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THE BALINESE RANGDA

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In Balinese mythology, Rangda is the queen of witches who has an ugly face, sharp fangs, tousled hair and long fingernails. She also has a bad temper and is as cunning as a fox.

It is said that Rangda was probably the Queen Mahendradatta who lived on Java Island in the 11th century. She was exiled by King Dharmodayana because she was accused for allegedly bewitching the king’s second wife.

Rangda was deeply provoked and took revenge by slaughtering half of the king’s family members with the help of witches and evil spirits. Later, she crowned herself queen and ruled the country.

Rangda means widow in ancient Javanese language. However, it had been used less and less as this word was considered negative by the Javanese in olden days.

Rangda is the important character in Balinese traditional dance. Sendratari is the very dance that displays the fight between Rangda and Barong. It means the war of good against evil and the negative power will always be the loser.

There are many kinds of…

THE ANGEL ISLAND

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Pulau Bidadari or The Angel Island is an amazing and outstanding tourist destination which is worth visiting. It isn’t very far from Jakarta and it needs half an hour to arrive at the beautiful island.

Tourists usually go to Marina Ancol Port where speedboat and jet-ski are hired for traveling to the Angel Island. The departure is from 08:00 to 10:00 am. It’s so crowded on the weekends. However, only two departures are available on a normal weekday.

While you’re on the way, you’ll see the islands which have their own historical values, such as Cipir, Ontrust and Kelor Islands. Fortresses, houses and harbors had been built on those islands by the Dutch government during the Dutch occupation.

In the 17th century, the Angel Island was the location that supported the activities on Ontrust Island, in which the supporting facilities had been built. The Dutch East India Company relocated a leprosy hospital from Angke in 1679. That was why the Angel Island had been called the Sick Island.

A…

THE TANAH LOT SEA TEMPLE IN BALI

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If you would like to see beautiful sunset in Bali, Tanah Lot is one of the wonderful places to visit.  The sunset at Tanah Lot is a spiritual one and of course the atmosphere is a little different from the ordinary places.

The sunset scene attracts a great number of tourists to go there and spend their vacations with family members, relatives and friends. Although they’ve visited this heavenly temple several times, they’ll never feel bored to come back to admire the sunset again whenever they visit Bali Island.

Legend has it that Tanah Lot was built by a Brahmin called Danghyang Niratha who had the habit of traveling from one place to another. It is said that he needed only a raft to cross the Java Sea. He sat on the raft riding the waves, as if nothing had happened. No matter how rough the sea was, he was always as cool as a cucumber.

In the 16th century, Danghyang Niratha introduced Hinduism to the Balinese and he was quite successful. He was generally regarded as a holy man and th…

THE ELEPHANT CAVE IN BALI

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The Elephant Cave of Ubud Bali is an ancient temple in which pilgrims can say their prayers or do a mindfulness meditation for achieving inner piece and happiness.

While you’re meditating in that cave, you’ll be aware of the virtuous life of a hermit without being tempted by worldly temptation.

It is situated in Bedulu, Blahbatu subdistrict, Gianyar Regency, Bali. It is about 27 kilometers from Denpasar. Beludu is in fact a unique ancient village in Gianyar. A lot of people believe that it had been the center of civilization on Bali Island.

A stone coffin (sarcophagus) was discovered in a villager’s house which proves the existence of prehistoric settlement millions of years ago.

Due to its uniqueness and beauty, it is listed as one of the world heritages by UNESCO.

LC Heyting, the official of Dutch East India made a report to his government in 1923 that he had discovered the Ganesha, Trilingga and Hariti statues. That was a valuable discovery and the research was continued by DR. W…

THE ABANDONED BOUNTY BEACH CLUB

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The Bounty Beach Bungalow Resort located on Gili Meno Island had been very famous in the early 2000s.  A lot of tourists went there to spend their vacations as it offered the guests excellent services and facilities.

It was the place where people could feel at one with nature. They felt that they were free from the burdens of life while looking at the birds flew over the sea and listening to the sound of waves crashing on the beach. It was far away from the crowd and no one would come to bother them.

Now, it is abandoned by its owner and it becomes unoccupied. Tourists are reluctant to go there. As it lacks maintenance, many parts of the buildings start deteriorating. Only some weird guys who are fond of horror go to spend their holidays at this awful place.

You may go by ferry, speedboat or airplane from Bali. When you arrive, the inhabitants will be very glad to take you to that abandoned bungalow resort. Of course, you need to pay them some money and they will serve you as if you …

THE BAKSO VENDOR

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Bakso is a kind of meatball. People in Indonesia usually consume bakso with hot soup consisting of cabbage, celery and noodles. The soup is flavored with tasty cooking spices. It is the favorite food of most teenagers and adults. The delicious bakso is very sweet in smelling and the taste is so enjoyable. It will be more delicious if it is mixed with a small amount of chili sauce. Red or green pepper is also very helpful to improve digestion.

Consuming bakso can be a habit. Those who like to eat bakso at 9:00 pm will probably be the customers of the bakso vendors who regularly pass by or stay at the roadside waiting for buyers. The bakso in the city is somewhat different from the one sold at the village. At least, it is different from the bakso in my hometown.

We often see how people make bakso and noodles on TV. In my birthplace, the vendors make the noodles themselves because it is more profitable than buying the readymade one. They use fish or beef to make bakso (meatball).

Nobod…

THE OLD TEMPLE AT SIJUK VILLAGE

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Sijuk is a very old village in Belitung. It had been a town of trade center where a great number of merchants from different places, islands or countries went there to make money long time ago.

It is said that Admiral Cheng Ho of Ming Dynasty had ever cast anchor at the river of Sijuk. It’s undoubtedly that Sijuk Town was quite well known in ancient days.

It’s about 33 kilometers from Tanjung Pandan and is very convenient to go there by car or motorcycle or even bicycle if you like cycling.  The scenery is so beautiful along the way that you can hardly see in a big city.

Whenever you reached the iron bridge, you’ll see an old temple a few meters from the roadside. It is the temple of the Lord of Land and Prosperity and it was built in 1815. However, this ancient temple had been renovated and it doesn’t look like an old temple anymore.

According to the legend, the Lord of Land and Prosperity was a king named Thio Hok Tek. When he ruled his country, he was a very kind hearted king and …