•  
Results 1 - 20 of 41

41 Search Results for "puppets"

  • In Touch with the Real World: In Touch with the Real World: Vietnam Bicycle Tour

    • From: Activetravel
    • Description:

      Because the technology makes traveling easier than it was hundreds years ago, today people fly from places to places to experience the different cultures in various countries. Vietnam, however, is one place that people think it is the place left in the world that is so close to the “reality.” Many destinations have not yet been explored by travelers.

      Vietnam is a bicycle-friendly country. Many people use bikes to commute in Vietnam. Bicycle travelers, Bill Fridl, Patrick Morris and David Foster chose their ways to discover the country. They cycled in Vietnam between 1995 and 2000. If you choose this method to sightsee in Vietnam, time can be the issue. Plan a trip with time flexibility to ensure a good quality trip. Cycling in Vietnam, time and energy are what you need. Knowing basic techniques to take care your bike would be a plus, and you can usually find some locals to help you with the bicycle problems. However, the language barrier could be a challenge.

      The bicycle brings more adventure excitments

      People who had traveled to Vietnam agreed that it was an interesting experience in general, but the bicycle tours definitely brought more adventurous excitements. There are two directions you can go. From north to south, you can visit Hanoi, Hue, Danang and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) in that order. Or choose the other way travel from south to north. You can fly to Saigon and bike to Danang, Hue and Hanoi. I figure that if I am biking from place to place, I don’t want to go back and forth. Additionally, I want to at least visit and spend some time at the four big cities in Vietnam.

      According to some experienced bicycling travelers, it will take about three weeks to finish the route, but it really depends on how much time you want to spend in these places as a tourist, meaning sightseeing and just hanging out to relax. The benefit and disadvantage of the bike tour is that you might feel the cultural shocks sooner than regular “tourists” because you are so close to the locals.

      Be prepared for the cultural clashes

      Beginning from national capital Hanoi, a city called the “Paris of the Orient” because of the beautiful lakes and shaded streets. The beauty of the bike tour is that you can meet the locals and observe what they are doing every day. Friendly smiles, sunshine beaches and yummy food, they are all the amazing things to attract biker’s attention on the way to their next destination. While hanging out nearHanoi, Frenchtown, Ho Chi Minh Museum, Presidential Palace, Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple are hot spots to visit. Hanoi is a historical town where visitors can find evidence of the history.

      Hearing so many people’s stories about visiting Hanoi, Bat Trang sounds like an attractive place. The town specializes in making large pottery and porcelain using traditional methods. The history dates back since the 16th century. This destination might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I am usually attracted by the things like that. Besides, Bat Trang is located in the southeast of Hanoi about 17 kilometers away.

      Hue, known as one of the most beautiful cities in Vietnam, is the royal family’s former residence. Hue is also the heart of culture, religion and education. After days of biking, visiting the Thien Mu Pagoda is a peaceful journey. When you feel like a little bit of sunshine and salty water, the Thuan An Beach connects to the South China Sea and is about 13 kilometers from Hue. The beach has a protected lagoon. Although foreigners need to pay the fee to enter the area, it is still a popular location.

      Along the Perfum River (Huong Giang), there are many places to see such as Hon Chen Temple, Minh Mang Tomb and Gia Long Tomb. They are solemn locations with great masterpieces of architecture. Other things such as people’s activities on the streets and the view at the Trang Tien Bridge can also be appealing to visitors as well.

      Start from Hue and bike 108 kilometers south, you arrive at Danang. It might sound like a long way, but you will enjoy the view of Lang Co Beach and Hai Van Pass. In 1965, Danang became one of the biggest US military bases in Southeast Asia.

      The China Beach (Non Nuoc) is about 15 kilometers from Danang and about one kilometer away from the Marble Mountains. The beach is a popular surfing and swimming resort from March to August. Sponsored by the Vietnamese government and other various organizations, there is a surfing contest held in the area every year. Danang is also the third biggest city in Vietnam.

      Finally, you reach Saigon. The city had been through so many times of name changes. Today, it is known as the Ho Chi Minh City worldwide although not many Vietnamese use it. Saigon is probably the most famous city in Vietnam due to its frequent media exposure.

      In Saigon, I won’t miss the water puppet theater for the world. The show is only 20 to 30 minutes long. It is for the children’s entertainment, but it will please all ages. There are two fixed venues, History Museum and War Crimes Museum. It requires many difficult techniques to make a great water puppets show. There are also fixed venues for water puppet shows in Hanoi. Planning the trip, I would probably include the shows at the two cities and called it a Vietnam Water Puppet Tour.

