Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The island of the gods

There are nearly 18,000 island in the Indonesian archipelago. Of all of them, it is Bali that is designated as the island of the gods, and it is not hard to see why. While many are drawn to the beaches and nightlife of Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak, I foolishly resisted the call of Bali for many years thinking that was the extent of the island's charm. I couldn't have been more wrong.

Bali is a place where natural beauty, art, religion, and culture converge, and nowhere is this more so than in its interior and around Ubud, its cultural heart.  I stayed in Ubud when I visited Bali for the first time in 2008 and explored Bali from there. I thought I would share some of the images I brought back with me at the same time as I share some very exciting news. (You will have to scroll down to the end to find out what this is!)

Here are some of my memories of Bali.

The band waiting for their cue, Ubud

Why didn't I find room in my suitcase for one of these?

Holy Spring Temple, Tirta Empul near Ubud

Holy Spring temple Terta Empul

Tirta Empul

An incredible variety of epiphytes at Tirta Empul

Bukit Jambal near Semarapura

More rice paddies in East Bali

Ulan Danu temple on Lake Beratan - Bedugal

Tenganan - a village of the original Balinese people, the Bali Aga


Fighting cocks Tenganan

A river runs through it...East Bali

Ubud markets


Making offerings near the Ubud market


Honeymoon Guesthouse, Ubud

Carved panel at Honeymoon Guesthouse 

Casa Luna cooking class at Honeymoon Guesthouse where we whipped up local delicacies like lawar, a salad made from ferns and coconut;  gado-gado, vegetables in peanut sauce;  nasi goreng; Balinese satay and eggplant sambal.



Even the streams are filled with antiquities - Goa Gajah not far from Ubud

My hotel room at Hotel Tjampuhan

Restaurant at Hotel Tjampuhan - look at the beautiful carved tree trunk on the left.

Goa Gajah, the Elephant Cave

The bathing pool at Goa Gajah


Nusa Lembongan

Nusa Lembongan

And my news?  I applied for a short term job in Indonesia last year, and after a long silence, I was very excited to discover that I was successful and I am heading not to Bali, but to Jakarta on the neighbouring island of Java next week. That's why I have been so busy doing my chores, mulching the garden, and cleaning out the water feature. It is also why I have been a little remiss in commenting on your blogs and responding to your comments, so apologies for that. 

I can't wait to explore this exciting city and to share it with you.  Stay tuned!!


  1. WOW!!! Lucky you!!! Have fun and enjoy every second! :o)

    1. Thanks, I can't wait, although I wish the pups were coming with me!

  2. Oh my daughter has been in Padang for the last year. Hope you enjoy it.

    1. Padang looks really interesting. I hope I get to explore Sumatra. My brother is a keen surfer who has visited the Mentawi islands and Nias and has raved about them and Sumatra generally.

  3. Congratulation! Hope you enjoy your job and stay!

    1. Thanks Malar, I hope to get back to K.L. for a tiny visit at the end of my contract.

  4. Marisa, the pictures are beautiful. All my best wishes for your stay in Jakarta.Perhaps you like to let us know from time to time how you are going? If you find the time! T♥

    1. Thanks for the good wishes. I will definitely try to maintain regular posts while I am away. There is a botanical garden at Bogor that sounds wonderful. I think it is only a couple of hours out of Jakarta, so I will try to visit it and report back within my first few weeks.



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