Showing posts from August, 2011

Beautiful Bali: Beach

Tourists to Bali would be familiar with Kuta Beach. I suppose the beach is synonymous with Kuta city. When we first entered Kuta, the driver who took us to our hotel, had without any prompting, given us directions on how to go to the beach. You'd expect many lovely beaches in Bali for this is but the Island of the Gods, and a paradise to surfers. Perhaps, you'd rather hunt out for other lesser known beaches too especially now when the more popular beaches are becoming rather crowded and noisy. Our guide had taken us to one such beach called Padang-Padang which is about 25 minutes from Kuta. There seemed to be no facilities around and I remember walking down a steep staircase to be confronted with a dilapidated shack and then, surrprise of all surprises! - There was a crowd of Westerners flolicking on the white sand under the scorching sun, most of them under shades of course, and everyone seemingly without a care for the world! For a moment, you'd expect Leornardo DiCaprio…

Beautiful Bali: Around the park

Bali's Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park has been touted one of the island's premier venues for artistic performances, exhibitions, and conferences. There are facilities for all types of outdoor events: the Amphitheatre, the Street Theatre, the Plaza Kura Kura, the Exhibition Gallery and the Lotus Pond area; the last venue said to be able to accomodate 7500 people. There are a number of cafes and restaurants which dish out Indonesia, Oriental, or International cuisine,too and Warung Nyoman is said to be one of the popular place to sample traditional Indonesian food and to enjoy a panoramic view of south Bali. If you fail to locate that, perhaps you'd still procure joy by looking around at the local ladies in their traditional sarong and kebaya.The kebaya, by the way is a traditional blouse-dress combination worn by women in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Burma, Singapore and southern Thailand. The dress is Indonesia's national costume and is endemic to Java, Sudan and o…

Beautiful Bali: There goes a lion!

Taking a walk in Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park, you'd probably come face to face with a lion but fear not! - For a small sum of money, you could pose for a snapshot with it! I remember seeing a similar lion in Java when the country was celebrating its Independence Day and had thought that this was Indonesia's version of the Chinese lion dance. Balinese culture was said to be strongly influenced by Indian and Chinese and the lion, known as the Barong, could testify to that. The Barong is often featured in certain ceremonies at village temples together with a mythical character called Rangda, the witch representing evil,said to be closely associated with Durga, the Hindu mother warrior goddess, and Kali, the black mother goddess of destruction, transformation and protection in Hinduism. We did not see Rangda anywhere in the park and perhaps, that's a blessing. Rangda is depicted as a a nude old woman with a horrifying face. Her hair are long and unkempt and her breasts,…