A freedom-oriented lifestyle blog

Tag: Bali (Page 1 of 2)

Celebrating birthdays and visiting ground zero of the Bali bombings 2002

A lot of birthdays are coming up in the family, so we took the opportunity to celebrate everyone while we stayed in Ubud. However, the days in Bali was coming to and end for Ulrikas family, and we decided to spend the last 24 hours in the busy nightlife of Kuta, the party place in Bali.  Ulrikas family left Bali and a couple of days later we put our few belongings in our back packs and started our journey towards Europe.

Det var flera födelsedagar som närmade sig i familjen, så vi tog tillfället i akt att fira alla medan vi var i Ubud. Därefter började familjens dagar i Bali att närma sig slutet, så vi bestämde oss för att spendera de sista 24 timmarna i det livliga nattlivet i Kuta, partyplatsen på Bali. Ulrikas familj lämnade sedan Bali och några dagar senare packade vi ned våra få tillhörigheter i ryggsäcken och påbörjade vår resa mot Europa.

Our time in Ubud was all about celebrating birthdays and Ulrika’s sister will be 30 this year, so she got special attention and we went to her favorite restaurant in Ubud. Happy birthday little sister!

But first, surprise birthday celebrations for all of us, orchestrated by Ulrikas mother. Niklas turns 26 in May and both Pontus and Ulrikas birthdays are coming up, June and July respectively.

Maja took us to Nur Salon – a traditional Balinese spa and we got massages and facial treatments.

Be prepared to get your massage fully naked, no covering clothes here. As we’ve mentioned before, Balinese people have no problem or tabu with nudity. Women will be taken care of by women and men by men, so no need to be afraid trying it. However, expect to feel like a five-year old getting washed and cleaned by your mother again.

The inside of Nur Salon is beautiful and you will find both a beautiful flower garden and different creative art pieces around the property.

The restaurant we went to in the evening had decorated our table, writing “Happy Birthday” with flowers and lit candle lights for us. It was a really good day celebrating birthdays in Ubud.

Final days before the family was flying home to Sweden, and we spent them in Kuta.

Showing them Kuta beach from where you can watch airplanes coming in for landing.

And we visited “Ground zero” , the Bali bombings in 2002. In October 2002, a suicide bomber walked in and detonated the first bomb inside a pub in the middle of the busy tourist street in Kuta. Twenty seconds later, while people were running out in to the street, a second bomb (car bomb) went off creating a one meter deep hole in the street. 202 people people were killed and 209 people got injured.

Five Swedish citizens and 22 other nationalities were among the victims.

We stayed at the hotel in Kuta that has our favorite pool.

The pool is so clear so it creates funny illusions. Here is Niklas with tiny legs.

Pontus floating around on a duck.

We walked around in Kuta so the family could do some last minute shopping. We also found a really cool “steampunk”-like motorbike.

We had to eat at McDonalds at least once here. The price of a Big Mac menu is half compared to in Sweden.

We also took the family to our favorite restaurant in Kuta, Mamma Warung.

Last night with family before they left Bali.

It was sad to say goodbye, but we’ll see each other again soon!

We spent a few more days in Bali eating and hanging around a lovely little Indian restaurant, before we started our travels that will bring us closer to Europe. First stop is Singapore.

Slowboat to Bali and Ubud Monkey forest

How fun it would be to go with the cheaper slow boat from Lombok to Bali we thought. We will see so much of the western part of Lombok and the islands situated between Lombok and Bali we thought. The first part  by car went relatively smooth while it was bringing us to the ferry terminal in Lembar. The interesting part of the journey started when we arrived at the ferry port. In Lembar, we had to jump on a bus to get on the boat, while the rest of the tourists could walk on the ferry. Why we had to jump on a warm bus to carry us on board can speculated about. Even the locals on the bus had to jump off and walk onboard the ferry.
We had been informed that the slow boat would take approximately 3 hours. However, we can now refute that information. It took more than 4 hours to cross the thirty kilometer water passage and then another 2 hours where we had to wait just outside Padang Bai, the ferry port of Bali, where there was a queue of boats waiting to enter the harbor. The view was fine, but being so close to the goal, yet so far away, really got to us. We arrived to our favorite place in Bali several hours later than we expected, so take the fast boat if you’re not on a tight budget or in a hurry.

We wanted to show our family the small hub in the world called Ubud and one of the things we did in the city was to experience the Monkey Forest. It is an open park where several different groups of macaques live. The monkeys can move freely in and out of the park, but they stay in the area, because they are fed by park managers every day. Our tip is to visit the park in the afternoon, when the monkeys have been fed and are satisfied. Otherwise they can jump on you, which they might do anyway, and search your bag. Yes, they do know how a zipper works, and they will know if you have something edible on you. They also like ice cream so pay attention if you are in the vicinity of the park. The Balinese has a very natural relationship to nudity and you can find statues in the park showing that. You can also visit a spa to experience it, which Ulrika’s family got to experience, but more about that it in our next blog post.

