Where to eat in Amed

Along the coastal strip of east Bali lies Amed village. As a tourism destination Amed refers to a long stretch of coast running from the village of Culik about 14 km eastwards incorporating the seven villages of Amed, Jemeluk, Bunutan, Lipah, Selang, Banyuning and Aas. The coastal views here are nice with slow pace of life. Though Amed is a newly developed destination but you can find some good places to eat there. Here are some of them.
Garam Cafe
3502771451_9625503df8Located at Hotel Uyah, Garam Cafe offers selection of local and international dishes. This restaurant has view of salt production field, on the dry season (April – September) you can see the production of salt in traditional way, the waitress is more than happy to explain the process of salt making.
Amed Cafe
Amed Cafe (62 363 23473) offers a good selection of international food with reasonable price. This café has good location and free internet access.
Located at Lipah village, Sails (62 363 22006) is a great restaurant with nice setting. With clean and modern nuance, Sails gives cozy atmosphere as well as extensive well thought out menu, worth a visit. Provides free pick up and drop-off around Amed area.
Barong Cafe and Restaurant
Barong Cafe and Restaurant (62 81 80 55 85 010) offers good selection of Indonesian and international cuisine. Provides free pick up and drop-off around Amed area.
Another nice place to eat is the tiny, friendly Restaurant Gede, located against the mountain after a steep descent from the Indra Udhayana Hotel, serves good fresh fish and seafood. Its terrace offers a view of rocky mountain slopes.



What to do in Amed

Amed is an excellent choice for those who long for serenity and quiet surrounding, a good place for honeymoon and getaway vacation.  While staying in Amed there are some activities you can do here to give your vacation a little more color.
Sailing and fishing
3503977232_2814edfb9bEarly morning fishing and sailing is superb in Amed; you can see hundreds of traditional fishing boats depart for their fishing exploration with beautiful red sunrise on east horizon as background. You can enjoy the sunrise while fishing or sailing. Join the early morning rush for mackerel and sunrise
Due to small number of visitors Amed’s sea life is healthy and abundant’ a good news for those who want some good snorkeling. You can enjoy good snorkeling within few meters of the shore. There is a small World War II Japanese wreck in quite shallow water off Lipah Beach.
Amed has some good diving spots in Jemeluk Bay both from the beach and from boats in deeper water. Beware of the drops off that reach the depths 40 meters plus right after a gentle slope out from shore. Amed has good and healthy coral with various fish. For experienced divers, there are some good drift dives further east at Selang and Bunutan.
For those who go to Amed just for relaxing and doing nothing, you can have a traditional massage while relaxing on the beach especially at Lipah.



Visiting Amed

Situated at Bali east coast Amed is with the nearest town, Amlapura, around 44 km away, Amed is a tourist destination that is suitable for those who longs for a quiet rustic scene and serene atmostphere. In the tourist vocabulary the word “Amed” refers to a 15-km stretch of coast from Amed via Jemeluk, Bunutan, Lipah Beach, and Banyuning to Aas.
To reach Amed youcan get a shuttle bus from Candidasa. The easiest way to reach Amed is still to hire your own transport with a driver. Public transportation in Amed is rare, There are bemos (mini buses) from Culik as far as Aas but mainly in the morning. Later in the day it is almost impossible to find transport; again the easiest way to get around is to hire a car and driver. Motorcycles are also widely available for rent.
Amed is well-known as diving and snorkeling site especially the Japanese wreck at Lipah, as for nightlife, compare to other destinations in South Bali, you can safely assume that there is no nightlife in Amed, save dining with friends, tasting the potent Arak Madu (Balinese local spirit mixed with honey and lime), enjoying live music at Wawa-wewe restaurants or if you are lucky you can watch the traditional genjek performance.



