Bali

Kuningan Day Holiday

Kuningan Day

Kuningan Day is 10 days after Galungan.  You may notice businesses closed as Balinese Hindus’ return to their home to celebrate with their families. They participate in ritual prayers where they celebrate the return of their spiritual ancestors to heaven and express gratitude to the Gods.

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Kuningan comes from the word “kuning” meaning yellow. The celebration of Kuningan is similar to Galungan, however yellow is used as an offering instead of white.

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The bamboo poles known as Penjors, previously erected at the entrance to businesses and houses is redecorated substituting the colours of white with yellow. This symbolises prosperity.

Bali June 2014 with Cindie 591

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The Galungan Holiday

Galungan is one of the most important recurring Hindu celebrations of the religious calendar when the creator of the universe and the spirits of ancestors are honored. This is when the spirits of deceased relatives return to visit their former homes for 10 days until another Hindu celebration, know as Kuningan. Current inhabitants have a responsibility to be hospitable through prayers and offerings.

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The most obvious sign of the celebrations are the penjor – bamboo poles with offerings suspended at the end. These are installed by the side of roads.

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Local Balinese Hindus can be seen walking and driving to temples wearing their ceremony best, often carrying offerings of food and flowers.

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In Response to Complaints, Bali Airport Adds Counters and Immigration Staff

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Regional Office of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of Bali add immigration staffs and immigration counters at Ngurah Rai Airport after a number of complaints from foreign tourists about long lines when they arrive at the international arrivals.

“The staffs will be added again. They start to work in December 2014,” said the Head Office of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of Bali Province, Kompiang Adnyana found in the Special Immigration Office Class I Ngurah Rai Kuta, Badung regency, on Thursday.

According to him, the staffs were brought in from Jakarta, so from 16 staffs its turning out to be 28 staffs

He realized that in December is the season of year-end holiday marred by the hectic international tourist arrivals to Bali.

Besides the addition of immigration personnel, they also add the counter of “visa on arrival” in the international arrivals terminal.

“We added three counters and one is still in the process for a total of 14 counters,” he said.

Previously, Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika suggested all counters of immigration office that are available in the International Arrivals Terminal Ngurah Rai Airport to be opened especially during peak hours to avoid long lines.

In a meeting with Chairman of Regional Office of Law and Human Rights Bali, in Denpasar on Wednesday, the governor said there has been a complaint from tourists because of many counters which are not operated while tourists crammed into only a few counters and as if it is done in purpose.

To dispel the impression, Bali governor suggested adding employees so at rush hour all the counters can be operated and long lines can be reduced.

Pastika regretted about the condition because most of foreign tourists have taken long journey, but they do not get maximum service when they arrive in Bali.

Kompiang further explained that the long lines occur at the international arrivals peak hours starting 12:00 to 18:00 pm there are about 17-20 flights with passenger amounting 3,000 to 6,000 passengers.until the evening.

“It concerns the flight slots which is difficult to be anticipated technically,” he added.

sourced: The Bali Times, December 09, 2014

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A place to reflect, refresh and wander….

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Located 18km north of Ubud, in Tampaksiring is the site of Bali’s holiest spring.

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The spring waters of Tirta Empul are believed to be healing: curing ailments and preventing bad dreams.  The waters will rejuvenate your youth too, such is the apparent powers of this mystical and holy place.

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Behind the bathing pools is a temple with a large array of intricately carved and painted temple pavilions.

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Inside the Balinese pray and a priest directs the order of prayer with chanting and the ringing of a bell.

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Tirta Empul is a pleasant and restful place to view: a spiritual experience where one can reflect, refresh and wander.

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Note: For those wanting to bathe, it’s recommended that you hire a guide before arriving as there is a “respectful” process to follow.

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The Tradition of Purnama, or Full Moon Ceremony…

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Purnama (or full moon) is a special day in Bali for ceremonies and festivities. Hundreds of temples all over the island celebrate this special day hosting impressive ceremonies in traditional clothing. Balinese believe that Purnama is an auspicious day when Gods descend to the earth and give their blessing.

