Life, News, Photography and Reviews from Ubud: The Apple of Bali's Eye

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Photographs from Bali – the Soul of Indonesia.


Balinese-Hindu Melasti Purification Ceremony before Nyepi, the Day of Silence »

Balinese-Hindu worshipers pray with temple effigies during a Melasti purification ceremony on Purnama Beach in Bali, Indonesia

Balinese-Hindu worshipers pray with sacred temple effigies during a Melasti purification ceremony on Purnama ("Full Moon") Beach in Bali, Indonesia.

© 2017 Ubud High.


Bali Portraits »

Beautiful young teenage Balinese girl in Ubud, Bali

Young, beautiful Balinese girl in Ubud, Bali.
© 2017 Ubud High.


Hindu Worshipers Pray during an Annual Temple Ceremony in Buleleng, North Bali

Balinese-Hindu worshipers pray at a rural cemetery during an annual temple ceremony in Buleleng, North Bali

Balinese-Hindu worshipers pray in a rural cemetery during an annual temple ceremony in Buleleng, North Bali.

© 2017 Ubud High.


Ogoh-Ogoh Festival on the Eve of Nyepi in Bali »

Ubud boys carry an ogoh-ogoh of a giant, fanged pig at a parade on the eve of Nyepi in Bali, Indonesia

Ubud boys carry an ogoh-ogoh of a giant, fanged pig at a parade on the eve of Nyepi in Bali, Indonesia.

© 2017 Ubud High.


Yoga, Dance, Music and Therapy at the Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud »

A Watsu therapist conducts a water-therapy session at the Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud, Indonesia

A Watsu therapist conducts a water-therapy session at the Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud, Indonesia.

© 2017 Ubud High.


Water Purification Ceremony at the Sacred Sebatu Springs in Bali

Balinese-Hindu worshipers purify themselves with sacred water at a natural spring in Sebatu, Bali

Balinese-Hindu worshipers purify themselves with sacred water at a natural holy spring in Sebatu, Bali.

© 2017 Ubud High.


Anti-Tourism, Anti-Pollution Graffiti in Ubud, Bali

Anti-Tourism, Anti-Pollution Graffiti in Ubud, Bali

"I want to retire from being exotic". Anti-tourism, anti-pollution graffiti in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

© 2017 Ubud High.


Pasar Ubud Market Fire Damage, Bali

Fire damage to souvenir and clothing stalls after a major fire in Ubud Market, Bali

Fire damage to souvenir and clothing stalls after a major fire in Ubud Market, Bali.

© 2017 Ubud High.


Trance, Dance and Mass Possession during a Temple Ceremony in Bali, Indonesia »

A Balinese-Hindu woman possessed by a spirit dances during a mass-possession ceremony at a village temple festival in Bali, Indonesia

A Balinese-Hindu woman possessed by a spirit dances during a mass-possession ceremony at a village temple festival in North Bali, Indonesia.

© 2017 Ubud High.


Balinese-Hindu Offerings at Sebatu's Sacred Springs near Ubud, Bali

Balinese-Hindu offerings of money, rice, flower petals, incense and holy water at the sacred Sebatu Springs near Ubud, Bali

Balinese-Hindu offerings of money, rice, flower petals, incense and holy water at the sacred Sebatu Springs near Ubud, Bali.

© 2017 Ubud High.


Coastal Beach Erosion in Bali, Indonesia »

The protective seawalls of an upscale tourist restaurant damaged by freak waves and coastal erosion in Canggu, South Bali

The protective seawall of an upscale tourist restaurant is damaged by freak waves and on-going coastal erosion in Canggu, South Bali.

© 2017 Ubud High.


Banana Tree Plantation in Ubud, Bali

Banana trees at the edge of a rice field in Ubud, Bali

Banana trees at the edge of a rice field in Ubud, Bali.

© 2017 Ubud High.



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The Big Read ~ Bali

FEATURES AND STORIES from Indonesia's soul – the Island of the Gods.


The Heads of Trunyan: West Meets East ➨

Portrait of female farm-worker, Trunyan village, Kintamani, Bali, Indonesia

RABIDLY ISOLATIONIST for more than a thousand years, Trunyan Village is best known for its open-air cemetery where corpses are left to decompose under a mystical banyan tree.

But as Ubud High discovers, Trunyan offers a lot more than just skulls and surly guides...


