Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Tektok, Who’s There? New Balinese Dance Spectacle in Ubud



Spectacular New Balinese Dance Performance Presented Four Nights Per Week at Bali Culture Center in Nyuh Kuning, Ubud

Adding to the growing number of spectacular dance and stage performances available to Bali visitors, the Bali Culture Center (BCC) in Nyuh Kuning Ubud now presents a rare and mesmerizing presentation of the Tektok Dance four nights per week.

Taken from the epic Mahabrata story of India, the Ubud presentation tells of a struggle between King Yudhistira and his brothers and his archrival Duryodhana (Kurava). Lured into a game of chance, Kurava manages to persuade Yudhistira to wager and lose his entire Kingdom.

Claiming the defeated Yudhistira and his brothers as slaves, Kurava seeks the ultimate humiliation of forcing the losing King to undress his Queen and offer her to his nemesis.

A battle of the demi-gods proceeds with Truth and Goodness eventually triumphing over the evil Kurava in the end.

Originating from Lombok, the Tek Tok Dance has been reworked by celebrated choreographers I Made Sidia and I Gusti Gde Jelantik. The music that accompanies the dance is produced solely by syncopations and harmonies from a chorus of human voices.

Working with the seminal influence of a traditional dance form found in Lombok, Sidia and Jelantik have created an entirely new addition to the Bali-Lombok dance repertoire that is now presented every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evening at 6:30 pm.

Presented on a colossal scale, tickets are only Rp. 190,000 for adults and Rp. 140,000 for children.

For information and reservations telephone +62-(0)361-978144 or +62-(0)82144735658.

© Bali Discovery Tours

Dreamliners to Paradise

Qatar Airways will commence a new ten-hour non-stop flight service between Doha and Bali starting on July 21, 2014.

In October 2014 the non-stop service between Bali and Doha will begin use a new Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Qatar has been operating a successful Doha to Bali service with an intermediate stop in Singapore. Strong demand and new aircraft joining the Airline’s fleet has enabled the airline to offer the new non-stop direct daily service.

In October 2014 the route will be operated with Qatar Airways’ state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Initially, the Bali route will be operated with an Airbus A330.

Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, said: “The start of non-stop services from Doha to Bali offers travelers from around the world access to the popular leisure destination in a reduced time, from across our expanding global network. We are delighted to confirm that the Boeing 787 Dreamliner will operate on this route from later this year, offering the very latest in design and comfort to passengers who wish to travel on this non-stop route from the Middle East.”

In October, flying direct to and from Bali, the Dreamliner will have a two-cabin configuration, comprising of 22 seats in Business Class and 232 Economy Class seats.

The new aircraft offers individual 10.5-inch television screens on all Economy Cass seats and a full complimentary food and beverage service.

Qatar Airways currently flies a modern fleet of 131 aircraft to 137 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

Schedule of New Qatar Service

Daily non-stop DOHA to/from BALI: (all times local)

QR 962 departs Doha (DOH) at 02:35 arriving in Bali (DPS) at 17:35
QR 963 departs Bali (DPS) at 19:35 arriving in Doha (DOH) at 23:5

© Bali Discovery Tours

International Terminal at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport Now Open for Business

Bali’s New Welcome

On Thursday, September 19, 2013, PT Angkasa Pura I (PAP-I) began the process relocating all operational aspects of its service to international air passengers to it newly opened international terminal at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport. 

PAP-I is the management authority of Bali’s airport.

The CEO of PAP-I, Tommy Soetomo proclaimed the massive relocation project a success.

As reported by, the new terminal welcomed its first guests when 209 passengers aboard China Airlines MU 5029 from Shanghai landed at 6:22 am. Eight minutes later at 6:30 am, 68 passengers touched down on Malaysia Airlines (MH 867).

With the exception of a few minor teething problems and reports of longer-than-normal delays at some service counters, all aspects of the new terminal including baggage claim, visa-on-arrival, immigration, customs and other aspects operated largely according to plan.
Bali News: Bali’s New WelcomeTommy Soetomo shared his pleasure at the smooth welcome afforded international passengers on Thursday, telling the press the transition had run smoothly.

