Readers beware: Photo-intensive post… so be patient and wait for them to load.
I’ve personally been to Bali several times… and the place is just as fun and as relaxing as I remember it. I love the Balinese people… their culture and the scenery they have. I was talking to my driver and she said that most Balinese never have a chance to get out of Bali because they can never afford it. I told her that she should feel blessed then… that god has given them everything they could ever need… they have gorgeous beaches… lofty mountains and fertile volcano earth.
The thing about the Balinese culture is that they are very centered on religion… which is Hinduism. Though Balinese Hindu is rather different from the Hindu we know in Singapore or in India. They have temples everywhere… big ones small ones and every household has a mini temple in their own courtyard which they pray and do offerings twice a day!
I’ve seen most temples in Bali on my previous trips so this time I just chose a couple that I felt was quite nice to recommend to the first timer. The pictures are of the Royal Family Temple which is a temple on a large sprawling plot of land with a nice moat and rivers on its sides.
The heart of the temple can only be entered in a festive event… which occurs like once a month and a different day for each temple so the people almost have a chance to visit different temples all the time!
After which we took a slow drive down to another temple by the lake. In the valley of the volcanos.
Because of the rich and fertile volcanic soil… Bali is totally self sufficient in agriculture. They grow everything from rice to cucumbers to flowers and fruits. It’s really quite amazing to have everything on your plate grown there. Unlike Singapore where it’s hard to spot anything that we consume to be a local produce. The best part is the fruits and vegetables are not only fresh but generally very sweet and juicy!
As a tourist…. you’ll come to realize that they place their temples in the best and most scenic locations. For this temple it was placed right next to a gorgeous lake. They do place their Gods above all things and that is also why they are not allowed to build any building taller then a coconut tree. It’s so that the temples will always be taller and they would never be looking down on their Gods.
My trusty ballerina crocs followed me everywhere on this trip =)
The lake temple grounds was very well maintained with beautiful gardens all over. And they had my favorite hydrangeas! The weather there though sunny was actually very cool and perfect for a stroll in the gardens.
Whenever they have a festival at the village temple… they would come all the way to the lake to retrieve water to be used for the festival. And for those living on the other side of the mountain… they would get their praying water from the springs.
I’ll be back to update more about Bali… meanwhile these pictures should be enough =)