Saturday, June 11

Gawai visit to Bali

It was a very memorable visit to Bali for eight of us – me and my wife and my two sisters and their families.

We left Kuching early on 1 June 2011 for the Kuching International Airport for Kuala Lumpur where we caught another Air Asia flight to Bali.

We arrived in Bali at about 7.00 pm and after the tedious Immigration, customs and security checks we finally met our tour guide, Gusti Ketut Artha and his driver.

We immediately left for dinner at an open space near the sea.

We stayed at the Aston Denpasar Hotel.


Day One, 2 June 2011:

Batubulan: This is where we witnessed a Barong play which presents an internal fight between good and evil spirits. A barong is a mythological animal which represents good spirit and Rangda, a mythological monster, represents an evil one. An hour was spent watching this play.

Tohpati: Where witnessed batik painting and hand weaving. Some of us purchased some products.

Celuk: This is where silverware and gold are being produced. We bought some silver bangles, earrings and rings.

Goa gajah: This is the 11th century of elephant cave temple.

Temen village: We went to Bali Coffee garden, where the best coffee in the world is being brewed. Called Kopi Luak, the coffee seeds were collected from ‘tai munsang’ (fox dung) and processed.

Kintamani: This is where our lunch was served while seeing active volcano and Lake Batur. The last explosion was 11 years ago. Around this area where we found gardens of cabbages, strawberry and other fruits only grown in cool climate. It is very much similar to Bario highlands in Sarawak.

Sebatu: The spring water temple. This spring water has some powers that can cure various illnesses including those who are barren.

GWK (Geruda Wisnu Kencana): This will be the highest statue in the world which will be three times taller than the statue of liberty, when completed. It began its construction in 1997. Even though it is only 20% completed, it has already one of the star tourist attractions. Situated on an area of 145 hectares, the width is about 65 metres while its height will be 170 metres when completed. In and around this area will be shopping malls.

Some 4,000 tons of brass and copper are required to build it. Considered to be the icon of Bali when completed, the statue of Wisnu, who is considered the god of gods will be placed on top of geruda, a divine vehicle.


Day Two, 3 June 2011:

Taman Ayun: This is the royal family temple of Mengui surrounded by beautiful gardens.

Ulun Danau: This is another mountain top danau (lake) which is 900metres above sea level. It occupies an area of 600 acres. Water sports are being organised in this resort.

Tanah lot: This is a holy temple in the sea. This is the best place where tourists by the thousands are watching the Bali sunset. On the way to this Tanah lot from Ulun Danau, we came across four cremation ceremonies.

According to our guide, who is a Hindu, the dead body is burnt and the ashes are thrown into the sea so that the ashes are expected to be brought to the holy Ganges River. The Ganges is always known as a religious icon in the world.

The cremation is an expensive ritual involving the whole people of a kampong. For those who are rich, the cremation is ready between a few days only. But for those who are poor, cremation may be performed 10 years after the death of the person.


Day Three, 4 June 2011:

This day was given to us to roam the city of Denpasar, the capital of Bali and where we did some shopping.


Day Four, 5 June 2011:

We checked out from the hotel and went to Kuta where the most beautiful beaches are found. There were thousands of tourists, 90 percent of them were Europeans, Americans and Australians. This was the place where terrorists bombed two hotels killing more than 200 Australians.

We were supposed to be accommodated at the Aston Kuta hotel, but changed to Aston Denpasar for fear of terrorists attack soon after the death of Osama bin Laden.

From Kuta we left for the Airport on the way to Kuching via Kula Lumpur.

Comments: When we arrived in Bali we felt proud of being ‘millionaires’ as each one of us carried several millions rupiah. At least we knew we were millionaires even for four days.

On a serious note, Bali depends on tourism as its survival fully exploiting on ancient temples each of which has its own unique tales and history as well as its cultural values.

What Bali is doing in the preservation of its ancient buildings, temples and palaces is the opposite of what Sarawak has done: demolished buildings constructed by the Brooke regime or any other colonial links.

It has also developed its eco-tourism turning even its paddy fields, coffee growing, active volcano mountains into one of the most enterprising businesses. Our tourism efforts (Sarawak) are paled in comparison.

Our tourism ministers should adopt Bali’s approach to tourism. Our politicians are NATO (no action talks only).

Bali is strongly recommended for adventurous tourists.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You can enjoy more if you can get Taib's corrupted monies park overseas to be sent back and distribute his billions to our 2 millions population.
I'm still hoping for this to be realised.