Wednesday 24 December 2014

Barong Dance, Kintamani and Ubud with Draisyahafiz - a Muslim Tourist Guide

Having a cup of luwak coffee amidst nature at Ubud area

Our third day in Bali,we chose to get closer to greenery and nature. We had an early start with yummy pancake & french toast breakfast,and left the villa at 8.30am. Our first stop was at Sanur to watch the Barong Dance. We chose not to see the kecak dance at Uluwatu as we were informed that it was part of a religious ritual, thus we refuse to be involved. 

Barong dance in the other hand, is a traditional dance with the story of the fight between good and evil, Barong being the good being, Rangda being the evil being. We were given the script of the play upon entering the auditorium so that we can understand the story line. 

Barong, the symbol of good

The live music of gamelan performance 
Dewi Kunti was reluctant to give away her daughter Sedawa, but the evil spirit of Rangda (the bald guy) possessed her & made her give away her daughter as a sacrifice
Daughter of Dewi Kunti, Sedawa being held captive, tied to a tree, to be killed by Rangda but a higher order (the man with red crown) gave her the gift of invincibility

Rangda, the evil spirit was angry as he could not tear Sedawa to pieces due to the invincibility
The ultimate fight between good & evil, Sedawa transformed into Barong and the evil spirit became Rangda. No one win this fight thus the constant fight between good & evil to this day.

Towards the end of the show, a few men showed that they became invincible by trying to stab themselves with a traditional knife called the keris. My impression was the keris were not real and thus it was all an act, but one actor actually got possessed and couldn't stop, until the witch doctor helped him. It was quite scary,but overall the performance was good. The small actors had a few dirty jokes which I disagree with, as there were children amongst the audience. 

The men, the follower of Barong (the good spirit) trying to fight the evil Rangda

All men lost to the battle with Rangda

All the men being "healed" by the Barong spirit and became invincible. At this point they were all trying to stab themselves with a keris. The witchdoctor was believed to have came with a "paranormal spirit" or jin, to posses the men. 
Apparently the dancers make a living by doing a once a day dance, and they were selected from the local School of Culture. Every audience is being charged Rp100,000 per person (RM28), and the auditorium could easily fit 300 people in one sitting. 

From Sanur, we went straight up to the Kintamani Mountain. The journey took nearly 2 hours but the scenery were breathtaking. We got glimpse of the native Bali in their villages as well. 

The ambiance was getting cooler as we ascend up, and we reached the vintage point of Kintamani Mountain and lake at 12 noon, earlier than the rest of the tourists, hence we took the opportunity to take beautiful photos. Our tour guide, Mustain was an excellent photographer as well and the weather was perfect. Half an hour after we reached Kintamani, the weather became cloudy and it was drizzling. 

A short video at Kintamani :)

We had lunch at the halal restaurant at Kintamani. It was a buffet lunch with variety of Indonesian style food,and it was quite reasonable at Rp242,000 for 2 person (Rp100,000 per person plus 21% tax), equivalent to RM67 for two.

Lovely view during lunch

Kintamani from a different view point 

From Kintamani, after praying our Zuhr & Asar jamak prayers at the musolla in the restaurant, we continued our journey to the coffee plantation. We were shown how luwak coffee is being produced, where an animal called luwak will choose and eat the best coffee beans, and the undigested beans will be excreted by the animals. These beans will later being washed, cleaned and processed to make the lovely luwak coffee, which can be priced at Rp200,000 per 60gram of coffee powder (RM56). 

Uncleansed coffee beans from the luwak poo

Cleansed but unpeeled beans

Cleansed and peeled coffee beans
We learned how the coffee beans were rosted manually to retain the aroma as well. Later on, we were given samples of coffee including sweet potato coffee (my favourite), lemongrass tea & ginger tea. The view was outstanding and we took nice photos here. I bought some coffee for my mom &  my mother in law, and we proceeded to our next destination. 

The variety of  coffee to be tested, given free 

Hubby trying the coffee Bali

Excellent view from the terrace

The serenity was somehow captured in this photo, subhanallah... 
We stopped over at Tegallalang village with the signature hill which was made of paddy fields, and it feels like a dream come true. We got married at early age with limited financial resources, thus we never had a chance to have a nice wedding photoshoots. I always dream of taking photos at a paddy field and today my dream did came true, Alhamdulillah. The entrance fees was Rp20,000 (RM5.60) for two person.

From Tegallalang, we decend further to Sanur to see paintings & silver craftery. One of the shops was so beautifully decorated that it felt like we  have stepped into a fantasy land.

The painting area

Delicate silver craft

With the workers at Sari Dewi Silver shop 

Silver necklaces for our daughters, each is Rp700,000 (RM196)

The second silver shop

Beautiful interior decoration. The silver jewelleries here are cheaper than Sari Dewi 

The magnificient entrance

Barong as the "welcoming feature"

By the time we reached Kuta, it was almost dusk. To cap the day, we went for dinner at a nice restaurant in Seminyak. If the food choice and the taste didnt blew you away, the price tag will! For the three of us, including the tourist guide, it only cost us less than Rp100,000 (RM28).

Look at the awesome price tags!

Yummy fried chicken
After reaching our villa, the receptionist offered if I want a spa treatment at the convenience of our private villa . How could I resist! It was a two hours massage & lulur (mask), including hair mask, for Rp385,000 (RM108), where in Malaysia a similar treatment in a spa could cost up to RM250.

After packing, we called it a day as we had to leave early at 9am the following morning to catch our flight at noon. 

Bali has so much to offer & I was completely blown away by the beautiful beaches, the tasty food, the kind and polite people and the wonderful adventures of Nusa Dua. There are still a lot more to see including a cruise to Lembongan, Safari, wonderful zoo and chasing dolphins in Lovina. And for that, I won't say goodbye Bali, but "see you again, Bali" 

See you again, beautiful Bali!