An eclectic blog concentrating on Bali but taking in the World

Posts tagged “Travel and Tourism

Kuningan in Ubud, Bali

Today is Kuningan in Ubud, Bali, which is the last day of the 10 day holiday beginning on Galungan when the gods descend and are present. Today the gods leave Bali.

Penjor

Penjor at Murni's Houses.

The roads are decorated, shrines are covered in glorious textiles and statues are dressed.

Balinese Guardian Statue dressed in Poleng textile

Balinese Guardian Statue dressed in Poleng textile.

The Balinese pray at their temples and shrines. It’s an  important and happy day.

Balinese Gate at Murni's Houses

Balinese Gate at Murni's Houses.

Murni’s Warung was closed as the Balinese staff are all too busy to work. So I left Murni’s Houses to walk into town for lunch. I looked back at the large Balinese gate and admired the penjor, the large bamboo pole, which is symbolic on many levels, and the offerings stuffed into the niches on either side of the door.

Shop on the main street of Ubud.

Shop on the main street of Ubud.

Walking down the main street I photographed a few shrines and the shop where I’ve often bought udeng, the Balinese headdress for men, from the old lady, who also sells hats. She’s always smiling. She had  a rather nice double shrine.

People going about their business, Ubud., Bali.

People going about their business, Ubud., Bali.

A little further down shop girls were chatting happily as a lady went about her business carrying a plastic container on her head.

Pig Barong,  Ubud, Bali.

Pig Barong, Ubud, Bali.

Throughout this period Barongs parade along the streets, always accompanied by umbrellas and music.

Balinese gamelan music accompanies the Barong.

Balinese gamelan music accompanies the Barong.

I mentioned in an earlier post that there are different types of Barong. This one is the pig Barong.

I decided to follow it and soon it stopped in front of a house and danced bringing good luck to the family who lived there.

Balinese photographer.

Balinese photographer.

I spotted a Balinese girl photographing me. We became friends and she invited me into her home to see her family temple and meet the family. Photography is like that.

The family temple was a beautiful one with magnificently decorated shrines.

But better than that there were several generations of welcoming people.

The Youngest One.

The Youngest One.

The youngest member was intrigued to see a large, ungainly foreigner wander in.

Sister.

Sister.

His sister was  more comfortable with the intruder and slightly bemused.

Aunt.

Aunt.

His aunt had eyes that looked right through you and melted your heart.

Mother.

Mother.

His mother was proud and smiley.

Grandmother.

Grandmother.

His grandmother had a wonderful, wise and kindly face.

Grandmother's friend.

Grandmother's friend.

Her friend was sitting beside her.

There’s more about Galungan, Kuningan and Barongs in Secrets of Bali.

There are more photographs on www.jonathaninbali.com


New Spa Ceremony in Ubud, Bali

Tamarind Spa at Murni's Houses

Tamarind Spa at Murni's Houses

1st June was not just a day, it was an auspicious day, and it was not just an auspicious day, it was a triply auspicious day.

Tamarind Spa at Murni's Houses

Tamarind Spa at Murni's Houses

The Balinese believe in auspicious days. They are coincidence days, rather like Friday 13th.

Tamarind Spa at Murni's Houses

Tamarind Spa at Murni's Houses

So 1st June was a very good day to have the blessing for the opening of The Tamarind Spa at Murni’s Houses, Ubud, Bali.

The weather was glorious, which made it a quadruply auspicious day.

Tamarind Spa at Murni's Houses

Tamarind Spa at Murni's Houses

Early in the morning Murni and her family and friends prepared the numerous offerings of fruit and flowers, rice and spices, and I even noticed a cooked chicken.

Tamarind Spa at Murni's Houses

Tamarind Spa at Murni's Houses

On such days the priests are very busy carrying out ceremonies. We were lucky that he showed up around noon, which made it more challenging for photographs.

Tamarind Spa at Murni's Houses

Tamarind Spa at Murni's Houses

He brought his bell, which resonated throughout, and his mantras, and his mudras, which are sacred hand gestures.

Tamarind Spa at Murni's Houses

Tamarind Spa at Murni's Houses

The women sprinkled holy water over every corner of the spa, both inside and out. Balinese Hinduism is not called the holy water religion for nothing.

Tamarind Spa at Murni's Houses

Tamarind Spa at Murni's Houses

A piece of cloth with magical symbols for protection was attached to the eaves, never to be removed.

Tamarind Spa at Murni's Houses

Tamarind Spa at Murni's Houses

A bamboo pole was burnt over a small fire until it exploded frightening away any malevolent spirits that might have been lurking about.

Tamarind Spa at Murni's Houses

Tamarind Spa at Murni's Houses

After a couple of hours of mantras, ringing bells, and prayers, the ceremony was over and the spa had received the blessing of the gods and was ready to welcome guests.

There are more photographs on www.jonathaninbali.com

There are chapters on Balinese Hinduism, Balinese Calendars, Balinese Ceremonies and Offerings in Secrets of Bali.


Dancing in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai Dancer

Chiang Mai Dancer

In Chiang Mai, Thailand as part of the three-day Flower Festival held during the first weekend in February each year, there are dancing performances on a stage at Thappae Gate, the entrance to the old walled city of Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai Dancer

Chiang Mai Dancer

Our hotel was only 5 minutes’ walk away, so it was easy to stroll there and walk back home after a wonderful evening’s entertainment.

Chiang Mai Dancer

Chiang Mai Dancer

The singers are young, but their voices are strong, and at a young age are professionals.

Chiang Mai Dancer

Chiang Mai Dancer

Being in the open air, it was easy to join them back stage for some great shots. It was all very colourful but I decided to process these in black and white. We have so much colour in our lives, it can be so overwhelming we don’t even notice or remember it.

There are more photographs on www.jonathaninbali.com


Chiang Mai Portraits, Thailand

Chiang Mai Portrait

Chiang Mai Portrait

There is something about Chiang Mai. It’s laid back, often literally.

Chiang Mai Portrait

Chiang Mai Portrait

People take their time and they have  time for you.

Chiang Mai Portrait

Chiang Mai Portrait

And they smile.

Chiang Mai Portrait
Chiang Mai Portrait

For me, it’s the ideal place for portraits and street photography, especially in the Chinatown area.

Chiang Mai Portrait

Chiang Mai Portrait

On my last morning in Chiang Mai my shoe broke and this wonderful lady fixed it and I’m still wearing it.


Flower Festival, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Flower Festival, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Flower Festival, Chiang Mai, Thailand


In Chiang Mai, Thailand there’s a glorious three-day festival held during the first weekend in February each year, when Chiang Mai’s temperate and tropical flowers are in full bloom.

Flower Festival, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Flower Festival, Chiang Mai, Thailand

We’ve been many times to Chiang Mai but this was the first time in February.

Flower Festival, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Flower Festival, Chiang Mai, Thailand

The festivities include floral floats, parades, traditional dancing shows, and a beauty contest, all of which are great subjects for a photographer.

Flower Festival, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Flower Festival, Chiang Mai, Thailand

There are more photographs on www.jonathaninbali.com

To Murni’s in Bali