Jemeluk and Its Salt

The village of Jemeluk near Amed in Karangasem regency now begins to explore and develop their resources in order to compete the neighboring villages such as Amed that have already enjoyed the limelight of tourism for years.
Jemeluk not just offer a beautiful a clean beach free of hawkers and peddlers with stunning sunrise to behold but also a unique traditional salt making activity that have been the main occupation for many inhabitants of Jemeluk for generations. And traditional salt making is the trademark of Jemeluk that is used to give a unique characteristic to the Jemeluk beach.
Jemeluk and Its Salt
The traditional salt making activity in Jemeluk is programmed to be a tourist attraction though the activity of salt making can only be seen during the dry season (from April to October), the best time to see this traditional salt making activity is around July and August.

Jemeluk and Its Salt
The process of making a salt using traditional Jemeluk technique can be summed up as follow:
First, the seawater is taken from the sea then the seawater is poured on a specially prepared land to increase the salt concentration of the soil after that the soil of field with high salt concentration is leveled in order to allow the soil to dry evenly.
Jemeluk and Its Salt
The drying process usually takes three days then after three days the salty soil is raked and filed into a bamboo cone then the salty soil inside the bamboo cone is pressed by walking on it.
Jemeluk and Its Salt
After the salty soil become solid, the seawater is poured into the cone, the salty soil filter the sea water and the filtered sea water that is dripping from the cone is collected in a big palm tree trunk then the filtered sea water is transferred to wooden drying pans made of palm tree trunks. The filtered seawater is allowed to evaporate under hot tropic sun; the seawater evaporates leaving the salt crystals ready to be harvested.
Jemeluk and Its Salt
This traditional salt making process can be seen in Hotel Uyah Amed that arranges a daily program of traditional salt making during the dry season.
Jemeluk and Its Salt
Jemeluk and Its Salt



Visiting Padang Bai

Padang Bai is located at Manggis district, approximately 53 kilometers from the city of Denpasar or approximately 30 kilometers from Amlapura. From Kuta, can be reached with the drive takes about 3 hours. This region is the region that connects the port of sailing between the islands of Bali and Lombok island. It was here that the landing of the tourists who visited Bali by sea are transported by cruise ships.

Padang Bai

Location Padang Bai is located on the coast road Klungkung, Karangasem majors turn to the right. In Padang Bai is now there were several inns and restaurants for tourists who enjoy a vacation there, and the tourists who will go or who had just come from Lombok. Here also is the traditional canoes and small motor boats are ready for hire to enjoy the water attractions. On the Parker area, the stores were lined with souvenir sellers are quite interesting wares.
Padang Bai-Bali,Indonesia
For the purpose of crossing to Lombok is ready to ferry services which serve tourists or people who go to Lombok, four times a day crossing.
What’s interesting about this object is to place the protected bay of the black rock solid so that the life under water is safe. On the east coast of Padang Bai clean white sand and thick it fun for swimming or sunbathing. Fish are milling through the rock, interesting to be enjoyed by diving or snorkeling.



Balinese Wedding

As a Balinese I often attend friends’ Balinese wedding so more or less I know what to do and to expect at a wedding party. But for foreigners who are invited to a traditional Balinese wedding, they may have no idea about it.
The procession of Balinese wedding involves two parts. In the morning, the couples will be legalized as a wife and husband by the holy priest. This ceremonial event is attended by only family members and nearby neighbors. Soon after the wedding ceremony, usually in the afternoon, the new married couple will hold a reception at the broom’s house. The lovely couple will change their Balinese wedding costumes to modern design of traditional kebaya.
In the case that you would attend the reception, it is in your hand to wear kebaya or semi formal outfit. It is not an obligatory but if you see money-box picture on the invitation card, you may drop USD 3-5 in the box at the reception desk.
At the broom’s house you will be welcomed by young girls from broom’s family who will assist you to take snacks and drinks and maybe wedding souvenir. Then you can sit anywhere in the house yard enjoying snacks while waiting the couple comes to you. Don’t expect any emotional speech. The married couple will walk around and say hi to each of you. This is your opportunity to congratulate them and wish them happy. Walking around and say hi to each of the guest is intended to make the couple closer with their friends. The concept is to know broom’s friends for the bride and vice versa.
After having chit chat with you, they will invite you to take your meals on the buffet tables. In the meantime you are enjoying Balinese dishes, they continue walking and saying hi to others. Once you have done with your meals, you may take photo with the couple, go home, or have talk with friends whom you meet there.



