April 2016.

FAM trip sponsor : Ministry of Tourism Indonesia.

Photography equipment sponsor : Fujifilm Malaysia.

This year I was blessed to be able to travel to Bali and East Java under the sponsorship of Ministry of Tourism Indonesia. The group from Malaysia consisted of 13 travel agencies and 2 journalist. I was one of the journalist. All images were shot with Fujifilm XT1 unless stated.


Welcome to Bali. Upon my arrival at the Ngurah Rai Airport we were greeted by Balinese dancers. Our first stop was lunch.


The statue of Satria Gatot Kaca greets you the moment you exit the airport.


Right after lunch we headed to Pandawa Beach located in Kutuh Village, which is south of Kuta District. Pandawa is fairly “new” to many foreigner as it was once known as The Secret Beach and it’s well hidden behind these lime stone hills. But as you can see, they built a road by cutting through these hills. You can still see construction along the main road leading to the beach. It’s about 3 KM from the famous Nusa Dua area and Uluwatu Temple.




Pandawa beach looks really clean and is more chilling compared to Kuta beach. Popular mainly among domestic tourists and very few foreign surfers, the local government realized it’s potential and recently built a proper road and started promoting Pandawa.

180 degree view of Pandawa beach shot using Fujifilm XT1 on panaroma mode.


Local renting out life jacket to swimmers.


Bird’s eye view of Pandawa beach from the hill.



You can also do para-gliding at Pandawa Beach.


A group photo of our group.


Click the map above for Google map location.


A copper sculpture of a snake at the main steps leading up to the GWK statue.

The next destination on the list is the highest place in Southern Bali known as GWK, which stands for Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park.


A pond along the way up to the GWK statue.


Balinese dancer dressed in tradition Balinese costume greets visitors.




One of many copper statues at the GWK. The main GWK statue is currently under construction and, when completed, it will be the world’s tallest monumental statue which is made of approximately 3,000 tons of copper. If you are wore shorts, you are required to wear the sarong provided at the entrance.


An Airasia plane approaching the runway can be seen from GWK.



A cultural procession in progress.


Click the map above for Google map location.



Travel dialogue with Ministry of Tourism Indonesia.


Cultural performance during dinner hosted by Ministry of Tourism Indonesia.


With the Balinese dancers.


After the dinner show, my friend Vera came over to pick me up for a ride around Kuta.


After riding around Kuta and Seminyak, she brought me to an area where the locals hang out. It was quite late so many of the stalls and shops here had closed. It’s usually pretty crowded in the evening.


I met Vera in Maldives last year when I was there on another FAM trip. Vera works in the resort where I was staying and she was kind enough to be my bikini model then. The timing was just nice that she happened to be back in her hometown in Bali when I was there.


Ibu making avocado shake.

We had fresh avocado shake with chocolate dipping. It’s really rich, thick and really cheap.


A wefie before heading back to the hotel.


A church, a mosque and Hindu temple all in a row. Shot this from the rooftop of my hotel before checking out.


Local handicrafts being transported on a bicycle.

Day 2’s itinerary started off with a long bus ride to the Balinese country side of Gulingan Village where you get to enjoy peaceful nature walk in the rice terrace.


The narrow ledge in the rice terrace.


It’s amazingly green and beautiful.


Balinese rice field in Gulingin Village.


This monument marks the ownership of each rice terrace.


A Balinese man making traditional Balinese meat skewers.



If you are interested in learning how to cook Balinese food, Rural Charm Bali offers traditional cooking classes.


During the class, participants will learn how to mix, grind and peel flavourful spices and herbs in a traditional style kitchen.



A Balinese lady grinding coconut.


Everything is done by hand.


Showing participants how to grind fresh coconut.


Juliana trying it out.


Extracting fresh coconut milk from the ground coconut pulp.


Flavoured rice served in banana leaf bowl.


Grinding spices


Marinating chicken meat for skewers



Skewers being barbecued.


And served


Marinating fish meat.





The packed fish are then barbecued.


Stir-frying kang-kong in a wok over a charcoal stove.



Besides cooking classes, participants can chill at the pavilion, or learn how to play traditional Balinese musical instrument, or learn how to make flowers.



After the cooking class and lunch, we continued our journey up north to Lovina. It was a 3 hours bus ride from Gulingan village.


Mayong rice terrace on the way to Lovina. The bus made a stop at a small village called Berlimbing Pupuan and while the rest of the FAM participants were enjoying durian and mangosteen, I sneaked away and snapped some shots of the village folks going about their daily live.






Ibu M-bah (above) and Ibu Handi (below with snow white hair)


Shot with the FUJINON XF56mm F1.2 R APD lens wide opened at f/1.2 against approximately 45 degree late afternoon back light.



Ibu M-bah and Handi sell durian and mangosteen for a living in Berlimbing Pupuan. IDR 25,000 for 1kg of durian and IDR 7,500 for 1kg of mangosteen.


Rice field in Mayong. Shot from the hill top.



Shot with the focal length set to 135mm (200mm equivalent on 35mm format) on the FUJINON LENS XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens


In Bali, most of the Balinese lady would ride the bike as a passenger side way.


Upon arrival, we checked into Aneka Lovina Hotel.


Colourful and intricate carvings on my room door.







Kids playing by the beach in Lovina




There wasn’t much of a colorful sunset that evening.



I wanted to see what the Lenovo Vibe shot can do so here are a few shots taken with Lenovo Vibe Shot.


HDR mode. In my opinion, the Artistic HDR mode always gives me too much saturation for my liking.


Art Nightscape mode


Full auto mode


Our objective in Lovina is simple – dolphin watching. Lovina is a stretch of area in Singaraja that’s made up of seven villages. In the 1950’s, the late King Buleleng had a small lodge built on his land and named it Lovina. It is a very small place that has only one set of traffic light.


Dolphin-watching requires you to be ready to depart by boat at 5am in the morning, which means you need to be up by 4am and that’s a drag.



A school of dolphins swimming near our boat. Unfortunately, there weren’t many dolphins at the area where my boat was cruising.


Click the map above to go to Google map.

We checked out after breakfast and drove west towards Gilimanuk to board the ferry to Banyuwangi in East Java.

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