      Some people think Saigon is a dangerous city because of the aggressive drivers, prostitutes, child beggars and other criminals. Experienced travelers recommend being aware of the bui doi (street kids). Vietnamese called them the dust of life. They sell random goods for a living and sometimes steal from tourists. Foreign bikers also think that it is the most confusing place to ride a bike. There are not many traffic lights in the district. Most of the roads seem to be one-way, but not many people follow the signs so be prepared for the chaotic situation.

      Move slowly and prepare for the chaotic streets

      Today, the Internet is so convenient that there is so much information about traveling. Use the search engine leads you to many travelers’ unique stories.

      Visit the following links to read about cycling in Vietnam: Active Travel Asia

    • Blog post
    • 2 years ago
    • Views: 347
    • Not yet rated
  • In Touch with the Real World: In Touch with the Real World: Vietnam Bicycle Tour

    • From: Activetravel
    • Description:
      Because the technology makes traveling easier than it was hundreds years ago, today people fly from places to places to experience the different cultures in various countries.Vietnam, however, is one place that people think it is the place left in the world that is so close to the “reality.” Many destinations have not yet been explored by travelers.
      Vietnam is a bicycle-friendly country. Many people use bikes to commute in Vietnam. Bicycle travelers, Bill Fridl, Patrick Morris and David Foster chose their ways to discover the country. They cycled in Vietnam between 1995 and 2000. If you choose this method to sightsee in Vietnam, time can be the issue. Plan a trip with time flexibility to ensure a good quality trip. Cycling in Vietnam, time and energy are what you need. Knowing basic techniques to take care your bike would be a plus, and you can usually find some locals to help you with the bicycle problems. However, the language barrier could be a challenge.
       The bicycle brings more adventure excitments
      People who had traveled to Vietnam agreed that it was an interesting experience in general, but the bicycle tours definitely brought more adventurous excitements. There are two directions you can go. From north to south, you can visit Hanoi, Hue, Danang and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) in that order. Or choose the other way travel from south to north. You can fly to Saigon and bike to Danang, Hue and Hanoi. I figure that if I am biking from place to place, I don’t want to go back and forth. Additionally, I want to at least visit and spend some time at the four big cities in Vietnam.
      According to some experienced bicycling travelers, it will take about three weeks to finish the route, but it really depends on how much time you want to spend in these places as a tourist, meaning sightseeing and just hanging out to relax. The benefit and disadvantage of the bike tour is that you might feel the cultural shocks sooner than regular “tourists” because you are so close to the locals. 
       Be prepared for the cultural clashes

      Beginning from national capital Hanoi, a city called the “Paris of the Orient” because of the beautiful lakes and shaded streets. The beauty of the bike tour is that you can meet the locals and observe what they are doing every day. Friendly smiles, sunshine beaches and yummy food, they are all the amazing things to attract biker’s attention on the way to their next destination. While hanging out near Hanoi, Frenchtown, Ho Chi Minh Museum, Presidential Palace, Hoan Kiem Lake,Ngoc Son Temple are hot spots to visit. Hanoi is a historical town where visitors can find evidence of the history.
      Hearing so many people’s stories about visiting Hanoi, Bat Trang sounds like an attractive place. The town specializes in making large pottery and porcelain using traditional methods. The history dates back since the 16th century. This destination might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I am usually attracted by the things like that. Besides, Bat Trang is located in the southeast of Hanoiabout 17 kilometers away.
      Hue, known as one of the most beautiful cities in Vietnam, is the royal family’s former residence.Hue is also the heart of culture, religion and education. After days of biking, visiting the Thien Mu Pagoda is a peaceful journey. When you feel like a little bit of sunshine and salty water, the Thuan An Beach connects to the South China Sea and is about 13 kilometers from Hue. The beach has a protected lagoon. Although foreigners need to pay the fee to enter the area, it is still a popular location.
      Along the Perfum River (Huong Giang), there are many places to see such as Hon Chen Temple, Minh Mang Tomb and Gia Long Tomb. They are solemn locations with great masterpieces of architecture. Other things such as people’s activities on the streets and the view at the Trang TienBridge can also be appealing to visitors as well.
      Start from Hue and bike 108 kilometers south, you arrive at Danang. It might sound like a long way, but you will enjoy the view of Lang Co Beach and Hai Van Pass. In 1965, Danang became one of the biggest US military bases in Southeast Asia.
       
