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Deja Kirkwood

Deja Kirkwood has 17 articles published.

Deja Kirkwood
Deja Kirkwood is a dreamer from San Francisco, an aspiring jet setter and a digital marketing pro for Elite Havens in Bali.

Balinese art of monster-making

in News by
nyepi ogoh ogoh bali art

Nyepi is the first day of the Saka lunar calendar, a sacred occasion in Bali when people stay indoors for quiet reflection. For many visitors in Bali during this time of year, the message is strong and simple, for respecting ‘Silent Day’ is mandatory: stay in, turn off the lights and be quiet. From dawn until dawn, the island completely shuts down, including the airport. Only pecalang (neighbourhood security) go out in public, whilst everyone else takes time for personal reflection at home.

What more is there to know about the annual Nyepi holy day in Bali, and what do the papier-mâché monsters in the streets have to do with it?

Arts are integral to Balinese culture, and the Balinese have a long history as accomplished woodworkers, stone sculptors, gold- and silversmiths, and textile- and basket-weavers, as well as being ingenious horticulturalists. Balinese artisan crafts, ceremonial customs, daily offerings, performance arts, masks, costumes, adornments and agricultural traditions are all ways of life which honour the values of Balinese Hindu ideology; at the crux a divine balance between people, God and nature.

Balinese customs preceding Nyepi are all about maintaining this trinity, known as the Tri Hita Karana, by cleansing, warding off all evil forces and giving selfless offerings before the start of the new year.

The great task of ridding the island of a year’s worth of evils is taken care of by giant ogoh-ogoh statues of mythological witches, grotesque demons or modern anti-heroes.

Just one of the many essential rituals surrounding Nyepi, the ogoh-ogoh are paraded around by their creators in raucous processions late into the night on the eve of Nyepi. They scare away or encapsulate bad entities, then get set on fire at the cemetery to burn to complete non-existence.

Despite their short lifespans, ogoh-ogoh can be elaborate monstrosities with impressive construction and attention to detail. A popular and visually stunning trend is to create artworks which appear to hover in thin air or connect multiple figures in a dynamic pose. In each of Bali’s thousands of banjars (community organizations), young adults begin making an ogoh-ogoh weeks or even months in advance of Nyepi.

Many adults can’t resist joining in this artistic tradition. Local Bali tattoo artist and graphic designer Putu Marmar Herayukti is one of them. For the ogoh-ogoh parade preceding Hari Raya Nyepi 1940 (17 March 2018),

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Lembongan Snorkelling and Fishing Trips

in Families by
Lembongan Snorkelling Trip - Pulau Boat Charter Bali

Dive into ten frequently asked questions about boating day trips in Bali. These honest answers can help you easily plan a fun-filled day on the water with friends or family. 

Top 10 FAQ

  1. Where are the best places in Bali for snorkelling and fishing day trips?
  • Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida, east Bali
  • Amed and Tulamben, northeast Bali
  • Menjangan Island, northwest Bali

The best snorkelling and diving areas are offshore, so opt for a private boat charter to guide you. Not far from Bali, Nusa Lembongan is a popular island to visit for snorkelling, sightseeing and lunch on land. 

Bali Coral Reefs and Fish - Pulau Boat Charter

  1. What kind of fish and sea life can you see in Bali?
  • Butterfly Fish, Lion Fish, Parrot Fish and Angelfish
  • Striped Ribbon Sweetlips Fish, Oriental Sweetlips Fish
  • Triggerfish, Surgeonfish and Pufferfish
  • Endangered Hawksbill and Green Sea Turtles
  • Blue Ribbon Eel, Yellow, White and Giant Moray Eels
  • Reef Octopus and Dolphins
  • Vivid living corals, Nudibranch, Anemone and Starfish

These are just a few of the exciting sights you can expect. SCUBA divers are also attracted to deeper waters around Bali to observe Mola Mola (Giant Sunfish) and gentle Manta Rays. The entire archipelago of Indonesia is a world-famous destination for snorkelling and diving.

  1. What kind of fish can you catch in Bali?
  • Tuna
  • Mahi-mahi
  • Wahoo
  • Snapper
  • Leather Jacket Fish

Fishing from a boat by trolling or using fishing rods are the best ways to catch ocean fish around Bali and you can also try coral fishing, too.

4. When is the best time to go boating in Bali?

  • Weather is usually best from April to November
  • Bali’s rainier months are December through March
  • Get an early start in the morning
  • Arrive back to shore well before sundown

Any day when the ocean is calm and the sky is clear will give you the best conditions for fishing and swimming. Postponing a trip due to rainy weather or choppy water is wise to ensure a fun day out.

5. What kind of boats are common in Bali?

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Bali wedding villas with stunning sea views

in Weddings by
Clifftop wedding villa Bali

Romantic and exotic Bali is an inviting island for destination weddings, where dreams of saying ‘I do’ with an ocean view come true.

These luxury Bali villas set on dramatic cliff-tops and exclusive beach-fronts are the best sea view event venues you’ll find.

Sohamsa ocean view Bali vwedding enueSohamsa Ocean Estate

Perched on the towering cliffs above Pandawa Beach on the southern tip of Bali, Sohamsa Ocean Estate is coveted by brides-to-be for its contemporary style and sweeping sea views.

With a grand entrance, spacious courtyard and gorgeous backdrop, this pair of villas is perfectly set up for an idyllic outdoor wedding.

Sohamsa Bali ocean view villaAt Villa Soham, the view is complimented by a 22-metre infinity pool and cliff-edge balé pavilion which works as a covered dining area, lounge or dance floor.

Next door Villa Hamsa is as convenient as can be for VIP guests to stay on-site, but in their own separate villa. It can also serve as a lavish behind-the-scenes dressing room on the big day.

