Living An Island Life, Main Menu, My Bali Exploration, Nature Specials, The World Through My Eyes

6 Lessons from Nature to Inspire Our Daily Life

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The surf tour at Mermaids’ Beach, Great Ocean Road, Vic, Australia

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery; air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.” ― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Thinking about what has been going on in my life, I would say that one of the best teachers to encourage me through the life journey, all the circumstances & twist paths is mostly the moment that took place in nature.

Went surfing in many wonderful spots around Bali and a few in Australia, went scuba diving in some spots around Indonesia, strolling the beaches in Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, went trekking with beautiful surroundings in Indonesia and Japan, all of them have left me feeling re-charged, happier, confident, balanced yet humble and tiny.

We all learn by exploring things on our own, reading stuff, receiving formal instructions from some experienced people and observing others. By interacting with others provides experiences that make us think, wonder, ask questions & grow.

But there is another powerful entity that can teach us how to live a more meaningful life. It’s the natural world. Not only to be able to observe and being amazed with what nature can offer to our eyes & soul, but it also can offer lessons for basic living about how to be calm and how to find balance during the life circumstances.

The problem these days is, since we have been occupied a lot with regular jobs that take most of our time and leave us tired & just wanted to do nothing for the rest of the free time, technology & pursuit things in the material world, we have forgotten that the world is out there to teach us.

We apparently don’t spend as much time outdoors as previous generations did. According to one of the surveys that I’ve read from theguardian.com , three-quarters of UK children spend less time outside, lack of green spaces and the lure of digital technology is leading youngsters to lead enclosed lives.

Here are some lessons I have observed from spending a lot of time outdoors;

Lesson #1 : We are very tiny & living in an unpredictable world. So let’s be humble. 

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Location: Rinca Island, Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

When we reach the top of the hills or mountains, we notice that we are so tiny on this earth and the world is so big. Knowing that we can not do anything when natural disaster occurs as mother earth is very powerful. I have also learnt that not all questions have an answer. Anything could happen anytime, anywhere to anyone.

There are new challenges awaiting us around every single corner. All we can do is keep moving forward and do our best in every situation that occurs.

Lesson #2: We can’t control the situation but we can control ourselves and pick which ones to allow to get inside us. We learn how patience & persistence lead us to a better life.

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Location: Old Man’s Beach, Canggu, Bali, Indonesia

During surfing, we can not stop the waves from coming, but we can choose which ones to surf. When we are impatient & want everything to happen fast, we decide to surf the random wave which comes first. We might be able to ride it but it won’t be amazing, won’t be that smooth and it may leaves us feel disappointed and get tired at the end.

On the other hand, if we are trying to be patient, keep paddling persistently and wait until one of the best waves come, it will give us a different result. We may wait a little longer and when it finally comes, we paddle hard, catch it and there you go! Ride it out, it’s all yours and leaves you pleased and satisfied at the end. Sounds familiar with the real world? Yes I bet 🙂 We learn to persist, be patient & focus in order to reach our desire and final goal.

Lesson #3: Nothing stays the same/ Nothing is permanent yet embrace the changes.

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Location: Man-made Underwater Temples, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia

I can correlate the real life with scuba diving activity. Why I choose to relate it with my scuba diving sesh? Well, I have learnt about unpredictable life during these sessions. Let’s take a look from the simplest case, I have gone diving to the same spots like twice or three times. Yes, it shows the same corals, same situations but different fishes and different look of the sea plants.

I couldn’t predict what fishes I was going to meet, will they be good looking? worth seeing? I might meet my favorite fishes such as clownfish, butterflyfish, sunfish, surgeonfish, lionfish, shark and so on. I also might won’t see them all but I may witness another fishes which offer the better look that I can’t even imagine before. And the worst scenario, I won’t see anything at all but just some regular small fishes.

Same as life, when we want something and putting our mind into it, we hope for the best, do our best and let the universe handle the rest. We nevertheless need to prepare and be ready to accept the worst case that may occurs. And also we often experience things which better than our original plans/ expectations.

So don’t worry that some days in your life might seem all over the place, you’ve tried this and that but nothing concrete to see yet as the result. That you feel uncertain between careers, relationship, future and everything. Nothing is permanent neither problems in your life as you will find the answer along the way. It’s the model given us by nature. Drink it down, gulp it up, ride it out! Things will get better eventually as long you don’t stop trying and keep the faith.

Lesson #4: Sense of direction.