      The China Beach (Non Nuoc) is about 15 kilometers from Danang and about one kilometer away from the Marble Mountains. The beach is a popular surfing and swimming resort from March to August. Sponsored by the Vietnamese government and other various organizations, there is a surfing contest held in the area every year. Danang is also the third biggest city in Vietnam.
      Finally, you reach Saigon. The city had been through so many times of name changes. Today, it is known as the Ho Chi Minh City worldwide although not many Vietnamese use it. Saigon is probably the most famous city in Vietnam due to its frequent media exposure.
      In Saigon, I won’t miss the water puppet theater for the world. The show is only 20 to 30 minutes long. It is for the children’s entertainment, but it will please all ages. There are two fixed venues,History Museum and War Crimes Museum. It requires many difficult techniques to make a great water puppets show. There are also fixed venues for water puppet shows in Hanoi. Planning the trip, I would probably include the shows at the two cities and called it a Vietnam Water Puppet Tour.
      Some people think Saigon is a dangerous city because of the aggressive drivers, prostitutes, child beggars and other criminals. Experienced travelers recommend being aware of the bui doi (street kids). Vietnamese called them the dust of life. They sell random goods for a living and sometimes steal from tourists. Foreign bikers also think that it is the most confusing place to ride a bike. There are not many traffic lights in the district. Most of the roads seem to be one-way, but not many people follow the signs so be prepared for the chaotic situation.
       Move slowly and prepare for the chaotic streets
      Today, the Internet is so convenient that there is so much information about traveling. Use the search engine leads you to many travelers’ unique stories.
      Visit the following links to read about cycling in Vietnam: Active Travel Asia
    • Blog post
    • 2 years ago
    • Views: 374
    • Not yet rated
  • Rajasthan Tours Cultural Diver Rajasthan Tours Cultural Diversity

    • From: gnrl
    • Description:

      Rajasthan tours are all about exploring tourism in Rajasthan. The royal state of Rajasthan is well known for its royal forts, palaces and beautiful havelis. The Tour to India Rajasthan provides an access to rich cultural diversity of India in general. When you go out on Rajasthan holidays, you’d get to know about the customs, culture, costumes, music, manners, dialects, cuisine and much more. The Rajasthan package Tours also include Rajasthan wildlife tour as well as Rajasthan heritage tour. Travel Rajasthan, the abode of kings, the place of traditional and cultural diversity, and all the more, rituals and customs that put an amazing semblance.

      Royal Treatment

      The old palaces have been converted into luxury hotels where the tourists on royal Rajasthan tour can expect a stately treatment. It is indeed a wonderful feeling to stay at destinations that were once inhabited by the royal families. Relaxing spa treatments and Jacuzzi baths add charm to the Rajasthan tours and expeditions. Those looking for budget accommodations can also enjoy the hospitality of the people in the region.

      Colorful Markets

      Visit any of the popular cities in Rajasthan and you can have a great fun exploring the colorful markets of that city. Bangles made of lac and varieties of precious gems are bound to attract your attention in Jaipur markets. Blue pottery and handicrafts too add to the fun of shopping if you choose the city among various Rajasthan tours.

      The markets in Ajmer offer assorted varieties of block printed fabrics, metal art work and embroidered clothes. Carpets, kundan jewelry items, quilts and figurines made of variety of metals are popular items to purchase in Bikaner. Jodhpur has its markets flooded with colorful footwear, popularly called mojris or jutis. Shops selling antiques too draw the attention of tourists.

      For tie and dye fabrics, silver jewelry, colorful puppets and marble showpieces, one needs to head towards the markets in Udaipur. Hand painted items, leather products, beautiful toys and many other items take the shopping experience during Rajasthan Tours to India a higher level.

      Delicious Cuisines

      Any of the royal Rajasthan tour can’t end without relishing upon the amazing tastes of local cuisines. Daal-baati, chaavadi, tarfini, mewa kachori, panchkoota and various other popular cuisines of Rajasthan leave a long-lasting impact on the tourists. Sweet dishes, including churma, halwa, balusahi and ghevar are irresistibly delicious as well.

      Camel safari tour on Rajasthan tours is another fun-filled activity to look forward to. Elephant festivals, folk music, colorful turbans, beautiful women attires and many such things help one extract the maximum pleasure out of a royal Rajasthan tour.

    • Blog post
    • 3 years ago
    • Views: 259
  • puppets in a puppet maker's ho puppets in a puppet maker's home in Jaipur

    • From: gmaso
    • Description:

      Jaipur puppet maker's home with kids and family all of whom helped in the construction of the puppets.

    • 3 years ago
    • Views: 215
    • Not yet rated
  • Sicilian Puppets 2 Sicilian Puppets 2

    • From: aoitori4500
    • Description:

      We had went to see the Sicilan puppet theater. This particular puppet I found captivating. Like it had a life of its own.

    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 233
  • Sicilian Puppets Sicilian Puppets

    • From: aoitori4500
    • Description:

      Puppets at a Puppet Theater in Sicily

    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 213
    • Not yet rated
  • Sicilian Puppets 3 Sicilian Puppets 3

    • From: aoitori4500
    • Description:

      Sicily Puppet Theater shop

    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 229
    • Not yet rated
  • London, England, was the desti London, England, was the destination with theatre and specialty restaurant highlights

    • From: lindacarol
    • Description:

      London, England, was the destination, and a visit with family was in order, which has always included visits to theatres and specialty restaurants.

