TripCanvas Editorial Team

TripCanvas Editorial Team

A collective of travel, food and adventure enthusiasts sharing stories about hidden gems and unexplored local attractions, aiming to showcase and help you explore the destination in its truest form.

CultureEvents

The Iconic Kite Festival of Bali

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The Bali Kite Festival embodies everything the island remains known for – culture, beauty and unadulterated fun. This annual festival takes place between the months of July and August (sometimes in October) during the dry season. This in order to leverage the wind that allows the kites to soar high. It’s rare to see Bali’s bright blue sky free of colourful kites at this time. The air remains filled with Gamelan orchestra music, giving the whole experience a more exciting feel.

Historically celebrated to thank Hindu deities for a bountiful harvest. Today, it is easily one of the most spectacular kite festivals in the world. 

 

Kite Festival of Bali
Kites flown during the Festival of Bali

History of the kite festival celebration

Kites in Bali come in different symbolical forms, with fish (Bebean), bird (Jaggan), and leaf (Pecukan) shapes being the most popular. These traditional kites are handmade and denote a real joy to watch them in the making. For instance, you can watch the Jaggan kites fitted with a guwungan. Guwungan is a tightly stretched ribbon that vibrates in the breeze to create a soothing humming sound. Create a personalized trip itinerary with help from a local travel guide from Locaguide. This will make you include a behind-the-scenes tour of kite making workshops.

Kite Festival of Bali
People at the kite Festival of Bali

If you want to fly a kite yourself or participate in the kite flying competition, then the eastern coast of the Padang Galak is the best place. The largest event, the International Kite Festival held at the Sanur beach attracts contestants from all over the world. Best to keep in check if any changes occur in the festival dates due to weather conditions. Once the dates remain frozen, connect with Locaguide and request for a local tour guide for an amazing experience in Bali!

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Locale

Watch Wild Dolphins at Lovina Beach

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Dolphins, the sunset, and the gentle sound of waves — if you think this sounds like the perfect way to spend a day, you will love Bali’s Lovina Beach.

Located in the North of Bali, this black-volcanic beach is a popular spot to watch wild dolphins.

There’s something peaceful yet ecstatic about watching them swim freely in their natural habitat. This sight is all the more beautiful at sunrise and sunset and hence, many tourists come here at these times to catch a glimpse of these lovely creatures.

Dolphin sighting
Dolphin sighting in Lovina

How to get to Lovina Beach?

Lovina Beach is located about 10 km away from Singaraja. You can easily drive up to the beach to spend a fun day out. If you want to see the dolphins at sunrise, however, you will have to start around 3:00 am to get here. Meanwhile, you can also choose to stay a night in Lovina and wake up to witness this beautiful event. Tourists gather at 5:30 am to get into little fishing boats that take you to the place where the magic happens. Thus, travelling with the local fishermen is very secure and a safe way to experience this event. The fishermen know exactly where to take you for the best views. Make sure you ask for a life jacket though, just in case. After an exciting session of Dolphin watching, top it up with a sumptuous meal at one of the nearby restaurant.

Pictures with Dolphins
Vacation with the dolphins

Swim with the Dolphins!

For a closer look of these gorgeous creatures, ask your guide to set this up for you. Moreover, this gives you the perfect chance to pet, tickle and even kiss dolphins. Get up close with wild dolphins with help from Locaguide‘s trusted tour guide and spend a few memorable hours at Lovina Beach.

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Food

Babi Guling – Bali’s Iconic Local Dish

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One of the many things that differentiate a traveller or an explorer from a regular tourist is the way they approach the food of the land they travel to. If you’re a traveller on a gastronomical expedition, you shouldn’t miss out on the iconic roasted pork dish of Bali, The Babi Guling. 

Babi Guling, which translates to ‘turning pig,’ is a classic Balinese dishes. It’s truly an unlikely find in a country with the largest Muslim population on the globe.

Traditionally used as offerings to please the Balinese Hindu Gods, with the whole pig served to signify sublimity and perfection.

Know more about Babi Guling

As the name suggests, the entire pig’s stuffing includes a mix of spices including lemongrass, garlic, turmeric and coriander seeds. It is then slow-roasted on an open fire or hand-turning spit roaster  —  giving it a unique texture and taste, unlike any pork dish you find anywhere else in the world. However, the dish is not just about the meat. A good part of your serving would also have fluffy rice and good vegetables like beans and salam leaves.

