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Asis 2010 / 2011
Asia 2008 / 2009

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Ceremony at Pura Desa Padangtegal (Ubud)

Ubud, Indonesia

The last three days were big ceremonies at the temples of Ubud and at other places on Bali (actually there is every time a ceremony somewhere on Bali). I've joined the ceremony at the Pura Desa Padangtegal (Ubud) with some friends from Ubud. Some impressions:

permalink written by  Voyager on April 10, 2009 from Ubud, Indonesia
from the travel blog: Asia 2008 / 2009
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Bali Tour 2

Tampaksiring, Indonesia

Tampaksiring – Undisan – Besakih - Semarapura – Goa Lawah – Tenganan – Candi Dasa – Semarapura – Klungkung – Ubud

This tour started from Ubud to the north. First stop was in Tampaksiring.

Around this village are several important temples of Bali.
The Pura Tirta Empul was built around several holy springs.

Close to this temple is the Pura Mengening , which is also built around a holy spring. This temple is not on the list of the main tourist routes, but for my opinion much nicer than the other one.

There are several types of temples on Bali. Each family has a family temple, which is usually located on the ground of the family. Every town has as well a temple. There are temples for special tasks, e.g. temples for cremation ceremonies. And special locations (like the holy springs) have temples … and so on.

An example for a special temple is the Pura Dalem Sidan (Cremation temple in Sidan):

Another example is the Pura Manik Bingin in Undisan, which illustrates, that there are a lot of different styles and architectures. But the inner structure of all temples follows a common, but very complex set of rules.

The next station was Besakih, the place of the Pura Besakih, the mother temple and the most important temple of Bali. There is not only the Pura Besakih, but a lot of other temples around.

This night I stayed in Semarapura, a bigger town in the south/east of Bali. Semarapura has only a few interesting points for tourists, which are normally part of day tours. Therefore normally no foreigners stay at night there and I was an attraction for the local people at the nightly market in the centre of Semarapura.

At the next morning I visited the historical places of Semarapura:
The Taman Gili (Park with little island), which contains reconstructed buildings of Bale Kerta Gosa (court hall), Bale Kambang (swimming pavilion) and Pemedal Agung.

From Semarapura I went to the south cost of Bali and my first station there was Goa Lawah.

Goa Lawah was the first place, where I saw the – for the beaches at the south and east side of Bali typical - black sand beaches. These are not really places for enjoying in comparison to the beautiful beaches of Thailand and Malaysia. But the landscape of Bali is shaped by several eruptions of the volcanoes and it is the characteristic of Bail. (But there are a few places with white sand beaches in the south of Bali).

In this region some Balinese extract salt from the sea water. But this is very time consuming and not lucrative.

The name ‘Goa Lawah’ means ‘Bat Cave’ and refers to the Pura Goa Lawah there. This temple is built around a cave with thousands of bats.

I made a lunch break near Goa Lawah und learned, that also Geckos like rice.

Next station was the small village Tenganan, which is famous for the handicraft products and the aboriginal way of living there.

After Tenganan I drove along the coast to Candi Dasa and back to Semarapura, where I stayed the night.

At the morning of the next day I met some Balinese, which I got know at the day before. I’ve gained insight the Balinese living. One family produce richly ornamented silver vessels for the temple ceremonies. Another family collects wayang puppets (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayang) and organizes performances.

Later I went back to Ubud.

Finally some photos with the amazing landscapes I saw during this tour:

permalink written by  Voyager on March 8, 2009 from Tampaksiring, Indonesia
from the travel blog: Asia 2008 / 2009
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One day with Balinese around the Gunung Batur (Bali Tour 1)

Baturaja, Indonesia

Ubud – Kintamani – Batur – Danau Batur (Batur Lake) – Toya Bungkah – Songan – Bangli – Ubud

Following the street from Ubud to the north, I reached Kintamani and Batur above the Danau Batur (Batur Lake). The Danau Batur is a Vulcan lake and the biggest lake on Bali. The water of this lake is important for the agriculture, especially for the rice plantations, in a wide area around the lake.

The lake is part of the Gunung Batur Vulcan. It is still active and the last eruption was in 1994.

Bali has a countless number of temples and in Batur is one of the most important temples of Bali: The Pura Penataran Agung Batur. The relevance is based on the importance of the water of the Danau Batur for the people on Bali and the religion legend about the origin of the Vulcan (it has been created by the god Shiva).

After taking lunch in Batur in a local restaurant (fresh and tasty fish from the Danau Batur), I continued the tour and drove down to the Danau Batur and along it.

The landscape near the lake is shaped by the eruptions of the Gunung Batur.

In Toya Bungkah, a small village at the Danau Batur, is a hot spring (Air Panas), which is used by the local people for bathing.

