My Experience Staying in a Homestay, Ubud, Bali

I decided to stay in a homestay as I usually like to stay in accommodation that reflects the country’s culture. Rumah Roda Homestay is a traditional Balinese family compound where three generations live on the property. The pool and garden separated the family living quarters from the homestay allowing some privacy.

Rumah Roda is situated on a quiet lane and walking distance to the busy main street. Nearby a ten minute walk takes you to the rice fields.

A book named ‘A Little One O’clock’ has been published portraying the family history. More information available on their website at rumahroda.com

Rumah Roda Homestay overlooking the Pool

The Homestay overlooks a tropical garden surrounded by Hindu statues and a delightful swimming pool. The rooms were very large with a bathroom, air-conditioning, fridge and a large terrace.  The cost for one night is from IDR400,00 (about US$23) which included breakfast.

A restaurant is open all day overlooking a lane where you can view daily Balinese life.  Tea or coffee is available all day, Balinese coffee is delicious.

Terrace outside Rooms where I relaxed in the Afternoons

Overlooking the Roof Tops

In the mornings I walked in the heat, visiting temples and sightseeing.  Afternoons I relaxed on the lovely terrace outside my room, overlooking the rooftops, writing in my diary and reading a good book. A small temple nearby would play Balinese music every evening creating a Balinese ambiance – I was in Paradise.

Whilst I was staying here there was a three-day Hindu festival called ‘Gulungan’ The family decorated the statues in the garden and made Bamboo decorations that lined the streets of Ubud. The family cooked me a traditional lunch consisting of Pork and Balinese vegetables.

Hindu Statues

Festival Decorations

The family and the staff at Rumah Roda were very friendly and as I was travelling on my own; it was nice to have someone to talk to.  I took two trips with the owners son to Tellallang Rice Terraces and North Bali.

Dharta the owner of the homestay speaks good English, is a character and was very helpful.

 

 


Yunnan Minority Groups of China

Hani Women, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province

Source: longqueta

There are approximately 25 different minority ethnic groups in Yunnan.  Whilst I was staying in Lijiang I hired a tour guide/driver for the day and emailed before I arrived outlining what I would like to see. The main one was to see different ethnic groups.

Unfortunately when he picked me up he informed me that all the villages near Lijiang he had contacted were away for festivals.  He did take me to a Naxi village but I had already seen Naxi Women in Lijiang Square.

He did take me to a Tibetan Monastery which I loved, it was the highlight of my trip.  I also watched minority groups at a show in Xizhou Village, you can read about it here. I also saw a Bai lady in Dali whilst I was sitting in a cafe. These photos are from Flickr and I have asked for permission to use them on my blog.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/lonqueta/4089383529/

Flower Hani Woman, Xishguangbanna, Yunnan Province

Source: lonqueta

https://www.flickr.com/photos/lonqueta/4052219684/

Source: lonqueta

https://www.flickr.com/photos/lonqueta/4086655787/

Hani Girls, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province

Source: lonqueta

Young Dai girl on bridge carrying baby (which was falling out); NE of Mengla, Xishuangbanna Region, Yunnan, China

Young Dai girl on bridge carrying baby (which was falling out); NE of Mengla, Xishuangbanna Region, Yunnan, China

Source: lonqueta

Yi woman

Yi Woman, Lijiang, Yunnan Province

Source: Linda De Volder

 

 


Rickshaw Run Across India from Kochi to Jaisalmer

A guest post from my oldest son Gareth Jew:

At the end of this year two friends and I from humble New Zealand will be attempting the Rickshaw Run, a 2,500km trip across India from Kochi to Jaisalmer in a seven horse power three-wheeled rickshaw. Starting 1st January 2017 over seventy different teams will be joining us, and it all happens to raise money for charity! This is organised by ‘The Adventurist’s.

One of the biggest challenges we will encounter will be the vehicles themselves. The rickshaw has the same top speed as your average ride-on lawnmower, tends to fall over if you go around corners too fast, and breaks down constantly, and that is all if we can manage to get the thing started.

We do however get to decorate our beast of a vehicle as we see fit, which makes for a colorful race as each team will be doing the same. We have decided to go with the theme of a cricket playing duck, nicknamed Ducky Bollinger, to try to attract favour with the fanatical cricket fans of India. To commit to the theme, we have decided that despite the extreme equatorial heat, we will start the race in our recently acquired duck ‘onesies’, and challenge local kids to some backyard cricket throughout the trip.

