A Travellerspoint blog

Scared Monkey Forest Sanctuary

semi-overcast 33 °C
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March 23
Decided during breakfast that I should go the Monkey Forest Sanctuary in the morning before the day got too warm. I hired a taxi to take me.

My very colourful breakfast.....
Dragon fruit juice
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French toast with nuttella
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Banana tree with bananas
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The Monkey Forest lies within the village of Padangtegal, which owns it. The village's residents view the Monkey Forest as an important spiritual, economic, educational, and conservation center for the village. There are three Hindu temples located within the sanctuary, around 700 monkeys, 186 species of trees in 12.5 hectares of forest. The types of monkeys that live in the sanctuary are known as the Balinese long-tailed monkey (Macaca monkeys).
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There are five groups of monkeys in the park, each occupying different territories; one group inhabits the area in front of the Main Temple, another the park's Michelin area, a third the park's eastern area, and a fourth the park's central area, while the fifth group lives in the cremation and cemetery area. Because of the large population, the conflicts between groups of monkey cannot be avoided. The monkeys rest at night and are most active during the day.
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I bought a small bunch of bananas from the park workers, they carry slingshots with which to intimidate aggressive monkeys and intervene quickly in confrontations between monkeys and humans.
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Here are a few status in around the sanctuary
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The Balinese new year will be celebrated on March 28 and is celebrated over six days. On the third day, there is Nyepi, the day of silence. The island comes to a halt. There are no flights scheduled, no one can leave or enter Bali at this time. Everything is closed and no light is meant to be lit. Hotels have leeway on this, due to the tourists, but they cover their windows and there are a minimal number of staff working. No one is allowed to drive or walk around, and everyone is meant to stay indoors. There are even watchmen who patrol the streets to make sure no one is outside.

Nyepi falls on the day after the spring equinox and is a day of silence, self-reflection, meditation and in some cases, fasting. It is a national holiday in Indonesia, and Hindu areas perform the same rituals, but Bali is where the biggest Nyepi celebrations take place.

One fun part of the Balinese new year is the Ogoh-Ogoh parades on ‘Nyepi Eve,’ for the Bhuta Yajna ritual. Large, scary-looking statues are carried through the streets with lots of music and noise. They are brought to the beach in a torch-lit procession while people bang pots and beep horns to make as much noise as they can, to scare away evil. This is called mabuu-buu.The statues are of demons, representing negative elements. Walking back to town I stumbled on some people building Ogoh-Ogoh.
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Posted by Samchow58 03:16 Archived in Indonesia Comments (1)

Ubud....a little piece of heaven!

semi-overcast 29 °C
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March 21
Up and in the road by 7 am.....it's going to be a very long day of travelling. The 2 hour flight from Phuket to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was packed....crying kids, grumpy people pushing and shoving their way on to the plane. It never ceases to amaze me why people feel the need to stand in line to get on the plane when their zones aren't called. Does everyone ther not have a seat?

The 3 hour layover in Kuala Lumpur went by fairly fast. Again this flight was packed....I sat beside a young lady, on her gap year, from the UK. She has been travelling for the last 5 months .....started in India and ending with Fiji! It took 3.5 hours to get to Denpasar, Bali. I met my driver and headed off to Ubud, about 1.5 hours away.

March 22
This morning there was an earthquake measuring 6.4. I was in bed, the big sliding doors were rattling. Along with the four poster bed. It lasted about 1 min.
My hotel, Wapa De Ume, is beautiful and set in around the rice paddies. It is so zen...no tv, so very private and quite. I love Ubud!
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Found these two scarecrows in the field....really?
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Ubud is considered in many ways Bali's cultural heart. Located in the cool mountains, just one hour's drive north of the airport. This traditional country town is home of one of Bali's royal families. Ubud is a flourishing crafts centre specializing in woodcarving which are sold all over the island. There are hundreds of shops selling antiques, woodcarvings, crafts, textiles, paintings and jewellery as well as some of the best art museums in the country, dozens of art studios, an excellent local craft market and galleries.
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Thing for sale?
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Saw this guy digging while I was having lunch. It turns out he is fixing the water main. I walked past the hole he dug, the hole was not supported with anything....certainly no risk management here! large_180_IMG_7612.jpg

The rest of the day was so relaxing.....swimming, reading, and even a nap!

