markets and parties that run late into the night. Expect fascinating cross-cultural conversations, high-profile international authors, and the opportunity to discover new and exciting local voices at this year’s Ubud Writers & Readers Festival.

All literary paths lead to Ubud, Bali this October!
© Bali Discovery Tours.

About Dirk Weemaes

Keeping an eye on Villa Sabandari since 2009. Google+

Ubud, Bali Ranked Among the World 10 Friendliest Cities by Conde Nast Traveler

Conde Nast Traveler has conducted a survey of its well-traveled readership to determine the friendliest and rudest cities to visit in the world.

Worthy of note it that Bali’s hillside community of Ubud tied for ninth place together with Kilkenny, Ireland as the friendliest place to visit on a holiday.

Bali News: A Warm Welcome from the Heart of Bali

Conde Nast’s list of the friendliest tourism destinations:
1. Florianopolis, Brazil
2. Hobart, Tasmania
3. Thimpu, Bhutan
4. Queenstown, New Zealand
5. Charleston, South Carolina
6. Paro, Bhutan Tied with: 6. Margaret River, Australia
7. Mandalay, Burma
9. Kilkenny, Ireland Tied with: 9. Ubud, Bali
10. Chiang Mai, Thailand

About Dirk Weemaes

Keeping an eye on Villa Sabandari since 2009. Google+

The Toll of Waiting

President Yudhoyono to ‘Soon’ Inaugurate Bali’s First Toll Road

Following reports that the inauguration of Bali’s new toll way connecting Benoa to Nusa Dua would be delayed due to Presidential scheduling conflicts, the Minister of Public Works Djoko Kirmanto has confirmed that the President would open Bali’s new toll road sometime in the coming few weeks.

Bali News: The Toll of Waiting

Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Kirmanto said, “The toll way over the bay that has cost Rp. 2.4 trillion will inaugurated the coming few weeks by President SBY.”
Kirmanto confirmed that the toll way’s construction is now completed and its traffic worthiness certified. Adding, “In other words, the toll road connecting Benoa-Ngurah Rai-Nusa Dua is now ready for operation.”
Commenting on the name for the Bali’s first toll road, Kirmanto said: “In the problem of naming the toll way, the Central Government has completely surrendered that decision to the provincial government. The province knows best on what’s appropriate for Bali.”
Meanwhile, the Governor said the choice of a final name for the toll way must be discussed with various components of the public before a decision is taken. The governor said: “The problem of naming the road can wait until after the inauguration. We need further discussion with the public (on the naming).”

© Bali Discovery Tours

About Dirk Weemaes

Keeping an eye on Villa Sabandari since 2009. Google+

Ubud’s Mastery in Art of Tourism

 

Now here’s a challenge: visit Bali’s cultural center of Ubud and not see any art. Creativity is everywhere here, from pura (temples) to palaces, galleries to gardens, with shops and handicrafts and lovingly decorated shrines. In this village there is a sense that beauty is cherished, though in general Bali is one island that really knows how to work a stone carving and a water feature.

Walking around Ubud it seems every second shop is a gallery, or has art for sale, with almost too much to choose from should the traveler decide to buy.

Ubud’s history goes back to the 8th century, when a Javanese Buddhist priest meditated at the confluence of the two Wos rivers at Campuhan, just west of the modern-day town centre. A shrine was established and the area became a centre of natural medicine and healing, giving Ubud its name from ubad, ancient Balinese for medicine.

To appreciate contemporary Balinese art it’s useful to look at some classical Balinese art, and west of town on Jalan (street) Sanggingan is a good place to start. Here you’ll find the Neka Art Museum, which aims to help visitors learn more about Balinese art and culture, with a rich collection of local, Indonesian and global works. Collector and former teacherSuteja Neka established the museum, which opened in 1982, to help preserve Bali’s artistic legacy, and the surrounding gardens are cool on a hot afternoon.

Walking towards town you will pass a number of small galleries, and another worth a look is Sika, which has been promoting contemporary Indonesian and Balinese fine art since 1996. Collections by young and established artists are displayed around a peaceful courtyard.

Symon‘s large “Art Zoo” studio is a bit further down, and this entertaining American (who ran away from home when he was 17 to look for writer Henry Miller) has lived in Indonesia for decades, producing paintings drawing on Balinese customs and pop art. He said he was moving from this location, but welcomes visitors to his “Art Zoo Camp Color”, two hours north of Ubud (inquiries: symon@symonstudios.com).

Eating is also an art, and Ubud is fortunate to have a world-class restaurant in Mozaic, located approximately halfway between Sika and Neka. Mozaic serves culinary art – an innovative blend of classic French techniques and Indonesian ingredients. It offers an experience rather than just a meal; on arrival guests relax in the slickly modern lounge with a canapé before they are escorted to the tropical gardens, where the soft lighting is perfect for romantic foodies.