Embarking on this mad mission without an honourable motive would seem a waste, so of course, this will all be in an attempt to raise money for charity. We have selected the Bowel Cancer Foundation Trust to benefit from our efforts, a cause which is close to our teams heart.

You can find more information on our journey and follow along at:

https://www.facebook.com/duckybollinger/

ducky

 

https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/duckybollingerrickshawrace

 


My Admiration for Chinese Women

Bai Lady

Bai Lady

I was sitting in a cafe  in Dali, Yunnan Province, China.  Whilst I was sipping my coffee watching people walk past, I took these photo’s of some Chinese woman, I took these from behind as I thought it would be rude to run in front of them.

The photo above is a lady from the Bai Minority Ethnic Group which is one of the main groups in Yunnan.  Her large basket was laden with oranges which she was selling to buy some food.  I admired the intricate embroidery on her traditional clothing.

Bai Lady

Bai Lady

The streets of Dali lined with people selling food, clothing and souvenirs. The above photos show the different ways they transport their wares.  Chinese woman work hard and are able to carry heavy loads.

I walked past a house being renovated with piles of concrete and gravel in the driveway.  There were only women shoveling the building materials into wheel-barrows.

I stood there for a moment watching them and was completely awestruck.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge Admiration

Related Posts:


Landscape of Karst Mountains, Yangshuo, China

Yulong River, Yangshuo, Guangxi Province, China

Yulong River, Yangshuo, Guangxi Province, China

Li River, Yangshuo, Guangxi Province, China

Li River, Yangshuo, Guangxi Province, China

Li River, Yangshuo, Guangxi Provnice, China

Li River, Yangshuo, Guangxi Provnice, China

Yulong River, Yangshuo, Guangxi Province, China

Yulong River, Yangshuo, Guangxi Province, China

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge Landscape

I visited China in 2014, my four days in Yangshuo was very humid and overcast.  I was disappointed as my photos would have been much clearer if there had been blue skies.  However I still found the landscape of these huge limestone peaks spectacular.

Here is a link to a post on my stay in Yangshuo.

Related Posts:


Vibrant Colors of a Tibetan Monastery

Tibetan Temple Lijiang China

This Photo of a Zhiyun Tibetan Monastery was taken near Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China.  This temple is adorned with Vibrant Murals, Lanterns and colorful Prayer Flags.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge Vibrant

Related Posts:


Xizhou Bai Minority Village Yunnan Province China


Xizhou Bai Minority Village Yunnan Province China

Xizhou Bai Minority Village

Xizhou a small village about 18 kilometres drive from Dali, a pleasant drive through the countryside of rice fields.  I hired a non-English speaking  driver who drove me to Xizhou in a air-conditioned car.

A thousand years ago, the Ancient Tea Route was a trade link from Sichun, Yunnan to Tibet. Xizhou was on the path of the caravans of the Tea and Horse Road also known as the Silk Road.

Many of the houses decorated are some of the best examples of traditional Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) architecture in China. They have a distinctive Bai touch of colorful pictures, gardens, use of marble decorations, upturned eaves, and bright colors.

Xizhou Bai Minority Village Yunnan Province China

Xizhou Bai Minority Village Yunnan Province China

Xizhou Bai Minority Village Yunnan Province China

Yan’s Compound

Xizhou Bai Minority Village Yunnan Province China

Xizhou Bai Minority Village Yunnan Province China

The driver took me to the Xizhou Village where the highlight is a dance show with young people in various ethnic costumes. Yunnan Province has around twenty-five ethnic minority groups.  Three different kinds of tea was served whilst watching the show. “Sandaocha” is a traditional regional tea ceremony consisting of three unique tea flavors.

A bitter tea which stands for the hardships in life. A sweet tea of sesame and walnut symbolic of happiness in life. Finally, a bitter, sweet, and spicy tea symbolic of pondering life.

Xizhou Bai Minority Village

Xizhou Bai Minority Village

Ladies of the Bai Minority Group

 Xizhou Bai Minority Village

 

Related Posts:


Watercolors of Penang by Paul Wang

Watercolors of Penang by Paul Wang

Captivated by this little blue house sandwiched between two other shophoues.

