Balinese dancing and the story of Dewa Karna
Intricate hand gestures, complex foot movements and deep gazes replace the spoken word in the traditional masked Balinese dance, Legong Kraton. A form of royal entertainment in the 19th century, Bali’s tourists are now its main audience and, even if quality varies, it’s a riveting visual experience.
The upside to Bali in the rainy season
It’s pouring. My waterproof jacket may as well be cotton wool. My money belt, worn underneath my underwear, is sodden. I don’t care that $50 worth of Indonesian rupiah is disintegrating. It’s worth it.
Meeting Bali's master-puppeteer
Ubud, the heartland of Balinese culture, is a great place to watch an ancient form of art: the Wayang Kulit, a shadow-puppet show.
Bali is a valuable lesson in mindfulness
Every morning, the guesthouse owner’s daughter walks around the grounds, placing meticulously-made flower arrangements by each temple, no matter how tiny. Silently, peacefully, slowly. It’s the ultimate Balinese ritual.
Bali’s eat, pray, eat tour
Rice – be it sticky, rice, coconut or sweet – comes with everything in Indonesia, but it’s not just a food staple. It represents life, prosperity and family fortunes, and the rice goddess Dewi Sri, or Shridevi, is worshipped on the islands of Java and Bali.
Bali’s lessons in mindfulness
Jackfruit, papaya, breadfruit and mango trees are exploding around us with a greenness only possible in Bali. Coconut palms and aloe vera plants compete for attention. We taste, smell, crush leaves and skull coconuts full of sweet nectar as we go, while herbalist Westi explains us the virtues of each plant.