To mark the special occasion directors of PAP I were on hand to welcome the China Airline passengers, bestowing the passengers with floral leis while traditional dancers and a gamelan orchestra added to the merriment.
Soetomo declared that after one year and three months of ongoing construction the new international terminal of the Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport commenced operations on September 19, 2013.

Soetomo described how the international terminal has seven baggage collection carousels, twenty visa-on-arrival counters, twenty-six immigration lockets and three customs inspection areas.

© Bali Discovery Tours

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

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:

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 

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.


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 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

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 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

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

Nog eens Tripadvisor

Boutique Hotel in Ubud Bali

Het is de laatste tijd, de laatste maanden zelfs, erg stil geweest op deze blog. Writer’s block zal u ongetwijfeld denken maar dat is niet zo. Het was hoogseizoen en zelfs met onze 6 kamers betekende dat toch heel wat werk. De komende twee weken hebben we geen gasten dus wie weet wordt er dan weer wat gepost.

We moeten tijdens die twee weken wel naar Surabaya om Saar’s paspoort te laten verlengen bij het Belgisch consulaat. Dat is een voorwaarde van de dienst Imigrasi  om Saar’s verblijfsvergunning (KITAS) te verlengen. Naast problemen met de drie B’s (de Banjar, de Belastingsdienst, de Bank) hebben we nl. ook problemen met de Immigratiedienst. Het zal wel bij de ‘Bali lifestyle’ horen zeker?  Stof genoeg voor een aantal blogposts in elk geval.

Dat het niet allemaal kommer en kwel is kan worden opgemaakt uit het onderstaande. We ontvingen voor ons hotel een ‘Certificate of Excellence’  van Tripadvisor, toch een autoriteit op reisgebied, voor het jaar 2010. De Bali rice fields schijnen in de smaak te vallen. We zijn daar natuurlijk erg trots op, vooral omdat we de eerste gasten pas eind januari 2010 hebben mogen ontvangen.

Veel dank aan allen die een review hebben geschreven!

Certificate of Excellence for Villa Sabandari

Tripadvisor Certificate

Bali Lifestyle in the Rice Fields

Gunung Agung

Mount Agung the holy mountain of Bali, as seen from the garden of Villa Sabandari, a botique hotel in Ubud, Bali

We wonen nu ongeveer 10 maanden op Bali en toch heb ik pas twee weken geleden ontdekt dat we vanuit onze tuin ‘Gunung Agung’ kunnen zien. Het is de hoogste (3142 m) en heiligste berg van Bali, een actieve vulkaan waarvan de laatste uitbarsting dateert van 1964. Vergelijkbaar met de Olympus in Griekenland, beschouwen de Balinezen deze berg als de woonplaats van de goden en het centrum van de wereld.

Meer informatie hier

De foto is genomen door Tina vanaf het terras van de kamer op het gelijkvloers, aan de kant van de sawah.

Boutique Hotels Ubud, Bali

Geen Avatar in de badkamer!

