University of Alaska
Bali Institute for Global Renewal
BALI: The Morning of the World
January 16 – 30, 2017 • Bali, Indonesia
A Special Program for UAF Students and Alumni
Draped languidly across the equator, the charismatic archipelago of Indonesia is a smattering of more than 17,000 diverse islands bobbing around in tropical seas. A visit is a great adventure in witnessing more than 300 cultures with their own languages, spiritual beliefs and traditions – it’s truly one of the last intrepid destinations left on the planet. The third most populous nation on earth has an incredible legacy of peoples, cultures and geography just waiting to be explored.
One of the more well known islands of Indonesia is Bali, a land that seems to have a magnet at its very heart. In Balinese mythology, it is said that the gods created this unique place to be sacred, with its purpose to be a shrine to house all the deities. Some call it the ‘island of the gods’, others Shangri-La. The ‘Last Paradise’, the ‘Morning of the World’ and the ‘Center of the Universe’ are yet more names for this truly beautiful tropical island inhabited by a remarkably artistic and spiritual people who have created a dynamic society that can connect ancient wisdom with modern living.
The island is small, just 140 km by 80 km and lies between Java, the most highly populated and influential of all the islands, and Lombok, one of the quieter and moderately slower paced islands. Economically and culturally, Bali is one of the most important islands of Indonesia. Rice is grown on irrigated, terraced hillsides. Other crops include sugar cane, coffee, copra, tobacco, fruits and vegetables. The Balinese are skilled artisans, particularly in painting, woodcarving and in fashioning objects of tortoiseshell and of gold, silver and other metals. The people are noted for their fascinating dance, the distinctive music of the gamelan and for their skills in arts, sculpture, weaving, and jewelry. Here in Bali, everyone is an artist of some kind, and because of this, they don’t even have a word for art. Everything is of beauty here in Bali, filled with charm, culture, mysticism and some of the most magnificent scenery on earth. It has enchanted visitors for centuries.
Let it cast its spell over you as Bali Institute joins with University of Alaska to take you on an educational and spiritual journey that you will never forget.
(Subject to change depending on ceremonies and special guest availability)
Ubud is a thriving village in central Bali and is considered the cultural capital of this tiny island. It is famous as an arts and crafts hub, and much of the village and nearby areas consist of artists’ workshops and galleries. Here you find remarkable architecture and other sites – historical museums, famous woodcarvers and artists, and an array of interesting cafes, local foods, and non-stop ceremonies. The word Ubud comes from the Balinese word for medicine, so it is here that people flock for healing energies, good spirits, meditation, yoga, artistry, and indigenous knowledge.
• Have lunch at a Balinese women’s center and learn about their job skills and healthy living programs
Pusat Kegiatan Perempuan is a Women’s Center founded by a Balinese woman who, since her divorce 10 years ago, dreamed about creating a space where local women can support each other and share skills to create job opportunities and achieve greater independence.
• Experience an introduction to Balinese music and dance, wood carving and offering-making at a local banjar (community center)
• Visit a village where thousands of herons nest in the trees above the
• Try exotic fruits at a traditional pasar (market)
The morning market opens at 4.00am, with hundreds of local Balinese doing their daily shopping for fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, spices, traditional cakes, prepared foods, and offerings for religious ceremonies.
• Walk through serene rice paddies and learn about Bali’s subak irrigation system which has been given a UNESCO World Heritage designation.
Subak is a traditional community-based organization that is managed autonomously by farmers in Bali and is mainly concerned with fair water distribution system for their farmlands.
Gunung Kawi is an 11th-century temple complex in Tampaksiring (northeast of Ubud) and is located on the Pakrisan River. The complex is comprised of ten 7-meter tall shrines carved out of the cliff face.
• Have lunch overlooking Mt. Batur in Kintamani
Kintamani is a favorite destination in Bali with the active volcano of Mt. Batur and the beautiful Lake Batur below.
• Sample Bali’s famous coffee at a coffee plantation and have the opportunity to try the notorious and delicious “Luwak” coffee.
The Ceking Rice Terraces are perhaps Bali’s most iconic terraces, laid out in tight shelves carved out of a steep hillside.
• Dinner at one of the best local warungs or traditional Balinese cafes.
• Visit a sanctuary and park for Sumatran elephants
• Attend a private dinner and dance performance at the Peliatan Palace. Over dinner, you’ll have the opportunity to ask the Prince questions about Bali’s traditional culture as well as modern-day challenges.
Puri Agung Peliatan is an original Balinese Royal Palace built in 1769, preceding all other palaces in the region, and was designated as a command center for the family’s battalions and other vassal palaces, and lordships, during the age of warriors in Bali.
• Take a dip in a holy spring temple where countless Balinese go for purification rituals each year.
Tirta Empul Temple is a holy spring water temple located in Tampak Siring Village, Gianyar regency. This pool water is sanctified by the Hindu society in Bali and they believe that this water source can heal various diseases—as a result, every day it is visited by hundreds of Hindus to do rituals.