Vad roligt att åka med den billigare långsamma båten från Lombok till Bali tänkte vi. Vi kommer få se så mycket av västra delen av Lombok och öarna mellan Lombok och Bali tänkte vi. Den första delen gick relativt bra med bil som tog oss mot färjan i Lembar. När vi sedan kom till färjehamnen, så började roligheterna. I Lembar var vi tvungna att hoppa på en buss för att överhuvudtaget komma på båten, medan resten kunde promenera på färjan. Varför vi blev inslängd på en varm buss för att ta oss ombord kan man ju spekulera över. Lokalbefolkningen på bussen fick däremot hoppa av och gå ombord på båten.  

Vi hade fått information om att den långsamma båten skulle ta 3 timmar och den informationen kan vi nu dementera. Det tog 4 timmar att tuffa de tre milen över vattenpassagen och sedan ytterligare 2 timmar där vi fick vänta precis utanför Padang Bai, hamnen i Bali, då det var en kö av stora båtar som väntade på att lägga in till hamnen. Utsikten var visserligen fin, men att vara så nära målet, men ändå så långt borta tog verkligen på psyket.  Flera timmar senare än vad vi räknat med kom vi till vår favoritplats i Bali, så ta snabbåtarna om du inte har en liten budget eller inte har så bråttom. 

Vi ville visa familjen den lilla oasen Ubud och en av utflykterna vi gjorde var att uppleva Monkey forest. Det är en öppen park där flera olika grupper av makaker lever. Aporna kan röra sig fritt i och utanför parken, men de stannar kvar i området då de blir matade av parkansvariga varje dag.  Vårt tips är att besöka parken på eftermiddagen då aporna är mätta och belåtna. Annars kan de hoppa på dig, vilket de kan göra ändå, och rota i din väska. Ja, de förstår hur ett blixtlås fungerar, om du bär på något ätbart i väskan. De gillar även glass så var uppmärksam om du är i närheten av parken. Balineser har ett väldigt naturligt förhållande till nakenhet och det är synligt om du ser på statyerna i parken. Du kan också uppleva det om du besöker ett Spa, vilket Ulrikas familj fick erfara, men mer om det i nästa inlägg.

The family got to experience the local way of taking the bus, on plastic chairs!

It was much nicer on the roof of the ferry! Rebecca certainly enjoyed the fresh air.

We did see a number of different islands and an Indonesian military ship. Lombok in the background.

Niklas at the time we still thought that we only would spend approximately 3 hours on the slow boat.

But it would turn out to be more than 5 hours on the slow boat.

Finally in Ubud and resting by the pool after a long day of travel the day before.

The siblings are solving crossword puzzles together.

We brought the family to a vegan restaurant that accepts bitcoin, called the seeds of life, and we think most of the family enjoyed the experience.

We also visited the Monkey forest in Ubud, 50 IDR per visitor and you can buy bananas inside for 20 IDR if you want to interact with the monkeys. There are rules on how you can interact with the monkeys in the park, so be aware of the signs describing them for you.

There are temples inside the park, which you can not enter, but you can see the statues surrounding the temple.

Here is one example of how the Balinese is not afraid of nudity!

And here is another example.

Monkey forest in Ubud. The park is open for the monkeys to walk in and out of.


Exploration time in Ubud.

The Wallace Line – separating Bali and Lombok

It’s not just a cultural difference you notice when you travel to Lombok from Bali, but you have also crossed an evolutionary biological line called The Wallace Line. Just before Darwin published his book “On the origin of species,” the naturalist and explorer Alfred Russel Wallace explored the islands of southeastern Asia. Between 1854 to 1862 he explored the Malay archipelago and took notes on the species of plants and animals that lived on each island he visited. He did so from today’s Malaysia via Borneo down to Bali, and when he planted his feet on Lombok, he discovered something very peculiar. It is only about 30 km of water that separates Bali and Lombok, but animals and plants that were common on the islands he had previously visited was now absent. Instead, he noted several plants and animals that he had seen only in Australia. So he formed a hypothesis that all islands east of Borneo and Java was part of an Australian, or a former Pacific continent, that the eastern islands had separated from. Wallace findings from the Indonesian archipelago gave support to Darwin’s theory of evolution, which was published 1859, and in 1869 the well-known biologist Thomas Huxley named this dividing line between the islands the Wallace Line.

In 2017, it was the family Englund/Mai/Persson/Lindblom’s turn to set their feet on Lombok and for two days explore the island.

