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padang padang surf

Custom itinerary designed for Josh Muthart

May 17 to June 1, 2009

Day 1 – Sunday, May 17: Chicago / In Flight
You have several alternatives for the flight to Bali. Korean leaves ORD at 12.35pm and arrives in Bali at one minute past midnight on May 19. Cathay Pacific leaves LAX at 1.50am to arrive into Bali at 2.40pm on May 18. This will require flying to LAX Saturday night. You can also leave LAX at 11.35pm and arrive into Bali at the same time; this can also be done Saturday night. The 1.50am leaving Monday, getting in Tuesday at 2.40pm is currently about $150 cheaper then the weekend flights.     (*M)


Day 2 – Monday, May 18: In Flight / Denpasar/ Uluwatu
Arrive today either afternoon or at midnight. On entry into the terminal first go to the counter on the left side of the arrivals area to pay for a Visa on Arrival ($25 in US dollars, Visa or Mastercard); at the adjacent counter present the payment and your passport will be stamped. There's a video of the process here. After exiting the gate you will see a counter on your left where you need to pay your Visa on Arrival for entry into Indonesia. After passing through immigration you pass through into the customs hall (where your hand luggage will be scanned again) and where you pick up your checked bags if any. There will be carts there for bags, and also porters, who will be pushy. If you put your carryon or checked bag down, or reach for a checked bag slowly off the carousel it is likely that a porter will grab it, and it can be difficult to get it out of his grasp. The going rate for porters is 2000 rupiah per bag, about 25c US. You cannot use US change for this, but notes are OK. You will then pass through Customs, with the usual red and green lanes. Watch the customs personnel, as if there is a line of locals that you are behind you may be waved over to pass straight through. Once through customs you will pass by some money exchange booths. I suggest exchanging $50 to have some immediate cash, but you will get a slightly better rate once in town (but not worth not having some immediate cash). By getting some cash at the airport you will need to go through the money exchange calculations when tired, and you’ll have more opportunities to exchange. As is the same around the world, your hotel will exchange money but the rate is poor compared to elsewhere. Once outside the building there wpadang padang surf campill be an open space surrounded by a barrier keeping a swirling mob of guides, drivers, friends relatives and various others away from the doors. Look for your Bali Nagasari guide behind this barrier. He will be holding a sign with your name, and will be wearing a shirt with a deep blue background with white birds patterned over it, over a sarong. Take your bags across to him – no-one is allowed to enter this space except passengers – and he will take you to the car to be transferred to Uluwatu and the Padang Padang surf camp.bali  terraced rice paddies Interesting name – padang means field, open space, etc – so padang padang means fields. Padang also denotes a style of usually hot fast food from the city of Padang on Sumatra so you could see it as a combination of hot, fast and open space. While here you should try padang food, it’s possibly the original fast food. Rumah makan padang restaurants feature prepared food, which you can see the examples of in the cafe window. All the variety of dishes are brought to your table on many different plates; you then simply choose individual items – not the whole plate – and at the end of the meal the server totes up what’s missing, and returns the rest for another customer. As there’s no menu, it’s often guesswork as to what anything is, but it all tastes good, but remember that padang food is usually spicier than other Balinese food, and some can be very hot. If you point at any item and ask questioningly sangat pedas? (very hot?) they will let you know (by the way panas is hot when referring to water). (*B,*M)

Days 3 – 9 – Tuesday, May 19 to Monday, May 25: Surf Camp
Josh spends the week improving his surfing skills. Sorry I don’t know your name but his Fiancee enjoys a little surfing and beach timebalinese temple offering box. padang padang surfOne day she’ll visit the Denpasar market, for a look at typical Balinese life. Many of the items at the market are not seen at the normal tourist shops, and recommended purchase are either (or both) the woven and painted temple offering boxes, which you’ll see Balinese women use to take offerings to the temple, and the frieze material used to decorate homes and temple on special days. You can also purchase the painted umbrellas used for special occasions for much less than at the few souvenir shops that carry them. street offeringIn addition to these there are flowers, vegetables and Bumbu Bali cooking school foodspices, as well as the more normal needs of daily life. It’s very rare to see another tourist at pasur Badung. Your guide can advise on the various dishes if you choose one of these restaurants for a typical Indonesian experience. Up until mid afternoon on another day will be spent learning about Balinese and Indonesian cooking. You’ll start with a visit to the vegetable market to find ingredients. You then return to the restaurant to learn how Indonesian food is prepared and served. Although not easy to find in the States, Indonesian cuisine is one of the great unsung cuisines of the world. You may also spend a day looking around the craft villages that specialise in silver, pottery, the traditional Indonesian masks and similar artisanal work. One night while here experience the amazing Kecak, or Monkey, Dance at Uluwatu, with its 100 chanting men, colorful costumes, and flaming brands thrown by the protagonists. (B)

