Pure and Authentic Bali – Indonesia Expat

I stood staid during a tip of a Kintamani volcanic edge with my reliable two-wheeled towering bike prepared to take on a thirty-five kilometre downhill ride, from a tip of a volcano down to Ubud. The unconditional views unaware Mt Batur with a shimmering void lake cradled during a base, gave me all a proclivity we indispensable to acquire this sparkling challenge.

I followed my cycling beam during a solid gait and weaved my approach by tiny villages pity a scenic still roads with a villagers. Along a approach a farming scenes done my heart smile. we upheld by steep farmers with their prolonged bamboo poles indicating a approach with a white dwindle on top, their squad of ducks trailing behind. we cycled by encampment after encampment of abounding immature rice fields framed by groups of sedulous women, threshing rice by palm and sifting a grains with hulk bamboo baskets. we frequency upheld by any towns, that done me feel connected to normal encampment life and a peace and delayed gait of farming Bali life.


Guning Batur, north Bali in a early morning light | Photo by David Metcalf

Guning Batur, north Bali in a early morning light | Photo by David Metcalf


Beautiful women dressed in splendid rite attire with edging white tops and brightly phony sashes creation their approach to a church upheld by me.  They walked in procession, singular file, carrying high fruit towers on their heads, that done for unusual print opportunities. By travelling during 10 km per hour, we felt like we was creation insinuate hit with what we could see, feel and hear. The church bells job in a stretch and tiny old-fashioned lanes done me feel like we was finding a authentic Bali, and open to unpretentious moments that came along.

I stopped in a tiny encampment and talked with a immature Balinese masculine named Kadek, who was clanging divided on some ancient looking cymbals. “It’s called a gamelan,” Kadek explained, “It’s really formidable and is done adult of a worldly garb set of instruments. These gongs and drums have been played during a church ceremonies for many centuries. They date behind to a really commencement of Bali.”

Kadek explained that a gamelan is played during weddings, funerals and rites of thoroughfare as good as other ceremonies. gamelan is mastered by memory, by heart. Kadek invited me to come behind a subsequent day to join in his family church birthday celebration. Not usually would we hear a gamelan played, though we could also accommodate a shade puppet master and watch a Wayan Kulit, a ancient Indonesian art of shade play.

“No need to move anything, we have prepared copiousness of food, and we acquire guests.  In fact, it is a good honour to share a etiquette with a unfamiliar guest.” He fast gave me his Facebook name, combined me in his phone and we done a guarantee to return.

I found that everywhere we went in Bali, from a hotel concierge to a internal fruit seller during a market, a conversations that we intent in always seemed to come behind to enlightenment and tradition. Balinese normal life is what we knowledge outward of a categorical traveller areas of Kuta, Nusa Dua and Seminyak. From what we experienced, Bali life is really ritualistic and steeped in Hindu eremite practices. For me, each day seemed to be another story lesson, that would solemnly uncover in a healthy way. Bali is, in all essence, a vital culture.



‘Bali is, in all essence, a vital culture.’ | Photo by David Metcalf


The island has over 20,000 temples and shrines. For such a tiny island (153 km x 112 km), one is firm to run into a rite of some description. All we need to attend a rite is a sarong, a prolonged cincture and a tip that covers your shoulders. Men wear an udeng – a Balinese masculine headdress. If we select to transport around Bali with a automobile and a driver, these are flattering most a given item, tucked divided orderly in a behind of a car, during a prepared for an unpretentious moment.  

When we locate steer of a line of women walking down a road, with offerings on their heads, all we need to do is join a approach during a back, and we will expected finish adult during a church where we can join in a celebrations and knowledge a culture.

As a immigrant we are acquire to join a church request session. If we are lucky, and a timing is right, we can locate church dancing and plays being acted out. These ceremonies mostly go late into a night, many past midnight.  

My cycle debate finished with lunch, including a normal Balinese salad with immature beans and thrive (urab), tempe with ethereal spices, delicious sharp shredded steamed chicken, satay on bamboo skewers with peanut sauce, and steamed vegetables baked in coconut. This was served on a raise of bubbling organic red rice.  Our libation was my favourite, uninformed immature coconut H2O served in a shell, a healthy appetite splash and electrolyte replacement. We all hailed a coconut H2O ‘cheers’ to applaud a fulfilment of completing a ride.

My subsequent goal was yoga. It seems on each travel dilemma in Ubud, a  yoga studio is charity a latest smart classes like energy yoga, drifting yoga, soldier yoga, pranayama and kundalini tantra yoga. we found myself walking towards ‘The Sari Organic Pathway,’ that is good signposted from a centre of town, wending my approach to a Yoga House, a yurt made building situated in a rice fields.

Sheila, a owner, offers classes 5 days a week and refers to them as yoga for everyone. Indeed, it was. This easy-flow yoga category catered for everyone’s anatomy and ability, and since we started a category with a brief self-introduction, Sheila knew a levels and used for this.

Our tiny organisation of yogis was comprised of people from Japan, Sweden, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and a Netherlands. As we eased into my peaceful upsurge yoga class, my perspective was framed by 3 overwhelming volcanic peaks fanning out from a yoga height and a terraced sensuous rice fields widespread before me like a vital immature carpet. By being among nature, in a outdoor in this halcyon environment we felt deeply connected to a mind, body, suggestion hint of a moment.

As we used my yoga poses, we was accompanied by a soothing rhythmic sounds of a jungle that surrounds Ubud, that seemed to keep time with a mantras we shouted via a class.

In a late afternoon we headed off for another jungle knowledge and as a object set opposite a rice fields of Pejeng Kangin Village, on a hinterland of Ubud, we was welcomed into a home of Putu, who is an Ubud Village Plate host. This is a new judgment in dining, joining travellers who share lunch or cooking during a home of a internal family. A pleasing informative tie over food.  

On attainment we had a debate by Putu’s orchard and met her dual huge pigs and sole brownish-red cow. Dinner was a tender event with sizzling duck slake on bamboo sticks and steamed tuna baked in banana leaves, accompanied with a raise of uninformed organic vegetables from Putu’s garden and finished off with normal black rice pudding and uninformed coconut cream.  

I spent a subsequent morning walking in a shadows of Gunung Kawi, an ancient church formidable 20 mins North of Ubud among seven-meter high church tombs famous as a Queens Tombs. My pleasant guide, Wayan was glorious company, and took me to a imagining cave. He waited outside. He gave me only a right volume of information about a church story and afterwards gave me copiousness of space to feel alone to soak in a cryptic vibe of a church complex.  

I found Balinese people to be really peaceful and discerning with each confront we had.  Whether that be by possibility assembly with a gamelan actor or spending time in an ancient imagining cave. The famed island of a Gods breathes with an even stroke and welcomes a oddity of a foreigner to try a really pristine and authentic Bali.

Things to do/see

Ubud Village Plate – Have cooking with a Balinese family in their home. A couple to a informative cuisine knowledge with a internal family and you, a traveller allows we to knowledge Balinese enlightenment and liberality in a home setting. You can have lunch or dinner, supplement a cooking category or a marketplace debate extension.


Guide and Driver:  Ketut Santosa

San Bali Transport

Email:  ktsantosa@gmail.com

Facebook: Brader Santosa




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