Zen in Ubud
On our drive from Seminyak to Ubud, Bali for the remainder of our trip, we stopped at one of the many Batik producers where you can watch how Batik is made. The process begins with crafters carefully applying melted wax to the fabric forming the pattern where die will not adhere to the fabric. Die is then applied and the wax melts off leaving the natural color of the fabric.
Once the pattern is created the fabric can then be cut and sewn into any number of garments, scarves, sarongs, table cloths and pretty much anything else that can be made from fabric. Some of the patterns are very detailed and intricate while others are more basic and almost have the appearance of being stamped to form the pattern.
Textiles are very inexpensive in Bali. A few days after our visit to the Batik producer, we shopped for shirts in the Ubud market. These hand-crafted garments can be purchased for less than $10 US dollars, depending on the quality and intricacy of the pattern. Needless to say, I came home with a few more shirts than I left with.
We also stopped to tour a few temples along our way. There are quite literally thousands and thousands of temples in Bali. Hinduism is the prevailing religion and in that culture every home has it’s own temple. Families live in compounds with grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren all residing on the same property. Pretty much everywhere you look you can see a temple.
Bali has terrible roads and traffic can be a nightmare especially during the holidays. Although the geographical distance between Seminyak and Ubud isn’t very far, the drive can take well over an hour and a half. Fortunately for the first time Bali tourist, there are plenty of interesting things to see along the way.
Bali produces a lot of wooden furniture in addition to textiles and, of course, rice. The climate is so moderate that there is no growing season. Rice is produced all year round and much of it is exported. Like vineyards in Napa, rice paddies everywhere in Bali.
After a relatively long drive and lots of stop-and-go traffic on our way to Ubud, we stopped at a local restaurant for lunch. Barbequed duck with rice sounded good. I couldn’t make up my mind so I ordered the special combination platter. Barbequed ribs, barbequed prawns and chicken satay scewers were served with fried potatoes. Is that a cherry in my Cosmopolitan?!? Must be a local thing.