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Entries in bali villas (6)


Bali’s Royal Water Palace ~ Taman Ujung Soekasada. 

This is a companion blog post to Our Family and Bali’s Royal Family of Karangasem and focuses more on The Water Palace of Karangasem. To learn more about one of the Maryam's lineage and Bali's Royal Family of Karangasem just click here.
My wife is a princess. She is sweet, smart and beautiful. A lot of men say those things about their wives but in this case she is a real actual Princess. In her early years, she was raised by her Great-Grandmother, who was the daughter of the King. 

Bali’s Royal Water Palace~ Taman Ujung Soekasada in Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia 

Bali tour villa travel I Gusti Bagus Djelantik, The King of Karangasem's Water Palace
In our efforts to learn more about Maryam’s lineage, we have been visiting her family’s palaces. Our continued quest took us to The Karangasem Regency in East Bali, the seat of the kingdom. Here we visited Tumbu Village, home to Taman Ujung Soekasada, The Royal Water Palace of Karangasem.  
From the Old Bali archives. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 UnportedAbove is the Palace as it was in 1925.

Bali vacation royal tourPutu sits overlooking her family's Tama Ujung Water Palace
This was the residence of The Karangasem Royal Family. It was built by The King of Karangasem, I Gusti Bagus Djelantik who reigned in Karangasem from 1909 until 1945. The King lived here much of the year along with his wives and many children.


Taman Ujung Water Palace is perched on brilliant green hills, with sacred Mount Agung in the distance, and overlooking the ocean in the other direction.  The sprawling elegant complex is remarkably well maintained.
We are able to host weddings and very special events at The Water Palace. If you would like to discuss having your very special event at Taman Ujung, please contact us directly for details.


Many palaces we have visited in Indonesia can be disrespectfully strewn with litter. But, Tama Ujung is immaculate and the blooming flowers and various wildlife stand testament to the commitment to protect the memory, and continue the traditions, of the Royal Family.



Much of the palace was damaged in the eruption of Mount Agung Volcano in 1963. It was largely reconstructed via sponsorship of the World Bank along with Indonesia’s government.


Taman Ujung had also suffered some damage during World War II when the invading Japanese dismantled it’s iron bars for weaponry production. But today it can be visited in all its splendid glory just as it was for Maryam’s family many years ago.


Bali photography Karangasem tour


It is one of many palaces and one of three water palaces built by the last raja of Karangasem.  It consists of various styles of architecture complete with pools, moats, canals, bridges, and fountains. 


The complex is a combination of Balinese and European architecture. My favorite architectural element is the endless hallway/bridge that was built with such precision; it offers perfect symmetry and one point perspective.


There are two of them actually and they lead to a rest house called “Bale Gili” which sits in the middle of the largest of three ponds within the complex. 


Bali wellness tour palaceEntering Taman Ujung in Karangasem, Bali
While it is beautiful and offers a spectacular vista, most interesting for us was the access into the private rooms of the family. The original traditional beds and ornaments are still intact. On the walls hang many photographs of the family. We will be posting many of these amazing old photographs soon. To be notified and to join our free newsletter, just click here.


Bali wellness travel princessPutu stands on the infinity bridge in her family's Royal Palace in Karangasem, Bali
The majestic palace, along with hectares of manicured gardens, gazebos, and two huge ponds, also served as a place to welcome and to serve important visiting guests and Kings from countries worldwide. 


The Taman Ujung heritage site of the kingdom of Karangasem, offers views of Bali’s neighbor, Lombok and the of Lempuyang mountains. The Kingdom spread east to Lombok and ruled there as well. 


Bali wellness retreat villa


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Bali Indonesia wellness tour


Bali Photo of the Day ~ Beach Boys Loving Life in Sanur ~ Balifornian Villas and Tours

Our Art and Culture Tour stopped by beautiful Sanur Beach yesterday to photograph the fisherman, the colorful painted catamarans and the many photographic opportunities avalible on one of Bali's best beaches. Thats all the encouragement this fun-loving group of young boys needed to willingly pose for some fun shots.