Posted by Samchow58 01:41 Archived in Indonesia Comments (1)

Big Buddha and Old Phuket Town

rain 33 °C

March 19
I booked a tour for the day to take me around town. First stop was Karon viewpoint....Karon Beach, Kata Beach, and Kata Noi (baby)
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Phuket's Big Buddha is one of the island's most important landmarks on the island. The huge image sits on top of the Nakkerd Hills between Chalong and Kata and, at 45 metres tall, it is easily seen from far away. The site has the best 360-degree views of the island of Phuket Town, Kata, Karon beaches, Chalong Bay and more.
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Buddha's hand
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I cut the tour short because I didn't feel too well. I spent the rest of the day at the pool.

March 20
It rained hard all night...finally stopped after breakfast so I decided today was a great day to see Old Phuket Town. I hired a tuk tuk and headed out.
Crazy hair from the tuk tuk ride.
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The tuk tuk driver dropped me off on Thalang Road the main central street of Phuket’s Old Town. This narrow boulevard is studded with lots of attractions, great shops, a mix of restaurants, several small guesthouses. All set in beautiful Sino-Portuguese architecture which makes Phuket Town so beautiful. As well as being one of the oldest streets in Phuket, it remains one of the busiest. It is still a major route for road traffic, except for on Sunday evenings when it becomes Phuket’s own Walking Street Market.
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Found some great art on the side of buildings
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Old radios
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More...
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Started to,rain on the way back
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I headed to the beach for the rest of the day. Headed back before the rain storm started again.

So tonight is my last night in Thailand. I absolutely loved Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta....Lanta is definitely my favourite place and I would love to go back one day, Krabi and Phuket are just too busy for me. I found so many Europeans travelling in Thailand...especially Russians. Loved that I had a chance to meet up with Tira, Glenn and family....funny we had to meet in Thailand for dinner. I'm off to Denpasar, Bali tomorrow.

Posted by Samchow58 07:45 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

Phuket and family time

semi-overcast

March 17
Today is a travel day. I have to leave my beautiful room here in Lanta......large_CACC7F8CB6D8B5309D69F7347EF8CC12.jpg

Cannonball tree
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I boarded the ferry from Lanta to Phi Phi for a one hour boat ride. As we approached Phi Phi, I saw a ferry floating outside of Tonsai Pier. Our ferry tied up beside this ferry and we boarded the Phi Phi boat to Phuket. That ferry took another 1.5 hours.
Phuket from the ferry
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At Rassada pier, I got a taxi to the hotel and checked in. Headed out to explore Karon Beach, a busy city. At 6:30 pm, I met my cousin and her family also travelling in Thailand. Tira, Glenn, Shannon, Fred, Ashley, and Winston leave for Chaing Mai tomorrow.
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Can you believe the size of these?
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After dinner, we walked around the market. There was lots of heavy bargaining going on here....and some great deals were made.
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We then headed for a foot massage.... we bargained and got an awesome deal for 5 person foot massage and 1 back and shoulder massage. We sure had lots and lots of laughs.
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Happy Heavenly Birthday to a wonderful great grandmother, grandmother, and mother..... we all miss you!
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March 18
I met everyone for a wonderful buffet breakfast at the hotel before they left for the airport.
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I spent a very relaxing day at the beach, playing hippopotamus in the water.....watching the people and activities all around me.
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Posted by Samchow58 04:07 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Time for Lime Cooking School

sunny 37 °C
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March 16
I spent my last full day just laying on the deck...relaxing and swimming.
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This hotel is one of my favourites....ever!

Headed out at 3:30 pm for my cooking class with Time for Lime. There were 26 of us from Germany, Sweden, U.K., Poland, Norway, and USA. Noi, our instructor, gave us an introduction on the various spice, herb, and vegetables in Thai cooking.
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First we learnt how to make a red curry paste using a pisto and morter. The curry paste definitely smelt better than the bottle paste. Then we learnt how to make Pad Thai, papaya salad.
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Finally, stir fry Morning Glory (mountain watercress) and a sweet, sour, spicy sauce.
Like Noi said.... Big Fire when we cook the Morning Glory
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The best part of the evening was eating our creations. I'm coming home with lots of great Thai recipes....can't wait!

The ride home....
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Posted by Samchow58 08:45 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

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