      An uneventful trip overseas on American Airlines from St. Louis, connecting through New York, was relaxing with good service. My son sent a car to pick me up at Heathrow Airport. I hurried off the plane to get through customs as early as possible, and I followed my sons' advice to bring only a carry on and a back pack, so I did not have to spend time waiting to retrieve luggage. My purse along with an extra set of clothes and shoes, as well as snacks, and a good book to read fit nicely into the backpack, which squished easily under the seat in front of me on the airplane. The trip into London by car is interesting due to the opportunity to see the surrounging English countryside.

      That afternoon we ate lunch at one of my daughter-in-law's favorite Italian restaurants, The Border, near Tower Hill. I enjoyed a light lunch of proscuito, which is shaved ham and melon and a glass of wine.

      Dinner in the evening was at Wild Hoeny Restaurant, which has earned 1 Michelin Star. The baked cod was very good, along with the house wine.

      The next evening we attended the Savoy Theatre to see the play, "Legally Blonde." The singers were very upbeat with lots of energy.

      A day was well spent at the British Museum with lunch at the Gallery Cafe inside the museum. There were special exhibits which included Chinese artifacts, and an interesting history of the use of jade.

      We had dinner reservations at a French restaurant, La Gavroche, in the evening, where we spent three hours enjoying the tasting menu. There were many courses of wonderful food including two types of h'oerdoerves, lamb, beef with peas and carrots, pork, spicy shrimp, octopus and shallots, savory beet salad, frommage (goat cheese was exceptional), asparagus in sauce, several kinds of bread, petit fours, and a cream dessert with fresh strawberries. The wine service was interesting and involved the use of a candle as the wine was poured from the bottle into a decanter before being served. As we finished our meal the chef came out to ask if we had enjoyed it, and we assured him that we had.

      The next evening was spent at The Palace Theatre viewing a play titled,  The Desert Rose, which was filled with innuendoes.

      The Haz Restaurant, with a red rose decorating our the table, provided an excellent lunch the next day before we traveled to the theatre to see our last play, "War Horse." It was interesting to see the horse portrayed by puppets grow to maturity during the war. The puppet horses were each operated by three people, who were able to emulate the actions of a real horse. It was a moving story line with good music.

      The last day in London entailed a visit to St. Katherine's Dock where we enjoyed an Indian dinner at Mala Restaurant. The chicken tikka masala was very good.

      My son requested a car to drive me to Heathrow Airport the next morning, where I caught an American Airlines flight back to New York, connecting to St. Louis. It was also an uneventful trip with good service.

    • Blog post
    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 396
    • Not yet rated
  • Bali - Island of the Gods Bali - Island of the Gods

    • From: Kahealani
    • Description:

      Lotus PondCeking FarmerBlessings at Tanah LotTaman UjungDeath by KrisElephant RideCeking FarmerAnyone who knows that I'm a bonafide Francophile and Italophile was surprised by my decision to take my first trip to Southeast Asia.  What could possibly lure me away from my beloved France or Italy?  The answer is…  Anthony Bourdain.  His show on Bali intrigued me; it looked like a beautiful and peaceful destination.  My second influence, however, did come from France.  My friend, Jacques, had been missing in action (i.e. absent from E-mails and texts) in Paris for awhile.  When he finally got back to me, he confessed that he had just spent three weeks in Bali.  Knowing me as well as he does, he insisted that it was truly the Island of the Gods and the perfect place for me.  Based on that and the appropriate number of miles in one of my frequent flyer accounts, I booked a ticket to Bali with the slightest bit of apprehension.

       

       

      THE SPIRITUAL SIDE

       

      Traveling alone through Seminyak, Ubud, Candidasa and Legian was a very spiritual experience for me.  Bali was healing, yet it was Ubud that gave me inner peace. I would arise when darkness still veiled the flora & fauna. Sitting on the porch of my bungalow in my sarong & listening to the cacophony of the frogs, roosters, ducks, crickets, locusts & everything else relaxed me. Then when the dawn began to creep in, the scent of incense would assail my nostrils & I would walk amongst the flower-strewn pathways.

       

      Bali is filled with temples, the most famous probably being Uluwatu, Pura Ulun Danu and Tanah Lot.  I’ve visited all three & had different experiences at each of them.  My friend & I had gone to Uluwatu to witness the kecak dance that is performed every evening.  Watching a “tribal” performance being danced & chanted at sunset with an ancient temple as its backdrop is truly amazing.  When my boyfriend & I arrived at Pura Ulun Danu with our driver, the weather was cool & overcast.  Even so, many tourists were still there.  I didn’t get any particular feeling of spirituality there, & merely ran about taking pictures as quickly as I could.

