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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Our Bali Vacation: Traveling To Ubud (Batik Factory)

Kuta may be the main tourist spot in Bali, but it’s in Ubud you’ll find the most interesting things to do, in my opinion. So even though it meant that we had to drive for more than an hour to get to Ubud, we decided to do it! We got a driver from our hotel and it turned out to be one of the best decisions we made on this trip. :)

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His name is Bagus and the kids fondly called him Uncle Bagus on the trip. He was very warm, nice and easy-going, and because the kids loved him so much, he even helped us with the kids along the way. Haha! Granted, he charged us 600,000 rupiah for 10 hours of driving (equivalent to S$75) and we could have gotten a cheaper deal elsewhere (but difference not greater than $15 anyway), but we were glad we got such a nice driver & companion on the trip. The vehicle we travelled in was a MPV and it was clean and spacious. I strongly recommend him if you’re visiting Bali and wish to engage a personal driver (Ida Bagus Rai: Facebook: ida_2000lc@yahoo.com). =)

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Our expedition to Ubud started early in the morning at 8.30am. On the way to Ubud, we made several stops to explore the different facets of Bali, and our first stop was at the Batik Factory. I had thought that the visits to the various factories would be boring, but Uncle Bagus recommended that we could make a brief stop just to know more about the traditional cores of Bali. I thought a quick stop was fine, and if we didn’t like it, we could just leave immediately. After all, having a personal tour meant that we had the flexibility of time and locations that we’d like to visit. In the end, we spent more than an hour there. =P

It was interesting because there was a demonstration of the entire batik production process from the hand-painting to the dyeing, weaving and sewing. Pretty interesting and we were impressed by the talents of the Balinese. Joey especially learnt a lot about Batik, and I thought that was so cool. =D

Upon arrival, we were given a handout explaining the process of Batik production. Such a smart move of the Factory to have a demonstration so that tourists would come by to see and then make purchases at the end of it, if they like.

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Everything was hand drawn. So amazingly beautiful.

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All the machineries used were traditional, and it’s the first time I saw such equipment apart from TV programmes. The Balinese ladies were so skilled and fast at what they were doing.

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This was a big piece of Batik painting going through the clear waxing and drying process (to lock in the ink).

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This lady’s cheerfulness was contagious! She kept laughing during the time I was standing there. =) Deriving joy from her work.

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Melted wax for the painting..

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Baby Jayne was too young to understand anything of course, so she went around doing what she knew best – Mesmerizing the other staff. =D

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Inside the store, there were many clothes, accessories and paintings on sale, and we left the store with a dress each for both girls. =)

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I felt that I learnt so much about this traditional art in Bali after the visit. And it was a great exposure for Joey as well. Travelling widens our horizons, that’s for sure. =)