Wednesday, 16th May 2018, midnight.
Touched down Ngurah Rain Bali International Airport around 11:45PM, I immediately went up to the second floor to get a blue bird taxi (the safest taxi in Indonesia). I heard from my friend it would be not easy to get a grab in both Jakarta and Bali airports as they have conflicts going on between online taxi and the locals. By the time I arrived at the second floor, I got caught by 3 mens offered me a ride to my hotel. They are local taxis, the one that could be intimidating and very pushy and will get in trouble with online taxi. As I travelled solo, I had no choice other than follow one of the 3 mens, and got into their taxi to my hotel. He charged me for IDR50k, while grab only IDR 15k. (；⌣̀_⌣́)
I stayed at this hotel called Solaris. A transit hotel 5 minutes ride from the airport where I could stay only for 8 hours and paid only around SGD20. It was reasonable price as I had to make a move early morning and I only need exactly 8 hours. They upgraded my room and gave me a nice welcome drinks. Just nice. (*˘︶˘*).｡.:*♡
Thursday, 17th May 2018. Early morning!
Booked a grab from Solaris (Kuta) to my homestay in Ubud. Last time I checked was IDR 132k, but that morning I paid IDR154. Which is not bad, consider moving to another city and it took us for almost 2 hr. The homestay was not easy to find, but we finally did with a help from Google Map. Oh hail technology!!! ╰(▔∀▔)╯
Arrived Ubud around 10AM, checked in then I started to walk around the hotel. It was still too early for my appointment, too early for my lobster brunch, and was drizzling too. I decided to stop at some cafe nearby the Ubud Market and had my late breakfast; banana tropical smoothie. The rain stopped in 15 minutes and I went off to my first appointment of the day. ٩(｡•́‿•̀｡)۶
my tea breaks at The Pond.
enjoying tropical smoothies on a rainy days
First appointment of the day: take a BATIK COURSE!
I found this activity from Google. Then I contacted the host via facebook Nyoman Warta Batik Class. Just the night before (the night I landed in Bali), he sent me a message to bring him a drawing so we can start the class immediately and save some time to think about what I wanted to draw in the class. And what’s better in Ubud than their monkeys! ☆ ～(‘▽^人)
Before I went to this class, I thought 3 hours batik course is wayy too long! But it is not at all! If I didn’t have any other appointment in the same day, I would stay in this class for at least 4 to 5 hours! There are so much to learn and so much story to tell! Mr. Nyoman Warta wasn’t around, so it was his son Mr. Wayan who conducted the class. And the 3 other students cancelled the appointment so it was a private class for me. (ﾉ´ヮ`)ﾉ*: ･ﾟ
Mr. Wayan was a very friendly guy. And patient too. He is talkative and told me a lot of stories, including his personal ones too. I enjoyed his company. 3 hours passed, he quickly helped me to clean my masterpiece, fold it and handed it to me. He sent me to my second appointment for free. What a nice guy! I would recommend this Batik Class to everyone. Nyoman Warta Batik Class is one of the best where he will teach us from the very beginning of holding a centing, brush, paint, brush, paint, and so on. But I would not recommend this class if you have only short time. ( ◡‿◡ *)
Before I went to my second appointment, I had my tea breaks at The Pond. Just a simple Thai Fish Cake accross the road. (っ˘ω˘ς )
My first centing ever!!!
Second Appointment of the day: SOUND HEALING CLASS!
Tourist price for this class is IDR350k. But I managed to get a local price for IDR70k, even though it wasn’t easy to convince them–by end of this Bali trip I found it very tiring to explain I am an Indonesian, to everyone I met. I really should learn Korean or Japanese by now! (＃￣ω￣)
This Sound Healing Class from Yoga Barn is a highly recommended! Especially if you had only 5 hours sleep last night! For me it was like a napping time with strangers with beautiful soundtrack from many kind of instruments they played surrounded by greeneries. After the class ended, I feel very refreshed and ready for my next stop. ＼(￣▽￣)／
too bad I didn’t take a snap inside the classroom
Third Appointment of the day: Agung Rai Museum of Art [ARMA]!
ARMA was one of the recommended museum in Ubud. I had only 1 hour to walk around the museum before they closed at 6PM. It obviously not enough time for me. The gallery was in Balinese architecture, beautiful paintings, very quiet, and the area was a beautiful lush garden. There are villas and river at the back of the location which I didn’t have time to visit. The sky was getting dark. (｡•́︿•̀｡)
At one of the pendopo, I met two old man doing their job: painting. One of them was painting a crowded dogs in a large canvas, the other man in pink shirt was sketching himself in an A4 paper. The pink shirt man offered me for a quick sketch as a souvenir. He convinced me that he was the gardener of this huge ARMA and that Mr. Agung Rai almost never came to this museum. Little did I know, he was Mr. Agung Rai himself! And I got a free portrait sketch of the famous Balinese artist! σ(≧ε≦σ) ♡
Entrance fee was IDR80k, the museum opens at 9AM to 6PM. With this price you can have a welcome drink at ARMA Café and walk around the huge complex of museums, few pendopos, river, villas, beautiful gardens, etc. If you’re lucky enough (like me) you might get a glimpse of the famous artist, Mr. Agung Rai or you might get a free portrait sketch too! ♡ (￣З￣)
Oh what a lucky day! Now let’s go to my next stop with grab bike IDR5k.