Day 10 – Tuesday, May 26: Surf Camp / Ubud
This morning bid farewell to the beach and head up into the cooler highlands of the Ubud region. You’ll start your full day with abalinese dancer performance of the fascinating Barong & Kris dance in Batubulan. Then visit Pura (temple) Taman Ayun, near Mengwi, the home of the Royal Family. When visiting temples you should dress respectively; a special sash can be hired outside the temple as they are required for entry (or you can buy one to take home as a souvenir). There’ll also be time for picking up Bali specialties such as batik, sarongs and carvings; Arrive in Ubud at lunchtime and relax at your Balinese style hotel, and explore near Ubud. A walk down the famous Monkey Forest Road, past some excellent craft shops takes you to the Sacred Monkey Forest and temple of Padangtegal, the home of several extended families of long-tailed macaque monkeys. Make sure that any bags are tightly closed, and your sun or eye glasses are secure. (B)

Day 11 – Wednesday, May 27: Ubudwhite water rafting on Bali
balinese temple procession Today is free to explore Ubud, the cultural capital of Bali. Ubud is famous for its arts and crafts, and the continuous activities of its temple. Although not open to the public, it is very common to see processions of colorfully clad women bearing carefully created baskets of fruit and flowers walking to the temple, to make the daily offerings. The intricately carved entrance gate, in typical Balinese split-gate design, allows glimpses into this cultural world. Later this afternoon you are taken out to Bedulu where you’ll visit Goa Gajah, the cave temple dedicated to Ganesha, the elephant-headed God of Beginnings and son of Shiva consort Parvati. An alternative for today is to go white water rafting on the Ayung River, just outside Ubud.     (B)

Day 12 – Thursday, May 28: East Bali
One possible activity for today:

Bali remains the final repository of the great Hindu-Buddhist culture of Java, which first came to the island in the late 10th century. Following its encounter with the Animism of Bali, the resulting religious blend became the present-day Agama Hindu. This faith now permeates every aspect of Balinese daily life, as well as the art and architecture of the Island. Today's tour will provide you with a good feel for this extraordinary religious heritage. You travel east to the traditional besakih templecenter of Balinese power, Klungkung. You visit the city's 17tpura danumh century Kerta Gosa (Hall of Justice), with its famous painted ceiling which survived the destruction of the Palace by the Dutch army in 1908. Similar in many ways to Dante's visit to the Inferno, this series of paintings depicts noble Bima's descent in Hell to retrieve his parents' souls. From Klungklung travel to the Bali Aga (original Balinese) village of Tengganan, with its time-honored traditions and customs going back to pre-Hindu Bali. Tengganan is one of only two places in the world where one of the masterworks of traditional textile art, the double ikat, is still woven and you’ll see this being done. After lunch in the nearby village of Candi Dasa drive through one of the most scenic backroads in Bali that run part way up and along the sacred mountain of Gunung Agung to Pura Besakih, Bali's "Mother Temple." Pura Besakih is actually a 22-temple complex dedicated to the Hindu Gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, and it is the most sacred and powerful of the innumerable temples and shrines on Bali. (B,L)


candi kuning market baliDay 13 – Friday, May 29: Ubud / Pemuteran taman selini pemuteran
This morning depart Ubud for Pemuteran on the northwest coast. Along the way stop at Candi Kuning a fruit, flower and spice market presents sights and smells not seen back home. Here also is Lake Bratan, formed in the inactive caldera of Gunung Catur, with the temple of Ulun Danu in its waters. Your Bali-style hotel for the next two nights is adjacent to the beach, with views across the bay.    (B,L)



snorkeling at menjangan island, BaliDay 14 – Saturday, May 30: Pemuteranpemuteran sunset
The day is free to relax and enjoy this beautiful area at your own pace. There is excellent snorkeling offshore, and near Menjangan Island, one of Bali’s best reef areas. Less active pursuits, especially Balinese massages and spa treatments are also available. Sunset is best enjoyed on the beach, watching the fishing boat lights flicker on as the evening darkens.     (B)


anemone fish baliDay 15 – Sunday, May 31 & Monday, June 1: Pemuteran / Denpasar / Chicago
Spend the day at Pemuteran, once again enjoying the beach, water and reef. Late afternoon you are transferred back to Denpasar, and the airport for your just after midnight flight home. Due to the International Dateline you arrive back in Chicago this same day.

(B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner; M: Meal; * in flight meal)