We left Singapore on March 24th, for Bali, Indonesia.  Although the islands that comprise Indonesia are predominately Muslim and currently experiencing a great deal of political unrest, Bali is a peaceful island filled with Buddhists.  While we were visiting Bali, there were no signs of violence and we found it to be one of the most serene and spiritual places we have ever vacationed. 

Bali is choke full of sacred Buddhist temples, royal tombs, beautiful terraced rice patties and some of the most unique brick and stone architecture on the planet.  Small shrines and temples can be found in nearly every home, restaurant and hotel.

The Balinese people have a ritualized way of life and beauty and harmony are part of their ancient belief system.  They engage in daily offerings and special ceremonies that are very difficult to describe in words (see pics).  During our stay, we were fortunate to be invited to a wedding ceremony and also witnessed a cremation ceremony in a remote village.  Cremation ceremonies are considered to be celebrations and it's acceptable for all people to attend them including tourists.  We also had the opportunity to see a "cock fight," which was quite gruesome.

While in Bali, we stayed at the exquisite Amandari Hotel.  The Amandari is located in Ubud, a charming little mountainous village that is known for its artisans and lush vegetation.  The hotel is laid out like the fanciest Balinese village and all the rooms are made of thatched roofs and enclosed in their own compound.  We would highly recommend a visit to Bali to all our family and friends.  To see how amazing Bali really is, check out the links below:

Amandari Hotel
Cremation Ceremony
Rice Terraces
Cock Fighting
Back Roads


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           copyright chris & hugh hempel 2004                                                      last modified on Monday, 12. January 2004