Ramayana Dance

The Ramayana has long been rendered on the denpasarnese stage through the Wayang Wong which is a classical dance drama enacting scenes from the Hindu epic in sequel performances that take place over a period of three or four days. A few years ago, a new dance interpretation of the Ramayana was introduced to the island by Kokar, the Conservatory of Instrumental Arts and Dance.

Accompanied by the Gamelan gong orchestra, The Ramayana Ballet is a unique mixture of traditional dance technique and modern motifs of slapstick comedy. The story opens in the forest of Dandaka where Rama, Laksmana and Sita have transformed their banishment into a peaceful life in the woods. Because of their ideal beauty, the royal brothers are usually danced by women: Rama wearing a golden crown and Laksmana a black headdress. Their manner is stately and heroic, the refined style of dance reserved solely for regal personages. In contrast to their noble bearing, the demon king called Rawana takes large and dynamic steps, a fiery mode of dance which shows the grand arrogance of a tyrant. Frequently, it is the animals of the Ramayana Ballet who steal the show. In Denpasar theatre, animals have license to improvise fantastic dance styles of their own. One remembers the golden deer that gaily prances before Rama yet always manages to slip from his grasp, the brave Jatayu bird that vainly attempts to rescue Sita, and of course, the inevitable monkey business.

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 the city.

 Indonesian Cuisine
 Warung Nasi Bali
 JL. Hayam Wuruk 69A
 Phone (0361) 223889
 Kakman Restuarant
 JL. Tengku Umar
 Phone: (0361) 227188
 Kikel Sapi
 JL. Sumatra.
 Ayam Bakar Taliwang
 JL. Tengku Umar
 Phone: (0361) 228789
 Ayam Goreng Nyonya Suharti
 JL. Gatot Subroto Ubung
 Phone: (0361) 234815
 Other Asian Cuisine
 JL. Gajah Mada,
 Denpasar 80118
 Phone: (0861) 284845,
 Atoom Baru
 JL. Gajah Mada,
 Denpasar 80118
 Phone: (0861) 222788,
 JL. Gajah Mada Phone
 (0361) 435135
 JL. Teuku Umar
 Simpang Enam Square
 Phone (0361) 238551

Denpasar has plenty of hotels whether your the budget traveller or business executive, but the prices here are high and the standards lower, than other areas on the island.

By Air:

Numerous international carriers service Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport either directly or via Jakarta. Domestic airlines operate schedule flights from various cities within Indonesia.

By Land:
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.

By Sea:
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

Simple, basic, delicious food in many styles and cuisines is available throughout Yogyakarta. All hotels offer the standard selection of western dishes but often out-do themselves with interesting variations on Indonesian cuisine. On the road to the airport, ayam Goreng Ny. Suharti is less a restaurant than a place of pilgrimage for fried chicken lovers, serving incomparable free-range chicken with rice. The Pesta Perak Restaurant serves a daily buffet of authentic Javanese fare, with or without hot spices. The legian Restaurant overlooking Jl. Malioboro is a charming second-storey garden restaurant serving steaks and chops at reasonable prices. Several tourist-oriented spots such as the Hanuman Forest Restaurant have cultural performances to complement their good-value western dishes. Visitors to Yogyakarta should not miss cross-legged on straw mats at night-time lesehan stall along Jl. Malioboro. As the food is prepared on open tables, sensitive digestive systems can be safeguarded by selecting a vendor who obviously maintains good standards of cleanliness and by drinking only bottled water, soft drinks without ice or hot tea.

 Indonesian Cuisine

 Pesta Perak
 JL. Tentara Rakyat
 Mataram 8 Yogyakarta
 Phone: (0274) 563255,

 Sparta Steak House
 JL. Timoho Raya 36,
 Phone: (0274) 515078

 JL. Magelang Km.5,
 Phone: (0274) 564191,

 New Asia
 JL. Ring Road/Arteri Utara
 177-A, Yogyakarta
 Phone: (0274) 868053


 European Cuisine

 JL. Magelang No.57,
 Phone: (0274) 588824

 Gita Budana
 JL. Solo No. 169
 Phone: (0274) 561164

 Oshin Yakiniku
 JL. Malioboro 53,

 Legian Garden
 JL. Perwakilan 9,

 JL. Magelang No.9,
 Phone: (0274) 512901


By Air:

There are several direct flights daily from Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya and Bali. Night trains from Jakarta, though comfortable, arrive at inconvenient hours.

By Bus:
Luxury buses with hotel pick-up and drop-off services operate from Bali via Surabaya.

By Rail:
Fast, comfortable trains run from Jakarta through Yogyakarta to Surabaya. First or executive class service includes air-conditioning, airline-style seats and complimentary beverage and meal service. The night trains from Jakarta, though comfortable, arrive in Yogya in the early hours of morning while the dawn service arrives in the late afternoon.

Many sites of interest are easy walking distance from Jl. Malioboro, the main tourist area where several hotels are located. Otherwise, metered taxis and chauffeur-driven rental automobiles are abundant. The typically innovative Yogyanese tourist authorities have been teaching rudimentary English to pedicab a pleasant option for visiting most attractions. There is also the option to rent a bicycle, a nice way to see the sights at ones own pace. Numerous tour operators and rental automobile agencies organise transport to outlying temple sites at standardised rates

Cultural programmes at Hotel Ambarukmo at Borobudur Restaurant (7th floor), every night.
At Dalem Pudjokusuman, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Ramayana open air Theatre- Prambanan-Yogyakarta
Performed on moonlight:
Trimurti Theatre Prambanan-Yogyakarta
Performed every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Pariwisata Open Theatre
Jl. Brigjen Katamso Yk
Performed every night

Performances can also been seen in Denpasar at;

Pura Dalem, Ubud, Mondays
Puri Saren, Ubud, Tuesdays

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Information provided by Department of Tourism. Government of Indonesia.


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