Ubud is a highland town on the Indonesian island of Bali, located amongst rice paddies and steep ravines in the central foothills of the Gianyar regency. One of Bali’s major arts and culture centres. Ubud Indonesia, has developed a vibrant tourism industry with its copious shops, artisans and galleries. Ubud Bali ArchitectureUbud, Indonesia has a population of approximately 8,000 people, though these days the burgeoning town is becoming difficult to distinguish from the growing patchwork of villages that surround it.
The main street is Jalan Raya Ubud (Jalan Raya means main road), which runs east-west through the center of town. Two long roads, Jalan Monkey Forest and Jalan Hanoman, extend south from Jalan Raya Ubud. Puri Saren Agung is a large palace located at the intersection of Monkey Forest and Jalan Raya Ubud roads. Monkey Forest UbudThe home of Tjokorda Gede Agung Sukawati (1910-1978), the last “king” of Ubud Indonesia, is now occupied by his descendants and dance performances held in its courtyard. The home was also one of Ubud’s first hotels, dating back to the 1930s.
The Ubud Monkey Forest is a sacred nature reserve located near the southern end of Jalan Monkey Forest. The habitat houses a temple and approximately 340 crab-eating Macaque (Macaca fascicularis) monkeys. Ubud tourism focuses on art, culture, yoga and nature. In contrast to the main tourist area in southern Bali, the Ubud Indonesia area boasts forests, rivers, cooler temperatures and less congestion although traffic has increased dramatically in the past decade. The Moon of Pejeng, in nearby Pejeng, is the largest single-cast bronze kettledrum in the world, dating from circa 300BC. It is a popular destination for tourists interested in local culture, as is the 11th century Goa Gajah, or ‘Elephant Cave’, temple complex.
The Bali holiday destination is renowned for its diverse and sophisticated art forms, such as painting, sculpture, woodcarving, handcrafts, and performing arts. Balinese percussion orchestra music, known as gamelan, is highly developed and varied. Balinese performing arts often portray stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana but with heavy Balinese influence. Famous Balinese dances include pendet, legong, baris, topeng, barong, gong keybar, and kecak (the monkey dance). The Bali holiday destination prides itself with one of the most diverse and innovative performing arts cultures in the world, with paid performances at thousands of temple festivals, private ceremonies, or public shows.
The Hindu New Year, Nyepi, is celebrated in the spring by a day of silence. On this day everyone stays at home Celebrations are held for many occasions such as a tooth-filing (coming-of-age ritual), cremation or odalan (temple festival). One of the most important concepts that Balinese ceremonies have in common is that of désa kala patra, which refers to how ritual performances must be appropriate in both the specific and general social context. Many of the ceremonial art forms such as wayang kulit and topeng are highly improvisatory, providing flexibility for the performer to adapt the performance to the current situation. Many celebrations call for a loud, boisterous atmosphere with lots of activity and the resulting aesthetic, ramé, is distinctively Balinese. Oftentimes two or more gamelan ensembles will be performing well within earshot, and sometimes compete with each other in order to be heard. Likewise, the audience members of the Bali holiday destination talk amongst themselves, get up and walk around, or even cheer on the performance, which adds to the many layers of activity and the liveliness typical of ramé.and tourists must remain in their hotels. But the day before the large, colourful sculptures of ogoh-ogoh monsters are paraded and finally burned in the evening to drive away evil spirits. Other festivals throughout the year are specified by the Balinese pawukon calendrical system.
Kaja and kelod are the Balinese equivalents of North and South, which refer to ones orientation between the island’s largest mountain Gunung Agung (kaja), and the sea (kelod). In addition to spatial orientation, kaja and kelod have the connotation of good and evil; gods and ancestors are believed to live on the mountain whereas demons live in the sea. Buildings such as temples and residential homes are spatially oriented by having the most sacred spaces closest to the mountain and the unclean places nearest to the sea.
Most temples have an inner courtyard and an outer courtyard which are arranged with the inner courtyard furthest kaja. These spaces serve as performance venues since most Balinese rituals are accompanied by any combination of music, dance and drama. The performances that take place in the inner courtyard are classified as wali, the most sacred rituals which are offerings exclusively for the gods, while the outer courtyard is where bebali ceremonies are held, which are intended for gods and people. Lastly, performances meant solely for the entertainment of humans take place outside the walls of the temple and are called bali-balihan. This three-tiered system of classification was standardized in 1971 by a committee of Balinese officials and artists in order to better protect the sanctity of the oldest and most sacred Balinese rituals from being performed for a paying audience. ourism, Bali’s chief industry, has provided the island with a foreign audience that is eager to pay for entertainment, thus creating new performance opportunities and more demand for performers. The impact of tourism is controversial since before it became integrated into the economy, the Balinese performing arts did not exist as a capitalist venture, and were not performed for entertainment outside of their respective ritual context. Since the 1930s sacred rituals such as the barong dance have been performed both in their original context, as well as exclusively for paying tourists. This has led to new versions of many of these performances which have developed according to the preferences of foreign audiences; some villages have a barong mask specifically for non-ritual performances as well as an older mask which is only used for sacred performances. The Balinese eat with their right hand, as the left is impure, a common belief throughout Indonesia. The Balinese do not hand or receive things with their left hand and would not wave at anyone with their left hand.
Please read the Bali travel advice carefully as there have been changes to Indonesia’s visa policy (updated January 26th 2010)
1. Free Visa Visas are not required for nationals of: -Brunei Darussalam -Chili -Hong Kong -Macao -Malaysia -Morocco -Philippines -Peru -Singapore -Thailand -Vietnam.
Citizens of the above countries will be issued on arrival a stay permit for 30 days free of charge upon presentation of a passport which is valid six months from date of entry. This stay permit cannot be extended or converted into another type of visa.
2. Visa On Arrival (VOA) at US$ 35 per person Visa on Arrival are required for nationals of: Argentine Australia Austria Bahrain Belgium Brazil Bulgaria Cambodia Canada Cyprus Denmark Egypt Estonia Finland France Germany Grace Hungary Iceland India Iran Ireland Italy Japan Kuwait Laos Liechtenstein Luxemburg Maldives Malta Mexico Monaco Netherlands New Zealand Norway Oman People’s Republic of China Poland Portugal Qatar Russia Saudi Arabia South Africa South Korea Spain Suriname Sweden Switzerland Taiwan United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States of America.
Citizens of these countries will be able to apply for a VOA valid for 30 days upon arrival by air in Bali, Jakarta and a few other international airports or by ship at a limited number of Indonesian seaports. A 30-day visa costs US$35 and is extendable for another 30 days. An important piece of Bali travel advice to note; Be aware that Immigration officials calculate the 30-day period as follows: your arrival day is counted as your first day, and you must leave the country on the 30th (or 60th) day! How to Obtain Your “VISA-On-ARRIVAL” (VOA).
Travellers from the above countries must be in possession of a passport, which is valid for at least six months from the date of arrival together with the completed embarkation/disembarkation card they received from their airline. They must also be able to prove they have sufficient funds for their stay in Indonesia.
Arriving travellers with Visa-On-Arrival status go to one of the “VOA” counters to pay the appropriate fee and have their passports stamped with before proceeding to the Immigration Clearance Desk. An official bank is part of the VOA service counters. Payment of visa fees can be made in US dollars or Indonesia rupiah.