Watercolors of Penang by Paul Wang

Georgetown is the colorful capital of the Malaysian Island Penang.  The inner city of George Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Original shop houses and warehouses date from the 19th century to the 1930s.  Many of these historical buildings  are now guest houses, cafe’s and mansions.

Talented artist Paul Wang has captured these buildings in his beautiful sketches and watercolors.  Here is a link to his Flickr page which features, SE Asia, Europe and Australia.    https://www.flickr.com/photos/fireflyworkshop/

Watercolors of Penang by Paul Wang

Watercolors of Penang by Paul Wang

Japanese bamboo pen & watercolour

Watercolors of Penang by Paul Wang

This old shophouse in the middle of Love Lane. Paint on the walls were flaking off but yet still have so much character.

Watercolors of Penang by Paul Wang

Watercolors of Penang by Paul Wang

Chew clan this jetty is a collection of houses & families living in wooden houses built on water

True Blue Peranakan Restaurant

True Blue Peranakan Restaurant

 

Shop Front House Penang

 


Famous Water Towns to Visit in China

Famous Water Towns To Visit In China

These Ancient Chinese Water Towns are often referred to as the Venice of the East. Many of these villages are built around a canal system. that haven’t changed for hundreds of years.

You can easily visit some of these towns as a day’s excursion from Shanghai.

Famous Water Towns to Visit in China

Luzhi is located in the Wuzhong District, 18 km east of Suzhou in Jiangsu Province

Famous Water Towns to Visit in China

Zhouzhuang Water Town

Famous Water Towns to Visit in China

Zhouzhuang Water Town Located between Shanghai and Suzhou, Zhouzhuang is a famous ancient town of Kunshan City, Jiangsu Province

Famous Water Towns to Visit in China

Tongli Water Town – Divided into seven islands, intersected by 15 canals

Famous Water Towns to Visit in China

Suzhou, Jiangsu Province

Famous Water Towns to Visit in China

Zhujiajiao, Qingpu District of Shanghai – With a history of over 1,700 years, Zhujiajiao is one of the most well preserved ancient towns in the Shanghai area

Famous Water Towns to Visit in China

Wuzen, Zhejiang Province is a famous ancient water town with a history of two thousand years

Famous Water Towns to Visit in China

Suzhou Built in 514 BC, this is an ancient city with over 2,500 years of history


The White Temple of Chiang Rai

 

White Temple of Chiang Rai

The white color stands for Lord Buddha’s purity; the white glass stands for Lord Buddha’s wisdom that “shines brightly all over the Earth and the Universe.”

The White Temple of Chiang Rai

Wat Rong Khun, perhaps better known to foreigners as the White Temple, is a contemporary, unconventional, privately owned, art exhibit in the style of a Buddhist temple in Chiang Rai ProvinceThailand. It is owned by Chalermchai Kositpipat, who designed, constructed, and funded the project with his own money in 1997 .

On 5 May 2014 at the temple was damaged by the earthquake.  Chalermchai announced that he would restore the temple to its original beauty in two years and promised to devote his life to the work.

Wat Rong Khun stands out through the white color and the use of pieces of glass in the plaster, sparkling in the sun. The white color signifies the purity of the Buddha, while the glass symbolizes the Buddha’s wisdom and the Dhamma, the Buddhist teachings.

Inside the Wat Rong Khun Temple the walls are painted with larger than life in a contemporary style, colorful characters related to Buddhism. The artist uses icons from modern culture through space ships, Superman, and even Neo from the Matrix.  Taking photos inside is not allowed.

White Temple of Chiang Rai

The bridge leading to the temple represents the crossing over from the cycle of rebirth to the Abode of Buddha. Photo Credit: Flickr – Cory

White Temple of Chiang Rai

Photo Credit: Flickr – Joel Ormsby

White Temple of Chiang Rai

In front of the bridge is a circular area with hundreds of reaching hands which symbolize desire

White Temple of Chiang Rai

White Temple of Chiang Rai

Next to the lake stands two very elegant Kinnaree, a creature from Buddhist Mythology half human, half bird

White Temple of Chiang Rai

White Temple of Chiang Rai

Photo Credit: Flickr – Pierre Bodills

White Temple of Chiang Rai

The rest rooms building. This golden building represents the body. The gold symbolizes how people focus on worldly desires and money. Photo Credit: – Flickr