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Island hopping in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

It is very easy to get lost in the beautiful outdoors. Nature will teach you to hold the clear images in your mind & keep track of where you are going. An example, we need to remember the sign, such as plants or building, right at the spot we enter the ocean to surf or to swim so we know where we will head back to the shore. As we know, once we enter the ocean, the strong current may drag us to another spot without we notice it. If that happens, we won’t be worry as we know where we come from.

Same as life, we need to be totally aware about who we are and where we come from. Once the roots are deep, there is no reason to fear the wind or anything that may come near us, we don’t get easily influenced/ changed by the outside force as we know the way back to where we came from.

Lesson #5: There is a season and a right timing in everything.

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Location: Yarra Valley Winery, Victoria, Australia during Autumn

Nature never gives up to teach us there is a season and the right timing in everything. Sometimes in our life we want some certain things to happen fast right now. It is hard to wait a little longer for the outcome of our actions that we’ve been making and we expect results immediately.

But the really good things in life are not like our morning instant coffee! They take time, patience, persistence and efforts. In mother nature’s natural cycles, hot & light summer is followed by the chill & colorful changes autumn and cold of winter is followed by the blossoming beauty of spring. There is a season and a reason for everything in life.

If we did not have the cold winter, the wheat wouldn’t be able to grow strong. The seeds planted beneath the soil lie waiting patiently to flourish in the right season. By following the example of mother nature’s timing, we increase our own capacity to be patient. All good things come with time. There is the right and special time in our own life for every moment and achievement. Start the action and don’t stop believing!

Lesson #6: Love is all around us & every ending can often be beautiful.

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Location: Bingin Beach, Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia

When you wake up in the morning, go outside with a sense of appreciation for all you have been blessed with, take a walk, practice quieting the mind, focusing on your breath and really pausing to smell the ocean, stop by the stunning rice fields, if a bird catches your eyes, stop and enjoy the connection with the animal, experience the depth & the calm of the blue ocean, feel the wind blows the chilling breeze on our face and you will realise there is so much beauty & so much love all around us, even from the simple things in our environment.

By simply taking the time to appreciate nature, we will learn to love the world around us. When we allow ourselves to feel love for life itself, it opens up our heart to loving ourselves and others as well.

Even though the outdoors is not always a comfortable place, but when you can find a deeper comfort that comes from inside you, you’ll be able to feel home even in the rough wilderness. And at the end of the day, when the stunning sunset shows up during golden hours to leave us feeling amazed & grateful, it teaches us that every ending can often be beautiful.

So, the conclusion is, nature is my best teacher of life when I pay attention to it carefully. Just try to do the same and see how it slowly changes your life..

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My Bali Exploration, Nature Specials

Road Trip to Unspoilt Beauty in the North Shore of Bali

“People don’t take trips, trips take people.” – John Steinbeck

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It has been almost four years I live on this magnificent island and it’s actually the first time I’ve gone to Lovina, North Bali. The idea just randomly came into my mind during Galungan & Kuningan celebration holiday as I think I’ve been to most of the places & most of the attraction spots on this island except Lovina beach.

Lovina beach is well known for its dolphin attraction. It’s located in the north Bali and it’s a very quite area. Unlike Seminyak, Legian, Kuta, Ubud or Uluwatu and so on which offer many entertainments for the visitors these days. In Lovina, most of the people come for a visit to see the dolphin attraction in the morning. Besides that, only couple of restaurants, traditional markets and accommodations. We decided to stay there for one night to experience the area apart from the dolphin attraction itself.

Usually, tourists will get into the boat, go to the middle of the ocean and watch some groups of dolphins swimming and jumping freely in the morning. Lovina took us about more less 3h by a car from Seminyak area. Since at that time we planned to do a road trip and took the trip more enjoyable by having brunch at Ubud first, that’s why the journey took longer with the different/ further route.

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It doesn’t matter where you are going, it’s who you have beside you. That’s absolutely true. I have my mum & one of my good friends, Beverly, with me 🙂 Best travel companion ever!

We went to Karsa Cafe for the brunch. It’s a lovely cafe set by the rice field with soothing ambiance at Campuhan Ridge Walk – Ubud which offers various Indonesian and Western dishes.

I am actually so thankful to technology these days, especially to Waze, the navigation app on my phone that I depend on wherever I travel far and it has always been taking me to the right direction with some interesting uncommon shortcut at times.

With zero idea about the road and where Waze leads us to the fastest & closest distance to Lovina from Ubud, we’ve pretty much witnessed plenty of interesting things along the way. Yes, we were amazed and enjoyed it!

There are so many soothing greeny fruits plantations along the way with the street which mostly decorated by penjor – The tall & curved bamboo pole decorated with coconut leaves with an offering at the base. It is one of the media used by Hindus in Bali as part of almost every important ceremony like that time, Galungan celebration.

