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Hindu mythological figures

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Legong dancer

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Hindu flower offerings

UBUD, BALI     Denpasar's beaches are where millions of sun-worshipping Australians come to bask.  I avoided it.  Instead, I headed to the mountains and Ubud, where many of Bali's artisans can be found.  I was disappointed all the way to Ubud.  Yes, the architectural style was unique but I had hoped for paradise.  It was developed the entire way. 

Wira, a guy from Ubud that I met on the bus, brought me to his family home stay.   I was almost embarrassed at the price which included breakfast for $4.00 a night.

I shopped most of the main drag of Ubud -- mostly for masks, wooden flowers, and shirts.  I was glad that I didn't hesitate to shop in Yogya.  There were definitely better batiks there.  Then, I continued my walking tour to the Monkey Forest.  I envisioned a remote jungle area on a tiny path.  It was a huge road lined on both sides with luxury hotels and boutiques. 

In the evening I went to a Legong cultural dance.  I was well entertained.  The dancers were talented, expressive, and so young.  The girls couldn't have been much more than twelve.  I was really glad that I went.  One evening I attended the kepok fire dance.  It was advertised as 100 men chanting and dancing with no instruments.  It turned out to be 31 men -- mostly ancient.  The sound was magnificent; the look wasn't.  It was poorly lit and the men wore unelaborate costumes.  Stick with the Legong dance. 

Copyright 1998 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.