French-American chef Chris Salans opened his award-winning venture in 2001, and it was the first restaurant in SE Asia to be recognized as one of Les Grandes Tables du Monde, and is listed as the best restaurant in Indonesia by Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2013. Diners choose from four six-course degustation menus, including a vegetarian option, with optional wine pairings by sommelier Cok Bagus Senajaya from the excellent winelist. The “Discovery” menu incorporated local ingredients, such as ginger flower (its gel a rose-flushed base for seared king prawns), delicately spiced baby starfruit with glazed Tasmanian salmon in a perfectly seasoned broth, and sweet kluwek puree accompanying a slow-roasted duck breast with a crunchy orange-hazelnut salad.

Continue down the hill, towards the Wos River ravine and Campuhan Bridges, towards town, and on the right there will be signs for the Antonio Blanco museum, dedicated to preserving the flamboyant works of the “Bali Dali”.

Across the bridge going up on the left hand side, an Australian teacher called Sandy Elliott recently opened Sari Aktif, an agency for organizing all kinds of local activities. If you want to commission a work and don’t where to start, she knows a range of local artists and can offer guidance.

In busy Monkey Forest Rd, Komaneka is an attractive modern gallery with changing exhibitions. Ubud also has many shops selling homewares. For the best shopping, head north on Jalan Raya Andong (the road to the Tegallalang rice terraces) – it’s a virtualhandicrafts highway.

For art with less bustle, there is Alam Puri Art Museum & Resort, a boutique hotel with gardens and innumerable water features that are a work of beauty in themselves. To reach its 10 villas of varying sizes and sumptuousness, you pass its own gallery, the Putrawan Museum of Art, which contains the only collection of tribal art in Indonesia.

Located about 20 minutes south of Ubud (shuttle provided), Alam (meaning view) Puri (meaning kingdom) is set in about three acres of grounds, with a view of another 70 acres of peaceful rice paddies. The villas are named after artists – and feature plenty of art – as the owner is a collector and painter. It also has an intimate spa, next to the small river, open to light breezes, where relaxing but firm Balinese massage is accompanied by the sound of birds and tumbling water.

Back in Ubud again, the Agung Rai Museum of Art, is another venerable institution in attractive grounds which shows traditional and contemporary works. On my first visit to Ubud I recall seeing a cremation (street procession, body exhumed and placed in decorated bull for incineration) in the Monkey Forest in the morning, and paintings of past cremations that were remarkably similar at ARMA that afternoon.

Of course not everyone comprehends the need to create art. But most people understand the need to dispose of garbage, and they might appreciate Oh Waste in Jalan Jembawan (near the post office) where recycle artist Pat makes bracelets and accessories from old tyres and discarded toothbrushes.

(c) Carolyn O’Donnell 

About Dirk Weemaes

Keeping an eye on Villa Sabandari since 2009. Google+

The Best that Indonesia has to Offer

 Tanah Lot Temple, Bali, Indonesia

With amazing places to visit in Indonesia spread across more than 17,000 islands, you’ll never run out of opportunities for adventure and cultural interaction. Each region is unique and has something to offer intrepid travelers.
Join the ride as we travel across the major tourist spots in Indonesia which you should include in your itinerary. Moving across Indonesia’s archipelago takes time. You’re better off focusing on one or two regions to explore rather than rushing around.

Bali:

The island of Bali is a picture perfect destination with its green vines, blooming flowers, wide beaches, blue water, and green volcanic scenery. It is one of the most visited islands in Southeast Asia and a top honeymoon destination in Asia.

But Bali is not only resort life and beaches, the Kintamani region in the interior is lush and gorgeous, while Ubud is famous as the cultural center with its numerous temples, thanks to additional fame from the hit movie Eat, Pray, Love. If you are looking for an active nightlife, Kuta is the party epicenter.

The small fishing village of Tulamben on the northeast coast of Bali is famous for the wreck of the US Army transport ship that was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1942.

Sumatra:

Sumatra has something for everyone to explore – lush rainforests, exotic flora and fauna, cascading rivers, sparkling crater lakes, beautiful white sand beaches, impressive volcanoes, and limestone caves.

A major attraction here is Lake Toba – the largest volcanic lake surrounded by some of the best natural marvels, Mentawai Islands, where one can enjoy trekking and windsurfing, Bukit Lawang, where one can  encounter both semi-wild and wild orangutans, along with a whole host of other endangered species.

If you are looking for adventure then climb Gunung Sibayak and Gunung Sinabung, which is Sumatra’s most attractive volcanoes.

Lake Toba
Lombok:

After Bali, go towards east to Lombok – a place dotted with powdery white sands, astonishing blue corals and marine life.

A popular destination here not to be missed for sea and mountain lovers alike is Gili Islands, where the atmosphere is very relaxed and laid-back. For the adventurous, trek at Gunung Rinjani or surf the great waves at coast. To relax, head out in day trips to Sengigi for it’s long sweeping bay or to the east at Sumbawa.

Mt Bromo
Java:

Java is often overshadowed by the next-door neighbor, Bali but the place has its own charm, including white-sand beaches, breathtaking ancient religious monuments and huge volcanic peaks.