       

      Tanah Lot was another experience altogether.  For those of you who are unfamiliar, Tanah Lot is a temple that is surrounded by the ocean.  It’s only accessible at low tide.  My boyfriend & I were there on a particularly hot & humid afternoon, while our driver opted to sit in the shade in the parking lot.  We saw the temple in the distance, took several pictures, then somehow managed to lose each other in the crowd.  I ended up going back to the parking lot, where our driver volunteered to go in search of my boyfriend.  Once he was located, my boyfriend wanted me to go to a particular restaurant with him because it had a gorgeous view of Tanah Lot from its terrace.  While sitting on that terrace enjoying an ice cold beverage, we noticed that it was now low tide & several tourists were making their way to the temple.  According to my guidebook, non-Hindus are not allowed at the temple.  Yet I sat there & watched as more & more non-Hindu tourists walked through the ocean to Tanah Lot.  Of course, my boyfriend & I immediately decided to join them.  We walked to the temple, where we were told to wash our faces with the holy water.  The priests then blessed us, placed rice on our foreheads & gave us a flower.  Next we waited at the “gate” to the upper temple.  While waiting, the priests informed us that we would need sarongs in order to be allowed at the top of the temple.  Even more determined, we raced back to the shore, bought sarongs from the nearest vendor & returned to the “gate” to wait our turn.  A solitary priest eventually led us to the top of the temple where we sat in the open air.  He instructed us in the proper way to pray with him, then he also blessed us & placed rice on our foreheads.  There was something immensely moving about sitting at the top of Tanah Lot with waves crashing all around us while the Hindu priest prayed.  Both my boyfriend & I were nearly speechless afterwards, yet we both agreed that it had been quite a stirring experience.

       

      THE PARTY CIRCUIT

       

      Can you say Hu’u?  While you’re at it, what about Ku De Ta and/or The Living Room?  When my friend traveled to Bali with me, we arrived in the afternoon.  By early evening, we were already fighting major jet lag.  Yet as soon as one of us would lay down on the bed, the other would rouse them & guilt them into going out somewhere.  On that first Thursday, we had dinner at a local warung, had drinks at Sawasdeekha, then dozed off in the cab on our way to Hu’u!  Once the house music woke us up, however, we had a few drinks there.  As gorgeous as it was, the place was not exactly happening on a Thursday night.  Drinks were in the San Francisco range (i.e. about $15 for a bellini) and the bartenders seemed immensely bored.

       

      We walked across the street to The Living Room.  We crossed the candlelit outdoor seating area, then a beautiful interior seating area before coming across the bar in the back.  Even though it was a Thursday night, the moderate crowd was lively and dancing around to the DJ spinning her tracks.  Bartenders were extremely friendly and the crowd was mostly ex-pats.  We were having such a good time that we closed the place down at 3:00 a.m. on a THURSDAY, mind you!  We also met several European & Oceanic ex-pats, a few of who ended up partying with us later on in our vacation.

       

      Many of the trendier bars/restaurants/clubs in Bali are partially open to the elements.  They may be covered, but the sides are open to the sun and the sea.  That being said, my two favorite  restaurants/bars/clubs in this genre are Ku De Ta & Anantara.  You can sit in the “lounge” area of Ku De Ta which, as to be expected, is open to the elements on 3 sides.  On one of those sides, chaise lounges are provided for those who want to swim before eating or drinking, or for those who wish to chill & watch the sunset.  My favorite spot at Anantara is the extensive “sofa” on the beach, stocked with fluffy pillows & a small table every 5 feet or so to set your drinks.

       

       

      MORE TOURISTIC STUFF

       

      Ubud has plenty of museums.  Though I went to both the ARMA and the Neka Museums while there, my favorite was the Antonio Blanco Museum.  The museum is what used to be part of his actual living quarters.  The green space surrounding the museum is filled with many exotic birds.  His works, many of Balinese women and dancers, are most definitely erotic.  Even the frames the paintings are framed in are highly decorative and unusual.

       

      The first two times I went to Bali, I hadn’t realized that there was an elephant park.  Once I read about Taro Elephant Park, it was at the top of my list of places to visit.  We each paid a fee of approximately $US57, which included admission & a half hour ride on an elephant.  We walked in & immediately started hand feeding bamboo to the elephants, under the supervision of the mahouts.  We petted them & took several pictures.  Some of the elephants even drop a flowered wreath around you.  The mahouts are there to supervise & answer any questions that you may have.  There was 30 minute show where the elephants, among other things, painted, played soccer and played basketball.  Then it was time for our ride.  Our mahout explained that our elephant’s name was Sengiggi & that her temperament was a bit naughty.  We rode through the jungle area & through water.  True to her nature, Sengiggi got a bit testy at one point.  She trumpeted & ran over to the side of the path, where she grabbed a trunkful of bamboo before getting back in line.