När man åker över till Lombok från Bali, så är det inte bara en kulturell skillnad man får se, utan man åker också över en evolutionsbiologisk linje, kallad “The Wallace Line”. Just före det att Darwin publicerade sin bok “om arternas uppkomst”, så utforskade naturalisten och utforskaren Alfred Russel Wallace öarna i sydostasien. Mellan 1854 till 1862 utforskade han den Malajiska arkipelagen och på varje ö han besökte noterade han vilka arter av växter och djur som levde där. Han gjorde så från dagens Malaysia via Borneo ned till Bali, och när han gick i land på ön Lombok upptäckte han något besynnerligt. Det skiljer endast cirka 30 km mellan Bali och Lombok, men djur och växter som var vanliga på öarna han tidigare besökt lyste nu med sin frånvaro. Istället noterade han åtskilliga växter och djur som han endast sett i Australien. Han formade en hypotes om att alla öar öster om Borneo och Java bildade en del av en australiensisk eller Stillahavs-omfattande kontinent, från vilken de senare separerades. Wallace fynd från den indonesiska skärgården gav stöd åt Darwins teori om evolution, vilken publicerades 1859, och 1869 namngav den välkände biologen Thomas Huxley denna skiljelinje mellan öarna till Wallacelinjen.  

2017 var det familjen Englund/Mai/Persson/Lindbloms tur att sätta fötterna på Lombok och under två dygn utforska ön.

The Wallace Line. Separates Southeast Asia from Australia.

Picture taken from here, where you also can read more about Alfred Russel Wallace.

We rented scooters one of the days to drive around and explore Lombok.

Maja and Mats on our first stop just south of Senggigi.

If Bali is called the islands of thousand temples, then Lombok is the island of thousand mosques. That is another thing that differs Bali from Lombok, and most islands in Indonesia, the religion in Bali is Hinduism and in Lombok it is Islam.

The street of Senggigi, a town close to where we stayed in Lombok.

We went to the beach in Sengiggi to see where the locals where swimming.

At least the locals are growing the same thing in both Bali and Lombok.

We had an awesome accommodation in Lombok. The White Rose is situated just 5 kilometers south of Senggigi and is very pleasant, if you don’t want to live in the center of the town.

And it’s quite close to the Cowshed, which is an awesome steakhouse and dart place.

We rented a car (and a driver) for our second day in Lombok and went out exploring the northern part of Lombok.

Lombok is so green!

We found macaques on Lombok, which also must have crossed the Wallace line at some point.

We visited a local market and we learned that our favorite fruit in Bali, the snake fruit, does not grow in Lombok. It is imported from Bali, so we found evidence for the Wallace line right here in the market.

Our goal this day was to hike in the mountains and to see waterfalls.

The Lombok people transports crystal clear water down from the mountain using aqueducts (sorry for terrible exposure in this photo).

An aqueduct that is also a bridge and a waterslide for local children.

First waterfall we visited was Sendanggia and you can see a video from our first part of the hike just below.

Then we walked for 30 minutes more to reach the second waterfall, the Tiu Kelep waterfall.

Ulrika’s brother, Niklas, wading through the cold water.

Tiu Kelep. We could swim here with the locals and it was really cold!

We walked through the water tunnels on our way back to our car.

We went to Malimbu hill to watch the sunset.

But dark clouds and rain came over the mountains, so we had to leave just before the sunset.

Ulrika’s family got to try real local food during our last night in Lombok.

Big Thanks to Bob and Stephanie for your hospitality and amazing bed&breakfast! We loved staying at your place, the White Rose!


SatoshiPay – nanopayments with bitcoin

A bitcoin meet up in Ubud organized by SatoshiPay, a Berlin-based company, was something we wouldn’t miss and we were lucky that the meet up happened before we left Ubud for this time. The founder of SatoshiPay was on a quick visit to Bali and he invited the bitcoin community to a demonstration of SatoshiPay and general discussions about cryptocurrencies and smart solutions using block-chain technology. We thought that SatoshiPay presented a very cool payment solution for content creators and content customers on the web, so we wanted to mention them here on our blog.
There are several companies that deal with solutions for micro payments, for example Strawpay, a Swedish company, and  BitCash. SatoshiPay, like the rest of the mentioned companies, enables very small payments with bitcoin to get access to content on websites, both for access to entire articles or parts of articles, to play music and videos, or to download purchased  files from a website, such as pdf files and music files.
What SatoshiPay also has done is to enable you as a private individual to be paid when uploading content to a website as well, such as text, images or music. So, it’s a two-way system that SatoshiPay claims they are the only ones in world offering right now, where you both can pay others for content you appreciate and consume, and also get the opportunity to get paid to upload your own creations or content you contribute, such as for example answers to a survey. We find this to be an awesome solution to the copyright issues.

Other things that have happened are that we’ve now left Ubud to meet up Ulrika’s family in Kuta and it will be great to spend time with the family in one of our favorite places on earth. The last days in Ubud, including the bitcoin meet up, are now documented using the image format below.

