Bali Indonesia Travel

I really loved travelling to Bali Indonesia. It's a magical place to vacation. The info contained here was gleaned from several sources. Any mistakes are mine.

The original text of this page was written in October 1998 and has been edited once or twice since. Photos were updated in 2002.

All photos here have been color corrected. Photos whose names end in "a" have been cropped.

The following illustrations are from the ceilings of the Kertha Gosa (Hall of Justice) and Bale Kambang (Floating Pavillion) in Klungkung. They were public buildings, and according to the Lonely Planet guide, are almost 300 years old.

The paintings were originally done on cloth and have been restored several times during the 20th century by traditional artists. They depict various scenes from everyday life, as well as the "Hindu version of Dante's Inferno," which details the adventures of the hero Bima in the world of the afterlife. It is fantastic.

From the haircut, this looks like Bima himself being swallowed.

What's going on here? You've got me. I just like the picture. Check out the gecko on the roof. Gods in these pictures are denoted by full-body halos. It is danged hard to tell the difference between women and men. Not all the women in these pictures are topless, and the faces of men & women are very similar.

I think you'd have to be Balinese to tell the difference by looking at their clothes.

Here is the Demon King. If memory serves, he is at war with Bima (Bima is not in this picture.) There are tons of pictures of this war with gushing blood, headless corpses, flying arrows, and the like.

Some of the paintings on the ceiling also seem to depict some of the more significant events of the times. Among these are depictions of foreigners, like this one.

Here I am in front of the Paviallion. As you can see, it is surrounded by a moat.

Driving around Bali is dangerous. Everyone drives way too close to each other.

As if driving in Bali wasn't insane enough already, every town seems to have a main crossroads with a statue, which makes things worse. Apparently, all crossroads also have their own shrines. The statues are always something to see, although the two pictured here are modest compared to most.

Most representations of people in Bali are so stylized that they are almost abstract. A "naturalistic" treatment like this is somewhat rare, and was usually cause for excitement on my part. This one looks a bit like a statue in Ubud that my friends started calling my "girlfriend" because I was so fascinated by it.

This is breakfast for westerners who have stomach problems.

One thing that becomes obvious rather quickly is that we must seem very frail to the Balinese. We burn easily in the sun, we get sick all the time, we can't drink their water, we can't lift even a portion of the weight (bales, water, bricks, bricks!) you'll see them carrying on their heads, and we are always getting hurt.

This is sweetened red rice in coconut milk, bananas, and coffee. Bali is famous for its excellent coffee, which they grind up very fine and mix directly with hot water.

They like it very strong and appallingly sweet. Not only do they presweeten it for you, but also provide extra sugar because they are sure you're gonna want to add more!

Next: The Enchanted Monkey Forest!
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