       

      Three sites which I thoroughly enjoyed visiting were Tirta Gangga, Tirta Empul and  Gunung Kawi.  Tirta Gangga is considered a water palace dominated by an 11-tiered lotus fountain.  There appeared to be two main sacred, spring-fed pools where locals can swim and bathe. The complex is surrounded by lush gardens, beautiful fountains and many statues.   Tirta Empul is a sacred spring where twelve water spouts pour holy water into a long pool.  There is a huge courtyard with various shrines and pavilions.  It was reputed to be President Suharto’s summer residence.  My guide told me to wash my face with the holy water as it would banish all nightmares and bad things.  Though many children had been playing at Tirta Gangga, Tirta Empul seemed more hallowed.  Gunung Kawi is the site of an ancient monument.  I walked down many, many steps passing by terraced rice paddies, ducks and vendors selling drinks and souvenirs along the way.  There are two distinct areas where you will come across huge niches carved out of the rock, which are known as candi.  A local was trying to point me towards a waterfall, but the path led along a narrow ridge above two rice fields.  I tried to explain that I was a bit afraid of heights, so he held my hand and led the way.  When the path became slippery, he carried me on his back until we arrived at the waterfall!  Of course, he expected some small monetary compensation for my manual transport, but I gladly paid him!  Be forewarned that the long walk back is uphill and seems torturous in the humidity.  Don’t forget to bring your own bottled water or be prepared to pay double the normal price to the vendors along the way.

       

      DANCE PERFORMANCES

       

      I am enthralled with legong, kebyar, kecak and other dances of the Balinese.  Most of these performances are found in Ubud or in smaller surrounding villages.  The average price of tickets were from US$7.00 to US$10.00.  Their colorful costumes, the classical movements, their flashing eyes and the way the women kick the long train of their dresses as they turn mesmerized me.  These dances are usually accompanied by gamelan music.  The gamelan is an ensemble of gongs, xylophones, chimes, cymbals, etc.  The music may sound like organized chaos to many.  In fact, I distinctly remember a woman holding her head as though she had a headache when the music began at a dance performance.  My first impression was much the same, but I became not only used to it, but hypnotized by it.  Even now, when I hear gamelan music, I feel as if my soul has left my body and transported me back to Bali.

       

      ACCOMMODATIONS

       

      There are all types of accomodations to be found in Bali.  Homestays (where prices can be $7-$15 per night), hotels (usually from $20-$80 per night) to luxury villas.  I mainly stayed at moderately priced bungalows for $35 per night which included either air conditioning or a ceiling fan, as well as breakfast.

       

      Honeymoon Guesthouse in Ubud is a beautiful place.  There is an on-site restaurant, pool and massage area.  My friend & I stayed in one of their Dewi bungalows for approximately $44/night, including breakfast.  Our bungalow had a porch with daybed, & a table & chairs for breakfast.  The interior offered a bed with a mosquito netting canopy, a ceiling fan & a mini bar.  The open air bathroom featured a separate shower and bathtub, and a gorgeous Venetian mirror adorning the wall.  Since this beautiful hotel is associated with two restaurants, Casa Luna and Indus, breakfast was wonderful.  Some of the breakfast choices were banana/coconut crepes and nasi goreng.  The owner, Janet de Neefe, offers cooking classes in the family compound for approximately $27 per person.

       

      On the most recent stay at Honeymoon Guesthouse, my boyfriend & I stayed in one of their Krishna bungalows for approximately $50/night, including breakfast.  Our upstairs bungalow had a huge terrace with a massive carved doorway, Balinese statues, a drying rack for clothes, & a table & chairs for breakfast.  Once again, the interior was outfitted with a bed with mosquito netting, air conditioning and a mini bar.  The bathroom, though not open air, still had a separate enclosed shower and bathtub, along with another drying rack for clothes.

       

      Temple Café and Seaside Cottages in Candidasa is owned by an Aussie, but the Balinese hospitality is apparent.  This little place has everything – seaside cottages, a restaurant and bar on-site, as well as a boutique and spa/salon attached/next door.  Temple Café serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.  The bar offers a full bar with Happy Hour prices.  My cottage fronting the ocean had carved wooden doors, a porch, air conditioning and hot water in my own private bathroom with shower for RP190,000.

       

      TRANSPORTATION

       

      In comparison to the United States, taxis are so affordable in Bali.  In Legian, nearly anywhere I went cost the equivalent of US$2.00 or US$3.00.

