My First Trip to Bali, Indonesia

Everyone whom I know has went to Bali not once but a couple of times, and came back to tell me the tales. In 2002, a bomb went off in the tourist district of Kuta, Bali, killing at least 200 people. However this event has not deterred many going back to the exotic island which is located between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. I have wanted to visit Bali for a long time ever since I saw beautiful paintings of Bali done by many local artists and painters. My opportunity came when a friend's friend wanted to bring us around. So we packed for the weekends and headed out for the island.

[caption id="attachment_2218" align="alignnone" width="584"] Temple structure in Ubud downtown[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2219" align="alignnone" width="584"] A probable shrine located outside a smaller temple near Ubud's downtown market place.[/caption]

In the short span of 2 days, we visited Ubud, Kuta, Sanur,and Island Lembonga. A driver brought us around and introduced us to many local delights and Traditional Balinese Dance performances. We managed to catch 2 shows, a Barong and a Kecak dance. Most importantly we tasted the infamous roasted pork and crispy duck.

[caption id="attachment_2220" align="alignnone" width="584"] Temple structure - a roofed doorway leading to the inner court[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2221" align="alignnone" width="584"] Hotel lobby for breakfast and watching a Barong dance performance[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2222" align="alignnone" width="584"] On board Bali Hai II and visiting Monkey Forest in Ubud.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2223" align="alignnone" width="584"] Up on Lembongan Island.[/caption]

From Wikipedia: "Balinese culture was strongly influenced by Indian, Chinese, and particularly Hindu culture, beginning around the 1st century AD. The name Bali dwipa ("Bali island") has been discovered from various inscriptions, including the Blanjong pillar inscription written by Sri Kesari Warmadewa in 914 AD and mentioning "Walidwipa". It was during this time that the complex irrigation system subak was developed to grow rice. Some religious and cultural traditions still in existence today can be traced back to this period. The Hindu Majapahit Empire (1293–1520 AD) on eastern Java founded a Balinese colony in 1343. When the empire declined, there was an exodus of intellectuals, artists, priests, and musicians from Java to Bali in the 15th century."

We would return for more.

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