Tag Archives: Bali

More snapshots from Bali

12 Apr

This past trip was too good to just put up one post with photos. Here’s some more sights seen around Ubud.

Coming up next: celebrating a year in country, more updates, thoughts, photos and more! (I know I slacked off for a while but I’m trying to play catch up now)

Nyepi — experiencing the Hindu New Year

11 Apr

Here’s what you need to know about Nyepi:

  • It’s the Hindu New Year.
  • The word Nyepi is derived from the word meaning “quiet” —makes sense considering the day is supposed to be spent in silence and introspection.
  • Going along with that, everything else on the island stops for 24 hours beginning at 6 a.m. The lights go off; people don’t speak, eat, drink or do a whole lot of anything. Even the airport shuts down, and if you are visiting Bali you aren’t permitted to leave hotel grounds. The only exception for activity on the island is reserved for emergency purposes. Though provided no one is doing anything, it would seem the risk for injury and illness is minimal.  There are even “religious police” that patrol the streets to enforce this. (Though it was tempting I didn’t test it.) The purpose of all this is two-fold:
    • It is meant to be cleansing for the body and mind, so you can start off the New Year right: fresh.
    • The second part has to do with the days preceding it. The Balinese Hindu create giant effigies, known as ogoh-ogoh, from wire, wood and foam. The day before Nyepi they carry these creations through town to scare evil spirits off the island.  They believe that once the evil spirits are scared away, they will return. When they come back, the island appears vacant because of the lack of activity and the evil spirits aren’t apparently interested in terrorizing a vacant island. So they go away leaving the island in peace and harmony once more.
  • Hence if you are going to visit Bali for Nyepi the real excitement is in the day before. The parades in Ubud were quite impressive but I hear Denpasar, the capitol, is where the biggest festivities are held.
  • That being said, the day off is a great time to take it easy and well, introspect.

So with all this in mind Continue reading

Snapshots from Nyepi and the Ubud temple celebration

31 Mar

Favorite photos from last week and a teaser for my next post where I’ll explain more about all these fantastical things and my vacation…

Reminder: mouse over for captions

A little more context: These photos are from two different religious events. The first of which was the anniversary of the main temple in Ubud, Bali. Celebrations are held annually to commemorate the consecration of varying temples according to the Hindu calendar which is shorter than the Gregorian calender that most of us go by. The second event was the Hindu New Year celebration, Nyepi. From what I can tell both are celebrated similarly in that families and the community join together to make offerings, pray and celebrate.

Snapshots from Pura Tanah Lot

30 Jan

Though the group I traveled with visited several places while on vacation in Bali last month, we covered the most ground the first day. We took an overnight train on Christmas from Surabaya and arrived in Ketapang, Banguwangi (Java Port) in the wee hours of the morning the next day. Though dreary from the train ride, it was refreshing to wake up with the sunrise over Bali while aboard the ferry from Java. The rest of the day comprised of bus and angkot rides, checking into our hostel/homestay, hitting up the beach followed by an afternoon walking adventure through some villages and it all ended with sunset at Pura Tanah Lot, a hindu sea temple and yet another go-to tourist spot.

A few of my favs from this day:

Snapshots from the Elephant Cave

15 Jan

One of the places visited in Bali was Gua Gajah in Ubud. It’s a Hindu cave-temple-sacred-jungle place. Gua Gajah means Elephant Cave. The dense jungle, fountains and temple ruins made for an interesting different and beautiful landscape, take a peek for yourself:

And last but not least a group photo in front of the entrance to elephant cave.

Snapshots from Ubud’s Sacred Monkey Forest

8 Jan

So I just got back from a splendid little vacay or liburan in Bali. I have tons of photos that will inevitably make it here, but for starters I thought I’d share some of my favorites that came Ubud’s Sacred Monkey Forest.