Thursday, March 17, 2011

On the Island of the Gods

If there's anything about Bali that most impressed me it has to be the spirituality of its people.

The most evident expression of which is the tiny offerings of flowers, incense, and crackers placed in small baskets and laid in front of houses, shops, and on altars. These offerings are practically everywhere. As we traveled around the island, altars (akin to spirit houses in Thailand) are ubiquitous.

Ornate temples made of bricks, sandstone, and straw are also all over the place. Tanah Lot is a temple on an outcrop battered by huge waves. We went to Uluwatu, which is dramatically perched on a sharp cliff. We were mesmerized by the kecak dance - a retelling of the Ramayana and some local legends - performed on the grounds of Uluwatu.

On our way to Ubud, we stopped by the holy springs of Tirta Empul. There we had the chance to observe some pious people praying in front of an altar. A priest rang a small bell while people chanted with him. There's something very entrancing in the devotion of the people we saw at the temple, which pretty much speaks about how important spirituality is among the Balinese.

So from the religious to the profane... we ate pork in Indonesia. But then perhaps it's only on the island of Bali you can do that, right? They have this famous dish called babi goreng (or something) that's similar to the lechon of Las Islas Filipinas. Our cab driver brought us to this hole in the wall where they served us a platter of roast pork, deep fried pig's intestines, and all these other sinful parts of a pig. Yuuum! One of the best meals of the trip.

Did I mention Bali is expensive? The food is expensive (except for the roast pork). Transportation is expensive. Shopping is overpriced. Alcohol costs an arm and a leg. Whew!

But then, we were fortunate that we can stay in Bali in style, thanks to the Amigas of San Francisco (TERIMA KASI, bitches), who paid for the swanky villa where we spent a good amount of time swimming in the pool, quaffing Bintang beer, smoking Gudang Garam, and swapping a whole range of stories about our lives (and other peoples').

Ultimately, the best part of the holiday in Bali is the time spent with friends. Their company really made the trip full of unbridled kabaklaan, echosan, and kagagahan.

1 comment:

fuchsiaboy said...

the travel experiment was a success! can't wait to travel again with you, betches! ;)


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