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Ubud - Seminyak - Nusa Dua
Ubud - Seminyak - Nusa Dua
Nestled in the island’s lush central heartlands, Ubud has been the Bali’s undisputed cultural and artistic capital and guardian of the authentic ‘Bali Spirit.’ This ancient royal town is the island’s preeminent centre for fine arts, dance, music and artisan crafts. Ubud is surrounded by a satellite cluster of traditional craft villages located in what is known as the Gianyar Regency district. Most villages specialize in a niche craft and generations of highly accomplished artists, craftsmen and performers have thrived here.
Like many Balinese artisan crafts, the island’s goldsmiths and silversmiths have created fine jewellery as a family business, handed down the generations, with designs and crafting techniques continuously evolving. Many of Bali’s silversmiths are mainly located in artisan villages in the Gianyar Regency surrounding Ubud – some so exceptional they are renowned worldwide. At a village studio, a local silversmith will guide you through each step of the intricate silver making production process, from the initial design and soldering to creating bespoke silver jewellery pieces to take home.
Traditional dance is the island’s oldest performing arts and for sacred rituals or entertainment purposes, fulfills numerous functions. The artisan village of Batubulan is famed for its stone carvings and as a cultural dance centre. Here, we can enjoy and watch a Barong and Keris dance performance, one of the island’s best known dances. The Barong is a colourful, costumed dance that narrates the eternal battle between good, Barong, represented by a lion-like creature from Balinese mythology, and evil, represented by demon witch, Rangda. Later, we tour a charming museum-house that beautifully showcases an astounding collection of 5900-plus masks and puppets – Indonesia’s largest. Established to help preserve the disappearing art of puppetry and mask-making, exhibits are mainly from the Indonesian archipelago; some are rare and highly prized.
Visit two renowned craft villages in Gianyar. Regarded as Bali’s ‘barn of arts,’ Singapadu is a traditional artisan village with rich visual arts traditions and craftsmanship. Balinese wood carving is considered some of the world’s best and Mas Village is home to some of Bali’s most celebrated woodcarvers. For centuries, they have been celebrated for their truly unique and intricate style of wood carvings, sculptures and masks, mainly inspired by traditional Hindu beliefs. We work alongside one local wood-carver to learn more about this skill that is passed down the generations and immerse ourselves in the life of a Balinese artisan.
Head to Tabanan Regency, one of Bali’s most picturesque and tranquil regions and the former seat of power of the Tabanan Royal Family. Puri Anom Tabanan is the residence of Tabanan’s current royal family, one of a handful of ancient royal palaces on the island. Take a guided tour led by a royal family member through the elaborate palace compound, where we learn about the royal heritage and observe the royal family’s daily life. Attend informal classes in Balinese classic dance and the delicate art of batik making. Originating from Java, traditional Indonesian batik cloth is viewed as the world’s finest and is a national cultural icon.
The art of ‘Sand Animation’ is the manipulation of sand by hand to create animative and visual forms by combining elements of traditional animation, drawing, and performance art. The sand artist draws designs into the sand on a surface creating the illusion of animation in front of live audiences, to tell a story. At the art studio of a Balinese sand artist, we learn about the background of sand artistry, a relatively new art form. We are given a step-by-step guided tutorial to create personalized sand animations. This afternoon workshop is video-recorded for a unique documentation to take home.
Visit one of Bali’s oldest Hindu temples, Uluwatu Temple, one of several important sea temples revered by the Balinese. Built in the 11th century, the sprawling ‘Pura Lulur Uluwatu’ is majestically poised on Uluwatu’s rugged clifftops, high above the Indian Ocean on Bali’s southernmost coast. Our visit coincides with a dramatic Kecak Fire Dance, a ritualistic dance-drama unique to Bali, magically performed at sunset on the temple’s cliff-edge stone amphitheatre. Kecak is distinctive for its dominant use of male human vocals, a rhythmic chanting of ‘Ke-Cak’, that replaces any musical accompaniment, interwoven with trance and fire dances.
Transfer to airport for your onward flight.