 

“Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.” — Lawrence Block

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Lawrence Block is actually right. We stumbled upon this Kintamani volcano view from a far in the middle of the way. We stopped by for some times and enjoyed the moment here. We were actually glad to have gone to Ubud first eventho the road took longer at the end. If we didn’t come from Ubud, we wouldn’t have witnessed this majestic view!

This volcano referred to as Kintamani volcano or Mount Batur as a whole, a popular sightseeing destination in Bali’s central highlands. The magnificent views of the 13sqm Batur caldera lake is the main attraction (1,500 above sea level) and it is surrounded by the captivating Mount Batur range. Very interesting spot to visit!

Allright, continue to our main destination, Lovina! It took us around 1.5hours from where we stood before. Once we reached Lovina, I did the massage *felt like heaven!*, booked our trip to see the dolphin in the morning (it’s IDR 100,000 nett/person for the boat and our captain). The boat is very small. It only fits for 4-5 people maximum.

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I & Beverly doing massage by the pool

We departed at 6am in the morning from the beach and we were pretty amazed with north Bali view. Very stunning! It was also because I’ve been seeing sunsets most of the time, so this time I’ve got the chance to witness the sunrise after a long time (I guess last time was during my trekking activity in Candidasa two years ago, oh well) so it’s kinda special.

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Sunrise!

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The dolphins!

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Boats, saltwater & sunshine!

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“Smell the sea, feel the sky, let your soul and spirit fly.” -Van Morrison

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Me & mum. She’s always been afraid of the ocean but I was acting like I’ve forgotten about it 😀 So I am pretty happy that she has actually nailed it! Yay!!

Despite the fact that I was glad and amazed to see the dolphins, I was actually kinda sad too. I feel bad to the dolphins that they might feel insecure when some boats come closer by the time they appear to the surface. I do really hope that the dolphins will keep staying at the same spots next time I come again for the second visit.

If you are a nature enthusiast and need some different experiences whilst in Bali – apart from night outs, Michelin stars culinary experiences & entertainments, I think you should take some days to visit places like these. It’s worth it!

 

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Main Menu, The World Through My Eyes

I am back, Blog World!

It’s been ages.. I know. I can’t even imagine how time flies this fast as I saw my last post was on 3rd of July last year! Well, so many things have been happening (of course! what do you expect what’s been going on for almost a year). Laughter and tears, ups and downs, but what’s the most important thing is I take every single thing that has happened as a lesson to be a better person.

Let me share a little bit what happened with my personal life as it was the biggest change for me in last year. Sadly, I had to break up with my 2 years ex-bf last year. I know, middle of 2014 was one of the hardest moments for me but at the same time, that was the best decision for both of us and we amazingly turned out to be so much better as friends. We knew we were horrible as a couple since our expectation towards each other was always hard to meet plus some fundamental difference issues.

Yoga keeps you balance!

Yoga keeps you balance.

Since then, most of my world is mostly about work (I’ve been enjoying it so much as it’s my passion too!), girl friends, hang out, socializing and networking, trips around the island and exercise. I kept myself busy and embrace the life that is trying to work its way into my consciousness.

Oh ya.. Did I tell you this? Not so long after my break up, I’ve got a promotion at work – a new challenge for me to keep me excited everyday. Besides that, the connection between I and some friends are getting stronger as I spend more time with them, I have some amazing work mates in general at the office and another countless blessing!

 

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Surfing makes me happy.

These two ladies are such   a gift from heaven.

More time & more connection with friends.

Housemates, Weekendmates, Second Family.

Housemates & Weekendmates.

From these life lessons, I started to believe that when we lose something, the universe will give us another great thing, or even better, to replace it. Even the romance fortune is not on my side this time, I believe it will come when its time.

The most important thing is, keep seeing the positive side in everything. Embrace every moment with open arms, open heart and open mind. Believe in good karma and universe’s rules, what you give is what you get in return. You will be fine 🙂

From Bali with Love.

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The World Through My Eyes

Using Facebook and Tripadvisor to Increase Hotel Revenue

As a hotelier myself.. I think this article will help..

Hotel Managers Group Blog

Today, the majority of hotel bookings are, in some way, influenced by the hotel’s online presence and reputation. While this is standard knowledge, among the variety of online mediums, the most discussed tool for hotel success is social media. Every blog post, magazine article and website entry regarding hotel marketing strategies mentions social media.

