June 15, 2007

Bali High


Bali...it's very name evokes images of an exotic isle; images of mythic landscapes, emerald rice terraces, spectacular sunsets, flamboyantly dressed dancers, tropical spas, brooding volcanoes, pristine beaches, and a lavishly spiced cuisine. Last weekend, I discovered Bali was indeed all that and much much more.

The forty minute ride from the airport to the town of Ubud was absorbing. Rina and I stared out the windows of the hotel car, rubbernecking, trying hard not to blink lest we miss something. Most of the time we were trance-like and speechless but once in a while there was an audible sharp intake of breath from either one of us, and an occasional shout to "look at that over there!" or "hurry, check this out!" as we jabbed our fingers against the glass pointing at something out-of-this-world unusual or beautiful outside. This type of exchange between us was repeated many times over during our short trip.

Bali is steeped in tradition and the Balinese are extremely spiritual and talented folk. Art and ceremony is part and parcel of daily life here and the best place to experience all this is in Ubud, a town in the middle of the island, where the culture and people have not been tainted or ruined by outside forces. Here everyone is an artist in one form or another, be they dancers, painters, sculptors, musicians, actors, batik designers or puppet masters. So this is where we chose to stay, in the heart of it all.

Bali is magical. It is an island full of wonder and surprises. And we tried to drink in as much of it as we could in such a short time, but in small languorous sips, the way you would fine wine. My succeeding posts will be dedicated to this enchanting island and my romance with it. Please bear with me as I linger, I'm not ready to come down from this high I'm feeling. :)


joey said...

Your stories sound magical! Can't wait to see the posts...the photos and your narravites have already got me hooked :) Take your time and savor as much of the "high" as you can :)

ginny said...

Very eager to discover Bali through your posts. I agree with Joey, take your time and wallow in your "high".

katrina said...

what a yummy appetizer! main course please!

Mimi said...

Excellent title for this post! I used to love that song!

I became intrigued with Bali when some colleagues at the univeristy began spening their summers there. They have given talks and slideshows and even did an evening of food - OMG!

Your photos are lovely!

christine said...

Thanks, Ginny & Jo, I will. :) You've both already heard most of the stories, so not much left that would be new to you in the coming posts though.

Hi Kat! I'll get there soon I promise! :)

Hi Mimi,thank you! I loved that song and part of that movie/play too. It always made me so wistful for the true island life. :) And funny you mention the evening of food, we had one ourselves last night where we cooked the food we learned from a Balinese woman there. In fact Joey and Ginny (above) were present. :) I'll be blogging about that after the Bali posts.

canDIshhh said...

Christine! I've always thought that Bali is a magical place! I've been told to that Boracay is prettier than Bali. Is it? I can't wait for the rest of your Bali post!!

rina said...

I have been reading your blog for the past few months,and I really like your travel blogs..it makes me want to visit the places you are writing about.

Just like you,I enjoy traveling with new places my girlfriends. It's just fun to travel with girls since you do not have to worry if they get bored when you go shopping and stuff as opposed to traveling with your significant other =) haha!

Wanted Bali and Myanmar to be the next on my list!

Keep on blogging!


ajay said...

Beautiful pictures! Buti ka pa nakapunta na sa Bali;)

christine said...

Hi Candishh! I don't know about which is prettier, kinda hard to compare unless you're only talking about the coast of Bali - which is not the real Bali. But beach-wise, Boracay has whiter, finer sand. They're both beautiful! :)

Hi Rina! Thank you. :) And yes, travel with girlfriends is hard to beat. It's just so much easier, for one, and of course chances are you'll have more common interests. But really, girlfriends just make such fantastic company! I'd love to do Myanmar and Laos too someday,hope you get to go! :)Cambodia is on my list for next year, I've been putting that off too long.

Thanks ajay! Ibang klase talaga ang Bali. I usually prefer to go somewhere new before I return to a place I've already visited, but I'll go back to Bali in a heartbeat! :)

himantayon said...

magical hmmm.. i have to visit Bali one of these days :)..

christine said...

Himantayon, yes! Do visit soon. :)