En bitcointräff i Ubud anordnat av SatoshiPay, ett Berlinbaserat företag, var något vi inte ville missa och vi hade tur att träffen hände innan vi skulle lämna Ubud för denna gång. Grundaren till SatoshiPay var på en snabbvisit till Bali och passade på att bjuda in till demonstration och allmänt prat om kryptovalutor och smarta lösningar med blockkedjeteknik. Vi tyckte att SatoshiPay presenterade en väldigt häftig betalningslösning för innehållsskapare och konsumenter av innehåll på webben, så vi ville nämna dem på vår blogg.
Det finns flera företag i världen som håller på med mikrobetalningar, exempelvis Strawpay, som är ett  svenskt företag,  och BitCash.  SatoshiPay möjliggör väldigt små betalningar med bitcoin för att få tillgång till innehåll på hemsidor, både för få tillgång till hela eller delar av artiklar, spela upp musik och videos eller att ladda ned köpta filer från en hemsida, exempelvis pdf-filer och musikfiler.
Det som SatoshiPay även gjort är att möjliggöra att du som privatperson kan få betalt för att ladda upp innehåll, exempelvis text, bilder eller musik, till hemsidor också. Det är alltså ett tvåvägssytem som SatoshiPay hävdar att de är ensamma om  i världen just nu där du både kan betala andra för innehåll du uppskattar och få möjlighet att få betalt för att ladda upp dina egna skapelser, och exempelvis svar på enkätundersökningar. Jättesmart lösning på upphovsrättproblemet tycker vi.

Andra saker som har hänt är att vi nu lämnat Ubud för att möta upp Ulrikas familj i Kuta och det ska bli så härligt att få umgås med familjen på en av våra favoritplatser på jorden. De sista dagarna i Ubud, inklusive bitcointräffen, finns nu dokumenterade i bildformat nedan.

Bitcoin meetups are of course always at a bitcoin-friendly place.

This time the meeting was in a new place that we haven’t tried before. The Seeds of life café serves raw food and vegan of course and we can really recommend the Moussaka dish they serve on Thursdays, it is so good!

The drinks we’re on SatoshiPay, while the founder Meinhard Benn demonstrated the app for us. SatoshiPay is a really cool way to pay creators directly online and get paid if you upload content to a website.

We’ve  also moved in to Ubud Town for our last few days in this part of Bali for a while. This was our new view  overlooking the rooftops of Ubud, and we can also see the mountains in the background on days with good weather.

Our homestay had an interesting and smart way of using their small space for growing food and herbs.

It’s almost impossible to find bad restaurants in Ubud, the food is really good in almost all places we tried. We do have our favorites here and Rendez Vous Doux is  one of our favorite restaurants in Ubud, with a friendly french owner.

Their Gado-Gado, an indonesian dish, is the best in Ubud according to Pontus.

Good bye Ubud!

Freedomfest Stockholm and everyday life in Asia

We have our everyday life in Asia and we are very pleased with it, but we think it’s a shame that we will miss this year’s edition of Freedomfest Stockholm, which will open its doors on Saturday 13th of May this year. Unfortunatley, the event will only be in Swedsih. We have attended several freedom fests over the years and Pontus was also one of the lecturers last year, and we really like that the conference attracts a lot of freedom-minded people in Sweden. Last year we were closer to 170 people attending and it was an incredibly inspiring day to meet with like-minded people around a small waterhole filled with freedom in socialist Sweden.
This year, lectures will be about everything from personal privacy online and how to be a Swedish prepper to the unfree world of Swedish schools, culture in the service of politics, and a speech workshop. However, we will miss Freedomfest this year because we chose to prioritize Asia and Bali instead.

However, we have had the opportunity to get to know one of this year’s speakers at Freedomfest, because he has chosen to settle down in Bali. Daniel, which is his name, is a co-founder to Mullvad, a company that offers VPN service so you can protect your online privacy. He lives here parts of the year together with his daughter T, and Rebecca, the mother to his child. Rebecca is also a very interesting person who is about to start up a transparent research institute named IGDORE based entirely on open-source, and which enables location-independent research without having to pay tremendous sums, known as overhead, to a university from one’s research grants. We have had the pleasure of spending time with all three before their time here in Bali was over for this time, but this is not the last time we will see each other. Our everyday life here will end soon, because Ulrika’s long-awaited family comes to Bali and we will hang out with them. Here are a bunch of pictures of our time living in Kelabang Moding during March and April.

Vi har vårt vardagsliv i Asien och trivs väldigt bra med det, men vi tycker att det är synd att vi kommer missa årets upplaga av Freedomfest Stockholm, som går av stapeln lördagen den 13:e maj. Vi har varit på flera freedomfester genom åren och Pontus var även en av föreläsarna förra året, och vi gillar verkligen att konferensen drar till sig en mängd frihetliga personer i Sverige. Förra året var vi närmare 170 personer och det var en otroligt inspirerande dag att få umgås med likasinnande runt ett litet frihetligt vattenhål i annars socialistiska Sverige.
I år kommer föreläsningar handla om allt från personlig integritet på nätet och hur man kan vara en svensk prepper till ofriheten i svensk skola, kultur i politikens tjänst och talarworkshop. Vi missar dock freedomfest i år då vi valt att prioritera Asien och Bali.

