Secret Bali

Tandjung Sari Part 3: The Family Tree

Culture | Dec 06, 2017

When speaking about Tandjung Sari, its founding father WijaWawo-Runtu always said “my hotel is my living room, my guests are my friends”, but it was also their beloved home at BatuJimbar, that Wija and Tatie opened up to people from all over the world, and the ever-growing clan of Wawo-Runtu children. This is Part 3 […]

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Stalwarts of the Sawah: The Life of the Balinese Rice Farmer

Culture | Nov 30, 2017

Bali’s beautiful glistening green rice fields are no accident. They are the result of a rice culture that has been handed down for centuries. A carefully integrated system of planting and irrigation through the UNESCO World Heritage recognised Subak system means that for centuries, rice farmers all over the island have received water to irrigate […]

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Under the Rumbling Holy Mountain

Culture | Nov 01, 2017

While Bali’s holy mountain Gunung Agung rumbles threateningly, keeping everyone on their toes, life in the villages continues unabated. Here in a tiny hamlet, within shouting distance of Gunung Agung, the villagers celebrate their temple celebration or Odalan without turning a hair. Even though this little village of Yeh Poh – water of the heavenly […]

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Dance, Trance and the Bali Spirit

Culture | Oct 11, 2017

Balinese ceremonies will always provide a little something. Something visual, something surprising, something out of the ordinary. People come together at their village temple, primarily to pray to their gods, yet at the same time it keeps each community strong and connected. It is this regular procession of temple festivals or Odalan, which happen in […]

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Tandjung Sari Part 1: The Old, Flamboyant Sanur

Culture | Oct 06, 2017

On an island that can now feel overrun with hotels and resorts, few can rival the history of Tandjung Sari hotel in Sanur. One of the first resorts in Sanur, Tandjung Sari was at the forefront of the influx of tourists to the island and has remained one of the ‘seminal boutique hotels of tropical […]

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Kastala Kapers: Journey to Another World

Culture | Sep 04, 2017

Anyone who thinks that Bali’s culture is dying just needs out head out of town. I am guessing that many of the southerners busy with business and the pursuits of pleasure care less but that doesn’t stop Bali’s vibrant culture being nurtured by their profits. It is surely a win win situation for everyone! Kastala, […]

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The Darling Daahas of Dauh Tukad

Culture | Aug 03, 2017

Every year the Bali Aga (original Balinese) villages around Karangasem celebrate the coming of age of their young folk with a procession of rites and rituals. Part of the celebration is the famed Parang Pandan – fights with spiny pandanus leaves designed to draw blood from their opponents to spill on the ground and thus […]

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Bangle, So Near Yet So Far Away

Culture | Jul 03, 2017

Snuggling under the holy Lempuyung mountain, one of Bali’s most iconic holy places, is Bangle. While it is close to fast forward Amed, when you take the turn off the main Amed track and head into the hills, a different world is there. A long a deep valet lie pristine rice fields, that remain green […]

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A Sense of Style: Dressing Up for Ceremonies

Culture | Jun 13, 2017

The Balinese have an innate sense of style and nowhere is it becoming really apparent than when attending a ceremony. Their love of dressing up and decorating themselves and everything else in sight makes every ceremony absolutely gorgeous. Makeup is de rigour for dancers, with the boys painted up as much as the girls. While […]

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Agama Tirta: Water, Water Everywhere

Culture | May 10, 2017

The Balinese revere water. Go to any holy place and you will find water present. Rushing rivers of pure, clear water, small trickling streams, holy springs or water spouts with water issuing forth from some sacred place deep within the earth are always present. In some places, water passes through ancient channels cut deep into […]

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