Bali: Paradise Replaced?

In years past there were several terrorist bombings in Bali which inflicted terrible suffering, they will be remembered as a defining moment in Bali’s history. These atrocities prompted a great deal of soul searching for the Balinese, it made them take a hard look at who they are and what their island is becoming. There

Bruce Granquist

Past & Present : How Bali Absorbs Cultures

Up to the present day, the Balinese have been remarkably open minded and genuinely curious about the life that has arrived on its shores. They could have reacted with fear and anger towards the attitudes and beliefs introduced to their island, some of which are radically different than their own. This is especially true considering

Conservation Kebun Raya

As noted in a previous issue, it is not easy to gain access to the forests of western Bali. This area is intended to be a sanctuary for Balinese flora and fauna. There is another option, however, for a person who wants to get a taste of nature, or an afternoon jaunt with the family

Bali’s Mangrove Swamps

There is one element of the forest ecosystem that is very accessible, but until recently hardly noticed. These are the humble mangrove swamps. Mangrove trees are not very pretty and grow in ill smelling places, so they can be easily passed by in favoUr of more ‘aesthetic’ trees. But ecologists see these trees as primadonnas

West Bali, The Border of Cultivation

If you travel west of Seririt the landscape changes quickly. Except for one road and some scattered villages this is undeveloped land. Contained in this area is a protected forest called the West Bali National Forest. This forest has been left undeveloped, although there are persistent rumours of illegal logging here. There is a stark

Mapping Bali – Coffee

The flowers appear at the beginning of the rainy season. There are 3-4 buds in each flower cluster, and each tree can produce thousands of flowers.  A tree in full bloom looks like it is dusted with snow, and fills the surrounding area with a delicate aroma. The harvesting and preparation of the beans is

Mapping Bali – Kebun Culture

Kebun Culture When traveling through the hillsides, both north and south, it will quickly become clear that you are not in rice country any more, these villages owe their livelihoods to the fruit trees and coffee bushes that thrive at these altitudes. There is a wide variety of cultivated plants in these areas. Within a

Mapping Bali 34 – Singaraja, The Old Capital

The major city in the north is Singaraja, in fact until the middle of the 20th century it was the only major point of entry to Bali. Singaraja was a flourishing place in those days with separate quarters for the Europeans, Bugis, Chinese and Arab inhabitants. Singaraja had temples (both Hindu and Confucian), mosques and

Tejakula Beach

Mapping Bali 33 : Turning to the Sea

Turning to the Sea Another strategy to survive this arid environment is to turn away from the hills and look to the sea. Generally speaking the Balinese don’t like the ocean, but know when to put it to good use. When the scarce rains fall in the arid regions, the people turn to the land

Mapping Bali 32 : Into the Arid Land

There is a dramatic transition as you head north through the valley between Mt. Agung and Mt. Seraya. You travel from thick forests and fertile rice fields into plains of dusty rocks and cacti. What happened to all the water? Considering that the rains of the rainy season blow from the north, onto the northeast

The Stage is Ready It’s Time to Begin

Sitting in the warung outside the temple watching the parade and carnival. Some people in full temple dress sparkling with gold thread, others in t-shirts and jeans. A man sells sate, other men drink beer and gamble on little coloured wooden shapes. An old man spits out beetle juice, red and thick, two dogs lock

Mapping Bali #30 : How a Balinese Temple is Used

As mentioned before, there is no standard arrangement for a temple. So to explain its system of courtyards we will focus in on one particular temple, Pura Geria Sakti from the village of Kendaran in south central Bali.  This is one of the grand temples in Bali that is associated with the famous priest from

The Music of Bali

The music of the gamelan is an equally rich and complex tradition. Like dance it makes itself accessible to a variety of skill levels. There are roles for those who have become experts, and there are places for someone else who just wants to hit a gong. It is a user friendly orchestra. If dance

Now Bali