Monthly Archives: September 2014

Gallery: Kecak Dance

Ubud is a center for traditional Balinese dance, and performances take place every evening. We saw one of the most dramatic: the kecak, or monkey dance. It enacts scenes from the Hindu epic the Ramayana and combines vocal music, dance, and drama. Read More

Galley: Gunung Kawi

About 10 miles outside Ubud is Gunung Kawi, the site of giant memorials carved in the 11th century into the rock walls of a lush ravine. They’re one of Bali’s oldest monuments and are thought to memorialize a Balinese king from Java and his consorts, but historians aren’t sure. Read More

On to Ubud

On to Ubud

Our next stop after Bali’s official capital, Denpasar, was its cultural capital, Ubud. What should have been an easy trip was slowed to a crawl by traffic jams (at one point caused by a road blocked by preparations for a cremation ceremony outside a temple). Read More

Gallery: Balinese Tooth-Filing Ceremony

Our first day in Bali, on the advice of our innkeeper, we watched the early stages of an important coming-of-age ceremony at a nearby temple. The ceremony involves a ritual called matateh, or tooth filing, in which young adults have the tops of their teeth filed into a smooth row Read More

Gallery: Balinese Offerings

Bali’s version of the Hindu religion includes many rituals, the most common of which involves leaving small offerings of flowers, food, incense, or other things to various gods. Offerings are left every day on a family’s shrines, at neighborhood shrines or temples, and in front of the entrances to homes, shops, and offices to encourage… Read More

A Lucky Look Inside Balinese Traditions

A Lucky Look Inside Balinese Traditions

Our first day in Bali began unexpectedly and amazingly when our landlady mentioned that a big ceremony would be taking place soon in a community temple around the corner. So, of course, we postponed our plan to visit the national museum to check that out instead. Read More

The View From Behind the Lens

The View From Behind the Lens

In many ways, Bali is a wonderful place for photography. I’ve already gotten the chance to shoot part of an interesting and visually awesome ritual (if only I’d had my battery charged all the way…). The markets are a flood of images, from produce to flowers to street food to people carrying impossible-looking loads on… Read More

Diving Right In

Diving Right In

Bali is seen by an awful lot of people as the perfect island paradise. Beaches of all sorts—party beaches, surf beaches, resort beaches, scuba/snorkel beaches. Endless green rice paddies dotted with luxurious villas where visitors lounge next to swimming pools and platters of tropical fruits. Read More

Predawn Sounds In Denpasar

Predawn Sounds In Denpasar

Drifting between sleep and wakefulness in the early hours of my first morning in Bali, I heard a variety of sounds: car and motorcycle engines, a rooster crowing, the rhythmic swish of someone sweeping pavement with a reed broom, Read More

Our First Hours in Asia

Our First Hours in Asia

Kami di sini! We’re here, on the Indonesian island of Bali. After 35 hours in transit from the U.S., we finally reached our destination last night: a big, hard bed with very clean white sheets at the small, simple, and unaptly named Familiar Inn in Bali’s sprawling capital, Denpasar. Read More