Addressing the Needs of Emerging Indonesian Backpackers

In the last five years, the numbers of Indonesian backpackers who travel the archipelago has increased steadily. More and more Indonesian travels in backpacker style to the exotic regions of Indonesia and other interesting places around the globe. This increase is a result of steady growth of Indonesian economy for the last decades, the increasing number of young middle class and aggressive travel and tourism campaign from Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Industry. On the other hand the surging number of Indonesian backpackers also creates increasing demands for facilities such as youth hostel or budget hotels and of course the most efficient way to find these types of accommodations.
This increasing demand for hostels and budget accommodation has been anticipated by the rapid growth of hostel and budget accommodation in East Indonesian regions such as Labuan Bajo, Sulawesi especially Makassar, Bunaken and Toraja area , Maluku and Papua. Bali is a bit different there are more and more city hotels established in Denpasar and Kuta area that offers good accommodation with reasonable price. For the west region of Indonesia, Sumatera especially area around Danau Toba, Way Kambas and Aceh also open more budget hotels.
The problem of finding a hostel or budget accommodation efficiently for backpackers has also been addressed by hostel booking website, especially Hostelworld.com. Hostelworld.com is pioneer in providing online hostel or budget hotel booking facilities for the budget, independent and youth traveler. Its travel social network ratings, reviews, integrated video, podcasting, online travel store and guides make backpacker traveling easier and more enjoyable. This is a useful tool for backpacker and budget travelers that at the end will make backpacking more and more popular.
Increasing number of hostels and budget hotels combines with reliable hostel booking website such as Hostelworld.com will eventually keep more and more young Indonesian pack their backpack and start backpacking.



Truly Trunyan

Trunyan. Some people recognize this name as a unique village situated in Bangli regency in which the dead body is simply put under the Trunyan trees. No cremation, no burial, just let the earth change the dead body to be it should be and the soft fragrant Truyan tree surprisingly sweep away the bad smell of the dead body. Actually, it is not the only unique thing. Trunyan conceals other unique things named Batara Datonta and Barong Brutuk.
People in Trunyan call it Batara Datonta; a naked sacred statue, 4 meters in height. This statue which is considered as stone-age relic has a vivid carving especially on the face. The right hand is flexed on the axe above its shoulder; looks like he wants to stab somebody with the axe. Further Datonta’s penis dangles downward in which a hole-a symbol of vagina- is there below the penis. It is not a nasty talk. Hindu community believes that Lingga-Yoni or a symbol of Adam-Eve is the vital part in human life.
This naked sacred statue stands firmly there in Pancering Jagat Temple. People in Trunyan consider it as a symbol of one of the gods that this statue is called Batara Datonta. Batara Datonta has unen unen- the guards- which are symbolized with 21 masks.
These masks are often to be used when a dance named Barong Brutuk is shown in celebration of Pancering Jagat Temple’s anniversary. Barong Brutuk is another dance type of Barong which is danced by men, the member of youth organization. 42 days before dancing Barong Brutuk, the chosen men have to follow a series of purification activity such as: learning the sacred holy song, collecting banana leaves to make the costume of Barong Brutuk, and not doing any activity with the girls.
Barong Brutuk will be danced at 12 o’clock before noon until 05.00 pm. Portraying the concept of dichotomy in human life that is male and female, the dance is not only sacred but also entertaining. Beside the sacred procession conducted by the dancers and holy men, the show of Barong Brutuk is also followed by traditional game. The spectators can grab and tear the dried banana leaves from Brutuk’s costume while the dancers have the right to prevent it using whip. The leaves which are successfully to be grabbed then will be spread out on the field to make it fertile.
Trunyan. It seems that this village conceals many things; many sacred things. A unique village with various unique things; the dead body under the trees, naked sacred statue, and Barong Brutuk
If you wan to make trip, click here

