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Bali

Bali, Indonesia

Auto culture: finding Holdens in Indonesia

As our car crawled along the narrow roads between Yogyakarta and Surakarta, I stared out the front passenger window, marvelling at the everyday lives of the locals as they milled about the roadside stalls; billows of steam were coming out of the big pots of the warungs, and children, chickens and scooters were weaving around us. My husband Mr J and daughter Miss E were sitting in the back seat: bored, with headphones on. Scrolling through something on their phones. They were over the great  ...

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Bali

Searching for the Starman in the Sideman Valley: morning walks and the curious tale of David Bowie’s Bali connections

Away from the bustling bars and restaurants, yoga temples and beach culture in southern Bali is a beautiful little valley, inhabited by earnest farmers and artisans, wandering dogs, and a lot of ducks and dragonflies. And in the 1980s, it was a retreat for one of my favourite artists, the late Mr David Bowie. Where is Sideman? The Sideman (pronounce sid-ah-min) Valley is around an hour’s drive from Sanur in the regency of Karangasem. It is on the Klungkung- Besakih Temple route when  ...

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Bali, Postcards

A Wall of Greeting: Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

Just behind the towering Bali Inna Beach Hotel on Sanur Beach- a bold new vision for tourism back in the mid-1960s and a sad anachronism now- is the rolling green of the golf course and the cranes and high fences of yet another development. Here along a service road toward the golf course I walked my friend’s dog, and saw this hand painted greeting card for the important ritual of Galungan, the Balinese holiday celebrating the victory of dharma- what should be done- over adharma- what  ...

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Bali

Padang Galek

–take a mysterious morning meander, just minutes from central Sanur. The volcanic black sand beach of Padang Galek, seven kilometers north of central Sanur, is the site of a quirkily eerie former amusement park, a beautiful well preserved temple complex and a memorial to a tragedy which happened long ago in a place far away. To visit this area is a feast for all the senses; it can also tell some stories of how the locals actively honour the ancestors and our shared past. Sanur has not  ...

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Bali

Sanur Rice Field Path

Wander through the rice fields on the western side of the bypass to get a glimpse into traditional, agrarian Balinese society. Driving into Sanur on the bypass from the airport at the first set of lights, known to Sanurians as ‘JC Chicken Corner’, turn left up Jalan Tirtanadi until you reach a T-junction. To your left is Jalan Ketat Lestari, which winds its way up to the back of the Bali Mandara Hospital and back onto the bypass. Along this little road is Warung Krishna, which serves  ...

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