The Kecak dance is one of
the most famous of Balinese dances, it is unusual because it has no
musical accompaniment like many other Indonesian dances do, the rhythm
of the dance is produced by the chanting 'monkey' chorus. The chanting
noise of "Cak-cak-cak" gave the dance its name Kecak. The 50 man
chorus arrange themselves in a ring around a flame, to produce a
stage. The men not only provide the rhythm for this dance but also act
as the various monkey armies that are featured in the story and as the
undulating snake in one of the scenes.
The story line of the dance is taken from the Ramayana epic that tells
of the evil King Rahwana using trickery to kidnap Rama's wife Dewi
Sinta, and how with the help of the white monkey army, Rama rescues
his wife and defeats the evil Rahwana. The dance however is not a
traditional Balinese dance it was developed in the 1930s in the
village of Bona specifically for western tastes. If you get the
opportunity to go to a Kecak dance go because it is an experience not
to be missed.
WHERE TO EAT IN
There are a variety of restuarants in Denpasar offering a good choice
of food to suit a variety of tastes at reasonable prices. Restaurant
Hong Kong serves a good selection of Chinese and Indonesian dishes but
prices are a little on the high side in comparision with other places
in the area. Mie 88 with a slightly less extensive menu, is good value
for money. Pondok Melati serves good, resonably priced seafood, but
the setting is slightly noisy. If your looking for something pedas
-spicy, visit Ayam Goreng Taliwang, that serves Lombok style food.
Many of the shopping centres in the area have places to eat and there
are several fast food places for those fast food addicts, McDonalds at
the NDA department store, Wendy's and Pizza Hut at the Bali Mall and
KFC at Matahari's and there is no shortage of Dunkin Donut outlets in
JL. Hayam Wuruk 69A
Phone (0361) 223889
JL. Tengku Umar
Phone: (0361) 227188
JL. Tengku Umar
Phone: (0361) 228789
JL. Gatot Subroto Ubung
Phone: (0361) 234815
JL. Gajah Mada,
Phone: (0861) 284845,
JL. Gajah Mada,
Phone: (0861) 222788,
JL. Gajah Mada Phone
JL. Teuku Umar
Simpang Enam Square
Phone (0361) 238551
GETTING AROUND IN DENPASAR
Numerous international carriers service Bali's Ngurah Rai
International Airport either directly or via Jakarta. Domestic
airlines operate schedule flights from various cities within
Bali is connected to Java by a regular ferry service running between
Gilimanuk and Banyuwangi. If you are taking the train or a night bus
from Jakarta, Bandung or Yogyakarta, travels first to Surabaya for the
connection to Banyuwangi. Buses can be boarded at Banyuwangi or
Gilimanuk for the final leg to Denpasar.
The state-run passanger line PELNI operates weekly sailing's between
Bali and Jakarta, Ujung Pandang and Balikpapan. Regular ferries sail
between Lombok and Bali.
Upon arrival: If your hotel has not arranged transportation from the
airport, hire a taxi from the transport counter outside the arrival
gate. Fares are listed by destination and must be paid in advance.
Metered taxis are also available in Kuta, Sanur, Nusa Dua and Denpasar.
Rent a car
While inexpensive public transportation is available throughout Bali,
the best option for travellers looking for comfort and flexibility is
car rental. Air-conditioned vehicle's available include jeeps, family
wagons and sedans, and these may be hired with or without a chauffeur.
If you choose to drive yourself, a valid international Driving License
is required. Temporary driving permits are also available from the
Traffic Police Department. Most international road conventions are
observed in Bali, though right-of-way tends to go to the larger
vehicle and turns are not always signaled. Remember to drive on the
left and overtake only on the right; turning left on a red light is
allowed only when indicated. Keep both eyes out for the pedestrians,
motorcycles, potholes, chickens and stray dogs (and pay special
attention to your side-view mirrors). If negotiating Bali's sometimes
hectic and usually harrowing roadways does not appeal to you, then
hire a driver with your vehicle. They are inexpensive addition and
generally know their way around the island.
For metered taxis, chauffeur-driven, standard and luxury cars,
reservations can be made at (361) 701111.
Seeing Bali by motorcycle is a romantic and carefree option provided
you drive very cautiously. Helmets for both drivers and passenger are
required by law, as in appropriate license. Motorcycling is not
recommended (nor particularly pleasant) in the wet season.
Bus tours and daily excursions in air-conditioned coach or mini-van
are offered at most hotels and travel agencies. Public buses ply
routes throughout Bali from Denpasar's Ubung Terminal.
Bemos and Dokar
Bemos (covered pickups or mini-vans) ply short routes between towns.
They are not air-conditioned and can be crowded, but are cheap. Fares
vary according to distances, and bargaining is recommended. For a
different experience, hop on a traditional dokar. These small
horse-drawn carts are still available in Kuta and Denpasar and a short
ride costs next to nothing
WHERE TO SEE THE KOCAK DANCE
Bona village Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7:00pm Catur
EKA Budi (Art Centre) Denpasar, Daily at 7:00pm. Various Hotels in
Bali hold Kecak Dance performances and often deals providing dinner
and tickets to the performance are offered at the main hotels in Bali
for further information contact: