Ubud Monkey Forest Sanctuary and Kecak Dance

Friday, June 5th, 2009

The most hilarious thing happened this morning. We were woken up at 1:30am by two stray cats outside our room making really loud drawn out angry meowing sounds at each other, inches from each other’s faces. I peeked out the window at them while Ryan filled a water bottle to throw at them like a grenade? A man in another room threw his trash basket at them while a woman watched out their window. The cats ran 5 steps down the stairs and kept up the growling. The man threw something else and cats finally stop. Maybe you had to be there but the noises those cats were making had us laughing for the rest of the day.

For breakfast at Artini 3 I had toast with strawberry jam, fried egg, fruit, and more of that godly coffee. I swear I am going to buy this stuff and ship it home by the ton.

After breakfast we went to the Monkey Forest Sanctuary, which is this lush jungle with 3 temples that is inhabited by a band of grey macaques. It costs 15,000 to get in for adults but then you can keep using your ticket pretty much indefinitely, so I’ve heard. Going through the forest is one of the only ways to get to another side of town, so this can come in handy. There at the same time as us was a horde of over a hundred well-off well-dressed school kids aged around 10-14. They were cute and friendly kids, all saying hello to us and asking ‘what is your name.’ Lots of shy girls who clearly wanted to ask me something and kept egging each other on to go up to me, but never did. It was SO fun seeing the monkeys with them. We got all into it too taking pictures and running around and screaming when the monkeys chased us. A monkey jumped on me and hung from my purse when it saw my water bottle. On our way out we saw a tourist with bananas for the monkeys and it didnt take long for a sneaky one to snatch the whole bunch of bananas from him.

kids

arielmonkey

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For lunch we went to the Puri Garden restaurant because they had free wifi. We played on the internet and ate some pretty good Mie Goreng (fried noodles, veggies, chicken) for 25,500 but it was very greasy and after a while it made my stomach upset. I’m not used to eating meat or greasy food anymore. Ryan walked me back to the hotel and then went an bought me a diet sprite from the Circle K down the road. That and some tums fixed my stomach right up.

mie gorang

We ate dinner at a place called Pundi-Pundi where they also had free wifi. I had a delicious plate of Jukut Urab (mixed vegetables with shredded coconut and sambal) for 15,000 and bali coffee for 7,000.

Jukut Urab

We stayed for a while struggling to stay awake, made it to about 9pm. Also at the restaurant we saw a middle aged white dude with a very young dolled up balinese girl as his date. And by very young I mean like 12, maaaaybe 13. The first of many similar ‘couples’ we will see here, I’m sure.

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

For breakfast at Artini 3 I had french toast with honey, fruit and coffee. Ryan has been having the ‘American Breakfast’ every day which is 2 eggs, 2 pieces of toast, bacon and coffee. We had 4 cups of coffee each this morning so we were pretty jazzed up and decided to hit the market, but first we changed rooms at Artini 3 to one with one big bed instead of 2 twin beds. We like this room better except the hot water doesn’t work.

We got a ride to the market from one of the hotel staff (free ride but we tipped 4,000 anyway). We tried on clothes forever at one lady’s shop, then haggled for too long trying to get a good price on everything we wanted. We ended up just getting Ryan a shirt because we couldn’t come to an agreement on the price for everything else.

balinese woman

At around noon we got comfort food for lunch because we were hot and frustrated. We ate burgers (veggie for me) on giant buns with mayo, fries and strawberry milkshakes, all for about 140,000. It was by far the most expensive meal we’ve had but it made us feel better so whatev, gotta splurge sometimes, right?

After lunch we went back to the market. I bought sunglasses for 20,000 and we each got a sarong for 30,000. Now we can go in temples!

In the evening we went to a Kecak and Fire Dance  performance that lasted for about an hour and a half and cost 75,000. It was VERY cool. There were over a hundred performers, most of them were the men who made all the sounds for the show with their voices and some clapping, no instruments were used. The outfits on the girls were insanely intricate with beautiful cloth and detailed gold headdresses and jewelry. The first part of the show was a story about a girl getting kidnapped by a huge ugly dude that looked like Wario, but was then saved by her friends and the monkey army? The lead girl was strikingly beautiful. The second part of the show, the Sanghyang Dedari dance, was two very young girls, maybe 7, who danced in unison for 20 minutes, their eyes closed the whole time. They are said to be in a trance and are woken up at the end of the dance by the priest who gives them holy water. The last part of the show, the Sanghyang Jaran dance, involved a guy riding on horse made of sticks with a gold head. He kicked burning coconuts around and stomped on them with his bare feet! He was also in a trance and was woken up by the priest at the end. We enjoyed the show a lot and will probably go see another traditional dance soon.

kechak dance

kechak dance

kechak dance

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