Social Media Increase Hotel Revenue


Yet, to date, there is no evidence that using social media as a primary marketing tool increases hotel revenue. Therefore, the debate is whether to spend the amount of time and effort necessary to learn how to compete on these channels or to wait for evidence that this strategy is worth the trouble demonstrated by increased revenue. However, if hoteliers are prepared to commit to using these new marketing channels and integrate them into an overall marketing plan, the rewards will soon become evident.

Social Media Marketing for Hotels – Is it for Everyone?

View original post 1,511 more words

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My Bali Exploration, Nature Specials

Discover the Hidden Paradise in Southern Bali

I know It’s been a quite long time I didn’t write any post yet as I have been busy at work, some friends from Jakarta came for a visit, some times work out after work, having dinner and fell asleep after.. What a routine. Even the whole weekday could be tiring, I always try my best to balance the life by exercising or meeting with some friends after work even only for about 1hour or 2. And also, exploring new places as many as possible on the weekends.

These couple of times we explore the super stunning beach on the south coast of Bali. Yes, by having the desire to explore new places makes me get bored of this place yet it makes me feel like I need to explore the place more.. This time I would love to share the nature that Bali offers to us and it’s everyone’s responsibility to make the nature stay clean and remain the same for years to come. I picked only three stunning beaches which are really worth a visit;

Nyang-Nyang Beach

“The magnificent hidden beach on the South Coast.”

The stunning Indian Ocean seen from the cliff

The stunning Indian Ocean seen from the cliff.

Situated next to Uluwatu Temple, Nyang Nyang Beach is simply extraordinary. The way to get there is not easy. You need to go though the rocky and bumpy street along the way to finally see this sight of heaven. Nyang-Nyang beach is quite popular to those who surf. To get down to the beach, you need to go through over 550 steps. That is the reason why some people who don’t surf prefer to enjoy the stunning scenery of the ocean from the cliff.

I was too excited seeing this outstanding scenery.

I was too excited seeing this outstanding scenery.

The crystal clear water which worth to enjoy after the hundreds steps.

The crystal clear water which worth to enjoy after the hundreds steps.

The green surroundings on Nyang-Nyang Beach.

The green surroundings on Nyang-Nyang Beach.

The perfect place to those who seek for serenity since almost nobody there.

The perfect place to those who seek for serenity since almost nobody there.

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If you fit enough, you should go down and experience this pure beach which rarely touched by people. If you don’t surf, I guarantee you will still find it worth the effort to go downstairs and come back upstairs as this stunning crystal water beach and the cliff surrounding views will surely pamper your eyes. Experience your quality time by hanging out by the beach, swimming or sunbathing with friends or your loved ones.

Bingin Beach

“A breathtaking coral beach with cliff surroundings.”

A lovely image that I captured in the low tide, when the dog carried the little kid to the shore.

A lovely image that I captured in the low tide, when the dog carried the little kid to the shore.

One of the gorgeous beaches in Uluwatu area, which offer a fantastic view of the cliffs. Surrounded by another surf beaches such as Balangan, Dreamland, Impossibles and Padang-padang, Bingin beach could be crowded at times but it doesn’t reduce the beauty of the beach itself. They offer some local cafes and restaurants overlooking the beach that you can enjoy your meal whilst watching the surfers catch their waves.

In here, the dog is having fun too!

In here, the dog is having fun too!

A dream house that I found on the way down to the beach. Lovely!

A dream house that I found on the way down to the beach. Lovely!

This beach has been visited by some world class surfers and also as the venue for surf competitions. There are many level of waves here both for pro and the beginners. In the low tide, it might be quite rocky and don’t forget to put on your booties to stay safe.

Balangan Beach

“The stunning white sand beach with panoramic view.”

One fine sunny day at Balangan!

One fine sunny day at Balangan!

The last but not least, another Bali nature’s beauty called Balangan Beach. Situated in the north of Dreamland beach, Balangan offers the scenic view of the beautiful cliffs and coconut trees in line which provide you the reaffirmation of the ultimate exotic getaway.

A lovely golden sunset moment.

A lovely golden sunset moment.

The gorgeous waves captured from one of the restaurants.

The gorgeous waves captured from one of the restaurants.

Similar like Bingin Beach, Balangan Beach is also offer plenty of cafes and restaurants overlooking the beach and also the surfing lessons. It could be crowded at times especially on the weekends, so if possible be there on the weekdays. But either it’s crowded or not, it never reduce the beauty scenery of Balangan.

 

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Man-Made Specials, My Bali Exploration

The Lovely Place That Will Inspire You

There is something about Canggu that makes me fall in love with the area.. The beaches, the rice fields, the peaceful atmosphere, serenity and options of the cute small restaurant and cafe with lovely design..

