Saturday, December 9, 2017

Staycation: Hati Padi Cottages, Ubud

Exterior of Hati Padi Cottages

The Serene Infinity Pool at Hati Padi Cottages

Exterior of Hati Padi Cottages

The Balcony of My Room (Standard Type);
look at how convenience this place for an afternoon me time with a book 

Inside My Room (Standard Type)

Bathroom with a View; oh can I bring you homeee?

A Mini Comfortable Restaurant inside The Cottage

A Bookshelf in One Corner of The Restaurant

I might not always stay in a beautiful hotel during my whole trip, but I find it a habit of mine, to spend one night at one secluded serene hotel so I can meditate, write, swim, eat, and simply be grateful for the days of my life which I have enjoyed and for the blessings God gave to me. And of course for the rest of the trip I would chose a more affordable hotel and spare my time enjoying the neighborhood.

On my last trip to Bali, I chose this hotel, Hati Padi Cottages and booked via It was half an hour drive from downtown Ubud, quite secluded and make my heart beats a little bit harder along the road, for I drove a rented manual city car, alone, along Ubud's winding road. But it was all worth it when I came upon this cottage's gate, what a beautiful and serene cottage!

This cottage located in the middle of paddyfield, only consist of 6 rooms, have a very beautiful and proper pool, there is a nice restaurant inside with good warm meals and bookshelf full of french books, just exactly what I needed for a me time at Ubud. 

There are no air conditioning in their rooms, I expected that it would be quite hot, but on the contrary it was comfortably cold. Maybe because there are many windows within the room and the location which is in the middle of paddyfield, so there is no doubt for a great air flow. 

Since it is quite far from downtown Ubud, at night I enjoyed my dinner at its small restaurant. I ordered Balinese vegetarian curry and it was good! I felt so complete to be able to enjoy my diner overlooking paddyfield which was light up by fireflies. Fireflies! What an uncommon view, no? I never found them anymore in the city. Then, fast forward to the morning after, I enjoyed a good morning swim at its infinity pool overlooking the paddyfield, the best morning I've ever had this last couple months!

But, there is one thing I found rather inconvenient, dirts kept coming down from the roof, maybe because it was made of some kind of leaves (I don't know what, exactly). And I found frog in my room hehehe. Though I am not afraid of it but maybe another guest will find it disturbing, no? But anyway, this hotel provides a very back to nature environment so the occurence of this little animals is no surprise for me. Overall, 4 out of 5 stars for this hotel! And of course, better to spend your time with your loved ones here (unless you're enjoying an introvert time like me) :) 

Hati Padi Cottages.
Jalan Raya Kelusa 18, Ubud
Keliki, Gianyar
Tegallalang, Bali
ph. 081339559910
price upon my stay (Oct 2017):
idr 500.000 (USD 37)/night for standard room

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Joy in Between Work at Bali

Location: Tirta Empul Temple
Jalan Tirta, Manukaya, Tampaksiring, Gianyar, Bali

Before I started my volunteering days, my friend who works at Jimbaran, Bali came along to Ubud and we spare some times enjoying a slow paced life around Ubud. She asked me whether I have been to Tirta Empul Temple and Gunung Kawi before, and I said no. Then there we went!

Tirta Empul Temple located about half an hour driving from downtown Ubud. There we could find temple and spring water believed for its healing power so whoever taking bath here they will have good health and prosperity. When I arrived there I observe one Balinese woman doing the ceremony in the spring water religiously, what a sight! And I noticed that she skipped some spring water's sources and my friend said that some of them are only for ceremony for the deceased.

Then we walked around the temple and we found a pool near the spring water, my friend said when it is full moon and I can see a big fish inside the pool, then it means I will accept a great fortune. And I said jokingly to her "I think I will stay here until the full moon then! ;)"

This temple is located near Tampaksiring Palace, I remember when I was little I once visited the palace and it was beautiful. But too bad since Bali Bombing this palace is not open for public anymore, except for a pre arranged study tour from a formal institution. Well, really do hope I will get the chance to visit the palace, one day. 

Location: Gunung Kawi
Banjar Penaka, Tampaksiring, Gianyar, Bali
Me posing with my dear friend who came along this trip

Dress (This is April), Watch (Fossil), Sunglasses (Giordano)

Our second destination was Gunung Kawi located near Tirta Empul Temple, only about 10 minutes driving. Gunung Kawi is a temple and funerary complex. It consists of 10 shrines carved at about 7 metres high. It was beautiful and a little bit magical.

Before arriving at the shrines, we have to walk down the stairs with paddyfield view around. Just the perfect remedies before seeing this magical temple! It is said that this shrines is dedicated to King Anak Wungsu and his favorite queens. The shrine in the east side believed to belong to King Udayana, his queen, and their sons; while the shrine in the west belong to the king's concubines. 

