Remembering Bali

With the opening of the film Eat, Pray, Love ( starring Julia Roberts) today, I couldn't help but think about how Bali, an Island in Indonesia , and where I was just a year ago, will be portrayed by Hollywood.
Even before the book, Eat, Pray, Love became a bestseller, I already was traveling to Bali several times and even stayed there to learn batik painting and also attended the Ubud Writers Festival. I actually blogged about it last year and so I am going to repost it again here.

                                          So here goes.... My Bali trip 2009:

I am staying again at Ubud Inn (where the author Elizabeth Gilbert of the book "Eat Pray Love" mentioned meeting one of the Staff of Ubud Inn named Mario or I Nengah Urip -his Balinese name) at Monkey Forest Road, in Ubud Bali.

Reconnecting with Friends in Bali:

One of the things I like about traveling are meeting people and making friends from different parts of the world. On one of my trip to Bali two years ago, I met Chantal from Belgium who is now living in Ubud.

Below, Chantal (to the right) and I having lunch at Lotus Pond,
a beautiful restraurant in Ubud overlooking a Balinese Temple:
We are having Reistafel for lunch: Bon Appetit!
Chantal worked for a book company in Belgium until deciding to give t all up and move to Bali. She is an astrologer and also designs some handicrafts. She just moved into a very cute balinese house with her dog and cat.
Chantal’s cute home in Bali:

I am relaxing at Chantals front garden: 
Jasmine from South Africa:
I made a new friend in Bali. Her name is Jasmine and we met in the plane from my flight from Singapore to Bali. We were seatmates and found out that we were staying near each other in Ubud. It is Jasmine's first trip to Bali and she is here to participate in a Yoga retreat.
Here we are( Jasmine and Madonna) in this fantastic restaurant in Ubud called Bebek Bengil where they serve a delicious meal of Crispy Duck, a Balinese delicacy.

More of Madonna and Jasmine in Ubud, Bali:

Our Dessert:Sinfull Balinese chocolate cake and Balinese Rose wine:

Maritel , a childhood friend from Australia:
I am happy to see my friend Maritel again. Maritel and I went to the same private all-girls school in Manila called Maryknoll College. She came to Bali for a couple of days to hang out with me. Yours truly with Maritel overlooking one of the Rice Terraces :

More of Madonna & Maritel by the rice terraces:

Madonna & Maritel With a Balinese Farmer:
Maritel and Madonna at the Ubud open market where you can buy lots of Balinese handicrafts, paintings, batiks , cermamics, etc.
Below, with a Balinese lady vendor wearing her traditional Balinese costume called Kebaya:

Madonna and Maritel Having a meal in a restaurant by the Rice terraces:

Hanging out in cafes and restaurants in Ubud, Bali, both located in Monkey Forest Road :

Below is Mario ( my Balinese Guide) and I in front of the water pond Garden in Ubud Inn: Mario Speaks several languages and I was able to converse with him in English and French since I also speak French , so I was very much impressed with him. He also speaks a little bit of German, having studied it in school here in Bali. He plans to take me to the famous healer/palm reader named Ketut Liyer ( also mentioned in Gilbert's book) in Ubud. I am looking forward to have my palm read. I recommend Mario as a guide/driver to anyone coming to Ubud. His email is

This is my second time here in Ubud Inn and myseventh time in Bali. Yes, I love the island so much i keep coming back. Below is my little "Bungalow with my own walkway leading to the front porch.

I enjoy staying at this place , the staff is very nice:
and it has a beautiful garden landscape with salt water pool.

It also has wireless connection from the front restaurant where I am blogging this.
My front door, beautiful Balinese architectural design :

My simple Balinese bed : In some of the other places that I had stayed, in Bali ,
the furnishings are more intricate then the one I have below, but this bed is one of the most comfortable I've ever slept in--like a baby. I like firm matresses it's better for the back.

This is where I eat my breakfast: Normally I order typical balinese Banana pancake topped with coconut and a bowl of tropical fruits such as papaya, pineappla and banana. I also enjoy a cup of rich Balinese coffee which is a lot stronger than American coffee.

Madonna Davidoff and Palm Reader in Bali:

As I have planned, I went to visit Ketut Liyer the Palm Reader of Ubud, Bali.

I am glad that I went to his home early since I was the second person there and more people were coming from all over the world:

Ketut Liyer's home and gallery with some of his mystical paintings:

Ketut Liyer reading my palm: He says I will live to be 103 years old and that I will have good Karma when I get reborn and that I should persue a carreer in publishing ( I'm already an illustrator) I wonder if he says this to everybody...
Anyway, wether I believe his predictions or not--at least it was fun to see him.
He is now 90 years old.

Below, Liyer reading my Palm:

Liyers hand and mine:

I sketched him while reading other people's palm and I let him sign my skctch:

In exchange, at the end of our palm reading session, Liyer ask me to sign his guestbook:

After my visit to Liyer, Yvonne from Holland whom I met at the reading, decided to eat lunch together at a Warung ,a local balinese foodstand:

A typical Warung Balinses Food: Nasi Campur:

After lunch, I took a walk to Monkey Forest: 

More street scenes of Ubud: 

When I reached Ubud Inn, I tried playing with the ANGKLUNG or balinese xylophone:
In the evening, I met up with my good friend Maritel foran aperitif at Cafe Wayan:

Good chilled Mojitos:

Then for dinner at another restaurant:

Reconnecting with Friends in Bali:

April 20, 2009
Before leaving Bali for Hanoi, Vietnam I made sure I went to some spas in Bali.
All tanned from swimming, I am realxing after a massage at one of my favorite Spas in UBud: The Sangrila Spa and Verona Spa:

Maritel and I after our full body massage and Lulur Balinese scrub finished off with a soak in petal flower bath at the Verona Spa in Mokey Forest Road, Ubud. Bali:

The facility at Verona SPA: