Elephants, Orangutangs, Dolphins and coffee? Responsible and Ethical tourism.

An elephant ride in Bali?

For some tourists, going to ride an elephant  is still a holiday dream for many tourists travelling to Asia. But the reality is a nightmare of abuse for elephants trapped in entertainment. Most tourists pay to get up close to elephants because they love animals – but 80% of people leave positive reviews for venues with poor animal welfare. Behind the bright facades and clever tricks is a lifetime of hidden abuse.


SOS exists to protect Sumatran orangutans, their forests and their future. Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered and without urgent action could be the first Great Ape species to become extinct.

SOS is dedicated to turning this situation around. https://www.orangutans-sos.org/who-we-are/

Orangutans are amazing ambassadors for the Sumatran rainforest

All the species that share the rainforest have a part to play in the health of the ecosystem, but orangutans are sometimes referred to as ‘gardeners of the forest’ due to their special role. They eat hundreds of different types of fruit, and spread the seeds throughout the forest in their dung. They also make a new nest to sleep in every evening, breaking and bending branches and allowing light through the thick canopy onto the forest floor, helping young plants to thrive and grow.



Is Bali the worst destination for animal cruelty? Some animal protection organisations think so 😦

A new report by World Animal Protection (WAP) has criticised the popular honeymoon islands of Bali, Lombok and Gili Trawangan in Indonesia for being among the worst destinations in the world when it comes to animal cruelty in captivity.



This high-end pricing has turned farming civet cats for coffee into an enslavement industry. The animals are snatched from the wild, kept in cramped cages where wire floors cut into their feet causing them physical and mental distress. They are also nocturnal and do not have shelter to hide. Many of the civet coffee farmers are uneducated on how to care for their animals and the civets often are often ill or die, all in the name of making coffee.

Civets are small, nocturnal mammals, native to tropical Asia and Africa. The coffee they help to create – by eating and excreting coffee beans, which are then collected and cleaned – has become increasingly popular. But, to keep up with rising demand, civets are now being cruelly captured and forced to live in inhumane conditions. So we’re pushing suppliers to only stock wild-sourced, ‘cage-free’ civet coffee.


Endangered animals including deer, the Javan langur monkey, a leopard cat, and two porcupine are believed to have been held captive, used as an attraction for tourists at the Karangasem tree house. The animals are said to have been inadequately cared for, the Javanese langur reportedly found with chains around their necks.




Ibu Kat’s book of stories Bali Daze – – Free-fall off the Tourist Trail is available from :
– Ganesha Books in Ubud
, Sanur and Seminyak
– Amazon downloadable for Kindle

E-mail: ibukatbali@gmail.com
Copyright © 2014 Greenspeak

You can read all past articles of Greenspeak at www.BaliAdvertiser.biz

Making the Penjor for Galungan @ Angel House

Every celebration of the feast of Galungan and Kuningan, Hindus in Bali will install a Penjor in front of their house.


The Penjor is a tall, curved bamboo pole decorated with coconut leaves with an offering at the base.  Mostly seen during the special ceremony of Galungan and Kuningan Balinese Hindus make a Penjor as part of almost every important ceremony, especially for the anniversary temple celebrations.  Due to their length of sometimes more than ten metres, they droop charmingly over the pavement  like an ancient street lamp.
Penjor base material is bamboo pole as a symbol of the mountain. The bamboo poles decorated as beautifully as possible with the leaf and palm leaves. Then contains a variety of crops such as coconuts, rice, etc.

Therefore, for the Balinese the penjor is synonymous with Mount Agung, the highest and holiest mountain in Bali.

The aim of erecting penjors at Galungan is to show devotion to God in His manifestation as Hyang Giri Pati (the God of the mountain). Mountains with deep forests hold a lot of water, which flows into rivers. This then fulfils water needs for irrigation and drinking water.

During Galungan celebrations, each family erects a Penjor outside their gate, which makes the whole neighbourhood look splendid.


At Galungan time, Balinese Hindus erect a penjor in front of their houses to symbolise the dominance of good (dharma) over evil (adharma), as well as offering thanks to God for the fruits of the Earth. About halfway down the pole they attach a small cage in the shape of a triangle and made from bamboo, called sanggah cucuk. Offerings are placed in this and it is considered to be a temporary “throne” for the Gods when they come down to Earth for Galungan.

Penjor for Galungan and Kuningan at Angel House Ubud
Temple at base of Penjor

If you take a close look at a Galungan penjor, you’ll notice that it’s also ornamented with coconut leaves called sampian and also long strips of white and yellow material to symbolise that it is a holy offering.