Vi har dock fått möjlighet att lära känna en av årets talare på Freedomfest, då han har valt att bosätta sig på Bali. Daniel är medgrundare till Mullvad, en VPN-tjänst för att skydda din personliga integritet på nätet. Han bor här på Bali delar av året tillsammans med sin dotter T, samt Rebecca som är mamman till dottern. Rebecca är också en väldigt intressant person som håller på att starta upp ett transparent forskningsinstitut vid namn IGDORE baserat helt på open-source och vilket ska möjliggöra platsoberoende forskning utan att behöva betala hiskeliga summor overhead till universitet från ens forskningsmedel. Vi har haft nöjet att umgås med alla tre innan deras tid här på Bali var över för denna gång, men det är inte sista gången vi kommer ses. Nu kommer dock vår vardag strax ta slut, då Ulrikas efterlängtade familj kommer hit och vi ska umgås med dem. Här kommer ett gäng bilder från vår tid boende i Kelabang Moding under Mars och April.

Daniel, T and Rebecca at our place in Kelabang Moding. We had so much to talk about, so we forgot to take photos when we we’re hanging out. Here is a rare photo that Pontus took when Ulrika was cutting fruits.

Ulrika and Rebecca talking over a fika, while T is playing in the play corner at the Down to earth cafe in Ubud.

Just after the Balinese new year celebration (Nyepi) was over, another religious holiday started: Galungan and Kuningan.

Galungan is a ten-day celebration of the victory of dharma over adharma and it is a time when their ancestral spirits come to visit earth. The final day of the celebration is called Kuningan.

Our host family’s Penjor, which is a tall bamboo pole which is decorated with coconut leaves and has an offering at the base. It is suppose to represent a mountain that provides safety and welfare for the family.

Ubud is all about Raw food and vegan-friendly foods.

However, you can find also find restaurants that offers meet. We are cooking our own meals most of the time, and we don’t eat so much meat here. This italian plate from Buonasera was really good.

We have also been to the movie theatre, Paradiso in Ubud. We’ve seen both the Disney movie Moana (with Rebecca and T) and a mystery, sci-fi movie called Coherence, a movie which we can highly recommend.

You can both eat and drink at the movies and the ticket serves as a discount in the restaurant for the full amount of the ticket. They are a vegan organic movie of course!

A cute cat trying to battle a Scooter at our local supermarket.

Ulrika is working on her yoga poses and finally manage to do the crow, a pose she has been thinking about for almost a year.

This is how Ulrika dress up for going to the immigration office to extend our visa. We stopped so Ulrika could take some pictures and Pontus snapped a photo of her and two girls walking home from school.

This is the view Ulrika took a picture of. It is a beautiful place we pass every time we’re going to and from Kelabang Moding. Ulrika loves our new camera.

Our new camera, Sony rx-100, is really useful when shooting in the dark and the only light comes from the moon.

A big moon over Ubud.

Tegallalang’s rice terrace – a postcard from Bali


Tegallalang’s rice terrace often adorn the postcards that are sent home to family and friends from Bali, so we wanted to use our camera and take some photos of the rice fields, even though it is a place where tourists usually flock. Tegallalang’s rice terrace is located a few kilometers north of Ubud, so we took our rented scooter for a full day out exploring the area north of Ubud. We also visited this rice terrace last time we were in Bali together with the King family and Ulrika’s sister Rebecca, but it was only for a short stop and we didn’t have a good camera with us at the time. Also last time there was ash in the air from a spouting volcano and a lot of tourists, so we didn’t have so good memories of the rice terrace from that visit. Now we wanted to see how this valley with rice fields could look like when it was nice weather. We were lucky with the absence of large tourist buses, the high season here in Bali comes later, but the rice terrace was still filled with people anyway. However, we managed to find cozy nooks where almost no tourists were walking around and Ulrika took her chance and pulled out the camera to take pictures. It’s a gorgeous place and Tegallalang’s rice terrace really look like the pictures on the postcards.

Tegallalangs risterrass brukar ofta pryda vykort som skickas hem till familj och vänner från Bali, så vi tänkte använda vår kamera och ta lite foton på risfälten trots att det är en plats där turister brukar flockas. Tegallalangs risterrass ligger bara några kilometer norr om Ubud, så vi tog vår hyrda moped för en heldag att utforska området norr om Ubud. Vi besökte risterrasserna förra gången vi var på Bali tillsammans med familjen King och Ulrikas syster Rebecca, men det blev  bara ett kort stopp och vi hade ingen bra kamera med oss på den tiden. En hel skock med turister och aska i luften från en sprutande vulkan gjorde att vi inte hade så storslagna minnen från risfälten, så vi ville se hur denna dal med risfält kunde se ut när det var fint väder.  Vi hade tur med avsaknad av stora turistbussar då det inte är högsäsong här på Bali, men risterassen fylldes på bra med människor ändå. Vi hittade dock mysiga vrår där nästan inga turister rörde sig och då tog Ulrika sin chans och drog fram kameran för att fota. Det är en fantastiskt vacker plats och Tegallalangs risterrass ser verkligen ut som bilderna på vykorten.

This is usually what a postcard from Bali look like.

Be prepared to give a small “donation” to the farmer, who owns parts of the rice fields, if you choose to cross the home-built bridge at the bottom of the valley.

Paying “the donation” is well worth it though.

