The other great thing we loved about the resort we stayed in was that it was nestled away in a small village.  We were surrounded by padi fields, village temples and friendly village folks.  In the mornings and evenings, we took long walks along the village paths and made some new friends.

Here’s the little dirt path leading to our resort and on the right, are the muddy footprints of a local farmer returning home after a hard day’s work in the padi fields.  I thought it was incredibly cool how his footprints were so perfectly printed on the ground.

The locals were a friendly lot, especially the kids.  When we offered to take their photos, they would flash their impish grins and shyly strike a pose.  We would then let them take a look at the photo captured on the camera, and they would shriek in delight and gamely pose for another.   They were a carefree bunch, and spent their days flying their kites in the rice fields, riding their bikes or just playing along the dirt paths.  I guess with no Wii or Playstations in the village, the kids found joy in the simpler things.  Looking at them, I couldn’t help but wince a little as I thought of the many kids in Singapore who were blessed with so much, and yet often demanded for more.

By the second day, the villagers had gotten used to us and even the village dogs stopped barking at us as we passed by.  They went about their business as usual, and graciously allowed us to gawk and follow with our cameras.  It was wonderful how warm folks were and we felt welcome by the smiles and friendly greetings. 

One thing we couldn’t get enough of was the Balinese women who gracefully balanced heavy loads on their heads.  A local told us that girls as young as seven are trained to do this as it is the women who carry offerings on their head during temple ceremonies.  I’m also guessing that it’s because of all the balancing that the Balinese women have such good postures. 

Some of the people we met were surprised that we had chosen to spend all 4 days in Ubud, instead of venturing down to the more popular Kuta or Nusa Dua.  But this is how we like it.  Slow and idyllic, with plenty of time to explore hidden paths and soak in the local culture.  Makes for an incredibly tranquil experience.


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