Babi Guling
Babi Guling

Bali owns a lot of food joints serving the dish, but the best ones remain in Ubud and adjoining places. Your local guide can help you point to the best places that serve the most authentic Babi Guling. If you happen to visit the northern villages of Bali, like Kubutambahan or Bengkala, you can also witness its preparations. You can also get to dine on an authentic Babi Guling feast.

Order a generous platter of the Babi Guling served with a uniquely-flavoured crispy crackling. With its every bite you can feel it melt in your mouth into literally nothing! If you occur to explore Bali like a local, ask Locaguide for a fully-customisable itinerary and guided tour.

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Locale

Sibolangit Waterfall near Medan

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To explore the natural beauty of Sumatra, the multicultural city of Medan makes a great starting point. You’ll know exactly what we’re talking about when you visit the Sibolangit waterfall ! A visit to this place could be a soothing experience to your soul, as you can, quite literally, taste the fresh air and enjoy the serene beauty of the landscape here.

Also known as Two Colors Waterfalls, the Sibolangit Waterfalls is situated at the core of a dense forest near the Durin Sirugun village at the foot of Mount Sibayak, a few kilometres from Medan.

How to get there 

You can reach the site through land routes across Sibolangit campgrounds, which is just an hour’s drive from Medan city. As you near the waterfalls, the view becomes simply stupefying.

To reach the waterfall, you have to either hike or walk leisurely for a couple of hours. If you’re with a local tour guide, it would be quite easy to find the forest paths. A walk through the unspoiled mountain roads can be a bit challenging, but once you reach the waterfalls, you’ll find yourself lost in the lap of nature. A guide from Locaguide can ensure that you reach the best spots at the right times of the day to make the most out of this experience. Another advantage of having a local guide with you along the trail is that you can listen to local folktales about this mystical place, making your trip even more interesting!

Sibolangit Waterfall
Greenery on the mountains

A Photographers dream

The river starts from Mount Sibayak and meanders across a pristine landscape until it falls from a height of 100 meters at Sibolangit. The water, as the name of the falls suggests, appears in two distinct colors — light blue and grayish white. The light blue colour is because of the phosphor content, while the greyish white colour is due to the presence of sulfur in the water. That’s why you’re not supposed to drink water from this particular waterfalls. However, the same bright colours of this waterfalls open a wide scope for photographers and nature lovers to capture the essence of the trip on camera.1

Locale

Visit Trikora beach on Bintan Island

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Planning your escapade from the frenetic city life by travelling to the mystic islands of Indonesia? Your Indonesian vacation itinerary without including the best Bintan holiday attractions would be quite incomplete, especially a visit to the stunning Trikora beach.

The long shorelines of Trikora is famous for its incredible white sandy beaches, coconut palm-lined shores, seaside playgrounds, and gazebos with coconut palm-leaf roofs — everything that makes your Bintan Island vacation even more interesting.

How to get there

A 45-minute drive away from the city of Tanjung Pinang in Bintan, Trikora beach is one of the must-visit places if you’re planning a tour to this quaint island. Trikora beach has rows of ‘kelongs’ or fish traps, which are set up along the coastal walkways where you can find the local fishermen and tourists catching Bintan Island’s famous Ikan Bilis or small fry fish. Don’t miss your chance to try your luck at fishing by renting out a kelong yourself. Your local tour guide will be able to help you connect with the local community and engage in these fun activities.

Trikora beach
The colourful aesthetics of Trikora beach

At Trikora beach, you can enjoy your evening carelessly gazing at the sunset or playing your favourite sport at the seaside playground which is open for both locals as well as tourists. There are a bunch of rustic seaside shacks and cottages where you can spend your evenings

Trikora Beach
Trikora beach shacks

In order to best enjoy your trip, hire a local guide from Locaguide, as he can show you around the beach as well as take you to some of the other important places nearby, including the historic island of Penyengat and the city of Tanjung Pinang.

Nature lovers Treat !

This part of Bintan Island is definitely a treat for photographers and nature-lovers alike, with the stunning beach dotted with huge boulders. Try your luck at capturing the splendid sunset in your camera as you enjoy some time off in a cottage while savouring a platter of Ayam Goreng (Fried Chicken).3

Locale

Kawah Putih – Bandung’s Volcanic Lake

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If you’re travelling in South East Asia, there are some experiences that you must have at least once during your trip. One such incredible experience is visiting the volcanic lake called Kawah Putih in Indonesia. Kawah Putih lake, which is also known as the White Crater lake, is a splendid lake on a volcanic crater.