Due to their innate beauty, these days penjors not only serve a religious function. They also feature at weddings, art performances, hotels, and at any occasion where there are guests of honour.

‘Nyepi’; Balinese day of silence 2018

Nyepi ( meaning “to keep silent”) falls on the day after the dark moon of the spring equinox when the day and night are of approximately equal duration. In 2018 Nyepi Day Of Silence begins on 17th March at 0600 and lasts till 060018th March.

Day in Bali is a New Year celebration unlike anywhere else on the planet. Bali’s celebrates the Saka New Year as the Bali Day of Silence, an ultimately quietest day of the year, when all of the island’s inhabitants abide by a set of local rules, which brings all routine activities to a complete halt. Roads all over Bali are void of any traffic and nobody steps outside of their home premises. Most Balinese and visitors regard it as a much-anticipated occasion. Some expats and those coming from neighbouring islands prefer escaping Bali for the day rather, due to restrictions that surround the observance. Some visitors check coinciding dates ahead before their Bali trip, avoiding it altogether. Nyepi is worth experiencing at least once in a lifetime, especially since the preceding and following days offer rare highlights to behold!
Hotels are asked to cover their windows, all shops are closed, all! No light or candle will be lit in any Balinese home, no cars on the road, no motorbikes, no people. It’s indeed a special experience, not only for the Balinese but also for all the visitors and tourists that are on Bali during Nyepi Day. If you are in Bali during Nyepi make sure you do not plan any traveling or outside activities. 

Read more at: http://www.bali-indonesia.com/information/nyepi-day.htm?cid=ch:OTH:001

Nyepi 2018
The boys from our village with their Ogoh Ogoh

‘Tipat Cantok’, Balinese Steamed rice made in a woven palm leaf case :)

Tipat Cantok is a common traditional Balinese food that can be found almost anywhere in Bali. It is commonly made with white rice or can be combined (cantok) with vegetables (water lily, long beans and bean sprout) and steamed or boiled. These accompany a meal of sate,  mixed with peanut sauce. Sometimes, Tipat Cantok is added with sweet soy sauce on the top to add sweet taste on it. Tipat Cantok can be found on local small Balinese warungs but rarely be found in big restaurants. These can be bought at the local Mas traditional market, just 5 mins walk from Angel House.

Learning how to make this intricate baskets from palm leaves requires patience and dexterity! Guests at Angel House are welcome to take a class and learn how to make, alongside Canang Sari; Balinese flower offerings.


What do I do if I step on an offering? Balinese Canang Sari/offerings on the street

From my friend Wayan 🙂 Angel House guests can learn how to make their own Canang Sari and make offerings to our house temples or, accompany us to our local Temple; Pura Taman Pure Mas. Just enquire at time of booking 🙂

Canang Sari; Offerings placed at our front gate

Bali Abracadabra Tours

Good morning from the beautiful island of Bali 🙏💖

Today I would like to share something that you might notice while having holiday in Bali, it’s almost in every single places & spots around while you are having a walk or at the place you stay..

It’s the offerings of #CanangSari & #BantenSaiban

Canang sari is one of the daily offerings made by Balinese Hindus to thank the Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa in praise and prayer. Canang sari will be seen in the Balinese temples, on small shrines in houses, shop and on the ground or as a part of a larger offering. a small square or round palm leaf made “Canang Sari” is daily Balinese offerings. The phrase Canang Sari is derived from the Balinese words sari means essence and canang means a small palm-leaf basket as the tray. Canang Sari is the symbol of thankfulness to the Hindu god, Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa. It is offered every day as a form of thanking for the peace had given to the world.

Canang sari normally filled with colorful flowers. The colors of the flowers are white, red, yellow, blue or green. Those colors are not randomly chosen; they have different meaning and are placed in specific directions.

White-colored flowers that point to the east as a symbol of Iswara. Iswara is regarded as one of the primary forms of God. He is also known as Shiva or Mahadeva.
Red-colored flowers that point to the south as a symbol of Brahma. Brahma is often referred to as the progenitor or great grandsire of all human beings. Brahmā is traditionally depicted with four heads, four faces, and four arms. Unlike most otherHindu gods, Brahmā holds no weapons. He holds a scepter, a book, a string of prayer beads and the Vedas.
Yellow-colored flowers that point to the west as a symbol of Mahadeva. Mahadeva means “Great god”. The main iconographical attributes of Mahadeva or Shiva are the third eye on his forehead, the snake Vasuki around his neck, the crescent moon adorning, the holy river Ganga flowing from his matted hair, the Trishula as his weapon and the Damaru as his instrument.
Blue or green colored flowers that point to the north as a symbol of Vishnu. Visnu is conceived as “the Preserver” within the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the divinity. He is depicted as a blue being, holding a Padma (lotus flower) in the lower left hand, the Kaumodaki gada (mace) in the lower right hand, the Panchajanya shankha (conch) in the upper left hand and the discus weapon Sudarshana Chakra in the upper right hand.