Amed is an area of small fishing villages on Bali’s east coast– it was only a little over 12 years ago that an official road was built through the area. Known for its diving sites, Amed’s indigenous residents primarily work in fishing and
salt-making. Amed is one of the poorer areas in Bali because of limited rice-growing land and minimal tourism. Although poor in monetary terms, the people are still rich in spirit as you will see during your visit. Ceremonies, rituals and celebrations occur on a daily basis and reflect the unique traditions of this coastal area.
• En route to Amed, visit a water palace built by a Balinese royal family in the 1800s
• Get up early to watch the sunrise on a jukung, or traditional fishing boat
• Snorkel over Amed’s incredible coral reefs and see the remnants of a Japanese shipwreck from World War II
• Visit a local Balian (traditional Balinese healer) in the jungle
With the help of a translator, find out what a traditional Balinese healer living out in the jungle of Amed sees and senses about you and your peers. Numerous members of the local Amed community visit this well-respected healer each day seeking treatments for ailments and advice for their life, love, and family issues.
• Dinner on beach during gorgeous Balinese sunset
• Morning walk through the hills of Amed village guided by local villagers. Witness ceremonies, learn about fishing and salt farming, and experience coastal village life.
• Lunch in Amed at special local warung
Pemuteran is a small fishing village on the northern coast of West Bali. It is located in close proximity to West Bali National Park, Menjangan Island, and Gilimanuk, the port allowing passage between Bali and Java. Pemuteran is home to the largest artificial coral reef project in the world, and the village’s model of community-based tourism and conservation has been recognized by the United Nations.
• En route to Pemuteran, take a dip in a local hot spring.
Banjar Hot Spring is a natural spring of sulphuric water originating from the volcanic activity of Mount Batur. The water temperature hovers around 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit). The Balinese believe the spring water to be healing. Lunch along the way.
• Visit a sea turtle hatchery and conservation project
The Reef Seen turtle hatchery is a small operation in Pemuteran in West Bali where they are working toward increasing the number of sea turtles in Bali’s seas.
• Visit an award-winning coral restoration project and snorkel over the coral structures
• Share a meal with a local Balinese family at their home and join them for a ceremony at a local night temple
• Take a day trip to Menjangan Island for some of the region’s most amazing snorkeling sites
Menjangan Island is a small island off the Western coast of Bali. Menjangan translate to “deer,” as the island is home to a population of mostly male deer that can withstand the hot, harsh climate of the island. The habitat is very varied with rainforest, dry savanna, acacia scrub and lowland forest, as well as more mountain forest in the higher centre. There are also several temples around the island where Balinese Hindus go to pray. The coral reefs that surround the island are home to some of the greatest biodiversity of species in the world.
• Hike in West Bali National Park
West Bali National Park encompasses nearly 75 square miles of extremely varied ecosystems including coastal, oceanic, monsoon forest, evergreen forest, tropical rainforest, and savannah. The center of the park is dominated by remnants of four volcanic mountains from prehistoric periods.
Enjoy a picnic lunch at Gilimanuk Bay
Gilimanuk Bay is situated at the westernmost tip of Bali and is the location of the port for ferries coming from and going to Java, Bali’s neighboring island. The bay is home to a large population of Mangrove trees that are essential to the area’s ecosystem.
Mengwi is located in the western part of Bali and is famous for its rolling green landscapes, clove and coffee plantations and spectacular rice paddies. The village of Mengwi has a long and rich history associated with its royal family, one of Bali’s main ancient kingdoms, and is nestled in shady coconut groves, surrounded by rice fields and rivers.
• En route to Mengwi, visit a botanical garden that showcases Bali’s native plant species
• Enjoy lunch at the rice fields with home-grown Balinese food.
• Visit an iconic temple by the sea
Tanah Lot temple means “Land in the Sea” in the Balinese language. The temple is located on the rocky shore of Beraban village in Tabanan regency. It is one of seven sea temples said to have been built by the revered 15th century Hindu priest Danghyang Nirartha. Each temple was built within eyesight of the next temple, forming a chain along the southwest coast of the island. Lunch at Tanah Lot.
• Experience an engaging meeting with an internationally-renowned cultural leader and entrepreneur who is recognized for his projects, concepts on community-based tourism and cultural preservation
Agung Prana is one of the founders of the award-winning Coral Restoration Project in Bali. He was nominated for the UN Environment Program for its prestigious Sasakawa Environmental Prize, recognizing him for his remarkable capabilities in advancing environmental awareness and promoting understanding between international scientists, conservationists, business owners, fishermen and community leaders. He is highly regarded as one of Bali’s visionaries who has developed a new concept in community-based tourism — bringing dignity and new economic opportunities to local villagers while supporting the fight against extreme poverty in North Bali.
• Enjoy a delicious final dinner and end your journey to Bali with a special closing ceremony at an important temple of the Mengwi royal family.
For this Program Bali Institute fee provides:
• Comfortable Balinese-owned accommodation in all locations
• All transportation throughout the program
• Airport transfer on the start and end date of the program
• All meals
• All cultural immersion activities, meetings with cultural leaders and other events
• Facilitation for group reflections to help digest the experiences in Bali
• Staff support for the entire duration of the program
For more information about how we can design
a custom program for your university, please click here.