January 7 2015

January 7, 2015

Gifted Polish photographer Jan Tyniec has blessed Bali with an exhibition this month, his first actual exhibition in Indonesia, though he spent two years as artist-in-residence at Purnati Centre for the Arts.

Over the past 12 years, the Ubud ex-pat has captured his “Balinese journey in four portfolios: rice fields, offerings, lotus and portraits. The Ganesha Gallery exhibition at the Four Seasons Resort in Jimbaran shows the artist’s favourites from each portfolio. The exhibition is open till January 15; don’t miss it.

With an excellent, award-winning chef in place and creating delicious new menus at its Rondji Restaurant, it’s all happening at Blanco Museum in Campuhan. Sunday brunch and barbeque every Sunday, and a Sunday market and live music event once a month (normally the first Sunday of the month, but the second Sunday this month.

Ubud is the perfect place for a Sunday brunch or barbeque – and even at this time of year, you can still be pretty optimistic of a sunny (or at least dry) midday meal. rondjirestaurantubud.com, 0361 975502.

Ubud is sometimes referred to as the “spiritual epicentre of Asia” – which sounds a little “ego”-centric to me, given the many other ancient holy places throughout this region. However, it’s true that one of the joys of an increasingly tourist-focused Bali is that we still are surrounded by many sacred temples and beautiful palaces, and the natural energy of all Bali’s rivers, lakes and sacred mountains.

Now, just five minutes north of central Ubud in the town of Bentuyung, a pyramid project is underway, with plans for completion in early 2015. The founders, Peter and Lyn McIntosh, are passionate about providing a place that can bring together the healing energies of the ancient instruments of many different cultures – from the Aboriginal didgeridoo to Tibetan singing bowls.

Spiritual tourism is a much smarter proposition than the massive resort projects and crazy nightlife ventures in southern Bali, and seems much more in-tune (oops, a pun) with the beliefs of our Hindu hosts. And I’m impressed too with this project’s sensitivity to the quiet roads of the surrounding villages. No specifics yet, but their website refers to “small shuttles” that will bring visitors to and from the Pyramids of Chi.

For more info, phone 0821 4500 7959/ www.pyramidsofchi.com.

That’s an exclamation of dismay. An error on my part has led to hundreds of readers being deprived of excellent Indonesian vegetarian food for more than 4 weeks, and for that I am very, very sorry. The correct number for Pisang Manis, the fabulous little catering company that creates magical little burst in your mouth flavours of Bali is 0821-1201 5356. Next time you have a special occasion, book them to cater!

Having travelled to Denpasar to one of the big computer stores to sort out her “I’m going to turn myself off and there’s nothing you can do about it” temperamental old-ish iphone, a friend eventually found the best solution-maker here in Ubud.

The Denpasar mob temporarily fixed the problem, but when it happened again a week later, she thought to consult the Apple retailer at the eastern end of Jl Raya Ubud, near to the Arjuna statue. The staff there directed her to a tiny little shop just round the corner in Jl Raya Andong.

Turn south at Arjuna; just a few doors on the left you’ll see the Apple logo. The technician got her iphone working immediately, but said it would happen again if the phone didn’t have a software upgrade so he hooked her into his Mac, downloaded whatever and away she went! Only 300,000rp for the job, and no need to hire a driver and endure the three-hour round trip to the wilds of Denpasar.

Bookings are now open for one of Bali’s most respected yoga teacher-training programs, with a team of Balinese and international teachers led by highly regarded yoga guru Linda Madani.

There will be two 2015 retreats – described by previous graduates as “challenging, with every minute is filled with learning experiences” – in early March and late October.

Linda was one of the first international yoga teachers in Bali and has worked closely with traditional Balinese practitioners, so she now has more than 20 years experience in teaching traditional Balinese healing, and a wealth of knowledge of yogic lifestyle and practice. The next Yoga Pranala Intensive Teacher Training sessions cover asana, pranyama, auryvedic healing, meditation, philosophy, anatomy, chanting, dancing, and mandala-making.

Those who work closely with Linda say her wisdom leads to an experience that is “transformational in the deepest sense of the word.”

Find early bird prices and other program details at www.intuitiveflow.com.

What did the grape say when the elephant at Bali’s Elephant Park stepped on it? Nothing. It just let out a little wine. It’s sometimes hard to find wine – affordable, drinkable wine – in Bali, but Kebun’s Wednesday discounts on all imported wines, makes things a bit more manageable.

Perfect really. Kebun’s southern Mediterranean-inspired food menu is yet another success for BaliSpirit group’s head chef, Pak Made Adi, and every artisan dish on his tapas, lunch and evening menus tastes even better with a matching glass of delicious wine.

It’s high season, so reserve your table for Kebun’s next Winesday; phone 0361-780 3801. Jalan Hanoman No.44.

Ompure’s new yoga range launched this month – a chic Bohemian look with natural colors and more natural textiles including organic bamboo. And good news for male yoga practitioners, the new range includes some great designs for men.

Available from the Ompure store at Jl Hanoman 45, or online, the company ships free worldwide on all online retail sales over $100+.

The new men’s line is under the label of “OMANI” (brother of Ompure), the word Omani inspired by men, of course, and the sacred Hindu chant “om”, and recalling the Italian roots of Ompure founder, Marco Armanni.

W: www.ompure.com, or facebook.com/ompure, with sales via the Moshe tab.

On December 30, an Aussie friend took a trip from Ubud to the immigration office in Denpasar, because 2014 changes to immigration processes meant that a legal one-month extension to the visa-on-arrival now required her fingerprints and an official government photograph.

As with any other country, Indonesia is entitled to impose (and change) whatever regulations it chooses, for immigration or any other aspect of its governance. However, it does seem a bit ironic that the Indonesian government has now decided to remove the requirement for visas for tourists visiting this country. Starting this month. So if he arrived next week, my Aussie friend wouldn’t even need a visa.

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Copyright © 2015 Wayan Jen
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