Ubud Market, Rafting the Ayung River, and a Hindu Ceremony at the local Temple

Ubud Travel Blog

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Grocery shopping at the Ubud Market

It was an early start to the day -- 6:15am meet up in the hotel lobby so we could see the morning market at it's prime.  We were shuttled to the market area in vans, and then it was out and about the market for some eating, shopping, sight seeing and picture taking.  The market acts as the local supermarket for the city.  You can get anything here from meat, fish and eggs to vegetables and fruit to clothing.  Lots of touristy stuff too.  You could also get some pre-made offerings for the Hindu Gods if you needed a ready supply!   I stopped at one of the vendors to try a drink called 'cendol' (pronounced chen-dol) that was pretty amazing.  It is made from a green gelatinous liquid made from some type of leaves, pink beads of tapioca, white coconut milk and brown palm sugar syrup.

Cendol makings
  It looked bad, but tasted amazingly good.  The Backroads group could not believe I drank it -- several had to get a picture of me doing it.  Some of the ladies bought sarongs here in order to be prepared to go into the temple areas that required covering.  I had already bought mine, so I  was prepared.

There were lots of fruits here to buy -- including Durian -- the fruit that has the most horrendous smell of all fruits.  It smells very sulfuric and rotten, yet tastes like custard (if you can ignore the smell).  It is banned by all commercial airlines and most hotels.  It was very abundant at the market, and, of course, I had to try it!

Oh, and they gave me a new nick name -- 'Sash-boy' -- because I wore the sash that I was given on day one every day.

Dolphin, Francoise, Jundre, Larry and Cecilia in the raft (I took the pic when I jumped overboard)
  I should explain the sash.  Each of the trip guests was given one on day one.  It is really quite useful -- you can take it off and dip it in the water and use it to cool yourself, it acts as a belt, and it is very necessary when you enter a temple, as you have to cover your legs in a sarong, and the sash keeps it in place.  Hence, my new nick name.

We headed back to the hotel around 8am, changed clothes for our white water rafting trip down the Ayung River, and were back out to the vans.  It was about an hours drive to the put in site.  The Ayung River is in the gorge that is right behind the Alila Ubud Hotel as you look out across the negative edge pool.  The water was class II and III rapids -- so not a dangerous ride -- fun and wet, but no one fell out.

Tim and Jundre at the Waterfall
  The canyon walls are pretty steep -- and the jungle is dense surrrounding the river.  My raft was guided by a guy nicknamed 'Dolphin,' a really funny guy with good rafting skills.  I had Larry, Cecilia, Jundre and Francoise as my raft mates.  We had a lot of fun splashing the other rafts as we went by.  One raft had a crew of all young pretty Japanese women.  The guide told me not to spash him, as he was wearing contact lenses.  It was a total ploy to try to keep the girls dry, so we took every opportunity to douse them good when we went by!  I got a good picture of me, Dolphin, and 'Contact Lens' (as he was dubbed that day).  We stopped at a waterfall and played in the river awhile.  It was a really beautiful river -- lots of jungle on both sides, sometimes canopied overhead -- and a nice respite from the heat.
'Contact Lens', Dolphin and me on the River

The raft crew provided us a nice lunch at the end of the trip.  We had fried noodles, chicken satay, pork curry and fried tempeh.  I had seconds, I was so hungry!

After lunch, we went back to the hotel.  I went down to the pool with a book and relaxed for awhile.  It felt good after such a busy morning.

At 3:00, we went to a local ceremony celebrating the rice harvest at the nearby Hindu temple.  The ceremony was amazing -- hundreds of people attended, all dressed in awesome costumes.  There were bands, children, actors, singers, religious leaders, and beauty queens.  It really was a spectacular event.

That evening we went to the home of one of our drivers, Made.  Because there was a temple at his home, we were not allowed to show up just wearing shorts.

The Doorman at the Alila showed me how to tie my sarong (notice the sash!)
  You haad to wear a sarong.  I put on one of the sarongs I had purchased earlier.  There is quite a procedure involved in tying a sarong properly -- and there is evidently a difference for men and women.  I could not get it right, so had the doorman help me as I was leaving.  He was very nice about it, and offered to help me again if I forgot!