This is the second time I am writing about a cozy unique restaurant / cafe in Canggu. Started with Roti Canai Street Kitchen & Dining Room, now my second pick in Canggu area is Bungalow Living Bali!

The simple and lovely exterior of Bungalow Living Bali.

The simple and lovely exterior of Bungalow Living Bali.

How can I not fall in love with this place.. This place offers the healthy foods and drinks, light meals, coffee, (fyi, most of the foods are gluten free), until furniture, home decorations, books, unique designed notes, greeting cards and stationary which are the excellent options as gifts for your loved ones.

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This place designed with colonial vintage-chic style with the lovely colors surroundings which will make you feel like spending the whole day there without have to worry about anything..

The lovely design of the restaurant and gallery.

The lovely design of the restaurant and the gallery.

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When you are there, try their fresh home made healthy juice, smoothies and the pie. Everything they offer is fresh, delectable, exciting and of course, healthy!  For me, the best time to go there is during the tea time. Since the place is quite small, during tea time usually not too crowded and more relaxing..

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You should also check out the gallery of Bungalow Living Bali, just few steps away right opposite the restaurant. You will find some attractive chic vintage style of home decoration and furniture.

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My favorite signboard that they sell. You know, girls :P

My favorite signboard that they sell. You know, girls 😛

 

 

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Living An Island Life, Main Menu

The Day of Silence (Nyepi) for Land’s Purification

As we familiar with Earth Hour, a worldwide movement for the planet to turn off the lights for one hour which organized by World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Balinese also have Nyepi Day (The Balinese New Year) on their Bali land. It is the day when you need to keep minimum lights or turn it off and reminds silent for 24 hours every once a year.

Every culture or religion all over the world has their own way to celebrate their new year. Such as, the Moslems have the Muharam year as their religion new year, The Chinese have Imlek or better known as “Gong Xi Fat Chai” as their new year celebration and most people around the world using the Gregorian calendar, which celebrates the New Year on the 1st of January. The same thing occurs in Bali. Nyepi is Balinese new year celebration, even tho Balinese also use Gregorian calendar as well for business purposes.

Nyepi is a day to keep the balance of nature surroundings. You won’t hear any noise at all, only birds singing and dogs barking. This is my 2nd Nyepi experience in Bali. Last year I was staying at The Breezes Bali Resort & Spa and spent the whole Nyepi there. This year, I stayed at home. It was a silent and dark night last night when I was in my balcony yet we saw the beautiful stars so clearly and we heard nothing but the dogs barked. We turned on the side table lights inside the house which were not exposed to the street and enjoyed my movies and my meals like normal days. What a peaceful evening..

Now, let’s talk about Nyepi celebration stages. Three day before Nyepi, Balinese does Melasti. This activity is to clean the statues as the symbol that help to concentrate the mind to be closer to the God in the water sources such as lake, river, etc.

One day before Nyepi, it called Tawur Kesanga. All Balinese does the ceremony, praying for the safety and also do the Ngerupuk parade and the Ogoh-ogoh (the monsters made by Balinese as the symbol of evil’s spirit) carnival. The Ogoh-ogoh monsters are surrounding our environment which have to be got rid of from our lives. The monsters will be carried around the land after sunset and be buried by the beach at the end. Its the symbol of land’s purification.

The Pajegan for ceremony in the afternoon. It is done oneday before Nyepi.

The Pajegan for ceremony in the afternoon. It is done oneday before Nyepi.

Ogoh-ogoh to be carried around the town.

Ogoh-ogoh to be carried around the town.

Then the next day is Nyepi Day where every street in Bali is very quiet. There are nobody doing their normal daily activities. Pecalangs (the traditional Balinese security man) control and check the street security. The Pecalangs’ job is to control the street and also to stop any activities that disturb Nyepi Day. No traffic is allowed at all, no cars, no people, and everyone has to stay in their own houses. Light is kept to a minimum or not at all, the radio or TV’s volume is turned down and nobody works on this day. Nyepi day starts from 6am until the next 6am (24 hours).

Today (one day after Nyepi Day) called Ngembak Geni. It is the day when the Balinese usually visit the relatives to forgive each other..

Basicly from the religion and the culture’s point of view, Nyepi Day is meant to be a day of self introspection and meditation to purify our heart. Nyepi day is one of the unique celebrations in Bali, most probably the biggest one yet has made Bali as the attractive island with its magnificent culture.

The beautiful young Balinese girls are ready for the ceremony before Nyepi Day.

The beautiful young Balinese girls are ready for the ceremony before Nyepi Day.

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