Ubud News


Did you know that the Balinese don’t wait to get sick, they use a variety of home grown herbs and spices to create health tonics that keep them in good health and help fight illness.

Every once in a while, you’ll see someone riding the streets, or outside the local markets, with a tray full of orange-coloured bottles, and a queue of locals waiting to buy and drink. This is “jamu”, made with ginger and turmeric and all sorts of other local 100% natural ingredients, the actual sugar free recipe is usually a closely-kept secret.

Some of you already know someone who supplies you with jamu tonic on a regular basis. For the result of us, Kubu Jamu is now making this delicious and powerful tonic and will deliver them to your home in recyclable glass bottles.

Cost: 30,000 rp for one 250ml glass bottle. Resellers are also welcome and will receive wholesale prices. E-mail: kubujamu@gmail.com. Phone & Whats app: +6289 654 960 967.


If living in Bali has given you the urge to visit spiritual places, take up this invitation from Ubud-based international wildlife and cultural photographer, David Metcalf.

David has been granted access to bring a small group to explore the Ngorongoro Conservation Area by four-wheel drive in early February 2020.

The Tanzanian government has strictly protected this area, allowing only the Maasai and their guests to walk inside the Ngorongoro Crater. Ngorongoro holds an unmistakeable energy; our emotions are stirred and we inspired to peaceful reflection.

David’s group will live in their village in a homestay arrangement, observing their customary indigenous wisdom and natural healing with a Maasai “Laibon” (spiritual leader and medicine man). For more information, email davidmetcalf312@gmail.com.


The work of the Bali Starling Conservation Society to protect the critically endangered Bali starling (Rothschild’s mynah, Bali mynah or Jalak Bali) is gradually seeing success.

The three-island sanctuary of Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, just off the east coast Bali, is providing a haven for the IUCN-listed Bali starling – considered the second rarest bird in the world – with the active support of the island’s very poor local community.

The conservation society works together with the locals, who made this project part of their local law in exchange for a variety of community support programs. Despite being a poor island, the communities protect the highly valuable birds from being stolen and sold.

Visitors are welcome to contribute through a variety of volunteer projects on the islands and there is volunteer accommodation for those who stay and work for a specific time. You can also “adopt a starling”. The initial 65 birds released into the wild a few years ago have grown to more than 120 in 2019, with additional pairs bought from breeders on Bali and released regularly to increase the genetic diversity of the starling community. For more information, email info@fnpf.org.


In February 2020, Kul-Kul Farm continues its series of workshops on the fascinating world of Spagyrics, ancient alchemy and herbalism.

Master alchemist Carlos Gallo, from Escola de Espagiria in Brazil, will use the principles and philosophies of Spagyrics – the extraction of divine gifts – to guide participants through the ancient practice of herbal medicine making.

Alchemists believe that one can extract the essence of materials from a plant (based on the essential elements of nature, fire, water, and earth) and then recombine them to create a single ‘essence’ with powerful medicinal properties.

The February workshop will focus on how to make plant wines and medicinal tinctures with a series of practical, hands-on sessions using herbs, fruit and other plants from the Kul-Kul’s rich and diverse organic garden. For information and bookings, please visit www.kulkulfarmbali.com.


Bali-based architect, Alexis Dornier, is making it simple to build an eco-friendly home in Ubud, even on uneven terrain, with minimal impact on the existing environment.

Many want to lease land and build a home on Bali but it’s becoming increasingly obvious that paying for rice field land is not an ethically or environmentally sound option. There is less and less land available for rice cultivation, so the answer is often to use land that is less accessible or has undulating terrain. Using prefab components makes it possible to set up a home in fairly remote areas in a short timeframe, with minimal disruption of the land concerned.

Dornier’s Stilt Studios come in a variety of sizes, from one-story to multi-level, all raised above the ground to reduce the structures’ impact on the local environment. The prefabricated homes can easily be disassembled and moved to new locations.

The design has sustainable features, including integrated rainwater collection systems and solar power. Visit www: stilt-studios.com.


Kudos should be given to the Paradiso Café team for their generous, community-minded attitude, which has led them to offer various rooms within the complex to community projects, often free of charge.

I was reminded of this when reading on Facebook’s Ubud Community group page about some people who wanted to open another book club in Ubud. The intention of the small group – a mixture of locals and ex-pats, some avid readers and others keen to improve – is to meet every three weeks and discuss a book that they have previously agreed to read.

Within an hour or so of the original post, which was seeking other potential book club members, Paradiso had offered its Paradiso Downstairs space to the group.

Paradiso – like the Yoga Barn, Taksu Spa and others – is very encouraging of anyone with a bit of creativity and the intent to share their time and expertise with the wider community. If you have an idea and want a regular venue, step up and ask! You can find these three places on Facebook.

E-mail : BAubudnews@gmail.com

Copyright © 2020 Wayan Jen

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