Me & Mr. Agung Rai The Artist.
Fourth Appointment of the day: Lobster at Arang!
But they didn’t sell lobster anymore!!! o(〒﹏〒)o
Arang Restaurant is famous for their satay. They have many kind of satay from chicken, beef and pork and all looks good! It took me quite a long time to decide which satay I would like to try. (｡•́︿•̀｡)
I finally ordered sate babi plecing which I enjoyed very much! I failed to get a lobster in Batam and I failed to get a lobster in Bali! .･ﾟﾟ･(／ω＼)･ﾟﾟ･.
superb sate babi plecing and a glass of Coconut Rumballa
Fifth Appointment of the day: Kecak Dance at Pura Puseh!
Shortly after my dinner. I didn’t feel like haggling in the market. It must be dark in the market and I was too tired to haggle. But it was only 7PM and still way too early to call it a night in Bali. So I tried to find night performance in Ubud. And there are a lot of locals (mostly woman) selling tickets for the performances. I bought one of the ticket for IDR75k, for the Kecak Dance at Pura Puseh. This another not-too-far tourist place from my homestay. (´｡• ω •｡`) ♡
Kecak Dance is said to originate from a Balinese ancient ritual called Sanghyang, aimed as a form of exorcism or to repel evil spirits in which dancers fall into a trance. The dance first appeared in 1930, after Balinese Dancer, Wayan Limbak worked together with German painter Walter Spies to create a dramatic performance version of the Sanghyang by incorporating the epic Ramayana saga. They took the innovation on a world tour, thus the dance became popular ever since. (￣ε￣＠)
the famous Kecak Dance at Pura Puseh Ubud
someone is falling asleep during the dance! Come on, it’s not that bad!
Get approached by Hanoman. Maybe this is the way he said thank you after I drawed him at Batik Class this morning.
So the story of Kecak Dance goes like this;
Prince Rama, the heir of the Ayodya Kingdom, and his wife Sita, have been banished by his father, the King Dasarata as he is persuaded by Rama’s stepmother. The story begins with the arrival of Rama and Sita along with his brother, Laksamana in the forest of Dandaka. The trio have been watched by the demon Rahwana, the King of Alengka, who lusts after the beautiful Sita. Rahwana sent his prime minister, Marica, to play a trick on Sita so that they can kidnap her. Marica has magic power that turns himself into a golden deer, and runs around the forest to attract Sita’s attention.
When Sita saw the golden deer, she is so enchanted that she asks Rama to capture the deer for her. Rama then goes after the deer by himself and strictly instructs Laksamana to protect his wife. Not long after that, Sita thinks she hears a cry for help from Rama, so she sent Laksamana to go after Rama. Laksamana went with hesitation but he keeps his promise to protect Sita by drawing a magic circle on the ground and told her not to step outside the circle under any circumstances.
Alone in forest, Sita now is an easy prey to Rahwana. He then magically turns himself into an old hungry priest, begging for some food, which Sita fell for and then she stepped out of the circle. This is the moment that Rahwana kidnaps her to his palace.
Back in Alengka Palace, Rahwana attempts to seduce Sita without any luck. In the meantime, Hanoman, the white monkey, a good friend of Rama, is searching everywhere for Sita…
At the palace, Sita pours her heart out about cruel Rahwana to his niece Trijata, when suddenly Hanoman appears telling her that he is Rama’s messenger by showing her Rama’s ring. Sita gives her hairpin to Hanoman and sends him back to Rama to let him know that she is still alive and needs to be rescued. During this time, Rama and his brothers are wandering in the forest looking for Sita when all of sudden Meganada, Rahwana’s son, appears to them and engages in a battle. He uses his magic power and shoots an arrow that turns into a dragon which over powers the three brothers.
Thankfully the bird Garuda, king of all birds, and a good friend of King desarata is watching the trouble that Rama is in from the sky and flies down to rescue them. From then on, Rama and his brothers continue on their mission to rescue Sita and are joined by Sugriwa, king of the monkeys and his monkeys troop. The story ends with a battle between Sugriwa and his monkey troop against Meganada and his demon army, in which Meganada gets defeated.
My 5 hours sleep finally took a toll and I had to call it a night after the Kecak Dance. It was only 9PM but I had energy left just to walk from Pura Puseh to the homestay. Tomorrow will be my best friend’s big day, so I had to looked pretty.