Barong and kris dance, Batuan, Bali, Indonesia

One of the must-sees while in Bali is a traditional Balinese dance, our guide brought us to one of the more popular dances held at Pura Puseh in the city of Batuan, ten kilometers south of Ubud. The dance is known as the Barong and kris dance, the Barong  lion-like mythical Balinese creature, and the kris (or keris) is a traditional dagger with a wavy blade.

The Barong and kris dance

The Barong play represents an eternal fight between good and evil.  Barong (a mythological animal) represents the good spirit and Rangda (a mythological monster) represents an evil one.

The dance starts with a music overtone

Followed by his friend the monkey, the tiger comes out.  Three masked dancers appear, representing men making palm wine in the forest, whose child is killed by the Barong.  The three men get angry and attack the Barong which is helped by the monkey.  During the fight, the nose of one of the three men is bitten off.

First act

Two girl dancers appear, representing the servants of the Rangda, looking for the servants of Dewi Kunti who are on the way to meet their Patih (Prime Minister).

Second act

The servants of Dewi Kunti come.  One of the servants of the Rangda changes into a witch.  The witch enters and makes both servants angry.  They meet their Patih and go together to Dewi Kunti.

Third act

Dewi Kunti and her son, Sadewa come up.  Dewi Kunti has promised the Rangda to sacrifice Sadewa.  A witch appears and enters Dewi Kunti.  She becomes angry and orders the Patih to bring Sadewa into the forest.  The Patih also enters and does not have pity on Sadewa.  Sadewa is then taken to into a forest and tied to a tree.

Fourth act

Unknown by Rangda, Siwa God appears and gives Sadewa immortality.  The Rangda appears, ready to kill Sadewa, and eat him up but Sadewa is still alive.  She then surrenders and asks him to redeem herself.  Sadewa agrees and kills the Rangda.  The Rangda goes into Heaven.

Fifth act

One of the servants of the Rangda called Kalika comes up before Sadewa and asks him to redeem herself, too.  Sadewa refuses.  Kalika gets angry and changes herself into a boar and fights Sadewa.  The boar can be defeated.  She then changes herself into a bird but is defeated again.  At last she changes herself into Rangda and Sadewa cannot kill her.  In such circumstances, Sadewa decides to then change himself into a Barong.  Still the Rangda seems to be too powerful and the fight is ended.  Followers of the Barong appear and help him fight the Rangda.

Neka Art Museum, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Along the Campuhan Ridge Walk when returning back to Ubud is the Neka Art Museum. Neka housed traditional Balinese paintings as well as contemporary art.

Some of my favourites are included below.

Campuhan Ridge Walk, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

On the third day in Ubud, Bali we decided to view the rice-paddies and what better way to do this then the famous Campuhan Ridge Walk.

The Campuhan Ridge Walk is well trodden with good paths, the first half has dirt roads that even tour vans can get to and on the way down winding sealed roads. There were plenty of places to stop for a drink or view along the way. One of the highlights was the Neka Art Museum which I will write about in a separate post.

  1. Ibah Luxury Villas
  2. Pura Gunung Lebah
  3. Karsa Cafe
  4. Bangkiang Village
  5. Pura Pucak Payongan
  6. Pura Khayangan
  7. Neka Art Gallery
  8. Mozaic Restaurant
  9. Bintang Supermarket
  10. Botanical Garden
  11. Don Antonio Blanco Museum

Tirta Empul Temple, Water Temple, Bali, Indonesia

Pura Tirtha Empul, also known as Tirta Empul Temple or simply the Water Temple is a Hindu temple centrally located on Bali Island. Simon and Josh were keen to visit this temple so utilising their driver, we made the 45 minute journey from Ubud. Near by is the better known Kuil Gunung Kawi, which we skipped as Simon and Josh weren’t impressed when reading about the over 270 steps to traverse.

Tirta Empul Temple is similar styled to other Balinese Hindu temples, with the addition of bathing pools which is famous for its holy water. At the time of visit we saw a few people bathing in the water which is said to have purification properties.

One of the other pools of water was filled with koi fish being fed by tourists.