Mapping Bali

Bali’s Mangrove Swamps

Culture | Mar 23, 2019

There is one element of the forest ecosystem that is very accessible, but until recently hardly noticed. These are the humble mangrove swamps. Mangrove trees are not very pretty and grow in ill smelling places, so they can be easily passed by in favoUr of more ‘aesthetic’ trees. But ecologists see these trees as primadonnas […]

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West Bali, The Border of Cultivation

Culture | Feb 21, 2019

If you travel west of Seririt the landscape changes quickly. Except for one road and some scattered villages this is undeveloped land. Contained in this area is a protected forest called the West Bali National Forest. This forest has been left undeveloped, although there are persistent rumours of illegal logging here. There is a stark […]

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Mapping Bali – Coffee

Culture | Jan 29, 2019

The flowers appear at the beginning of the rainy season. There are 3-4 buds in each flower cluster, and each tree can produce thousands of flowers.  A tree in full bloom looks like it is dusted with snow, and fills the surrounding area with a delicate aroma. The harvesting and preparation of the beans is […]

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Mapping Bali – Kebun Culture

Culture | Dec 20, 2018

Kebun Culture When traveling through the hillsides, both north and south, it will quickly become clear that you are not in rice country any more, these villages owe their livelihoods to the fruit trees and coffee bushes that thrive at these altitudes. There is a wide variety of cultivated plants in these areas. Within a […]

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Mapping Bali 34 – Singaraja, The Old Capital

Culture | Nov 21, 2018

The major city in the north is Singaraja, in fact until the middle of the 20th century it was the only major point of entry to Bali. Singaraja was a flourishing place in those days with separate quarters for the Europeans, Bugis, Chinese and Arab inhabitants. Singaraja had temples (both Hindu and Confucian), mosques and […]

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Mapping Bali 33 : Turning to the Sea

Culture | Sep 20, 2018

Turning to the Sea Another strategy to survive this arid environment is to turn away from the hills and look to the sea. Generally speaking the Balinese don’t like the ocean, but know when to put it to good use. When the scarce rains fall in the arid regions, the people turn to the land […]

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Mapping Bali 32 : Into the Arid Land

Culture | Aug 06, 2018

There is a dramatic transition as you head north through the valley between Mt. Agung and Mt. Seraya. You travel from thick forests and fertile rice fields into plains of dusty rocks and cacti. What happened to all the water? Considering that the rains of the rainy season blow from the north, onto the northeast […]

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The Stage is Ready It’s Time to Begin

Culture | Jul 30, 2018

Sitting in the warung outside the temple watching the parade and carnival. Some people in full temple dress sparkling with gold thread, others in t-shirts and jeans. A man sells sate, other men drink beer and gamble on little coloured wooden shapes. An old man spits out beetle juice, red and thick, two dogs lock […]

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Mapping Bali #30 : How a Balinese Temple is Used

Culture | Jun 27, 2018

As mentioned before, there is no standard arrangement for a temple. So to explain its system of courtyards we will focus in on one particular temple, Pura Geria Sakti from the village of Kendaran in south central Bali.  This is one of the grand temples in Bali that is associated with the famous priest from […]

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The Music of Bali

Culture | May 28, 2018

The music of the gamelan is an equally rich and complex tradition. Like dance it makes itself accessible to a variety of skill levels. There are roles for those who have become experts, and there are places for someone else who just wants to hit a gong. It is a user friendly orchestra. If dance […]

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