Jakarta to Bali and Lombok
May 1983
Part II - Bali

If you want to skip directly to the other parts, then just hit
Part I   - Java or
Part III - Lombok/Bali


Bali was already my dream island and I wanted to visit it when I traveled around the world in 1969, but time at that time was too short for a detour. It would have been a better time, though: less packaged tourists, less first class hotels, less Javanese, less crime, but all this in the main touristy spots at the southern coast, as I already have encountered on this trip. It may be even worse today, with more big hotels even in the countryside now.

But I still believe that the Balinese people still live their traditional life, which has already survived the invasion of the packaged tourists for a long time after they also could resist being converted to Islam after the Muslims have invaded the rest of Indonesia and rather stayed with their special blend of Hinduism and Buddhism.


As soon as I arrived in Denpasar I went to Kuta Beach for a one night's rest in one of the guesthouses. But beach life was reserved for the end of my stay on Bali. First, action and adventure was on my agenda. So next day I took the local transport, a bemo (small open vans with a bench on each side, Japanese made), from Denpasar to Ubud, the artist's village.

I had an address out of my guidebook and went down a side street to look for an accommodation. I found one, but not the one in the book. And it was fantastic: a nice room with mandi (bath) and veranda surrounded by a beautiful garden, including breakfast in the morning and hot tea and fruits on your table the whole day. All for 1,500 Rupiah (about 1.50 USD).

Remark: The photos on the right side may not be correctly adjusted if you use Mozilla Firefox or Chrome. I propose to use the Explorer of Microsoft instead.

Click the small picture to get it enlarged

A street in Ubud where I found my "hut"
The owner was a lady, a widow I assume, who was also very kind to wash my laundry every day. At the end of my stay, after seven days, I wanted to pay her for all that: I begged and begged but she refused to accept any money at all.

In a nice garden with nice neighbors
Also, I found nice neighbors, coming from Samoa and France. We all went together to a Kejak dance, which was just happening some place in Ubud, as a happening for the happy inhabitants, not staged for the tourists, but we were welcome. The drama is an old story, but the choreography was just "recently" developed around 1930, and that not by a Balinese but by a German named Walter Spies.
The Kejak drama is about Prince Rama
The demon Ravana has Rama's bride Sita kidnapped The monkey general Hanuman tries to get her back
His monkey army is ready for the battle and shouting their "jak, jak", acting like cattle
And then, what luck: a funeral. Yes, we were lucky to attend a funeral, so was the dead, a noble of Ubud, because he was now ready to be reincarnated after being incinerated according to the believe of the Balinese.

So everybody was happy and enjoying the whole procedure, like carrying and swirling around the bier with the casket (to keep off the demons) while drinking a lot of beer (or better rice schnapps). A lot of fluid came down from the sky, too. It was pouring and I was wondering whether they could put fire on the pyre later on. I didn't check for myself (I would have been soaked up wet) but was told later that the dead really turned into ashes.
Are the people running from the rain? No, also to a funeral of a rich man
Who's coffin is reeled around in a spin being carried on a construction by guys like him
Just a day for myself: walking around Ubud. A nice village and clean small roads. Only little houses and beautiful gardens. Some small eateries and few restaurants catering for the traveler or backpacker folks. No hotel, only small private guest houses. A fantastic place surrounded by a beautiful countryside.
A monument to honor the family Family planning with one child?
Many Balinese are fine artists and also gardening hobbyists
They are agriculturists and also theosophists


First destination outside of Ubud was Klungkung, a small town with a magnificent temple with nice paintings inside and surrounded by a beautiful pond. Look up your guidebook if you want to go there.
On the way to Klungkung A beautiful water palace
Painting depicting treatments of criminals on the ceiling of the hall of justice
All temples are surrounded by sculptures carved in stone The religion was the driving force, not only skills alone


