I often get asked to recommend a place to stay in Bali and I always reply that Ubud is the best place because it
- is in the cultural heart of Bali with lots to do and see
- is a great base for touring the rest of the island
- has excellent restaurants
I get asked if I can recommend accommodation and I always reply Murni’s Houses & Spa. I know the owner, Murni, who is a famous icon in Bali.
She opened Ubud’s first real restaurant, Murni’s Warung, overlooking the Campuan River, in 1974. She was also the first person in Ubud to have a proper gallery of antiques, textiles, costumes, old beads, tribal jewelry, stone carvings, masks and other ethnic pieces. Murni’s Warung Shop is beside the restaurant.
Murni’s Houses in Ubud is a complex of seven extraordinary residences and open-air pavilions in a garden full of flowers, statues, fountains, trees and shrubs, lying all by itself next to open fields. Murni lives there herself.
Very convenient, just 5 minutes walk from the main road and accessed through a traditional Balinese gate, it’s a place of tranquility. The accommodations range from a Studio, Room, Suite, and Bungalow to two 2-bedroom apartments.
Free Wifi. Murni’s Big Breakfast is included. Murni’s Big Breakfast is two eggs served to order, ham or bacon, toast with jam, yoghurt with fruit and honey, and coffee or tea. Vegetarian and Balinese options are available.
Murni’s Warung is only 5 minutes’ walk and can deliver meals to your accommodation, if you wish.
Murni also has houses in nearby Penestanan for long-term rent. (www.murnis.com)
Spirit of the Hornbill Dance Academy
Spirit of The Hornbill led by Siti Habibah as chief and Apriyadi as vice chief. The dream to build Spirit of The Hornbill began when Siti started to teach Dayak traditional dance for elementary school in Palangka Raya. After few months teaching, the parents of Siti’s students wanted their children to have more intensive dance training, thus the academy started (with only 6 students). Siti then met Aryadi, they both share the same dream to build dance studio in Palangka Raya to facilitate young generation to learn more about traditional dance art. In 19th January, 2013 Spirit of The Horbill founded in Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan Province, Indonesia.
The main purpose of Spirit of The Hornbill is to conserve Central Kalimantan art and culture to the next future generation. Spirit Of The Hornbill is a registered organization that accommodates cultural arts activities, especially in the city of Palangka Raya. Spirit Of The Hornbill is also know as Sanggar seni dan Budaya (Art and culture academy) Darung Tingang which means A Brave and Courageous Hornbill. (www.spiritofthehornbill.com)
The TRI Handkerchief story started with a red bandana that my dad carried in his pocket since 1995. He picked it up as a souvenir after hiking in Seoraksan National Park in Korea. The bandana has a map of the national park on it. My dad collected them from each of the national parks he visited when he used to live in Korea. At the time, he just thought they made cool souvenirs, but he got into the habit of carrying them and realized how often they came in handy. As my dad loves forests and trees, his pet peeve is wasting single-use tissues to do things like drying hands after washing, wiping your face when eating, etc.
“My favourite red bandana became like a talisman that I carried with me wherever I went, reminding me and connecting me to the forests I love, and making me more conscious of how I consumes” –Ben’s dad.
When I got to be old enough to think about earning pocket money, my mom started to encourage me to make a similar sort of product.
“Why don’t you make handkerchiefs like the one appa carries, Ben? Only with tourists maps of Bali. You’ll sell lots of them!” The idea didn’t really stick, but my mom reminded me of it now and then over the course of a couple of years. And then, when I reached grade 8 and it was time to come up with a project for my ‘Quest’ presentation, the idea popped up again.
At Green School Bali, where I go to school, students have to present a project related to sustainability or social justice to the school community in order to graduate from middle school. I thought promoting handkerchiefs might be a good way of getting people at Green School to stop wasting paper tissues to dry their hands in the bathrooms. But I still wasn’t convinced it was the right idea.
The birth of our brand
That December, on a family trip to Nepal, we came across a handkerchief in a shop with a map of Annapurna, the mountain range that we were about to go trekking in. Of course, my dad bought the handkerchief and together with my big brother, JJ, and my parents, we sipped sweet hot Nepali milk tea and brainstormed on a brand concept.
“GREENkerchiefs!!” my dad suggested… “LAME!” JJ said, “It’s gotta sound more cool, more hipster, more compact. How about LRX, like appa’s favourite Dr. Seuss book.”, ”nah, that’s taken.” Then I thought of “TRI”. It sounds like ‘tree’, but could be something else too. JJ pitched in, “hashtag, ‘chiefs for change!!!” It stuck.
A few days later, my dad realized “TRI” could also be like Tri Hita Karana, Bali’s beautiful philosophy about the three causes for happiness or prosperity: harmony with humans, harmony with nature, harmony with Spirit.
As we had been thinking about using the money we would make from selling ‘chiefs to support indigenous organizations that were protecting trees, it seemed right to have a brand that connected with our values and Bali, our adopted home that we love. (www.trihandkerchiefs.com)
Ransel Buku is an educational project that brings environmental education through books reading, led group discussions and games to children at river bank villages in Central Kalimantan. This project runs by the support of village elders, parents, fellow volunteers, professional photographer David Metcalf, donors and others who believe that it is the responsibility of everybody to support access to education for better future.
Education is a fundamental human right and essential in promoting empowerment so one can reach his full potential. However there are still many children who are deprived from access to education, often as a result of poverty. Remote river side villages in Central Kalimantan are some of many look alike around the globe. Amongst the many issues, these places are geographically challenged, have poor infrastructure; low human resources; not to mention limited access to good quality books.
In Ransel Buku we believe that through good quality books, dreams of change for the better future can be nurtured. We have been bringing this service to more than 500 children around the area since 2009. We successfully built our first community learning centre & first child friendly library at Kelurahan Petuk Katimpun in May 2016. We are supporting children to continue their education to high schools through our scholarship program. Starting in January 2017, we will run our latest literacy program through our floating library project to 5 villages on the Kahayan and Rungan River. (www.ranselbuku.org)
Protect our Borneo
Protect Our Borneo (POB) undertakes the main activities of Endemic Rescue and Rescue of Central Kalimantan, such as orangutans, sun bears, kalawet, pangolins, tungang birds, etc. POB conducts this activity through the Animal Rescue Center (PPS), which is named PPS-POB. In PPS, the animals will pass through the rehabilitation process which will eventually be released again to their habitat in the forest.
So this PPS only as a temporary day care while through the rehabilitation process. All protected animals can be entrusted here, which is certainly in accordance with the rules of the Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA) of Central Kalimantan as a POB Main Partner. (https://www.facebook.com/Protect-Our-Borneo-POB-178247482531745/)