Located about 50 km south of Bandung in West Java, Indonesia, Kawah Putih is one of the two craters that make up Mount Patuha — an andesitic stratovolcano.

The most attractive feature of this place is, of course, the unusual colour of its water. The water in this lake is commonly turquoise in colour, but it could also differ at times from bluish green to milky white, depending on the Sulphur content in the lake. So, don’t be under a wrong impression — you can’t play in the water or swim here, as the lake is highly acidic due to the volcanic gases produced underground.

Kawa Putih lake
The landscape at Kawa Putih lake

That said, you can perfectly enjoy the splendid views from this amazing spot — it’s literally a photographer’s paradise.

How to get there

It takes almost 2.5 hours to reach Kawah Putih by car from Bandung. Take a local guide from Locaguide along with you to best enjoy your trip. He can take you around this stunning place as well as explain its significance, history, and the myths surrounding it — making your journey more interesting. When you get to the edge of the lake, you will be able to sense the significantly cooler temperature. This is because Kawah Putih is located at an altitude of 2430 meters above the sea level. So, it’s advisable that you carry a light sweater, as it might get a little chilly. Leave for Kawah Putih early in the morning to enjoy the pristine natural beauty at its best.

Bucket List worthy

The landscape at Kawa Putih lake is unlike anything you may have seen elsewhere – tree skeletons set against the impressive backdrop of mountains rising steeply from the crystal blue lake. This experience definitely ranks high on our list of top 10 things to see in Bandung. 0

Locale

Mangrove forests of Sungai Sebong River

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If there is a magical eco-experience that you shouldn’t miss on your trip to Bintan Island, that would be a boat ride through the mangrove forests near the Sungai Sebong river.

The mangrove forests of Sungai Seibong is one of the most surreal attractions of Bintan Island and home to a wide variety of wild flora and fauna.

Bintan Island, also called Negeri Segantang Lada Island, has always been a favourite destination among nature lovers. Well known for its natural extravaganza, this small island has a wonderful mangrove forest, located south-west of the Bintan Resorts tourism area.

Cruise ships and magnificent sights await

The relaxing cruise along the mangrove forest offers an otherworldly experience, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. The short tour starts from a river-facing stilt cottage in a quiet, serene, and picturesque location. After passing through many dilapidated stilt huts and hotels, the river narrows down and you’ll enter the thick mangrove forest that brims with life. During this incredible boat ride, get a glimpse of the amazing wildlife amidst a serene setting. Here, you can easily spot some monkeys, snakes, and iguanas during the ride.

The essential guide

The Bintan mangrove forest tour can be best enjoyed if you have a local guide along with you. A local guide from Locaguide could explain the history and importance of the location as you cruise along the narrow waterway. Moreover you can hear stories and legends about how the people of this region are dependent on fishing and related activities to earn their livelihood. Earlier, a coal industry was operational in this area but was closed down due to the mangrove conservation efforts by the local environmentalists.

Sungai Sebong River
Sungai Sebong River

The Bintan mangrove forest tour is truly relaxing and is rightly one of the best attractions in Bintan where you can spend an amazing Indonesian family vacation. Bask in the tranquillity of the mangrove forest while you’re surrounded on all sides by the peaceful natural setting.0

Food

Indonesia’s most famous Salad – Gado Gado

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What if you were told that Indonesia had a salad that wasn’t really a boring salad but a wholesome healthy meal found in every home, street side stall and even fine dining restaurants? We present ‘The Gado Gado’

A beautiful amalgamation of rice, veggies, boiled eggs, potatoes, tofu and peanut sauce, your very first experience of Gado Gado will show you why it deserves a place in the list of national foods of Indonesia.

The Gado Gado: What is it ?

Gado-Gado literally means a potpourri. That’s the perfect description of this dish, a mixed-vegetable salad with a nutty dressing that is served in a variety of personalized modifications all over Indonesia. This go-to meal is always served with something crunchy –  prawn crackers, fried chicken or melinjo chips, made from the hard fruit of a tropical evergreen tree.

During your Jakarta city tour, you will come across multiple open-air eateries, locally called ‘warungs’ where you will see just how many incarnations the Gado Gado has across Indonesia. Trust your local guide to guide you to the best food cart around and order a version of the one dish meal that you would relish.