(O.K., geplaatst door Dirk maar geschreven door Tina)
Langs de weg tussen Ubud en de Makro in Denpasar stikt het van de handelaars in stenen beelden. Stone carving geldt hier als een gerespecteerd lokaal ambacht.
Mijn Opdracht 12 – Koop twee stenen beelden voor de piëdestallen in de badkamers – lijkt dan ook een makkie. De planning is om met Dewa de chauffeur, op terugweg van mijn trip naar de Makro (kleerhangers, sticker remover, koksmutsen, vijftig stoffen servetten…) even te stoppen bij een openlucht beeldenshop in de Stone Carving Street. Daar twee esthetisch verantwoorde beelden aan te wijzen, en hopla, taak 12 volbracht.
Dichtbij de Makro passeren we een rondpunt met in het midden een fonteinachtig iets. Op de rand van de waterpartij staan een tiental beelden. Omdat de parallel tussen fontein en badkamer voor de hand ligt, vraag ik aan Dewa of hij Hindoegoden kent die gerelateerd zijn aan water, aan reiniging of aan zuiverheid. Want het is toch een goed idee om beelden te kopen die qua symboliek iets te maken hebben met een badkamer, denk ik. In Griekenland zou ik kiezen voor een marmeren Poseidon en in Rome voor een granieten Neptunus.
Dewa geeft mij een ingewikkelde uitleg over een Hindoe god – Varaha - die de aarde terugvond nadat die in de zee was gevallen. Voor de rest heeft hij geen andere suggestie voor Hindoe Watergoden. Wat magertjes maar ja, een chauffeur heeft geen proef afgelegd over de symboliek van de plaatselijke goden.
Als ik hem uitleg dat we beelden gaan zoeken voor de twee badkamers die morgen door de eerste gasten zullen ingewijd worden, stelt hij voor dat ik in de shop beelden kies die ik mooi vind en dat hij dan zal zeggen of ze wel “suitable for the bathroom” zijn.

Ubud, Bali : Romantic hotels or Accommodation

Tussen de massa’s beelden duid ik eerst een elegante danser aan.
“Wat denk je, Dewa, kan dit?”
Aziaten krijgen geen “neen” over hun lippen, dus met een verlegen glimlach en een heleboel verontschuldigende woorden legt hij me uit dat dit beeld van een danser een afbeelding is van god en “not suitable for bathroom”.
Ik wil niet te veel tijd verliezen aan getwijfel en wijs hem een soortement elegante zeemeerman aan – half man half vis – elk fijn schubje van zijn staart is prachtig uitgewerkt, de hoogte is perfect, de lichte zandsteen helemaal geassorteerd bij de okerkleurige achtergrond van de open badkamers. Kortweg ideaal.
“Is deze oké Dewa?”, vraag ik voor alle veiligheid.
Ongemakkelijk prutst hij aan de kraag van zijn kraakwitte hemd, “ This is also a god, madam, I think this is not suitable for bathroom.”
Na wat aandringen kom ik erachter dat geen enkele afbeelding van een god “suitable is for bathroom”. Hindoes zouden dat respectloos vinden. Als er iets is dat ik niet wil doen is de Balinezen met een badkamerbeeld tegen het hoofd stoten. Figuurlijk noch letterlijk.
Dewa’s info maakt Opdracht 12 ineens wel knap lastig.
Buiten de mij bekende Hindoe goden Shiva, Brahma, Krishna en Vishnu bestaat er nog een rist voor mij totaal onbekende godheden. Op de koop toe heeft Vishnu negen Avatars.
Of minder trendy : Avatara’s. Ook goden hebben blijkbaar een Second Life.
Vishnu verscheen in negen verschillende gedaanten op aarde. Als verlosser van de wereld.
Dat verhaal klinkt mij bekend in de oren.
Vishnu nam ook dikwijls de gedaante aan van een dier : een schildpad, een leeuw of een vis.
Als ik Dewa vraag om de beelden aan te wijzen die géén goden zijn, slinkt mijn keuze tot een fractie van het tentoongestelde aanbod.
Small statue in one of the romantic luxury hotels in Ubud BaliMogelijk blijven : wat abstracte torentjes en gestileerde bloemen, een angstaanjagend koppel besnorde muzikanten en gelukkig – de goden zijn mij gunstig gestemd – wat kunstige danseressen.
Alle kamers in Villa Sabandari hebben namen van dansen gekregen. Vijf Balinese dansen en een Ambonese (de roots van Saar zijn Ambonees.)
Beelden van danseressen zijn dus perfect. Ik kies twee crèmekleurige rustende danseressen die wat mij betreft schitterend tot hun recht komen in de badkamers van de Barong-kamer en de Legong-kamer.
Wat de definitieve plekken zullen worden van al die andere godsbeelden en hun Avatars weet ik niet maar als het van onze Dewa afhangt niet in Balinese badkamers.
En ik sluit mij daar respectvol bij aan.