The Bade Makers: Bali’s Coffin Craftsmen

Tucked away in a back street on the outskirts of Denpasar is a strange and wondrous sight. Every few days this wide, open shed is populated with beautifully wrought animals. Fine looking bulls are the main production although sometimes you might see a pig, a dog or even a lion.  They are bade, effigies used

Candidasa : The Otherside of Paradise

Bali’s east coast is still a surprise for lots of visitors who never explore the island. This coastal resort that dates back to Bali’s early tourist days has a laid back atmosphere that is missing in the busy south. Long languorous beaches, a divine hinterland and scintillating surprises, tucked away where you would least expect

The Rejang Dance and its Great Hat Parade

One of Bali’s most sacred and ancient dances is the beautiful stately Rejang. Traditionally the dance is performed by village virgins and is performed within the inner sanctums of the temple grounds, re-enacting one of Bali’s great legendary myths of Dewarta Nawasangha about heavenly nymphs and a god’s water supply. And one of the most

Tenganan Turns it On

The residents of Bali’s most famous traditional Bali Aga village like to celebrate and every month of June, they really like to turn it on. During this month the village comes alive as the festival season revs up with dance, ceremony and a host of visual extravaganzas. The month’s celebrations peak, on the 24th and

Best Bars in Ubud

Believe it or not, there’s actually so much to do in Ubud at night! Where do we start? If you can drag yourself away from your luxe villa or resort to explore, you will be pleasantly surprised to discover what the nightlife in Ubud is all about. Don’t expect an endless succession of bars and

Boys will be Girls

It’s late at night at the Pura Dalem in Penestanan.  The Maestro, AA Gede Bagus Mandera Earawan  famous dancer, and choreographer extraordinaire, had invited us to come along and see his troupe of male legong dancers perform their intriguing version of Bali’s most iconic dance.  It was a rare treat both for us and for

Is Ubud Really the Wellness Capital of Bali?

Go to any number of cafes around Ubud and you will find the air buzzing with yoga talk. “Is aerial yoga the best? Maybe I should try that today. Ooh Kundalini hmmm, I want to try. I have been doing so many different kinds of classes while I’m here, it’s so cool. Is sun salutation

Kintamani’s Surprising Chinese Celebrations

Who would have thought that the annual Chinese New Year celebrations, so visible in places like Singapore, Penang and Kuala Lumpur would also include a very colourful festival in Kintamani. While the poster said the celebrations would last all day we arrived in time for the start of a very engaging procession that led from

Dining at Queens of India : Fit for a King

Until recently, finding a decent Indian restaurant was like hunting for hen’s teeth, but now as more and more Indians flock to Bali, we are being spoiled for choice. Queen’s of India (or Queen’s Tandoor down in Seminyak) may just be the best Indian restaurant In Bali. Recently we tried the Ubud branch – due

Bali’s Extraordinary Exotic Reality

Bali will always be an enigma. A juxtaposition between sekala and niskala, the seen and the unseen or the material world and the spiritual. The reason the Balinese are not always present, a little bit of head in the clouds, is because their mind ponders frequently on their next ceremony. Offerings, prayer, dance and dramas,

Bali Beauty – The Real Thing

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder they say, yet go to any traditional Balinese ceremony or head out of the city and beauty is all around you. Temple ceremony days are the best places to see beautiful girls. This is the time when everyone dresses up in their best. Makeup, jewellery, all the

Tajen Bali : The Island’s Ritual Cockfight

If you ever happen to notice a long line of Hondas parked along a narrow road, or men discreetely rushing along with a rattan basket slung over their shoulder, chances are they are off to a cockfight or tajen. Cockfighting is as natural to the Balinese as breathing. Long after it was officially banned by

Men of the Soil, Bali’s Backbone

The people who work Bali’s fields now are no longer young. Their children have all been sent off to school, to get an education, to follow what they see as the way to a better life!  But is it? Is there any satisfaction as strong as standing over your newly turned field, or of watching

Now Bali
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