Cinema Paradiso: The Story of Indonesian Cinema on Bali ➨

'Goona Goona (Love Powder)', 1932, nudie-cutie film poster 1930s Bali

BOOBS AND POLITICAL CENSORSHIP have never been far from the Silver Screen. In Indonesia, they're its bedrock.

From 1930's Nudie Cuties to Cannes, Ubud High takes a front-row seat to peer at Bali's place in the history of Indonesian Cinema...


The Story of Ganesha – Ganesh – Bali's Hindu Elephant God ➨

The Hindu Elephant God Ganesha guards a Balinese-Hindu home in Bali, Indonesia

FROM INDIA, TIBET AND JAPAN to Bali. The legends, stories and history of the Hindu Elephant God Ganesha – Ganesh – Lord of Learning and Remover of Obstacles...


How to Survive Ubud on your Rental Scooter ➨

Motorbike accident victim, Ubud, Bali

IMAGINE A SCHOOL OF FISH swimming together. Go with it.

Anyone outside that flow is the one who's going to cause a road accident. Stick to an imaginary lane – and drive defensively.

Keep an eye on who's undertaking or overtaking you, and don't make any sudden moves unless you're about to hit something.

Tips and tricks for keeping the rubber on the road in Bali...


Hornets, Scorpions, Mosquitoes, Poisonous Caterpillars... And Other Strange Bali Tails ➨

Dead green lizard killed by Bali dogs in Ubud, Indonesia

WE ALL HAVE TO PAY for our little slice of Bali Paradise.

And this often comes in the shape of our stinging, biting, crawling, flying cousins. It's the downside of environment-sharing.

Find out what to do when you come up against a scorpion, a jumping spider, an angry Balinese hornet or an unstoppable army of hungry marching ants...


The Big Read – Java

TRIP OVER TO JAVA – Bali's Big Auntie.


Java Oilfield Pollution ➨

Freelance oil-worker's hand covered in carcinogenic crude oil at an illegal oil-field in East Java, Indonesia

THE EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS of this environmental disaster – ExxonMobil and Indonesia's oil giant, Pertamina – have long since abandoned this pocket of primary forest, the wells sucked almost dry, the tar-coated throats of the pits now squeezed by gangs of Sisyphean bit-players milking an extra 125 barrels a day from the expired earth...


Monkey Business: Topeng Monyet, or the Performing Masked Monkeys of Jakarta ➨

Performing masked monkey, Jakarta, Java, Indonesia

IT'S NOT SURPRISING when some city residents shut their doors when topeng monyet – the masked performing monkeys – threaten to come their way.

Despite being a Jakartan tradition once played out with dogs and snakes and originating from the masked dances of Cirebon, not everybody's happy with the status quo of the game...


Slow Burning in Chinese Indonesia: The History of the Tionghoa ➨

Chinese-Indonesian tomb at a Confucian cemetery in Jakarta, Indonesia

JAKARTA, INDONESIA: MAY 1998. More anti-Chinese riots.

The forty year-old engineer is standing behind a barricade. To his left, a petrol station. To his right, a row of fire-gutted shops.

In front of Andreas are four handguns, laid out on a neighbour's kitchen table. An off-duty naval officer urges him to take his pick of the weapons before the mob returns.

"Today," the officer says to Andreas, "you can kill. Shoot anyone who comes over the barricade..."


The Rise and Fall of the Ciliwung: Jakarta's Most Polluted River ➨

Children pass the time in their shanty-house overlooking the highly polluted and flood-prone Ciliwung river in Jakarta, Java, Indonesia

"THE AIR'S TERRIBLE HERE, and the river stinks. We get massacred by mosquitoes in the dry season. The best thing about the river is we can throw our rubbish into it. When it rains it's even better because the nappies get washed away much quicker."

The story of the Ciliwung River: Jakarta's longest, most polluted and most flood-prone waterway...


Dede Koswara and the Association of Strange People (Part 1) ➨

The Tree Man of Indonesia Dede Koswara's hands

MEETING DEDE KOSWARA – the so-called 'Tree Man of Indonesia' – and friends for the first time in 2007.


Dede Koswara: The 'Tree Man' of Indonesia (Part 2) ➨

Dede Koswara, the Tree Man of Indonesia, at a freakshow in West Java, Indonesia

RYAN THE GIANT has already confided that if he had Dede's condition, he would have killed himself by now.

None of us know how Dede keeps sane.

Dede puts it down to acceptance, patience and prayer. He also believes that he's going to be cured one day – in a country where free healthcare for the poor does not, in reality, exist...