       

      Of course, you can also hire drivers off the street and negotiate prices with them.  When I found a driver I liked, I kept using him.  For day trips, it is common to hire a driver for approximately US$40 to transport one to four people around in excess of 10 hours.  This price generally includes gas, mileage, bottled water, parking, temple clothing (if required), umbrellas (in case of rain) and possibly entrance fees.

       


      SAFETY

       

      One of my concerns about Bali was wondering if I would be safe traveling alone.  After the initial day of adjustment, safety never crossed my mind again.  The Balinese tend to be respectful and reserved in nearly any situation.  Hiring a driver off of the street and getting into his car never made me uneasy.

       

      FOOD AND DRINK

       

      For a traveler to Bali coming from the United States, there are no required vaccinations for entry.  Many were suggested, but I had no inoculations whatsoever on any of the trips, and I never became ill.

       

      Every type of food and drink are available in the major tourist areas of Bali.  I stuck mainly to Indonesian/Balinese food, which is flavorful and spicy.  My favorite discoveries have been mie goring (fried noodles with chicken & vegetables), grilled red snapper with sambal and sate lillit (minced fish with spices served sate-style on a lemongrass stick).  Normal water is not drinkable in Bali.  Therefore, I only drank bottled water and preferred my drinks at restaurants/bars without ice cubes.  Bottled water is very affordable and easy to find.

       

      SPA TREATMENTS

       

      Spa treatments are inexpensive and plentiful in Bali.  I had a facial and/or massage nearly every day; sometimes twice a day!  To spell it out, many of the massages I had cost the equivalent of US$6.00 to US$15.00 for one hour, and these were NOT the massages that tourists are offered when they’re on the beach at Kuta.  All of my spa treatments were performed in nice facilities.

       

      Zen Bali Spa is located in the vicinity of the ARMA Museum in Ubud.  I received the hardest/strongest massage of all of my trips here.  It was actually painful at times.  This may have been due to the fact that my calves and thighs were still suffering from my trek to Gunung Kawai three days earlier!  One hour massages were RP75,000, exfoliating body scrubs were Rp30,000 to RP35,000; facials were RP75,000 to RP80,000.

       

      Eve Body Treatment Centre on Monkey Forest Road in Ubud gave me the best massages on both trips.  The first time I had the white jasmine lulur body scrub, which included a traditional Balinese massage, shower and soak in a flower petal bath for RP125,000.  When I returned the following year, I had a fantastic 90 minute combination massage.  A few days later, I went for a body mask, specifically the Balinese boreh.  This most interesting technique included a massage, then being covered by spices, wrapped cocoon-style and being left to "marinate" for 10-15 minutes.  During this time, I became very hot and my body began tingling.  I think this is because the boreh is reputed to remove toxins from the body.

       

      SHOPPING

       

      I'm a self-proclaimed shopaholic.  It's evidenced by the fact that my entire apartment is furnished with souvenirs from trips abroad – oil paintings, watercolors, wood carvings, masks, mirrors, wall hangings, photos.  In Bali, it's a good idea to pack an extra, empty suitcase.  Believe me, when you return home, it will be overflowing.  As with every place, you can find the generic souvenirs in Bali that can be found most anywhere.  These include T-shirts, baseball caps, key chains and magnets to name a few.  Yet Bali is filled with beautiful items for your home, as well as to adorn yourself with.  The Kuta/Legian/Seminyak area is best to find swimsuits, funky clothing and home furnishings.  Ubud is the perfect place for clothing such as silk dresses, handbags and jewelry.  The surrounding villages are in full supply of kites, paintings and wood carvings.  I would personally skip Celuk, however.  I think the prices are better and the selection just as good in Ubud.  In fact, much of the jewelry that I saw in Celuk was higher priced than Indonesian jewelry that I've seen at the Jewelry Mart in Los Angeles.  To sum it all up, my major purchases were shadow puppets, silk dresses, handmade purses from Tenganan, silver and shell jewelry, sandals and slippers, textiles, stunning trays and bowls of mother of pearl and other shell, and paintings/drawings.

       

      CONS

       

      Be prepared to drink plenty of bottled water in Bali.  Regular tap water is not drinkable.  I carried bottled water everywhere I went.  I also brushed my teeth with bottled water.

       

      If you’re into French or Italian wines, you’ll slightly out of luck in Bali.  French, Italian and Napa/Sonoma wines seem to be few and far between at most restaurants and bars.  When one does come across them, they are rather exorbitantly priced.  What I found in Bali were mostly Australian or South African wines.  The Balinese do have their own winery, Hatten, but (in my opinion) the wines were horrible.

       

      I don’t know about you, but mosquitoes love me.  I’ve been known to return from Hawaii with 30 bites on a single leg, so you can only imagine how I was basically eaten alive in Bali!  The Balinese recommend a cream called Autan.  They told me that “American stuff” (I can only assume they mean Off) doesn’t work.  I would also advise travelers to purchase mosquito coils to burn inside or outside your room in the evening.

