Somewhere in Bali

Indonesia travel stories

In Search of The Bird of Paradise

It’s just after 3:00 am when a voice outside my cabin door calls softly, telling me that its time to go. I make my way gingerly up the internal staircase from below decks in pitch darkness, careful not to wake the other guests on board the Katherina, a 100 foot...

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Balinese Coffee — the Special Blend

Balinese Coffee Hype The Most Expensive Balinese Coffee When I first heard about the Balinese coffee that costs 300 plus dollars a kilo, I was in disbelief. I was even more flabergasted when I found out why it costs so much: because a small animal called a luwak eats...

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Ancient and Modern Indonesia

Ancient and Modern Indonesia Ancient Indonesia at Borobudur Stepping out of the bus station, dazed by streaked sunlight and compressed heat, brings that familiar “pin-prick” feeling of unexpectedness behind my navel. I have come to this part of Indonesia for...

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The Beiber and the Schoolgirls

My students were positioned in orderly rows, girls on one side and boys on the other. They blushed and covered their mouths with their sleeves as I attempted to coax them into conversation. They lowered their eyes, twiddled their hands behind their backs and clamped...

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Sold Out on Kuta Beach, Indonesia

“When I was in Bali, I couldn't wait to get back to Jakarta so I could eat some bread,” my mom told me over the phone when I called from the Indonesian island of Bali. “Yeah, but that was 30 years ago, right?” I may have been naive in heading to Bali thinking...

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Dogwalking in South Jakarta, Indonesia

I had truly landed in expatriate paradise when I was picked up in Jakarta by a driver in an AC van. The vehicle sailed past past gleaming malls and street food stalls, back to my friend's gated community. There, we were buzzed through by security men, who scanned the...

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Eat, Pray, Love in Ubud Hanging Gardens

May 3, 2010 – In her bestselling book, Eat, Pray, Love, which has been made into a movie starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem due for release in August 2010, author Elizabeth Gilbert travels to Bali to find the balance between pleasure and devotion. Her journey...

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Road to Bali, part 4

Liquidy Temples, Butterflies My last Panorama tour begins at the gorgeous seaside temple of Tanah Lot, which was built in the 16th century on Bali’s southwestern coastline atop rocks pounded by waves. (Beach footgear is suggested.) This being a top visitor...

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The Road to Bali, part 3

For The Road to Bali, part 1. For The Road to Bali, part 2 During most of my two weeks in Bali I stay at Parigata Villas Resort, which, as noted, is right near Sanur Beach, where Parigata has the Banjar Café, a seaside eatery and bar providing lounge chairs, sun...

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The Road to Bali, part 2

For The Road to Bali, part 1 Bat Cave, Mother Temple Tour Bali is an exquisite isle, and my package includes three private trips that reveal its natural and cultural splendor. Panorama Tours provides a driver and English-speaking, sarong and sandal wearing guide named...

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The Road to Bali, part 1

Karmic Cleansing Ceremony There are many tropical isles, but what makes Bali unique is its age-old Hindu culture and spirituality. Visitors to the “Morning of the World” can participate in a Melukat, or Balinese Karma Cleansing Ceremony. This purification process,...

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Beach Spa in Bali

Reflecting the strong Indian influence on Indonesian culture, The Beach Spa offers several Ayurvedic treatments. The signature massage, known as Abyhanga, is a rhythmic herbal oil massage intended to release impurities and toxins from the body. Circulation is...

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