Showing posts from October, 2011

Beautiful Bali: Pura Goa Gaja

Just before Ubud, we had made a stop at Pura Goa Gaja. As we walked along a concrete pathway lined with souvenir stalls, we came across an elderly Chinese couple whom we exchanged plesantries with. The couple, to our surprise were from home -Penang to be exact and they had decided to give Pura Goa Gajah or Elephant Cave Temple a skip, which I thought was a pity. Pura Goa Gajah is an ancient structure. Built in the 11th century when Bali was led by King Udayana, the temple for a long while was only known to locals. The public got to know about it in 1923 and today, many tourists could, for a small fee, explore its grounds...

Would you pay to explore Pura Goa Gaja?

Traveling Tip: Never mind the fees!

Beautiful Bali: Bali's Babi Guling

When in Bali, don't forget to try Babi Guling, that is if your religion allows you pork. Babi is of course, the local word for pig while Guling means roll. Babi Guling is actually a roasted suckling pig. In this Balinese delicacy, a whole pig is rubbed down and stuffed with bumbu bali , a mixture of chopped Balinese spices including shallots, garlic, ginger, turmeric, galangal, pepper coriander, candlenuts, chilies, and lemon grass. Perhaps, the pig gets its name, Babi Guling because it is continuously turned slowly over the fire to ensure even cooking and to ensure that its meat is tender and juicy. One could probably find Babi Guling in Kuta or anywhere else in Bali but words had it that the best would be at Ibu Oka in Ubud. A fellow Malaysian whom we met at Sukawati sweared though they had the best in a market in Kuta...

Which do you think is Babi Guling?

Traveling Tip: Try some local delicacy!

Beautiful Bali: A Place to Shop

Travelling east to Ubud, make a stop in the Gianyar Regency in Central Bali, more specifically in the town of Sukawati. There is this place called Pasar Seni in the centre of the town, a two storey building with many, many stalls, said to be the best place to shop in Bali. Almost all the souvenirs you'd have seen or bought elsewhere in Kuta, Tuban, Legian or Seminyak originate here and expect to find paintings, woodcarvings, clothes, puppets, wind chimes, jewelleries and many other things here at bargain prices. Celuk village which is the center of goldsmiths & silversmiths in Bali is located nearby and you'd expect to buy products of gold and silver here too but touch wood - some of these products, I heard may not be genuine...

Shop at Sukawati!

Traveling Tip: There is a place to shop!

Beautiful Bali: Cak! Cak! It's a Dance!

You should be forgiven if you think Mario is just a character from a video game. Long before there were angry birds, Shigeru Miyamoto, a Japanese video game designer had Mario, the Italian-American plumber appeared in the Mushroom Kingdom in over 200 video games trying to prevent turtle-like villain Bowser from kidnapping Princess Peach and taking over the kingdom. The Mario (inset) in question now of course is a famous Balinese dancer. Bali, by the way, is most famous for its performing arts. There are many famous Balinese dances such as the pendet, legong and of course, kecak, the monkey dance performed mainly by men which is said to have originated in the 1930s. Known also as the Ramayana Monkey Chant, the dance is often performed by a circle of 150 or more performers who wear checked cloth around their waists and chant cak cak as they throw up their arms to depict a battle from the Ramayana where the monkey-like Vanara helped Prince Rama fight the evil King Ravana. Not a single mu…

Beautiful Bali: When the Sun Sets in Uluwatu

Bali is considered one of the best places in the world to see sunsets. It is not surprising then that some people come here just to see sunsets and some even pay to have sunset weddings. There are many venues where one can see the sun sets in Bali - in Kuta, Jimbaran, Tanah Lot,and most definitely in Uluwatu. We were in Uluwatu long enough to see the sun set but then, it was almost six and it was time to watch some traditional Balinese dance...

Traveling Tip: Watch the sun sets!