Today we went on a half day cultural and sight seeing tour of Ubud and the surrounding area. The first stop was the village of Batu Bulan which I believe means “Moon Stone”. There we when to see the local folk stage a performance of The Barong and Kris Dance. The music was done by a live Gamelan orchestra. This was my first time to hear that kind of music and I must say that the orchestra did a really good job. The dancing was pretty cool and the make-up and costumes (especially for the women) was really impressive even though the stage was very simple. The whole performance is staged regularly and is certainly for the benefit of the tourists being held not right in the local village temple but somewhat. The only concern I had initially going there to see the performance was that they may want to involve the audience in some sort of a Hindu ceremony… had that happened, I had decided that I would politely decline due to my Christian religious beliefs… but nothing like that happened so I was able to relax and enjoy the performance. Just a quick note here, I must say that I have always found the Asian culture rather interesting even though I don’t always believe or agree with some of the things they do such as ancestor worship and stuff like that.
After the performance our guide then took us on a tour to see the typical (or traditional) Balinese family compound. He explained how the place was laid out including the fact the each compound has its own family temple. Fore more details, check out this link
After this we went to check out some famous silver smiths do their thing but that was not too interesting.
For the last part of the tour he wanted to take us to a temple but we politely declined (simply because we didn’t want to be involved in any ritual that may be required to be performed to enter the temple) and instead we wanted to go checkout the rice fields terraces which we thought would be more interesting and unique.
That afternoon and evening we explored a little more of Ubud and tried a couple of new restaurants including a pretty decent Indian restaurant and later happy hour mojitos at Cinta’s Restaurant.
Tomorrow, Monday we leave Ubud to Amed for beach, relaxation and scuba diving.