Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My 4D3N Holiday in Bali - Day 2 Part 2

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.

After our little shopping escapade, we then proceeded to the Bangli Region to see an ancient Hindu Temple 45 minutes away from Denpasar. A Monarchic Temple, the structure consist of terraces representing the mountainside and serves as a symbol of fertility.

Again we had to wear a pink sash around our waist as well as a dark blue sarung (its like a batik loin cloth) before we could enter. We were lucky that day as a prayer procession was taking place heading towards the temple, so we got to see some of the preparations done for this festive occasion

Rows of terraces line the main temple with two main stairways leading to the temple courtyard inside.

Even the statues  there weren't spared and had to wear their "sarungs"

Once inside, the entire courtyard was already decorated with colourful altars, each bearing different kinds of offerings. The centre structure held all the musical instruments.

This is the main altar located on the far right corner with a bamboo makeshift stairway leading up to a platform, no doubt for some kind of ceremony later.

Other altars colourfully adorned with decorations and offerings line the pathway toward another temple structure to the left.

Here's something interesting - the walls that divide each section of the temple is adorned with china wares.

That miniature umbrella is just way too high and small for those men.

Some of the traditional musical instruments laid out awaiting their musicians to play them

This gateway is very common throughout all the temples in Bali. Its ancient in design and are usually made out of volcanic rocks.

The Temple Exit passageway and you can see how friendly the locals are for posing with us. The children are already in their traditional wear getting ready for the ceremony while their mother was a little shy to be in the picture.

I had wanted to take some pictures of some of the unique souvenirs sold at the stalls below the temple but the moment I reached the stall, I got swamped by other souvenir peddlers. At the same time, the place was getting a little too crowded as the procession drew nearer, so we decided to call it a day here.

Penglipuran Village

We then departed Kehen Temple to view Penglipuran Village, a traditional Balinese village that retains it's building structures as it was during the Maharaja days, with its society and culture emulating that period. I didn't see any electrical appliances in any of these houses despite seeing the electric cable overhead, but the atmosphere here is already cooling, since they're located 700 metres above sea level.

All these traditional houses are occupied by different family units, and they are very poor, living off meager offerings provided by the Government and tourists. When we reached the village, we were the only ones there. The moment we were at the street corner, all the inhabitants came out, sat by their gateway hoping we enter their residence. Sika told us the Government is doing their best trying to promote the village for tourism, and had recently embarked on an aggressive campaign.

At the entrance of the village lies the community hall, a relative open shed where the head of the village gathers his people for meetings, or just to relax. 

The street corner where each traditional Balinese dwelling lies side by side. Each house comes with their own temple compound, living quarters, and kitchen, representing the Head, Body and Feet.

The villagers upon hearing "here are some tourists" immediately comes out to greet us.

To get inside, you have to go through their main gate, which is open 24 hours. There's not much need for security here as crime is nearly non existent.

The villagers show off their individual status within their community by having more glamorous temples in their temple compound. The more glamorous your temple is, the higher your status are.

We depart Penglipura Village after visiting one housing complex (there were just too many to visit within an hour) and as we were approaching our MPV, we noticed more and more tourist showing up, which was a good sign.

Our final destination for the day was the famous Kintamani Volcano.

Kintamani Volcano

For my Kintamani Volcano highlight, I will need to borrow some images from the net as my camera ran out of juice, and my spare batteries apparently were not charged properly. I was only able to take three pictures, and that's it. We tried using out handphones to take some of the images but I have yet to download them into the PC so I'm not sure how the image quality is like.

The trip up to a favourite tourist spot to view Kintamani Volcano was harrowing. First the roads are windy and narrow. Second, each side you look at is a steep 45 -70 degree drop. So if you're like me terrified of heights, I would recommend driving up there.

The Kintamani Batur Volcano is still an active volcano, and at times are still spewing steam from its crater. It lies adjacent to the Batur Lake created by the last eruption that wiped out over 2,000 villagers in 1963, blanketing the sky over most of South East Asia with volcanic ash. This mountain has erupted over a recorded 24 times since 1800, and is one of the best tourist spot in Bali because of its panoramic view

We had our lunch in a nearby restaurant overseeing the volcano. The only problem I had with this site was the numerous souvenir peddlers that literally harass you as you try to take pictures. We spent like an hour and a half there before disembarking on a two hour drive to Lovina, where we stayed at the Melka Excelsior Hotel.

This hotel is unique as it has its own mini /petting zoo and a couple of well trained Dolphins for their Dolphin show. I'll highlight more on this hotel in my next blog post but first some images I got from the net to showcase what you can expect to see.

Next - Day 3 Part 1. Wild Dolphin sightseeing and another scenic Temple at a Volcanic Lake

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