The Real Bali

Bali has so many sides, and most tourists only see one of them. There is so much beauty and culture, it is worth getting off the beaten track to go take a look. One way of doing this is by hashing, and you can read more about that in my hashing post on mybaliexperience blog. Another way is to hire a driver to take you out for the day.

We went out on Sunday with some of our tattoo guests, and got away from the hustle and bustle of Kuta, in to the serene beauty of the countryside. It does not take long to be out on quieter, more rural roads, where the pace of life is much slower. We could feel ourselves unwinding the further we got from Kuta. We admired the amazing statues that were at strategic intersections, as well as the carved temple decorations that were for sale along the sides of the streets. Ogoh ogoh were being prepared in every village. These are large papier mache monsters that will be paraded on Nyepi day. The youth of every village spend months creating these amazing masterpieces, only to have them burned on the day. Please see my post on Nyepi for more information on that.

Our first stop was Taman Ayun. This is a royal temple, that has been opened for the public. It is immaculately kept, and fascinating to see. We had my brother-in-law as a guide, and he walked us through, explaining everything in great detail. It is a form of museum to explain the Balinese traditions, as we are shown the different sections that make up a temple, and the activities that are performed there, from cock-fighting to dancing. Despite having lived here for 20 years, I had never been inside this temple. I had always avoided anything I considered to be “touristy”. Having now been inside, I would highly recommend a visit.

Next we went to Jatih Luwih which is a village that is famous for its rice terraces. They really are stunning, as you can see in the photo here. We enjoyed lunch while looking at the amazing view. From there we visited our village and sat relishing the quiet, while sipping on fresh coconuts that had been picked from the tree as we waited.

It was a wonderful day out, and served as a reminder why I moved here in the first place. I love the slow pace of life, and the wonderful countryside. Sometimes I get so caught up in my day-to-day life, and forget to look up and see the beauty around me.

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