On the next day I rented a bicycle in Ubud for 1 USD the whole day. The lady really trusted us backpackers, because she neither wanted any deposit nor a passport for security. The roads were ok, but sometimes hilly. At first I bicycled to a famous cave (the previous photo). What was its name? Goa Gajah, the elephant cave. And then the very old reliefs, that probably was Yeh Pulu. Can you believe that they are thousand years old. The Balinese have their Hindu tradition already kept that long.
Some reliefs have survived from the past Will the new generation preserve it to last?
The town of Gianyar came next. Famous was supposedly its market. It was very much crowded but always interesting to stroll between the market stalls and take a look at the veggies and fruits and the people selling it.
Going to the market place Where people occupy every space
Amazing how women are using their head and this man will not cut his tongue, you bet


Then another day again. This time by a van to Besakih, the most sacred place on Bali. And it was a wonder: when the majestic Mount Agung behind erupted in 1963 and killing more than 1500 people, the hot lava stream parted just before the temple flowing down on each side without destroying it.
Besakih on the slopes of Mount Agung is the most sacred Hindu temple on Bali


And then, how lucky again I was: an annual festival in Mas, famous for its wood carving "industry". Not much to write about. The pictures will speak for themselves. Just one word to the offerings: Once the food has been sanctified on the altar and by the priest, it will be consumed by the family.
Festival in Mas which takes place once a year
Everybody brings offerings to the altar The banyan tree is most sacred
Everybody is contem-plating in prayer It's a religious event for the Balinese
Everybody tries to get some holy water It's a religious event for the whole family
Girls with offerings in a silver bowl
Proud girl Happy girl
Smily girl Skeptical girl
The few tourists could roam freely around. Even the unduly dressed Australians have been tolerated by the Balinese, but weren't allowed to enter the temples with their outfit.
Old white girl Shameless girl?
Embarrassed and sad looking old man The temple guards will block the Australian
I walk around the fountain and saw two chatting women
The cocks are ready to fight with razor blades, until one died
A children's show is also provided for
Also the health minded can get a treat and the children can get something sweet
Before they can eat their offerings they may eat some satay sticks
Umbrella boys leading the procession then comes the men with the percussion
One guy is happy to carry the bamboo flag First girl leads the way with a pot on her head
Next girl same pot on her head she put A girl with a scepter and a nice look
No nice looks anymore and I follow the crowd

A small town close to Ubud

Another day another show. It's one of the most famous dance dramas of Bali. The girls wear nice sarongs and flowers headdresses and dance like in a trance believing they are possessed by goddesses.
Evening show: Legong another famous drama
Not easy to dance Many years practicing

Around Ubud

Another day again. Walking, walking. The countryside around Ubud is beautiful as you can see from the pictures. And the people you meet are always friendly and even helpful by showing you the way.
A little trekking around Ubud with a nice temple on my way
Wealthy people like to live here too sur-rounded by a beautiful country-side
The Balinese are also very diligent. They harvest rice three times a year (other Asian countries make it only up to two). And that's a lot of hard work, not to mention the creation of the many rice terraces and irrigation systems in the first place and now having to maintain it.
Local people working hard The boys don't have to work, yet
An empty basket gives some shadow Men rather carry on their shoulder
If it wouldn't be for the hard work, this place would be like living in a paradise. Though the people seemed to be happy anyway.
Women rather use their head Over a bridge over "troubled" water
Populated with human beings who can do here a lot of things
The children here have a real good life, especially the boys, who may even get a wash by their mothers. The girls have to do it by themselves, so do the men, for sure.
The river is good for doing the laundry and the water is still clean for cooling off
Also ideal for taking a nice bath and soaping and washing the ass
Leaving paradise was not easy. But leaving this place and getting around is easy. Many good roads and all kinds of transport are available all over Bali.
Now I have to leave paradise Get on, there is still space
Ok, that was the first part of Bali. There will be more after I have visited Lombok, the next island to the east.

If you want to skip now to the other parts, then just hit
Part I   - Java or
Part III - Lombok/Bali

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