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Gunung Kawi: A Historical Tourism

Among the travelers, especially for those who are interested on antiquities, Gunung Kawi is an appealing tourist attraction. Gunung Kawi refers to a complex of 9 rock-cut candi (shrines) carved into the cliff face, located in Tampaksiring, Gianyar Bali. The existence of these fascinating shrines which are 7 mt in height is connected with the biggest Bali Empire.
In the report written by Udayana University’s research team, it is mentioned that this shrine complex was discovered by a prominent resident (an occupation similar to governor) named HT Damste in 1920. Since that time, the government carried out restoration so that the researchers as well as visitors can enjoy the elegance and grandeur of this shrines standing along the river Pakerisan.
Famous historian, R. Goris mentioned in his articles that Gunung Kawi Temple is the place to honor King Udayana and his family. It is a conclusion after researching the inscription using Kadiri Kwadrat letters. Kadiri Kwadrat is the letters which was used by people in Kadiri Empire, East Java. For sure, Kadiri Empire was related to Bali Empire on that time since King Udayana Warmadewa from Bali married to Gunapriya Dharmapatni, the daughter of Empu Sendok from Kediri. With Dharmapatni, King Udayana had Marakata, Erlangga and Anak Wungsu.
Later on, Erlangga governed East Java and Bali was ruled by Anak Wungsu from 1049 – 1077. Under his rule, Bali was so peaceful and its land was so fertile. In the meantime, Kadiri Kwadrat letter was still used during his reign. Anak Wungsu was respected very much that when he died, his ash was put in one of the shrines. On the northernmost candi, there is a sentence in Kadiri Kwadrat letter mentioning “The King was buried in Keris (Pakerisan)”. On the candi number two, an inscription “rwanakira” meaning ‘my two children’ was carved on it.  Those two children whose ash put on the shrines are Anak Wungsu and Marakata.
Meanwhile, the other 4 shrines occupying an area on the west of river according to R. Goris are estimated as the places of the concubines of Anak Wungsu. On the southwest, there is candi number ten with “rakryan” inscription. Based on that fact, this candi is arguably considered as the place of prime minister in Anak Wungsu dynasty.
Although, the candi complex at Gunung Kawi is the place for royal family’s ash, it is not kind of graveyard. It is a holy candi where people can honor King Udayana and Anak Wungsu.

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Underpass To Be Constructed To Parse Congestion in Southern Part of Bali

When you are riding motorbike from your hotel in Kuta to tourist destinations you will notice that the road is so crowded. Even you often moan because you need to struggle with the congested road. Bali government besides launching Bus Trans Sarbagita also proposes to build underpass at Dewa Ruci Junction to solve this problem.
On November this plan which cost the government IDR 300 billion will start to be executed. The land acquisition will be finished on October and the land owner has been given understanding that this project is for sake of infrastructure. As described by detikNews.com, the government has acquired 6200 sqm land around Dewa Ruci area for the sake of upcoming underpass construction.
This underpass which will be 450 meters in length, 18 meter in width, and 5,2 meter in height will be located exactly under the current by pass. Based on the schedule this Dewa Ruci underpass in Badung-Bali is targeted to be finished on November 2013 before the date of APEC International Conference in which Bali will be the host of this big event. Since this underpass will be one of supporting accommodations of APEC Conference.
Balinese especially youngsters welcome positively this idea since it can minimize the congestion. Though they also think that underpass is not a solution if it is not followed by the activation of public transportation, they wish underpass will work to parse the congestion.
Let’s see in 2013, whether or not the congested road especially in southern part of Bali can be minimized by the existence of Dewa Ruci underpass. What do you think?