Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My 4D3N Holiday in Bali - Day 2 Part 1

Please note that I wasn't able to take pictures for some of the events during my Bali trip so some of these were sourced via Google.

Day 2 started out quite pleasant enough as I had enough time to sleep, but not enough to recuperate from my aching muscles. Taking a shower was already a feat but breakfast was nice. We checked out of Rani Hotel at around 9:00am to continue with the tour to Kintamani, Besakith and Lovina.

But of course if you have been to a tour organised by a reputable company, each tour will take you to some shop where you can look at unique things distributed from that home nation (except Hong Kong where I remembered the guide took us to a sweatshop - boy, was I mad. A real waste of time). Sika asked us for our preferred choice of handicrafts and we told him we didn't mind seeing silver/gold and wood handicrafts.

So we went to UC Silver jewellery (quite popular in Malaysia) where we got to see how they created their masterpieces. The trip there reminded me of Japanese animes where the houses are located on narrow road like the one below.

This is where I started noticing that every traditional household or businesses seem to have a rock altar located at the front of their premises.

We were led inside the main hall, passing through this narrow corridor until we reached the first workshop where they worked on silver ornaments and jewelleries.

This is their Quality Control Room where they inspect every single finished pieces.

Then we were led to the adjoining room where these people worked on silver, gold, jade and pearl jewelleries. As a scale modeler, the first thing I noticed were their tools. They were using simple hand made tools made of wood with wires attached to develop some of the most magnificent looking jewelleries I have ever seen (and here I am using advanced tools for my hobby .. blush)

After witnessing the manufacturing processes and stringent control of quality jewelleries (which I thought was amusing cause some of these "sculptors" were working with one leg balanced on their chair, and they were churning out masterpieces), we were taken to the shop area. Yup, this is where the Tour Guides get a commission for every sale made, and there's no obligation to buy.

I managed to snap away two pictures in the shop area when I was told camera was not allowed in there (for fear a rival company may "emulate" their designs), but I did manage to get permission to take pictures of the non-jewellery sculptures in there.

Instead of a banister, they used these which to me was a good idea. And they're so life like.

Upstairs they had these wooden carving representing a traditional Bali annual festival that had been passed on for generations. The proprietor did explain to me what each sculpture represent but for the life of me, I can't remember them now.

Next its off to the Wood Handicraft. But before we proceed there, I have to put up a NSFW Warning (Not Safe For Work) as some of the wooden sculpts there are ... erm .. quite interesting.

We went to Karya Mas Gallery which was a good 20 minutes drive (apparently a lot of the handicraft facilities are located nearby each other) and its a parking hell there. The place has a relatively small parking compound but the drivers are used to this and we managed to get in without any hassle. Again the first thing I noticed is the mini altar made of rock at the front end of the shop.

By the main entrance was also these wood carvers busily working on their projects. A sample of what they had complete were displayed at the front.

Inside the shop was an array of beautifully displayed wood carvings ranging from religious figures to animals, and then some.

I kinda liked their dragon carvings. There were quite a selection but packing these to take home was going to be a problem.

And boy, can these people wood carve. Check this one out.

No comment on this one, but it did raise a few eyebrows from the Australian ladies there.

Fancy sitting on these?

And these are life size carvings of ... erm ... well, you get the picture.

We did have an ulterior motive for visiting the wood handy craft centre, you see, my wife collects owls. And Bali has some of the most magnificent owl sculptures in the world. I think she spent bucko bucks there on her owls.

I only got these .. and they are for my office colleagues when I get back. Well, if they had a sculpt of the USS Enterprise or the Galactica, I'd probably buy one. It is amusing though that when we were doing our selection, the shop assistant was busy "organising" my dolphins.

We decided to leave after spending like 2 hours there. Stay any longer and my wife is going to buy off all their supply of owls.

Next - Day 2 Part 2. More Ancient Temples and see a Traditional Bali House.

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