The Gado Gado
The Gado Gado

Gado Gado is one salad that has it all – sweet-and-sour taste complementing the roasted nuts and the subtle fish aftertaste of the sparingly used shrimp paste. Add to that Indonesia’s signature peanut sauce. However, this isn’t the same as the satay peanut sauce but is equally if not more satisfying.

Your tour guide from Locaguide will be able to take you to the best local warung to satisfy your cravings for this iconic dish from the kitchens of Indonesia. The beauty of Gado Gado is in its simplicity and that it can be had any way you like it, every version being equally exquisite. Have you thought of how many versions you are going to try when you go to Indonesia next?0

CultureEvents

The traditional Legong dance of Bali

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The spirit of Bali has always been in its ancient Hindu traditions, beautifully infused into its art and culture. The music and the dance-dramas of this mystic place derive their storyline and characters from the ancient Hindu scriptures, prominently the Ramayana, often entwined with various elements from the Balinese historic kingdoms. The traditional Legong is one such dance form.

The Legong dance, which has become a Balinese cultural emblem to the outside world, is one of the most popular among a list of cultural dance performances native to this magical island.

 

Historical significance


The dance, which developed during Bali’s feudal era, is usually performed by three young girl dancers. One of them acts as a maid, who dances the opening act and the other two dancers perform the main part. Beautifully dressed in colourful attires, the dancers look as traditional as you’d imagine — with gold brocade costumes, intricately-designed gold ornaments, and headdresses decorated with frangipani flowers.

Legong dance
Legong dancers

Traditionally a long ceremonial dance performance, the Legong, when performed for guests, is abridged to a 90-minute version. There are various versions of the Legong dance, and the most popular among them is the Legong Keraton, which developed in the 1920s.

The dance can be seen throughout Bali during festive seasons, but in Ubud and Sukawati, it is performed round the year for tourists. A local guide can be booked with Locaguide, who can take you to the best Legong performance available for your convenient date and time.

Legong dance
Legong dancers performing

With the help of the local guide, you can ensure that you get a legit ticket to one of these dance performances without getting duped by children who try selling these ticket along the way to the show. Usually, the ticket also functions as a brochure explaining the performance, so that you get the essence of what is being enacted. Each slight finger movement, facial expression, footwork, and gesture of the Legong dance has a meaning attached to it, and your guide could also help you understand the various nuances during the show.

A holistic Balinese experience is impossible without witnessing one of these traditional dance-drama forms of Bali, such as the Legong dance. Arrive early at the place your local guide recommends, get a front-centred seat, and enjoy the performance to its fullest!0

CultureLocale

The local Sea Gypsies of Panglong Village

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Ever heard stories about the community of sea gypsies and wished to meet them in real life? Then a visit to Panglong village on Bintan Island, Indonesia would surely be a treat for you during your Bintan vacation!

Panglong, a small nomadic village towards the north of the Bintan island, is the residence of some of the world’s most unique villagers, also known as Sea Gypsies or Orang Laut.

This remote village, which is just an hour’s ride from the Bandar Bentan Telani port, is one of the most popular Bintan tourist attractions. When you enter the village, you may not find anything different from the other fishing villages. However, a long list of surprises awaits as soon as you enter the village.

An interesting fact about the Panglong village is that it is left so untouched that it has remained in the most pristine form, even in the 21st century. They live in houses made of red bricks, almost resembling the houses of the Eskimos. The villagers call these houses “Dapur Arang”. Your local guide from Locaguide can tell you more about their lifestyle, legends, and folktales about mermaids and mermen as you walk through the village.

Dapur Arang of sea gypsies
“Dapur Arang”

The Sea Gypsies

The village is a unique tourist site in itself, but the villagers are even more special — they’re quite aptly called the sea gypsies. They have lived as nomads all their lives in very simple houseboats just off the coasts of Indonesia. They are experts in detecting the areas with a lot of fish just by listening to the reverberation of the seawater clashing with rocks at the shore. All they have to do is, keep their ears close to the floor of the boat!

At the Panglong village, you can be sure to enjoy your evenings by watching these elusive but real-life sea gypsies doing their daily chores as the sun sets — an experience you can cherish forever! Don’t forget to ask your local guide to help you plan a day trip to this unique place on Bintan island.0