You get a nice view over the jungle at the top of the terrace.

If you walk around the corner of the terrace, you will find a hidden valley with rice fields.

Local people are walking around and ask you if you want to take pictures with them in it. Be prepared to give a small “donation” if you do it.

Someone left his or her hat behind after a working day at the fields.

We spent an hour at the Tegallalang’s rice terrace, then we continued our exploring of the area north of Ubud.

Rice fields and jungle, it is nice to spend a day exploring this area if you are near Ubud.

Bitcoin + Bali = True

If someone mentions Bitcoin and Bali in the same sentence we immediately think of Ubud and the Bitcoin community here. There are several restaurants, businesses, and co-working spaces around Bali where you can use bitcoin and meet a great group of bitcoin enthusiasts. These people are building solutions to be able to opt out of the current corrupt economic system and contribute to helping people to be part of a healthy and transparent financial system.

In Ubud, the co-working place Hubud is where you’ll find The Filter, a forum and educational place about Bitcoin, the activity can also be followed via their Youtube-channel. On Hubud, you can also find a bitcoin ATM where you can exchange your Indonesian rupiah to bitcoin.
Gary has organized weekly Bitcoin meetings in Hubud co-working space in Ubud for many years and has been a driving force for building a growing Bitcoin community. We met him when we were here 1.5 years ago and now we have the privilege to live in his house while he is away traveling in other parts of the world.

Other bitcoin-friendly co-working spaces in Ubud are The Onion and Outpost. The website bitcoinsinbali.org  gives a good overview of the Bitcoin activity happening on the island. Also Kuta is home to the largest Bitcoin exchange in Indonesia, Bitcoin Indonesia , which has over 270 000 customers.
According to coinmap.org there are over 60 companies in Bali which accept bitcoin as payment, and the website bitislands lists 14 restaurants, 9 service companies, 8 hotels, 2 travel agents, 4 transport companies , 4 clothing and jewelry stores, 2 spas, and 2 adventure agencies that accept bitcoin.

Bitcoin is still small in Bali, but we can see that a lot has happened here in Ubud since we were here 1.5 years ago and it is positive that the ecosystem is growing.
To learn about how bitcoin is different from the present economic system you can read the articles on Pontus educational website

Nämner någon Bitcoin och Bali så tänker vi genast på Ubud och Bitcoin-samhället som finns här.
Det finns ett flertal restauranger, företag och co-working ställen där man kan använda bitcoin och träffa ett härligt gäng bitcoin-entusiaster som bor på Bali. Dessa människor bygger lösningar för att kunna välja bort det nuvarande korrupta ekonomiska systemet och bidrar till att hjälpa människor att vara del i ett sundare och transparent ekonomiskt system.

I Ubud på co-working platsen Hubud finns The Filter, en mötesplats och utbildningplats om Bitcoin, vars aktivitet även kan följas via deras Youtube-kanal. På Hubud finns även en bitcoin bankomat där man kan växla indonesiska rupier till bitcoin.
Gary är en eldsjäl som organiserat Bitcoin-möten varje vecka på Hubud coworking space i Ubud sedan flera år tillbaka och varit en drivande kraft för att bygga upp ett växande Bitcoin-community. Vi träffade honom när vi var här för 1,5 år sedan och nu kunde vi få förmånen att bo i hans hus medans han är iväg och reser i andra delar av världen.

Andra bitcoin-vänliga co-working arbetsutrymmen i Ubud är The Onion och Outpost. Hemsidan bitcoinsinbali.org ger en bra överblick över den Bitcoin-aktivitet som pågår. I Kuta på Bali ligger även Indonesians största bitcoin-valutaväxlingsföretag Bitcoin Indonesia som har över 270 000 kunder.
Enligt coinmap.org finns det drygt 60 företag på Bali som accepterar bitcoin som betalning  och på hemsidan bitislands  listas 14 restauranger, 9 företagstjänsteföretag, 8 hotel, 2 resebyråer, 4 transportföretag, 4 klädes och smyckesbutiker, 2 spa-salonger samt 2 äventyrs- och upplevelseföretag som accepterar bitcoin.

Bitcoin är fortfarande litet i Bali, men vi kan se att mycket har hänt här i Ubud sedan vi var här för 1.5 år sedan och det är positivt att ekosystemet växer.
Om du vill veta mer om hur bitcoin skiljer sig från det nuvarande ekonomiska systemet så kan du se på Pontus föredrag från konferensen Internetdagarna i Sverige november 2016.

The Bitcoin center at Jalan Sugriwa.

We hang out at the Onion where you can eat and use their co-working space by paying with bitcoin.

Look for the orange and white bitcoin sign when you are in Ubud.

The backyard at the Onion.

It’s easy to pay with bitcoin using your mobile wallet of your choice.

On Hubud, you can use the bitcoin ATM to exchange your IDR to bitcoin.

Kismet is a restaurant in Ubud with nice food and the option to settle your bill with bitcoin. Kismet also have good wifi connection, but you’re not allowed to have computers on their dinner tables between 6 pm and 22 pm.

