Asia | South East Asia | Indonesia | Nusa Tenggara | Bali – The Star Treatment
Visited the Monkey Forest (conveniently located at the end of Monkey Forest Road). There’s a small temple inside. There were women outside selling bananas to feed the monkeys but I knew better than to attempt it. There were monkeys of all sizes and small paths in the woods. There was a wide path leading to the temple. At the temple there were a bunch of Japanese tourists fighting with the monkeys. (This is why you don’t buy the bananas). When you enter the premises there’s postings about how to treat the monkeys. Also someone came up to me to explain proper monkey etiquette (all of which confirmed my staunch belief in not feeding the monkeys). So this one tourist, a guy in his fifties I’d guess, starts slapping at the monkeys who are climbing all over him to get teh bananas. This upset other monkeys as well as the banana vendor who started yelling at the guy. She left her stand a moment to chastise him so the monkeys started going after her wares. She swatted at tehm with a twig broom and they responded to her authority. Who’s queen of the jungle now?
I took some photos of the temple and got into a conversation with another traveller. She commented on how everywhere she went on Bali women were working and men lazing about. I’ve noticed this too. In Ubud all the shopkeepers seem to be female and the men stand around asking if you need transport. In more rural areas men sit under bamboo thatch and women are seen carrying stuff around on their heads, looking after kids, and preparing offerings. They also seem to be in charge of warungs. I ahve seen men do a lot of child tending in rural areas as well. On the drive we took Saturday men were definitely doing a lot of heavy duty work with regard to construction and harvest. Andi, however, had only seen women working and was bothered by it. We ate lunch and then I wanted to go to Nur Salon that Jenn and Linda had raved about.
I found the salon and signed on for the ‘full’ treatment. The ‘javanese’ treatment looked intriguing and is recommended for jet lag. This is what the full treatment is (which, by the way, is done outdoors in the yard, customer fully naked):
First there’s a 1 hour full body massage. Feet are done twice. Awesome!
Then there’s an exfoliation that smells like curry.
This is followed by a rinse, a yogurt splash, another rinse, then 10 minutes in a scorching tub with flowers in it.
Lastly there’s a cold rinse and you get moisturized.
Throughout when the massage therapist had to touch my face she would ask permission first. She would not wash or moisturize the face. This goes back to the whole Hindu sacred head belief.
This whole shebang cost 85,000 rp ($8.50 U.S.). The setting is lovely and they have by far the best bathroom in Ubud. After this I went to Bumbu for their great samosas and ‘iced chocolate’ which has coconut milk not regular milk in it.
That night there was a traditional Balinese feast at the homestay. This is something that Ketut does for tourists on a regular basis since the homestay started out as a cooking school.
There were 10 guests all of whom were french speaking, most of whom were bilingual. There were 2 girls from Canada who were travelling all over Southeast Asia. On Bali, they’d been to Lovina, Candidas, Kuta, Sanur and Tanjung Benoa. They waid TB was extremely isolated, few to no hawkers. Sanur, no true hawkers per se but shopkeepers were ‘impossible’ as you made your way to the beach. The french woman I was seated next to had married a Balinese (originally from Java) man and they have a shop in Ubud that sells herbal body oils. The dinner was very good.