Mt Bromo, an active volcano in Java, is the most visited in Indonesia. If you are looking for a unique combination of ancient temples, history, traditions and culture then Yogyakarta is a worthwhile place to visit. Borobudur – one of the most famous Buddhist temple in the world – and Prambanan temple complex is a major stop on the tourist route.

Copyright © 2013 Tripvillas

About Dirk Weemaes

Keeping an eye on Villa Sabandari since 2009. Google+

Disability Travel: Bali, Indonesia – The Perfect Place to Have a Relaxing Respite

 

Disability holiday destinations: Bali. Indonesia, located in Southeast Asia is one of the biggest archipelagic countries in the world.

Surrounded by azure crystalline waters, Indonesia lies between the two continents, Asia and Australia. Speckled with mesmerizing islands, Indonesia is a panorama inspiring nothing but awe.

One of the most popular travel destinations, the exceptional beauty and the rare culture draw people like a magnet. With an aim of treating all holidaymakers alike, Indonesia has several facilities to allow disabled tourists to enjoy and experience Indonesia to their heart’s content.

Particularly famous in this regard is the city of Bali where ease and accessibility reach new heights. To accommodate the needs of the physically challenged, Bali has everything from wheelchairs to ramps. A lot of temples and parks have been specifically designed without stairs so that those with issues of reduced mobility can move and explore the area effortlessly.

Some of the most accessible tourist attractions in Bali are as follows:

Tanah Lot Temple:

Set against a backdrop of beautiful beaches, proudly sits the Tanah Lot temple. A park progresses to the temple and this is the place where you will come across divine beauty with an air of purity. The most famous temple in Bali, Tanah Lot was built by fisherman and legend has it that it was protected by sea snakes. All the walkways in park are wheelchair accessible so you can roam and absorb the beauty easily.

GWK Cultural Park:

An embodiment of Bali’s heritage and cultural performances is the renowned GWK cultural park. Unique with its limestone pillars, this park promises some of the most exceptional vistas of Bali’s valleys and peaks. Home to two giant statues, one of lord Vishnu and other of a giant mythical bird, this park is definitely worth a visit on a trip to Bali. One can explore the entire park and statues on wheelchairs that are easily available.

Mount Agung and Pura Besakih:

Perched atop Mount Agung is the celebrated and most sacred Pura Besakih temple. Adorned with vibrant banners, visitors get to see the multitude of courtyards and the trinity shrines. Although the ground is not very uniform, the disabled can enjoy it with the help of numerous ramps and wheelchair facility provided in the area.

In short, Indonesia does not limit you one way or the other. Even with any physical disabilities, you can have a fantastic holiday in Bali, Indonesia. Most people will reach Indonesia by air. U.S. and E.U. airlines only will guarantee certain standards of service to travellers with disabilities. Assistance to travellers with reduced mobility on all other airlines may vary considerably.

(c) Reduced Mobility Rights

About Dirk Weemaes

Keeping an eye on Villa Sabandari since 2009. Google+

Colors of Bali by Theo Zantman

According to Arie Smith - the renown master of color and composition –  Theo Zantman is a highly original artist and one of the very few painters alive who have the ability to feel and to paint the atmosphere of Bali with talent and authenticity. bridges is proud to show the work of this exceptional artist. To celebrate the launch on 19 July, 4-7pm, we have planned a Balinese DIVINE Friday: Drinks, music, complimentary canapés, dance and Rindik performance. Meet the artist, explore his work. 20% of the proceeds donated to the John Fawcett Foundation whose representatives will join us as well for this special event.

Read more on the exhibition: www.bridgesbali.com/theo-zantman.php

About Dirk Weemaes

Keeping an eye on Villa Sabandari since 2009. Google+

Voluntourism in Bali

CNN Traveler Article by ABC’s Claire Shipman Recounts a Family Holiday as Volunteers with East Bali Poverty Project

Bali News: Voluntourism in Bali

(7/8/2013)

In August of 2011 Bali Discovery Tours had the privilege of assisting in the travel arrangements for Claire Shipman, her husband Jay Carney and their two children, Hugo And Della.

Claire is well known in the U.S.A. as the Peabody Award-winning senior national correspondent on ABC’s Good Morning America while her husband, Jay Carney, works asBarack Obama’s White House Press secretary.

While in Bali we helped arrange a visit to the East Bali Poverty Project (EBBP) at Ban in North Bali run by David Booth. There, the Carney children enjoyed Indonesian Independence Day with the children of EBPP. 

The Carney children were so inspired by their experience working with the kids of EBPP that they mounted a fund-raising activity back home in Washington, DC that successfully raised enough funds to buy new school uniforms for their Balinese friends.

Claire Shipman has just published a wonderful account of her visit with Hugo and Della to EBPP in CNN Traveler.

[CNN Traveler: Voluntourism as a Family Vacation]

Related Article

[Give Some Kids Lemons; They’ll Help Bali]

© Bali Discovery Tours.

About Dirk Weemaes

Keeping an eye on Villa Sabandari since 2009. Google+