At the end of the lake I reached the small village Songan.

I made a break at a shop beside the temple Pura Ulun Danu. It doesn’t need much time on Bali to get in contact with local people – especially in regions with less tourism. So I got know a local priest, a teacher of the local school and other people from the village. They invited me to stay the night in Songan and to join a ceremony in the temple at the following day (on the way to Songan I met already people, which prepared things for the ceremony).

At this evening I talked with some local people, took a bath in the hot springs and saw a music performance with Rindik instruments (a Balinese traditional instrument).

I stayed the night at the house of the teacher. Early in the morning (6 am) of the following day I went with the cousin of the teacher to a hill of the Gunung Batur to see the sunrise.

During this season the day starts typically with fog and therefore the sunrise wasn’t visible properly. Nevertheless, I had a wonderful panorama view with the Danau Batur on the one side and the Gunung Batur on the other side before the fog came up.

After enjoying a Balinese coffee at a shop on the hill, we went down to the valley.

From Songan we drove with the motorbike to Bangli with amazing views on the landscape in the morning sun.

Bangli is a bigger town next to the Batur area. At this morning there started a cock fighting event. In Bali most of the activities have a religion background too. The same applies to the cock fighting: It is a social and a gambler event and has a religion background (it is scheduled at the day before a holy temple ceremony).
Cock fighting is the gamblers paradise, but a very cruel event. The cocks get a knife at the paw and at least one cock dies during one fight between two cocks. After presenting the two rivals and before starting the fight, the audience bet loud crying on the one or the other cock.

During my guide enjoyed the gamble, I used the time outside the arena and looked around the market there. I was there the only foreigner under hundreds of Balinese.

I used the opportunity of the marked and bought traditional Balinese wear for me.

The traditional Balinese wear suddenly changed my status: I wasn’t the tourist anymore, but a Balinese. I visited the Pura Kehen in Bangli afterward and was respected as Balinese from the local people there.

After the cock fighting my guide went back to Songan and me to Ubud. I haven’t joined the ceremony. But there are a lot of ceremonies in March and I will have the opportunity to join one at another places.

I had two very interesting days behind me with a lot of impressions and joined one day of the life of the Balinese.

permalink written by  Voyager on March 3, 2009 from Baturaja, Indonesia
from the travel blog: Asia 2008 / 2009
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A rainy day in Ubud

Ubud, Indonesia

It's raining time on Bali, but it is raining only some times (there are more raining days in Hamburg in some summers). But the rain here can be very malicious: There are only a few minutes between the first raindrops and a very strong rain.

Today I drove with my motorbike around the centre of Ubud (just for buying a rain cape at the main market store here) ... but the rain started before I reached the store. I was totally wet. One Balinese woman from a shop, where I took shelter from the rain, recommended me to take along soap and shampoo the next time. But the rain here isn't cold and I haven't got cold.

Now I have a proper rain cape :-)

permalink written by  Voyager on March 1, 2009 from Ubud, Indonesia
from the travel blog: Asia 2008 / 2009
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Reconciliation with Bali

Ubud, Indonesia

Today I escaped from Kuta and drove with my motorbike through the capital city of the province Bali, Denpasar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denpasar), to Ubud (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubud).

After arriving Ubud I asked in some shops for a cheap accommodation (guest house) and got a recommendation for a small family guest house in Padang Tegal beside Ubud. The bungalow costs 100.000 Rp. per night including breakfast (around 7 Euro). Some impressions:

It is a very nice place and after arriving I found a German travel guide of Bali on the table in front of my bungalow (I have no with me, because Bali wasn't planned for my journey, and I missed it already).

Isn't that a warm welcome?
It seems as Bali wants to reconcile me.
And I'm really reconciled.

Afterwards I searched a place for something to eat and found a very nice restaurant, named Bebek Bengil (Dirty Duck Diner). The name doesn't mean, that you get dirty ducks as diner. It come from the first days of the restaurant, when ducks with their dirty foots, coming from the rice fields beside, crossed the terrace of the restaurant and left dirty duck footprints.

permalink written by  Voyager on February 26, 2009 from Ubud, Indonesia
from the travel blog: Asia 2008 / 2009
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The hell of Bali

Denpasar, Indonesia

(Sorry for the wrongly entered town name in the header of this entry. But this blog doesn't know Kuta town and doesn't accept an empty entry).

First of all many thanks to all for the great feed-back for the blog. It is a great pleasure for me to hear this.

Two days ago I've reached Kuta on Bali, Indonedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuta). I named it the hell of Bali. But fortunately I heard, that Bali has nice places as well.