Sohamsa Uluwatu ocean viewsFive-bedroom Villa Soham and four-bedroom Villa Hamsa host 50 people for seated events and can accommodate up to 22 overnight guests.

The multi-tiered property is landscaped with tidy lawns, lotus ponds, lush greenery and understated blooms to create an unbelievably romantic setting for a ceremony and reception. Adding your own wedding flowers and event décor is of course welcome.

Dusk heralds a ‘magic hour’ for photos in the villa’s indoor-outdoor spaces (and picturesque white sand Pandawa Beach is only a two-kilometre drive away, so zipping down to the beach for some shots there is an option too).

Sunset wedding villa bukit baliWeather remains sultry into the evening, and the whole venue is beautifully lit at night. Additional party lights and sound equipment can be brought in as needed. Both villas have high-speed WIFI, PABX room-to-room phone system, Sonos sound system and behind-the-scenes staff areas.

We can recommend expert event organisers, florists, decorators and caterers, so you can focus on relaxing and celebrating with your guests.

Before and after your special event, a personal team of villa staff are on hand to help ensure that you enjoy a worry-free wedding. Another bonus of staying at Sohamsa Ocean Estate for your wedding are its wellness facilities – a large gym,

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Top 5: Bali Chinese food restaurants for Lunar New Year

in Dining by
chinese food restaurants in bali 2018

Lunar New Year, also called Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, is about starting fresh for a prosperous new year. It’s a time to clean your home, don new clothes, gather with family, give lucky gifts and eat lucky food.

Lucky Chinese foods for Lunar New Year

Eating fresh citrus signifies fullness and wealth. Dumplings, spring rolls and nian gao (sweet glutinous rice cakes) bring prosperity. Catfish, Crucian carp and other fish are symbolic of surplus, traditionally served on both Chinese New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Don’t skip the noodles – they represent longevity and happiness.

chinese fortune cookie art by jiha moon

Chinese restaurants in Jimbaran, Seminyak and Canggu, Bali

There are hundreds of Chinese restaurants in Bali, Indonesia. These top five are award-winning establishments robust enough to host your Chinese New Year gathering and tasty enough to surpass expectations of the most discerning foodies from around the world.

best chinese restaurant in bali is ah yatIMAGE BY AH YAT

Ah Yat Abalone & Seafood Restaurant

Named Best Chinese Restaurant in Bali by NOW! Bali Magazine in 2017 with 720 votes is Ah Yat (there are several restaurants by the same name in this chain, including renowned locations in Jakarta, Indonesia and Singapore). Executive Chef Cheung Kin Kau boasts over 20 years’ experience in fine dining. The menu is both adventurous and traditional – expect Japanese food, Hokkien food and Chinese food that demonstrates the chef’s Cantonese heritage.

The beautiful restaurant hosts massive saltwater tanks of live seafood, so fresh fish dishes and shellfish are centre stage. This large restaurant is the only place in Bali with a selection of Japanese special grade dried abalone and Greenlip abalone. A dim sum lover’s delight, there are 30 types of Hong Kong style steamed dumplings on the menu too.

HOURS 11AM-3PM, 530PM-10PM
PRICE $$$

Ah Yat Seafood Restaurant
Jl. Karang Mas Sejahtera,
Jimbaran, Bali
(+62) 0361 846 8468
ahyatrestaurant.com.sg

Kwee Zeen

Taking the top award for Best Pan Asian Restaurant in 2017, Kwee Zeen caught our attention. The dining concept here is upscale Asian street market “kwee zeen” – get it? Cui-sine.

Executive Chef Daine Gilbert has a buffet of delights from China,

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Which is hotter: Bali’s climate or these Dutch models?

in Wellness by
Dutch models at The Layar

Given the choice to suffer cold weather in Europe or bask in the tropics, famous Dutch footballer Thyson Thijs Bouma and model/photographer Ruben Visser ‘t Hooft opted for an escape to a climate almost as hot as them.

// Wat is meer heet? Het klimaat op Bali of deze Nederlandse modellen?
Gezien de keuze was om in het kouden Europa te blijven of de zon op te zoeken, kozen de beroemde Nederlandse voetballer Thyson Thijs Bouma en model/fotograaf Ruben Visser ‘t Hooft voor een ontsnapping naar een klimaat dat zo heet is als de heren zelf.

Thijs Bouma at The Layar Bali

Thijs is known for his Club Football career with FC Twente, VFL Osnabrück, Almere City and De Graafschap, but after breaking his leg in 2015, he decided to see what else the world has to offer. Hello, modelling.

Fast-forward to November 2017 and this hottie still looks like an avid athlete. We caught up with him at The Layar Designer Villas & Spa in Seminyak, Bali.

// Thijs staat bekend om zijn clubvoetbalcarrière bij FC Twente, VFL Osnabrück, Almere City en De Graafschap, maar nadat hij in 2015 zijn been gebroken had, besloot hij om te kijken wat de rest van de wereld te bieden heeft. Hallo, modelleren.

Snel vooruit naar november 2017 en deze hottie ziet er nog steeds uit als een fervent sporter. We hebben hem bij The Layar Designer Villas & Spa in Seminyak, Bali opgehaald.

Thyson B Dutch footballer at The Layar

If you think one Jacuzzi is enough, it isn’t. We have another one.

// Als je denkt dat een jacuzzi voldoende is, is dat niet het geval. We hebben er nog een.

Thijs Bouma in Bali at The Layar

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BALI?

I really liked the food and smoothies (fresh and a lot of herbs), the amazing spots for photography and video content, that everybody is very kind and really wants to help you, the spas and a lovely mix between busy places and relaxed beautiful nature!

Rain shower Bali

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT THE LAYAR?

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