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Traveling in Bali - 2017

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Monkey with Baby in Monkey Forest - Ubud, Bali - Indonesia
Pura Dalem Agung Pabangtegal (14th Cen.) - in Monkey Forest, Ubud
Brahmin Priest Conducting Rituals at a Village Religious Festival
Slamet Honored Ajata & Virginia By Inviting them to Participate in His Village Procession
Pura Batkau
Pura Batkau
Pura Ulun Danu Beratan
Monkey Forest
Pura Desa Puseh
Monkey Forest
Bali artist at work, Ubud, Bali Street Scenes
Pura Sakenan
Pura Luhur Uluwatu
Pura Luhur Uluwatu
Pura Desa Puseh
Village festival procession
Pura Batukau
Pura Ulun Danu Beratan
Pura Ulun Danu Beratan
Pura Ulun Danu Beratan
Pura Beji
Pura Beji
Pura Maduwe Karang
Pura Tirta Empul Ulu Gilimanuk
Sacred Place, Pura Tirta Empul Ulu Gilimanuk

The Balinese are perceptive and sensitive people with beguiling smiles. They are gracious and somewhat shy. It is  
important for tourists to show respect by being polite.  Even if you are asked a hundred times while walking down the street  
whether you need a taxi, take a moment to look at the person, smile and shake your head. Politeness will open many doors  
for you. Remember the inter-relationships between Balinese are extensive, the person you are rude to might be the brother  
of the waitress serving you or the cousin of your the host of your inn or guest house. The Balinese people have a lifestyle  
rich with the important things in life, but financially they are often poor.  Consider this when you respond to their offers for  

Balinese Puras (Temples)

It should be noted that public Balinese Puras (not private home temples) are used expressly for rituals and religious  
festivals, as compared to Hindu Temples in India where swamis and lay people may sit all day to meditate and the  
naivaidayam is offered and later shared as prasad.

Also, Balinese Puras are the resting place and home for ancestral spirits, nature deities; of the family, community and the  
island, as well as, the traditional Indian Gods; Shiva, Ganesha and Krishna.  Few puras have the India deities in statue form  
for people to venerate but most temples have carved friezes or murals of the Ramayana. (The epic Indian story of the  
struggle between evil and good.)  A number of people have read the Bhagavad Gita in Balinese.

The most sacred relics are generally kept in boxes covered with a cloth and usually behind alter doors  on top of tall  
padmasana or pelinggih meru within the pura.  It is required in a majority of temples that visitors wear a sarong and sash.  
These can easily be purchased or rented at some temples for a nominal fee.

Bali does have Shamen who are not necessarily Hindu but follow the traditional ways. There are very few of them. The  
Founders were told that they get along with the Hindu Brahman priests and neither sees any conflict of interest.  Shamen,  
like Shamen all over the world are prevented from ever asking money for the work they do. Normally it is left to the family or  
individual who is helped to determine the gift and/ or money they will give the Shaman. The life of a true Shaman anywhere  
in the world is a life of extreme sacrifice and usually poverty.  Shamen often can see into both the past and the future  
according to their individual path. Their abilities are quite different from being an herbal healer.  The skill of a shaman is  
honed to help their community and so unless a non-Balinese is an anthropologist, they’re gifts most likely will be of little  
benefit to the tourist.

Weather - Wet Hair

Bali is probably hotter and infinitely more humid than any other equatorial place you’ve visited, especially the interior.  
Individuals with long hair: if you take a shower without drying your hair (and hair dryers outside of the  commercial tourist  
areas can be far and few between), it may never dry as long as you are exposed to the outdoors. The best option is to wash  
your hair in the evening and stay inside your room until it dries with the windows shut and the a/c or fan on.

Ubud, Computer Care & Repair

While in Ubud in December, there were numerous major monsoon thunderstorms.  If you have a computer either operate  
off the battery or bring a surge protector.

Ajata and Virginia, who usually were working on a table,  decided to look into some things while the computer was resting on  
the bed. The computer was unable to ventilate properly and the RAM was destroyed. Smart, intelligent and hard-working  
Netu of our inn immediately contacted MOMA, a computer wiz (and a relative of our hosts) to fix the computer.  Moma not  
only gave us RAM to use from one of his computers so we could get back to work but also had a new RAM delivered from  
Denpasar and brought it to us and put it in the computer within just a few days.  If you are in Ubud and need computer help,  
contact: Moma: Goutama Selatan No.22,, Ubud, Phone: 082236814305 - Email: momariyoga@gmail.com. If you read  
this Moma, thank you again. PS Moma and his brother have a locally popular internet cafe.

Partying Australians, Surfers & Others

The Founders were not in the surfing areas of Kuta or where large numbers of young Australians, surfers and others go to  
party.  This area puts a strain on Balinese culture, but the rest of the island, where the important temples are located in the  
North, South and Central areas are inspiring.  If you are trying to connect with Balinese culture, Kuta and areas attracting a  
partying crowd will not be where you want to stay.

Table Top Condiments

It is not common to find salt and pepper on tables in restaurants in the non-commercial tourist areas. (This is also true in  
Java.)  Balinese do not highly season (spice) their food.  For the numerous visiting Indians from India, Malaysia and  
Singapore you can buy a salt, pepper or a mild (sometimes mixed with something unusual) chili powder at stores to use as  


Non-sugar sweeteners for those who are watching their blood sugar are also not common.  Diabetics would be wise to  
bring a non-sugar sweetener with them.

Allergy To MSG

A number of bottled condiments on the table in both Bali & Java have MSG. Chinese restaurants should be considered  
prime users, (even some Chinese Vegetarian restaurants may use it.) The use is widespread in Java and it is hard to find  
out if it is being used until you get a pounding headache or some other symptom.

Intra-Island Transportation

Transportation to important temples in Bali fall into two broad categories because they are not located within cities; either  
motorcycle rental or hiring a  car and driver.  Hiring a car and driver is a simple matter and it is easy to find what a fair price  
is by just by asking around. There are tours but they may not stay as long as you would like and may take you to places you  
aren’t particularly interested in. To get the most from your day trip locate several temples along the route to stop at coming  
and going.

Lastly, you can just tell the driver, especially if you have hired him before and like him, what you can afford to pay and  
whether he can take you where you want to go for that price. That is an easy way to determine a price.  (You might want to  
say “Inclusive of all parking fees and tolls.”)