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Geria Semallung Guest House

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Food to die for

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Rice terraces of Bali


TIRTAGANGGA, BALI     After fighting the crowds of Ubud, I headed to Tirtagangga following a friend's advice.  It was pretty well off the Ubud tourist track.  Actually, it wasn't even a village.  A sultan from long ago built a water garden there.  Next to the garden were a bus station, a few sort of restaurants, and several hotels.  There were no homes in Tirtagangga.  All the local people lived in small houses scattered across the rice fields.  I was delighted with my arrival there.  There was only one hotel to stay at in my opinion.  Geria Semallung was on top of a mountain overlooking Tirtagangga.  No place compared for food, service, and view. 

One day I headed to Amed, a beach area in the east of Bali, that several Balinese people had recommended as a quiet, non-touristy location.  I didn't know why until I arrived.  The beach wasn't much.  I expected palm trees, but most of them looked typhoon damaged.  I stayed one night and fled back to Tirtagangga.

On another day trip from Tirtagangga, I went to Tenganan, another traditional village.  Yes, it was touristy but nothing like the high pressure/low attraction of Lake Batur's traditional village.   The place was low key and peaceful.  There were several artisans who displayed their crafts and how they were made. 

One day I stayed around Geria Semalluung Guest House and learned how to make one of their vegetarian meals, Balinese Cassava Leaves.  All of their food was so incredible. 

I stayed in Tirtagangga until the last possible moment when I had to go.  But, in Jakarta I almost didn't get out of the country.  Two valuable pieces of paper were missing from my passport.   The first was the Indonesian departure card which was solved by a $15.00 bribe that was called an "administrative fee".  The second was my my Philippine residence card.   That story is too long for this space. 

Copyright 1998 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.