I wonder, our ancestors seem to love building magnificent structures for their loved ones; Taj Mahal in India until The Albert Memorial in Kensington Garden commisioned by Queen Victoria. And as for today, what do we do for our beloved ones? Or are we too busy pursuing our own ambition and thinking only about ourselves? 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Volunteering at Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2017 (Part Two)

Read the previous article: Volunteering at Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2017 (Part One)

One boy read his writing to us and it was beautiful, a story with perfect 
details written in only 10 minutes

Tenzin Dickie's workshop with student from one of international school at Jakarta, 
learning about how to write a story
I am wearing dress (Unbranded), shoes (American Eagle from Payless), watch (Fossil)

At the same day with Leza Lowitz's workshop, in the morning before her turn, it was Tenzin Dickie who was in charge as the speaker. She is a writer and literary translator, born in a Tibetan refugee settlement in India and then moved to America and studied at Harvard University and pursued her master at Columbia University. Her work that I knew is as the editor of Old Demons, New Deities: Twenty One Short Stories from Tibet, an English language anthology of Tibeatan fiction (available at Periplus). Her other work includes the editor at The Treasury of Lives, a biographical encyclopedia of Tibet, Inner Asia, and The Himalaya. 

At her workshop, Dickie, as how she introduced herself to me and how she would like to be called, taught the children about the easy step to start their own writing. She introduced them the Freytag's Pyramid Climax, the easiest way to write the perfect story by starting it with exposition, then going up to the rising action and go straight to climax, after the climax of course there is a falling action and then a denouement. 5 easy key steps in writing a story. 

She started it by telling the children about her background, about how she started writing, and then challenging the children to try to write in ten minutes, the first challenge was the children had to write starting with the words "I remember". And the result is crazyyy. They wrote some very beautiful writings, some of them wrote a story with such beautiful and perfect details. Do you still not believe in the power of mind and words, now? 

Apart from her workshop, before it started, we had a little time to talk. The funny thing is I am planning on to go to Tibet next year and I could not believe it when my supervisor handled me the roster and I was being placed at this position to accompany Tenzin Dickie, who is a Tibetan refugee and so rich with knowledge about Tibet, speaking of learning about the country before going there right with the expert! Was it coincidence? Or was it the universe conspire to make that happened? Isn't life funny that way?

So we talked about the history and the current situations about Tibet, about Dalai Lama who is still in Tibetan settlement in Dharamsala, India until now, until what literatures should I read before going to Tibet which then she recommended this: The Mandala of Sherlock Holmes by Jamyang Norbu and A Home in Tibet by Tsering Wangmo Dhompa.

Ah there are so many things I would love to talk about her and this post would not be enough, anyway, it was sooo nice meeting you, Tenzin Dickie. Until another time! :)

"Passion for Fashion" workshop with Ani Himawati from Ubud Love Stories Market as the speaker,
the children learn how to make their DIY-shirt (Can you guess which child whom I helped sewing the "7" figure to his shirt is?)

My last work at Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2017 was helping Ani Himawati from Love Stories Market located at Jalan Goutama, Ubud giving workshop to the children about fashion. Love Stories Market is not just another fashion boutique, they commit to style, sustainability, and helping others. If you check their instagram HERE you will see much inspiring stories behind their business, like how the scarf they sell is woven by village artisans in Lombok and the cotton handkerchief is painted by pre school kids in order to support their school, isn't that a thoughtful little gesture you could always do in each and every of your day? Starting small and leave the universe to cause a greater impact? 

At her workshop Mba Ani taught the children that to be a fashionista they could do to 3 things:
  • A fashionista can have their own style. It is okay to express themselves and their own creativity. Mba Ani started the workshop by asking the children to form a circle and asked them to express theirselves by their own authentic move. And those children  happily expressed themselves by various fun and creative movement and dance!
  • They can be a fashionista and still contributes positively to the environment by creating zero waste, which was implemented by creating something new from fabric scraps. At this workshop they learned to design their shirt by sewing leftover fabrics from FeelGood batik pajamas. 
  • A good fashionista should not hurt the planet by using sustainable fabrics, like the organic shirt given by Love Stories Market to them in this workshop. 
After done with my MC job opening the workshop, I helped one of the children sewing leftover batik fabrics to his shirt. He wanted to sew a "7" figure to his shirt because it is his favorite footbal player's uniform number. Believe me, I do not good at sewing yet I have to help him haha, so our result was not perfect but the important thing here is to be creative and to be able to express ourselves, not to be perfect, right? Nevertheless, we were happy with our imperfect result!

If I could be a child again I would love to join this workshop at that very age like those childrens, hence my mind would be woken up early to be able to do something good to environment around me!

Me posing with my fellow volunteers from Children and Youth programs

     Janet DeNeefe, Ubud Writers and Readers Festival's founder, giving her speech at the closing party

Aya and Laras BTMDG performing at Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2017 closing night

We ended the festival with an afterparty which I sadly did not be able to come for I had to go to Seminyak at the time of the afterparty. Nevertheless, I came to the closing party held at Antonio Blanco Museum. There were some words from Janet DeNeefe and Mario Blanco to officialy close Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2017 and some music and dance performances.

I said goodbye to my fellow volunteers and my volunteer's coordinator and hope that we will be able to meet  at next year's event and share this insanely satisfying experience, again. I thought having be able to tick this one of my bucketlists; volunteering at Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, will be the wrapping to my dream, yet I just realised that it was just the beginning to another road I long to travel. To be a volunteer again next year, to meet more inspiring people, and to be the speaker at this kind of event one day, just, maybeee? :) 

"Older people think things can not change anymore because they have seen too much of life. But, it doesn't true. Things are constantly changing." - Tenzin Dickie, said at one of her session.