Away from the thumping beats and flowing alcohol of Kuta there is a thriving and fascinating culture to experience on the island of Bali.
As I’m a bit lazy, I’m going to quote a couple of respected news sources and let the ‘liberal media’ do the talking.
A Reuters article entitled ‘48 hours in Bali’ cuts to the chase (I guess they have to if they’ve only got 48 hours) by spending most of the time in Ubud, Bali’s cultural capital:
Take in a traditional dance performance. There are about six different offerings each night, both in Ubud and in surrounding villages. Notable performances include dance troupe Semara Ratih, known for expressiveness, and Suara Sakti, a bamboo gamelan group that invites viewers up on stage at the end to feel the thunder of the giant instruments in their bodies.
I’m going to lay off any comments about feeling the thunder of a giant instrument in your body. Oh darn… The piece also mentions Uluwatu temple, but only briefly: cliff-top temple, monkeys who steal your sunglasses, etc. You know the score.
Leave it to Ross Halfin to wax poetic about Uluwatu.
From a New York Times interview with the ‘celebrity photographer’:
Q. How do you compose a good travel photo?
A. You have to try and shoot things in a different way. Uluwatu Temple in Bali is on the edge of the sea. It’s on a cliff, actually, a thousand-foot drop. This way you’re looking at the sea dead-on, from above, and you get these amazing textures and colors; the ocean crashing into the shore; all these layers. I could go there and get different pictures every time.
Entrance into Uluwatu now costs a whopping $2.22 US dollars foreign visitors. That’s around €1.69. OK, it’s a price hike of 200% from before, but that’s a 200% increase on practically nothing. If any backpacker from a rich country wants to whine about that they deserve to get their glasses stolen by monkeys and maybe even tossed into the sea from atop those majestic cliffs. The view is amaaaaazing and worth the price alone.