In Bali lives a special species called "land crocodiles" (the Indonesian people call them so). And most of them are living in Kuta. It began already at the airport, where the taxi drivers want a multiple of the regular price for the transfer to Kuta town. Fortunately I'm currently travelling with a friend, who know to speak Indonesian and this makes it easier.

At the first evening I walked through the town and every meter a taxi driver asked me, whether I want a taxi, a woman or something else. They are very importunate. It was absolutely nerving.

The town is very crowded (and it is low-season now!). The party mile is red light district at the same time. The beach is direct at a main road. There is no cozy place or a nice bar for sitting at the evening at the beach.

It is just a terrible tourist place and you see nothing aboriginal vom Indonesia except the souvenirs in the shops.

It is maybe a good place for them, who want just to surf and make party at the evening. But it is only a dream world and not Indonesia.

Yesterday i've started to explore the island by motorbike (it is really an adventure driving motorbike here). I was in Nusa Dua (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nusa_Dua) in the south of Bali. It is area with many high class ressorts along the beaches and a big pleasing shopping mall in the middle. A nicer place, but a dream world as well.

I will explore Bali in the next days further on. I'm still hopefull to find nicer places here. I'll keep you informed.

permalink written by  Voyager on February 24, 2009 from Denpasar, Indonesia
from the travel blog: Asia 2008 / 2009
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GPS Logging and Tagging

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Today some words to the GPS Logging and Tagging I use during my journey.

I use the Locosys Genie GT-31 GPS logger, which records every 15 seconds my current geo position (http://www.gogps.ch)

This information enables to trace my tours on Google Earth.
Example: The tour of one day on Pulau Langkawi:

And it's possible to link the photos with the geo information to show the locations in Google Earth:

It is a great technology and you can look forward to the final website of my journey.

Actually I use GeoSetter (http://www.geosetter.de/) for tagging the photos.

permalink written by  Voyager on February 20, 2009 from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
from the travel blog: Asia 2008 / 2009
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Back in KL

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Today I went back to KL.

In the meantime it is everytime a special feeling of freedom travelling only with my backpack:

Today I bought a netbook (small notebook) in KL. At the tourist places in Asia you have everywhere wireless internet access and it'' s really convenient to communicate in this way:

permalink written by  Voyager on February 19, 2009 from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
from the travel blog: Asia 2008 / 2009
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Some days in Melaka, Malaysia

Melaka, Malaysia

I travelled from Kuala Lumpur for some days to Melaka.

There I stayed in the Jalan Jalan Guesthouse

I tested the first time for me to stay in the dorm:

It's like a youth hostel in my school time. But it works and it's very cheap (Euro 2,60 per night). And it's the best way to get in contact with other travelers. But the Jalan Jalan is located near a mosque and a hindu temple. The muezzin called at 5:30 am (!) to prayer. After him the hindu people started their mass with loud music. With the help of Ohropax it was possible to sleep anyway.

Melaka itself has a high historical relevance and was place of several historic events.
It was founded as trading place by Chinese people due to the strategic position at the straits of malacca. Later on Melaka was occupied by the Portuguese (1511-1641), the Dutch (1641-1824) and the British (1824-1957). Melaka was also place of the independence declaration of Malaysia in 1957.

In Melaka you can find archaeology from the several epoches. Furthermore is the old Chinatown completed preserved. Reasons why Melaka has became World Heritage Site of UNESCO last year.

More information:

In Melaka you find churches of all confessions side by side:

Some more impressions:

permalink written by  Voyager on February 18, 2009 from Melaka, Malaysia
from the travel blog: Asia 2008 / 2009
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Dragon Dance, Putrajaya and public buses in KL

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

After a long night before, hanging out with friends in KL, I was waked up at 9:30 am (for me at this morning very early) by drums outside. At the first moment I hoped, that it will stop after a few minutes ... but it didn't. So I left my bed and went outside. There I found the reason: Chinese Dragon dance all over the streets:

After taking breakfast (tasty Croissant with butter and jam and coffee latte at Starbucks), I started to Putrajaya using a local bus. The buses in KL have bus announcer, which stand in front of the bus and shout permanently the destintion of the bus ... mostly just with the voice, sometimes with a megaphon:

After 45 Min. and for 3.50 RM I reached Putrajaya, which is located south of KL between KL and the airport. Putrajaya is the federal administrative centre of Malaysia. It is named after the first Malaysian Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra. It is a planned city, founded in 1995. The idea was to move to and concentrate the federal administration offices in one new city. From the Perdana Putra, the office of the prime minister, starts the main road. The several administration offices are located along this main road. Each building is designed in a different style with several architectural influences.

More information:

permalink written by  Voyager on February 9, 2009 from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
from the travel blog: Asia 2008 / 2009
tagged Putrajaya

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