UPDATED 10th JUNE 2008…
The Bali Experience, as I would call it, is nothing less than awesome. Perhaps the understatement of the year? I am in Jakarta, Indonesia right now as I am writing this. It’s only been a day since I left Bali for Jakarta and I am already missing the island! 🙂
The beauty of the island is more enchanting than I had expected, and the environment is definitely something you cannot get the feel merely over the TV screen or in books we read about. And yes, there is certainly more to the Island of Gods than just strips of beautiful beaches, nude statues and merchandise items resembling private parts. 🙂
Day 1: Checking in the Sanur Beach Hotel & Kecak Dance
Ladan and I left for the KL International Airport early in the morning and it was going to be our first experience in boarding a flight with AirAsia. The low budget aircraft was mighty crammed with people like a flying sardine. 🙂 We arrived at Bali (Denpasar) in 3 hours by flight, and another hour of wading through the crowd at the immigration point.
Hectic? Yes. Worth it? Yes, too!
Dee Ferdinand and his friend Kevaz Mighty Xavier picked us up at the Bali airport almost right away and we had lunch nearby. I’ve known Dee on the Internet or more than two years and I found him to be highly hospitable, friendly and selfless.
This was also my first time meeting his friend and V.A. Kevas. His real name is actually Lucky. Yes, I didn’t believe it was his real name (so did many people) and that was why he changed his name. 😉 He’s an animated, funny guy and laughs easily. He reminds me of Disney cartoon character Goofy, really.
Eating seafood for lunch, just after we arrived at Bali (DPS) Airport. L-R: Ladan, me and Dee Ferdinand. I was flashing the 50,000 Rupiah note but don’t be fooled by its voluminous figure; it is worth a little above $5.00 when you convert the note to US Dollars. 😉
With Dee at the Rice Field.
Then, we checked into the hotel shortly, though both Dee and Kevaz were staying in another hotel just 10 minutes away. Soon after, we were racing to a traditional stage nearby to watch the all-cultural Kecak Dance.
Watching the Kecak Dance live on stage. A group of approximately 30 topless men greeted the audience doing the dance and chanting ‘chak chak chak chak chak’ and ‘ouw ouw ouw ouw’. Okay it sure sounds crazy but when I heard them chanting like that, they sound just like me when I am at home. Maybe I’ve found my roots here in Bali? 😉
Full explanation on the Kecak Dance and its origin are here:
Shita and Trijata enters the scene.
Now it’s the white monkey. According to the storyline of the popular Indonesian folklore, the white monkey is of good nature. He sure looks otherwise here, though.
Flying monkey!!! The Kecak Dance we witnessed tells a brief story found in the popular Indonesian myth (which in print it’s a thousand pages long). After the main story was told and acted through the traditional dance, two little girls show their dancing talents on stage.
And what ensued was a wild dude breakdancing on fire!
Nah, just kidding. 😉 The man was stomping on fire with his bare feet, though. Talk about feat.
That’s me, just after the Kecak Dance performance was over. 🙂 And here are some more photos we took on our first day in Bali:
Day 2: Walk at the Beach, Discovery Shopping Mall, Seeing the Sun Set…
We spent most of the day in Kuta, in which we came back now and then throughout the same trip. We walked past a long street of merchants before we reached the beach.
L – R: Me, Kevas, Ladan. Strolling down the street teeming with busy merchants driving for a hard sell.
Having lunch with Dee.
I also visited the monument and site where the Bali Bombing occurred in Year 2002.
After a long walk, we finally reached the shore and… the beach is very beautiful! 🙂
Unlike in Malaysia, the day gets darker by 6.00 to 6.30 PM in Bali so we went on to catch seeing the sunset from outside Discovery Shopping Mall. Bummer that the clouds were blocking us from seeing the sun set. 😉
And yep, the clouds sure look like a pair of chicken wings. 🙂 Here are some more of our photos we took…
To be Continued in Part 2…
CREDITS TO DEE FERDINAND: Thanks for your generous share of excellent photos! 🙂 Guys if you need any graphic design done for your products, I highly recommend Dee’s service: http://www.MiniSiteGuru.com. (No, he didn’t pay me to advertise – his service quality speaks for itself) 🙂