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On this revered day, hundreds of ceremonies are held in all parts of the island to please and honour the gods with offerings.  These offerings include food, fruit and flowers.

The Balinese themselves are then blessed by performing assorted rituals using petals, rice grains, holy water and incense smoke.

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FAST TRACK no longer exists at Bali Airport Immigration…

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I Gusti Kompiang Adnyana, the Head of the Bali Regional Office of the ministry of  “Justice and Human Rights”, ensures that there are no more rogue immigration officers who commit extortion against foreigners during the examination of travel documents at the Denpasar Ngurah Rai Airport.

The statement refers to the issue of Immigration staff offering bribery to foreigners who don’t want to stand in the immigration queue for the passport control, often also called “Fast Track”.

“There are no more rogue officers, I guarantee no more. This was an issue a few months ago and has now been rewired, and it doesn’t happen any more,” said Kompiang Adnyana in Denpasar, Bali, on Thursday (11/27/2014).

The issue of alleged illegal payments (bribes) taken by immigration officers came from comments from Made Pastika, the Governer of Bali, through complaints from foreigners who visit Bali. Governor Pastika says he will make a video recording of the poor service from the immigration officer at the airport. Moreover, when long lines occur at the passport control, the number of officers is actually at a minimum.

“We continue to fix. What was once a long queue, we try to improve in order to serve well. It is already better now,” he said.

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In addition, long lines take about 2-3 hours to serve 3,000 to 6,000 people. Under these circumstances, the number of immigration officers and technical services should be reconsidered so that tourists, especially foreigners to Bali, can feel comfortable.

Source :  http://www.balistoreluggage.com

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The Rice Terraces of Jatiluwih

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Jatiluwih village, north of Tabanan, has a stunning stretch of paddy fields. Here the landscape is dramatic and the rice fields are distinguished by their large size and high quality.
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Located approximately 40kms from Denpasar, or about 2 hours by road, Jatiluwih is one of the most beautiful places to visit on Bali. The scenic drive through the charming villages of Tabanan adds to the experience.

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Not surprisingly, Jatiluwih was recently listed as a UNESCO World’s Heritage site for its preservation of traditional and organic Balinese farming techniques. These include the traditional Balinese irrigation system known as ‘subak’ where farmers share water – a tradition that dates back centuries.

Jatiluwih

A recommended tourist destination by Exclusively bali!

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Over the counter MEDICATIONS…

Exclusively Bali – Handy Hint:

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Be aware that over the counter medications in Bali may appear similar to those you are familiar with, but may in fact significantly differ.

Panadol, for example, comes in various coloured packaging denoting differing ingredients. Ingredients include pseudo-ephedrine for “cold and flu” and caffeine as “Panadol Extra”.

Reminder:  Read the packaging carefully and be aware of what you are purchasing!

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Have you taken out TRAVEL INSURANCE ??

Travellers who are not insured are at risk of not only huge bills, but may also compromise their quality of care.

A medivac from Bali to Australia for example, may be in excess of $40,000AUS and this is required to be paid UPFRONT!! There is no service provided with an invoice that follows, like at home.

Here are a few tips:

  • Purchase your travel insurance as soon as you book your travel. This way you are covered if you have to cancel or postpone your trip.
  • If you have a pre-existing medical condition, ensure your insurer is aware.

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  • If you are planning on riding a motorbike on Bali or participating in any known “at risk” activities, ensure your insurance covers this and that you adhere to their limitations.
  • Ensure your laptop, ipad and smart phone are covered.
  • Look for an insurance provider that offers 24-hour worldwide assistance.
  • If you are a frequent traveller, look into an Annual Multi-Trip policy that offers year-round cover for unlimited trips.\
  • If you get robbed on your trip, notify the police within 24 hours and keep a copy of the police report for insurance purposes.
  • Shop around for insurance: book online, via travel agents or via your credit card provider.  Ask friends for recommendations too.

Wishing you safe travels! x

images: sourced.

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