Nusa Dua, Bali: Devout hotel employees of the Grand Hyatt take a break from their duties to perform the daily rituals and present religious offerings. Hinduism is the official religion of Bali, the only non-Islamic island in the entire archipelago of Indonesia.
Nusa Dua, Bali: Copious amounts of wood from Kalimantan (also known as Borneo) have been used to create this veritable Balinese water-palace, The Ayodya Resort Nusa Dua. The entrance of the hotel is enough to make you feel like you are on the threshold of a Balinese kingdom - a large dragon, carved out of stone, spouts water without a rest (instead of fire) - and once you enter the hallowed halls of the hotel you are, almost instantly, mesmerized by what lies in front of you - a lake with waterfalls here and there, herons and alligators commingling as if nature itself was born right in the middle of this exquisite resort.
It is of no wonder then that the Ayodya Resort chooses to market itself as a “kingdom of hospitality.” Indeed, a place fit for kings.
Please click on the pictures to view large images.
Tanah Lot market, Bali: Temperatures in Bali during the summer can drastically rise and fresh coconut water, available almost everywhere, helps to beat the heat. I remember this waitress as being particularly patient while we struggled to explain to her in simplified English what we exactly wanted. Failing miserably linguistically, dramatic gesticulation of the shape of the coconut followed. When she finally did understand, she offered us an extra coconut each, gratis!
I forget the Indonesian names of these three dishes but I do remember the primary ingredients in the first two dishes - chili and coconut milk. The mango tiramisu was the first of its kind that I have ever tried and it was, in fact, delicious and lacked the traditional bitterness. Nonetheless, I judged it as the second-best tiramisu that I have tasted and the food served as the finest rendition of Indonesian cuisine thus far.
Seminyak, Bali: The Balinese hold religion very close to their heart; they’re not raging fanatics but devout, loving people. Outside shrines, temples, business establishments, hawkers’ stalls or just about anywhere, these offerings called canang sari are placed to thank the gods for bringing wealth, health and happiness to their family. A small basket, made of banana leaves and coconut palm, containing fresh fruit, some rice, incense and flowers are religiously prepared two to three times a day. It’s easy to not notice and step on them so keep your eyes on the ground at all times!