Meet up with the local bitcoin group! Lovely meeting and catching up with you guys!

Campuhan Ridge Walk in Ubud

One of the things we appreciate about staying in Ubud is the accessibility to nature. The entrance to the Campuhan Ridge Walk is very easy to get to if you just want to go for a short walk. Campuhan Ridge Walk is a well-planned path on a hill that extends out into the countryside in the north of Ubud, and it is a family-friendly excursion to do if you are in Ubud. The goal for us was to eat at the Karsa cafe, a cafe we ​​visited last time we were here, and to take pictures of the surroundings with our new camera. Unfortunately, it began to rain and thunder was rolling in over the hill, so we had to hurry back to our scooter to not get caught in the rain.
We are starting to see the light in the rainy season and we have now had three rain-free days in a row after a month of daily rain clouds with frequent subsequent thunder. So Ulrika’s family can probably bet that it is much drier here when you guys arrive.

We also want to send our thoughts to our friends who were on Drottninggatan in Stockholm last Friday. We are so happy to hear that you are still here with us!

En av sakerna vi uppskattar med Ubud är tillgängligheten till naturen och ingången till Campuhan Ridge Walk är väldigt lätt att ta sig till för en kortare promenad. Campuhan Ridge Walk är ett välplanerat promenadstråk på en kulle som sträcker sig ut i naturen i norra Ubud och det är en familjevänlig utflykt att göra om man är i Ubud. Målet för oss var att äta på Karsa café som vi besökte förra gången vi var här och för att fota naturen med vår nya kamera. Tyvärr började det åska och regna så vi fick skynda oss tillbaka till vår moped för att inte fastna i regnet.
Vi börjar dock se ljuset i regnperioden och vi har nu haft tre regnfria dagar i rad efter en månad med dagliga regnmoln med ofta efterföljande åskmuller. Så Ulrikas familj kan nog räkna med att det är betydligt torrare här när ni kommer.

Vi vill också sända våra tankar till våra vänner som befann sig vid Drottninggatan i Stockholm förra fredagen. Vi är så glada att höra att ni klarade er!

The entrance to the Campuhan Ridge walk is to the right of the Gunung Lebah temple.

Ulrika listening to podcasts enjoying the surroundings.

A village which can be seen from the Campuhan Ridge Walk.

Here is a short movie from the Campuhan ridge walk: 

The valley.

Our goal, the Karsa Cafe!

Rice fields viewed from the Karsa Cafe.

Our crib in Kelabang Moding

We have found an accommodation in Kelabang Moding, a village located approximately 4 km north of Ubud and it’s a perfect place for us. Ubud is an awesome place, but getting out in to the countryside and sleep in peace and quiet is priceless. Getting an accomodation in Kelabang Moding was a lucky coincidence for us. One of our friends was about to leave Ubud and his house was suddenly available, so we took the chance and moved in to the house for the time we are spending in Ubud. Kelabang Moding is a nice little village and we were happy to celebrate the Balinese new year with them last week, which was the only lively thing that has happened during those weeks we lived here. The absence of night clubs and bars mean that we can fall asleep to the sounds of night animals and the river that runs right below us – we love it! We thought about posting some pictures of our accommodation here where the pool is a central part of our home, so prepare for lot of pictures of that one.

Vi har hittat ett boende i Kelabang Moding, en by som ligger cirka 4 km norr om Ubud och denna by är helt perfekt för oss. Ubud är väldigt trevligt, men att få komma ut på landsbygden och sova i lugn och ro är ovärderligt för oss. Anledningen att  det blev Kelabang Moding var en tursam slump för oss. En av våra vänner skulle nämligen iväg på en resa och dennes hus stod plötsligt ledigt i en månad och vi flyttade gärna in för tiden vi tänkte spendera i Ubud. Kelabang Moding är en trevlig liten by och vi fick glädjen att fira in det nya balinesiska året med dem förra veckan, vilket är den enda livlighet som hänt under dessa veckor vi bott här. Frånvaron av nattklubbar och barer gör att vi får somna till ljudet av nattdjuren och floden som rinner precis nedanför oss. Vi tänkte lägga ut lite bilder på vårt boende här där poolen är en central del av vårt hem, därav mycket bilder på just denna.

Our view from the pool – no noise and the view makes us relaxed.

Our kitchen is outside, but under a roof and it is a pleasure to make breakfast in the morning, especially with our wonderful view.

Our view from the kitchen!

Our host family cooked for us one evening  and we got a lovely Balinese dinner.

Our kitchen had a blender so we make our own fruit smoothies every day.

Our bedroom where we sleep really well!

This is our bathroom, where we can sit on the toilet and watch the night sky in our own bathroom garden.

Really love our semi-outdoor shower as well.

Ulrika enjoying her morning coffee in our pool.

We live 4 km north of Ubud so we’ve also rented a Scooter for the month. North of Ubud is very beautiful and we brought our camera with us, so we could show you our way to the centre of Ubud. You’ll find the video just below.


