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.
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
WHERE TO STAY DENPASAR
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.
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 EAT IN
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.
JL. Tentara Rakyat
Mataram 8 Yogyakarta
Phone: (0274) 563255,
JL. Timoho Raya 36,
Phone: (0274) 515078
JL. Magelang Km.5,
Phone: (0274) 564191,
JL. Ring Road/Arteri Utara
Phone: (0274) 868053
JL. Magelang No.57,
Phone: (0274) 588824
JL. Solo No. 169
Phone: (0274) 561164
JL. Malioboro 53,
JL. Perwakilan 9,
JL. Magelang No.9,
Phone: (0274) 512901
GETTING AROUND IN YOGYAKARTA
There are several direct flights daily from Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya
and Bali. Night trains from Jakarta, though comfortable, arrive at
Luxury buses with hotel pick-up and drop-off services operate from
Bali via Surabaya.
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
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