Normally, Canang Sari stays for one night after it is being prayed and offered before it is being removed to be replaced with the new one. After all, Hinduism is very concerned with the relationship between humanity and the environment. Whatever comes from nature, it has to be back to nature.

Did you know?

Trimurti means “three forms”, is a concept in Hinduism “in which the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction are personified by the forms of Brahma the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver and Shiva the destroyer or transformer.

Meanwhile – the second offering.

Banten saiban or jotan is a daily offering that is offered everyday after cooking or before eating. It is very simple consisting of a pinch of rice with other food like vegetable or fish or meat, on a small piece of banana leaf/other leaf. Due to its everyday usage so it is grouped into “Nitya Yadnya”. Actually what is offered; rice and its companion food like vegetable and meat that are cooked; that means pinch of rice is just the sample, therefore Banten Saiban is also called “Yadnya Sesa”, that means offering is a priority. Banten Saiban is offered to God / Gods, it has a philosophy to thank God for His blessing.
,Ancestors before ‘Memukur ( final ceremony of cremation) ceremony are done, with the aim to ask for their protection & Panca Maha Bhuta ( demons who live in underworld for not disturbing us but live with us in harmony & respect. 🙏

For a traditional Balinese woman, it is an obligation to know how to make Canang Sari and other offerings (called “mejejaitan”) because offering the Canang Sari is one of the important daily activities other than cooking, taking care of the children or cleaning the house. However, this term is not common in these modern days. Now, people can buy Canang Sari from traditional markets.

Please 🙏If you see canang sari on the ground when you are walking around street, do not step over or step on it because it is considered as not respecting the culture and the religion. Especially the ones with incense that is still burning.

I hope this post will enrich your knowledge about Bali and its unique tradition and culture

I’m looking forward to welcoming you again & again.

Suksema & Shanti 🙏💖


Volcano update: Mount Agung 12th December 2017

12 December daily volcano update. Direct from Ubud.
PLEASE NOTE: I am transitioning these daily reports to this public group page – MOUNT AGUNG DAILY REPORT – to manage them more efficiently. I will continue to share to other groups this week, but please JOIN MADR to receive these in your news feed.
• Agung continued its pattern of the past few days of frequent blowing quakes (50 over the period 11/12 00-24) and emitting regular plumes of gasses and ash in the 1500-2500 meter range. These are vigorous blowing quakes, with amplitudes up to 25 mm and lasting up to 140 seconds.
• PVMBG ( https://www.facebook.com/pvmbg1/) reported one eruption at 05:49 (amplitude 25 mm, 125 seconds), and two more eruptions in the 06-12 period yesterday, amplitude both 25 mm that lasted 96 and 110 seconds, respectively. These are similar to the blowing quakes above, but I believe the distinction is the content of the plume – eruptions put out magmatic ash (dark grey-black colour), while blowing quakes are gas and steam (white colour). We see a lot of white-grey from the mountain, it would be interesting to know how they distinguish between the two. Hmm. That goes on my list of questions for the team at Pos Rendang. I’m attaching the seismograph and two charts – one mapping the daily totals, and one covering the past two days in 6-hour blocks.
• PVMBG reports they observed the glow from crater from the Batulompeh CCTV during both dark quarters of the day, and I watched it last night on the Bukit Asah camera.
• BPBD reports 85,100 evacuees are registered at 289 camps. The conditions in some of these camps is very poor, with people sleeping on the ground, little/no clean water & sanitation, and a few packets of instant noodles. Please consider contributing to one of several responsible and accountable organizations supporting these camps – they need help.
• The Darwin VAAC has issued a current ash warning based on their satellite readings – no predictions for the rest of the day. That is attached below – wind at flight altitude is to the west. FlightRadar24 shows lots of activity around Bali and DPS, but all travellers should check with their airlines. A reader noted yesterday that some international carriers were canceling and consolidating flights not because of ash, but because there were too few passengers. Domestic flights tend to be flying as scheduled.

For ways of how you can help, please see this image 🙂