Nyepi – celebrating Balinese new year and the Balinese calendars

Nyepi, or the Day of Silence, is the Balinese new year, and unlike our western new year celebration, Nyepi means that you should be quiet and meditate all day. The airport on Bali is closed, no lights or fires are allowed and the only persons allowed on the streets are the religious police to ensure that no other persons moves outdoors. This also applies to tourists and you will be taken to jail, if caught, and the punishment is often community service, which usually means cleaning the temple area.

Nyepi starts at 6 am on the first day of the Saka calendar, one of two calendars they use in Bali, and ends 24 hours later. Yes, the Balinese have two calendars other than the Gregorian calendar and they control the Balinese religious feast days and days of religious ceremonies. The Saka calendar is a lunar calendar and has 12 months with 30 days each month, which adjusts to the solar cycle by allocating two lunar days to one solar day every 9 weeks. Also, an extra month is added every year to the Saka calendar not to fall behind the Gregorian, Western calendar. The Saka calendar is 78 years behind the western way of counting the years so we are now in the year 1939 – Balinese era. The Balinese second calendar is called Pawukon and is a 210-day calendar with an intricate system for days and weeks, in which different weeks contain different numbers of days.
Both the Ogha Ogha ceremony, which take place on the night before Nyepi, and the Melasti ceremony that takes place two evenings before Nyepi, are happening to prepare for Nyepi and we got the opportunity to participate with our village during all three days to prepare Bali for the new year. Pictures and videos on our experiences during these days can be found below. Happy new 1939 Bali!

Nyepi, eller tystnadens dag, är balinesernas nyår och, olikt vår västerländska nyårsfirande, innebär Nyepi att man ska vara tyst och meditera hela dagen. Flygplatsen är stängd, inget ljus eller eld är tillåtet och de enda som får vara ute på gatorna är den religiösa polisen som ser till att inga andra rör sig utomhus. Detta gäller även turister och blir du tagen så blir straffet ofta samhällstjänst, oftast innebär det att städa tempelområdet. Nyepi startar klockan 6 på morgonen på den första dagen i Sakakalendern, den ena av balinesernas två kalendrar. Ja, balineserna har två kalendrar utöver den gregorianska och den styr balinesernas religiösa högtidsdagar och ceremonidagar. Sakakalendern är en månkalender och har 12 månader med cirka 30 dagar i varje månad och där kalendern justeras mot solens cykel var 9:e vecka där två måndagar tilldelas en soldag. Sedan läggs en extra månad in varje år i Sakakalendern för att inte halka efter den gregorianska, västerländska kalendern. Saka ligger 78 år efter det västerländska sättet att räkna år så vi är nu i år 1939 Balinesisk tideräkning. Balinesernas andra kalender kallas Pawukon och är en 210-dagars kalender med ett invecklat system för dagar och veckor, där olika veckor innehåller olika antal dagar.

Både Ogha Ogha som sker på kvällen innan Nyepi och Melasti som sker två kvällar innan Nyepi, är en del av att förbereda Bali för det nya året och vi fick möjlighet att få delta i dagarna tre med resten av vår by för att förbereda Bali på det nya året. Bilder och video på våra erfarenheter hittar ni nedanför. Gott nytt 1939 Bali!

Ulrika and Pontus in traditional Balinese clothes, dressed up to take part in the Melasti ceremony.

Our host family was so kind to lend us clothes, dressed us and even did Ulrikas make up and hair. Terima Kasih, saya cantik!

Ulrika and our host mother on their way to the south temple in our village to see the Barong and Rangda coming out for the Melasti.

The Barong is a mythological lion-like creature who is the King of the spirits and defender of the good. Rangda is the Queen of the demons, eats children and is the enemy of the Barong. On Melasti, the village bring them out to a sacred place in the djungle and then place them in the north temple of the village. You can see more of them in the video below.

The whole village parading north behind the Barong and Rangda.

The sacred part of the djungle in our village, where the community took the Barong and Rangda to pray.

The Balinese loves their incense!

The village parading to the north temple, where the Barong and Rangda are placed and where we got invited to participate in the flower prayer and the water cermony. We didn’t want to take pictures during this part of the Melasti ceremony, but we are grateful that we were welcomed to participate in the preparation for Nyepi, which took place two days after Melasti.

The ogha ogha is a cermony the night before Nyepi to attract all bad spirits to Bali to be destroyed, so a fresh and clean new year can begin the morning after. The bad spirits are attracted with a lot of noise from drums, cymbals and shouting, and then captured by huge monster sculptures that are carried around the village. The scultpures are carried from south to north and then back to the south part of the villages again, before they are set on fire in order to destroy all the bad spirits caught in the monster. Our village built a huge pig, but other demons can also be seen all around Bali. The video below show how our village is trying their best to attract the bad spirits.

Burn bad spirits, burn!

Nyepi means that there is no light from the cities that can distract the night sky, so looking out in to the universe was our way to celebrate Nyepi.

An edited version of the night sky, darkness reduced. The universe is amazing!

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