This Paradise, Bali

August 29, 2008 Updated: September 4, 2008

This must-see, cliff-top temple, has majestically withstood the challenges of time. (Nadia Ghattas/The Epoch Times)
This must-see, cliff-top temple, has majestically withstood the challenges of time. (Nadia Ghattas/The Epoch Times)
Every thought, word, and movement, and every dress and costume are dedications to an almighty creator.
Once you step onto the island, you will feel that harmony. All these relationships should be in balance. This morally binding philosophy and the beauty of the island make Bali a magnificent and magical place to be—a paradise on earth, keeping in mind the warmth of its people and their endless smiles and friendliness.

Bygone Era

Bali is steeped in history and culture. When you visit the island, it seems as if you’ve stepped into a bygone era. It is part of the Indonesian archipelago and, although Bali’s history is somewhat unclear, it is said that the first settlers in Bali emigrated from China in 2500 B.C. From this migration stemmed the Bronze era and a very effective system of irrigation and agriculture of rice (subak) which is still used today and was created around 300 B.C.

During our short stay, we went to the southern part of Bali to see this ingenious, traditional irrigation system called subak. You will be amazed to see the magical views of terraced rice fields, which are unlike most rice fields in the world. It is as if they are etched in the hills or along the volcanic mountains, following the natural flow of the land and creating an incredibly magnificent view even on the smallest land areas.

Terraced rice fields provide magnificent views and are a testament of the Bali balance between gods, man, and nature. (Nadia Ghattas/The Epoch Times)
Terraced rice fields provide magnificent views and are a testament of the Bali balance between gods, man, and nature. (Nadia Ghattas/The Epoch Times)
Subak is based on the traditional Balinese calendar and on physical, social, and cultural components. That is why the Balinese have been able to protect and preserve the culture, the resources, and the environment that is passed on relatively intact from one generation to the next.

Kerta Masa (planting at the same time) is applied to keep the ecosystem in balance, with farmers using their traditional calendar which they believe is more precise about weather and is good for planting crops. This method also controls pests and conserves water. Balinese believe that disaster and disease come about due to imbalance and conflict between man and nature.

Island of Temples

This paradise, Bali, is also known as the Island of the Temples. There are as many as 20,000 temples in Bali. 
As part of their daily activities, the Balinese fill little baskets made of bamboo or banana leaves with flowers, fruits, water, and incense and place them in front of their homes, businesses, and even the cash registers. These are people’s offerings to the gods to show their respect and appreciation while asking for peace and protection from evil.
 

Bird sanctuaries arise from calculated recycling of irrigated water based on the principles of Tri Hita Karana. (Nadia Ghattas/The Epoch Times)
Bird sanctuaries arise from calculated recycling of irrigated water based on the principles of Tri Hita Karana. (Nadia Ghattas/The Epoch Times)
After seeing the rice fields, we had to rush to the Temple Tanah Lot. It challenges time standing majestically on top of a cliff that juts out over the ocean. You can enjoy the beautiful view of the ocean while the sun sets and watch the believers carrying offerings on their heads—baskets full of flowers, fruits, and vegetables—as they walk toward the temple.

Bali Delights

After a long day of travel, anyone would certainly want to pamper and relax the body and enjoy a nice traditional meal. Bali is full of spas, available everywhere. We went to The Royal Heritage Spa where you will be treated royally from the moment you step in. We were greeted with one of the most delicious and refreshing drinks you can have, which was made with ginger and natural sugar. After a great massage and a body scrub made from the rich natural minerals and fruits and spices of Indonesia, you can sip on the ginger drink while soaking in the herbal baths.
 
From there we went and feasted at the Manega Café at the Jimbaran area located in the southern part of Bali. The restaurant is on the white, soft sandy beach. You pick the different fish for your meal by the entrance and then are escorted to the tables placed right by the beach. The meal, along with the stunning sounds of the waves dappled with the reflection of the moon, leaves you with unforgettable memories. Oh, Bali, what have you done to me?

Local transportation (Nadia Ghattas/The Epoch Times)
Local transportation (Nadia Ghattas/The Epoch Times)
[caption id=”attachment_72567″ align=”alignleft” width=”320″ caption=”A local woman prepares a basket of gifts for the gods