The Last King of Ubud

We’ve been and gone to Ubud since the last time we sat at a computer, crossed from Bali over to Lombok and are now on Gili Trawangan, a small island just a few kilometres off the north west coast of Lombok. Ubud was great, a very different place to Kuta – it’s the cultural part of Bali, and is the place to go if you want to see traditional Balinese dances or other performances. Altough it’s a popular tourist destination, you get the feeling that they’re really serious about their traditions there – all of the performances are done by local groups and all of the kids in the village seem to be out selling tickets – it reminded me off going to a play in the parochial hall in Ballyhaunis not so long ago! We went to two performances, both quite different. One was similar to something you would imagine seeing in China, and used two-man monster costumes, it was very well done and very realistic looking. The other performance involved a group of over 100 men doing a monkey dance – both were unusual but very enchanting!

Shadow Puppet Show The Gamelon

Dancing Children, Ubud

There’s a monkey forest at the bottom of the village where the monkeys are literally jumping out at you and eating bananas out of your hand. We passed a bit of a scary hour there – they’re so like little people! At one stage Riona looked down and one of the little feckers was pulling at her trouser leg and looking up at her – they look all cute the one minute, but if you tease them with some food for too long they’ll start hissing at you and showing you their teeth.

Not Interested Manipulative Monkey

Ubud has a palace compound in the center of the village, but this was full of craftsmen creating decorations and sculptures for the King of Ubud’s cremation which is to take place on the 15th of July. I can only imagine what it would be like to be around for that – they’re building a hugh funeral pyre which will have a large hollow bull at the top – the kings body is put into the bull and the whole shebang burned. I’d say it would be pure mad – he’s the last king of Ubud apparently, so they’ll make a night of it I’m sure.

[update – there’s a report of the cremation here. Apparently the event was attended by 15,000 people. There are some good pictures and explanations on this guy‘s flickr pages.

Preparing for the Kings Cremation

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4 Responses to “The Last King of Ubud”

  1. Michelle Says:

    Hi guys, glad you are having a great time. Looking forward to you arriving in OZ.

  2. Lorraine & Martin Says:

    Hi Riona&Eddie & Eddie,
    Sounds like you guys are having a fab time. Can’t believe its mid Jult already!!! You’ll be home before you know it. Those people/monkeys sound like great craic ri and the Last King aswell. Well done for resisting the shopping in Hong Kong, I’m sure there will be plenty more opps before you come home.

    Missing you guys – love the blog. Lorraine & Martin.

  3. rachel mccormack Says:

    Hey there sounds like you are having ball , I am so jealous. I loved Gilli Trawagen. Hope it hasn’t changed much… the locals probably still remember Denise the used to call her the angel because of her hair , and freckles. No news here at all very quiet. Godd luck on further travels and will be in touch soon xx

  4. Paula Mc Says:

    Hi Ri and Eddie,
    I am not jealous at all I bet you have never seen anything like the monkeys we have in Mullingar they can do even better tricks like hold cans of budweiser in one hand while they “peg” large stones at each other to protect their young!!! Its amazing here you have to come visit when you return. No really it is brill you sound like you are both in the full swing of things I am jealous really. Say a big hello to Michelle, Justin and Molly oh and of course Patsy for me, Lots of love, Paula xx

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