Secret Bali

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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Ngerebeg and the Painted Boys of Tegallalang

Culture | May 06, 2017

Are they getting ready for a major music festival? Are they Vogue models? Is it Halloween? No they are Balinese boys engaged in a traditional ceremony. In Tegallalang and several other districts around Gianyar, the boys paint themselves up a storm before parading down the streets in a ceremony known as Ngerebeg . Before they […]

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Balinese Healers: Meeting a Balian

Culture | May 01, 2017

Ketut stands at the gate of his very Balinese home, waiting to greet us! After asking a dozen friends about healers, I finally hit gold. Ketut, who is known to be an excellent healer, lives in Batuan, one of the more traditional villages on the way to Ubud. He is a balian Usada, that is, […]

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Magical Melukat: Purifying Our Mind, Body & Soul

Culture | Apr 21, 2017

Lost in the hills of Bangli is one of Bali’s most magical situations. People from all over Bali go to this beautiful spot, hidden behind verdant rice fields to cleanse their souls and bodies and maybe even heal their hearts. Melukat is just one of Bali’s magical rituals which involves using water as a ritual […]

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Bali’s Beguiling Chinese Temples

Culture | Mar 19, 2017

Here and there around Bali are gorgeous Chinese temples. Known as klenteng they are mostly old and have seen their share of history and hard times. Indonesia and Bali have long had contact with China. Trade started centuries ago and after time, these traders established small communities which then needed to have a place of […]

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