       

       

      THE PEOPLE

       

      The people of Bali define its core.  I found them to be sincere, gentle and pleasant.  Following are just a few examples of kindness I’d encountered.

       

      In Ubud, I’d hired a tailor to make a few dresses for me.  Once I’d sketched them out and chosen the fabric, she promised that they would be ready within 3 or 4 days.  When I returned on the 3rd day, one was ready, but the other was not.  She had not finished my second dress because her mother had passed away.  Even so, she apologized profusely and assured me that it would be finished the following day.  I, of course, felt bad and assured her that she could take all the time she needed for the second dress, but it was finished the following morning.

       

      Also in Ubud, I’d hired a driver to take me to a restaurant.  While in his car, there was a song on the radio that I’d heard all over Bali.  When I mentioned it to him, since we had extra time before my dinner reservation, he insisted on taking me to Ubud Music.  Inside, he hummed the song to the employees.  They found the CD and played it for me to make sure that it was the correct one.  Then the driver insisted on paying for the CD and giving it to me as a gift because he wanted me to always remember Bali.

       

      One afternoon I was having lunch at a small café in Legian.  The waitress noticed the swollen mosquito bites on my arms.  She went in the back and came out with some type of cream which she applied to the bites; she told me that it would make the swelling go down.  When I thanked her and tipped her upon leaving, she asked me why I tipped her!  Why indeed?!  I am not used to such kind treatment in the United States.

       

      IN CLOSING

       

      Although Bali definitely remains a third world country in many ways and is filled with poverty, I still find it to be a personal paradise for me.

    • Blog post
    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 1329
  • Monks at Play Monks at Play

    • From: donutdollie
    • Description:

      These young monks were walking down a dirt road by puppet shops in a small village in Myanmar. Puppets resembling monks are popular in Myanmar. This photo was taken only several months after the monks staged a revolt against the military junta that rules the country.

    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 245
  • Carol Tours Saugatuck 40 Carol Tours Saugatuck 40

    • From: ljbasgall
    • Description:

      Carol Feathers, Mascot for The Village Puppeteers of Saugatuck tours the popular tourist destination

    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 212
    • Not yet rated
  • Carol Tours Saugatuck 38 Carol Tours Saugatuck 38

    • From: ljbasgall
    • Description:

      Carol Feathers, Mascot for The Village Puppeteers of Saugatuck tours the popular tourist destination

    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 191
    • Not yet rated
  • Carol Tours Saugatuck 39 Carol Tours Saugatuck 39

    • From: ljbasgall
    • Description:

      Carol Feathers, Mascot for The Village Puppeteers of Saugatuck tours the popular tourist destination

    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 181
    • Not yet rated
  • Carol Tours Saugatuck 37 Carol Tours Saugatuck 37

    • From: ljbasgall
    • Description:

      Carol Feathers, Mascot for The Village Puppeteers of Saugatuck tours the popular tourist destination

    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 147
    • Not yet rated
  • Carol Tours Saugatuck 17 Carol Tours Saugatuck 17

    • From: ljbasgall
    • Description:

      Carol Feathers, the mascot for The Village Puppeteers of Saugatuck, Michigan tours the popular tourist destination

    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 167
    • Not yet rated
  • Carol Tours Saugatuck 19 Carol Tours Saugatuck 19

    • From: ljbasgall
    • Description:

      Carol Feathers, the mascot for The Village Puppeteers of Saugatuck, Michigan tours the popular tourist destination

    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 174
    • Not yet rated
  • Carol Tours Saugatuck 18 Carol Tours Saugatuck 18

    • From: ljbasgall
    • Description:

      Carol Feathers, the mascot for The Village Puppeteers of Saugatuck, Michigan tours the popular tourist destination

    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 155
    • Not yet rated
  • Carol Tours Saugatuck 20 Carol Tours Saugatuck 20

    • From: ljbasgall
    • Description:

      Carol Feathers, the mascot for The Village Puppeteers of Saugatuck, Michigan tours the popular tourist destination

    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 162
    • Not yet rated
  • Carol Tours Saugatuck 13 Carol Tours Saugatuck 13

    • From: ljbasgall
    • Description:

      Carol Feathers, the mascot for The Village Puppeteers of Saugatuck, Michigan tours the popular tourist destination.

    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 99
    • Not yet rated
  • Carol Tours Saugatuck 12 Carol Tours Saugatuck 12

    • From: ljbasgall
    • Description:

      Carol Feathers, the mascot for The Village Puppeteers of Saugatuck, Michigan tours the popular tourist destination.

    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 97
    • Not yet rated
Results 1 - 20 of 41

Terms of Service

Check Prices

mock rpx login link