Bali Photography Tour VillasBeach boys loving life on Sanur Beach in BaliIf you like photography and want to learn to take better images what better way to do it then in paradise on our newly released Culture and Photography tour

Bali~ Deep Culture Photography Tour. October 19th-26th, 2012

The September tour is already sold out but spots are still avalible for the October tour. Click here for more information.
Deep cultural submersion, professional guidance and instruction, and personal enrichment. Not only will you be exposed to exquisite natural beauty and ancient culture unlike any other on the planet, you will be lead by experienced guides in well-appointed accommodations. This unique tour is far from a generic tourist trip to a paradise island. Each location has been carefully selected for its photographic challenges and rewards. It has taken decades of experience to create this tour and we welcome you to join us for eight days in Bali’s fascinating and vibrant culture, its majestic natural landscape and the warmth and generosity of its people.
For full information please go to
and sign up today to reserve your spot.

These small custom tours only allow 12 people so you get more instruction and the locations YOU want.

Happy travels!


More Bali Aga Images ~ Balifornian Villas and Tours Photo of the Day

Salamat Datang Samua!

I wanted to share a couple more Bali Aga photos.  I am still working on the images and text for the  mekare kare blog post, which is the ritual blood sacrifice fight ceremony.  So stay tuned for more on this ritual ceremony, but for now have you ever seen a pre-industrial ferris wheel?  Here is a photo of a wooden structure used for a ride like you would see at an amusement park.  The skill and engenering of these fine artisans and craftsmen is quite amazing.

Bali travel and tours villasA Bali Aga Ferris Wheel. The amazing craftsmanship of the artists here is really something to marvel at.Bali Photography

Meet Nyoman.  He is excited and ready for the mekare kare to begin. The ceremony draws big crowds from all over Bali.  Nyoman knew to come early to get a "ringside seat".  He is chewing betel nut which made his Bahasa Indonesia even harder for me to understand.

best Bali tours and villas ceremonyA Bali Aga villager chews Betel Nut in preperation for the fight ceremony.

Stay tuned for more on this rite and photos from the fighting ceremony. And for more on The Bali Aga please see here and here.  Please remember this area is not as safe to travel in by yourself unless you are experienced with Bali and the Bali Aga community.  I have read recently that the Bali Aga Villages and The Indonesian government have had talks recently and The Bali Aga elders have promised to be more welcoming to tourists but we do not advise entering the area without and experienced guide. Please contact us here for more help and information.

Have you seen this ceremony?  Please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Salamat Jalan and we hope to see you soon!


Bali Photos of the Day ~ Bali Cremation Ceremony ~ Balifornian Villas and Tours

Today we have more images from a Ngaben or Balinese Cremation Ceremony that took place near Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

best Bali Tour ceremonyPendanda blesses women during ceremonyThe Pendanda (High Hindu Priest) blesses the women during the cremation ceremony.  While it is a sad and serious ceremony, you will often see people smiling and enjoying themselves. 

Bali tours and eco-travelBeautiful Balinese woman laughs with friendsbali villas and tours culturePrayers for the deceased at a cremation ceremonyVillagers give offerings and pray for the deceased during the ceremony

Bali culture and wellness retreatThe body is burned during a cremation ceremony in Bali, IndonesiaThe body is burned .the ashes and fragments will be collected and ceremoniously placed in a nearby river.


Do I Need Travel Insurance?

I have been traveling most of my life and never thought I would need travel insurance.  I guess thats the young and dumb part of me that felt the risk was worth it. But times have changed.  In the course of my travels, and I am sure yours as well, I have seen some tragic and extremely sad and unfortunate events take place. In fact almost everytrip I see something happen. I don't want to scare anyone as its not always an injury but a simple change of plans can cause you to miss a flight, cut your trip short or any number of things.  Many time no fault of your own. Now, with the price of travel insurance so low and the coverages increasing, I find it to be a sound investment with low risk.

Over the past couple years I have researched many companies and tried several of them.  I have also talked to many fellow travelers to find out thier experiences. I found Travel Guard and Allianz to be the best.   If you have any questions, please email us here.