Wayan's wife, Nyoman, welcomed us profusely to their home.  It was actually a family compound, with a part of the compound a house for the elders, another part for Made, Nyoman and their children, a common kitchen area and a temple.  We had a tour of the house, including the kitchen and sleeping areas.  After the tour we went to the home's temple area.  We were all given a traditional Hindu blessing, a ceremony involving holy water, rice pressed on your forehead and a frangipani flower behind your ear.

A boy and his father await the Ceremony
  It was very sweet and solemn.  I felt very uplifted after the ceremony.

We had dinner at a restaurant in downtown Ubud called Luna.  I had a Bali Hai beer and a grilled beef salad that was excellent.  It was spicy and tangy and quite tasty.  Many of our group was going to go on to a Bali dance festival at the Royal Palace, but I decided to forego another ceremony.  I hung out with Nancy and Kat and shared a bottle of wine with them at the bar at the Luna.   If you are ever there, be sure to check out the restrooms -- there is a trough of water that runs through the restrooms that has koi swimming in it!  Very unusual!

I learned another Balinese factoid tonight concerning naming traditions here.

Nyomen presses rice onto my forehead as part of the blessing
  Balinese families traditionally used to consist of a father and mother and 4 children.  The names are universal also -- that is, they work for males or females.  The first child was named Wayan.  The second child is Made.  The third child is Anom.  And the fourth child is Katuk.  If you have a fifth child, you start over!  No wonder I have met so many Balinese named Wayan and Made!!

wesnmacke says:
great photos...wonderful adventure here! That's very interesting about the naming tradition!
Posted on: May 14, 2008
Jopin says:
Nice blog... and love the pictures!! The durian is a south-east asian classic! I love it and can't wait for it to be in season, usually in Aug. It is creamy and sweet... simply heavenly!! ;)
Posted on: Mar 20, 2008
mellemel8 says:
wow the ceremony sounded interesting. HAHAHA you tried durian. it is also better eaten frozen.
Posted on: Mar 13, 2008
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Grocery shopping at the Ubud Market
Grocery shopping at the Ubud Market
Cendol makings
Cendol makings
Dolphin, Francoise, Jundre, Larry …
Dolphin, Francoise, Jundre, Larry…
Tim and Jundre at the Waterfall
Tim and Jundre at the Waterfall
Contact Lens, Dolphin and me on …
'Contact Lens', Dolphin and me on…
The Doorman at the Alila showed me…
The Doorman at the Alila showed m…
A boy and his father await the Cer…
A boy and his father await the Ce…
Nyomen presses rice onto my forehe…
Nyomen presses rice onto my foreh…
The ladies having coffee before he…
The ladies having coffee before h…
the Ubud Market
the Ubud Market
Ellen buys a Sarong at the Market
Ellen buys a Sarong at the Market
Woman selling fish at the Market
Woman selling fish at the Market
Meat market at Ubud
Meat market at Ubud
Jack Fruit at the Market
Jack Fruit at the Market
Durian, the stinky fruit
Durian, the stinky fruit
Wayan teaches us about buying duri…
Wayan teaches us about buying dur…
Ubud Market
Ubud Market
The Ayung River
The Ayung River
Rain Forest along the Ayung River
Rain Forest along the Ayung River
The lush growth along the Ayung Ri…
The lush growth along the Ayung R…
One of the other Rafts
One of the other Rafts
Floating along the Ayung River in …
Floating along the Ayung River in…
Jundre and Tim floating along
Jundre and Tim floating along
Dancers arrive for the Harvest Cer…
Dancers arrive for the Harvest Ce…
More dancers
More dancers
More Dancers
More Dancers
Performers waiting there turn at t…
Performers waiting there turn at …
Is this where Drag began?
Is this where Drag began?
More performers for the Harvest Ce…
More performers for the Harvest C…
Younger performers
Younger performers
Dancer for the Harvest Ceremony
Dancer for the Harvest Ceremony
The Band tunes up for the Ceremony
The Band tunes up for the Ceremony
Made and Nyomens children
Made and Nyomen's children
the stove in the kitchen at Mades…
the stove in the kitchen at Made'…
Mades Kitchen
Made's Kitchen
Nyomen begins the blessing ceremony
Nyomen begins the blessing ceremony
Nyomen and the Blessing Ceremony
Nyomen and the Blessing Ceremony
We all line up for the Blessing
We all line up for the Blessing
Ubud
photo by: eddie8498