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Laos / Vietnam


  Aug. 30-Sept. 13, 2010

This trip offers an in-depth excursion into the culture of Bali through the eyes of the Balinese, for those who wish to observe, appreciate, and experience traditional healing methods, at the same time enhancing their own health with traditional massage and Yoga.
There has been a strong, dynamic and extended movement in western culture to explore traditional medicine from many ancient cultures which received momentum in the early 1970’s. The study of Asian medicine has been in the forefront of this movement, particularly Chinese acupuncture, herbal medicine and the practice of Feng Shui. This trip is conceived as an introduction to the philosophy and use of traditional medicine in Bali---why Balinese use it, its causes--both internal and external, material and spiritual .
In Southeast Asia local people have long held their traditional healers (Balian or Dukun) in high regard. With the advent of western medicine, Healers have not been discarded, but seen as adjunct and complementary to what western medicine offers. Besides visiting a western-style doctor when ill, the Balinese consult a Balian, a traditional healer. These men and women work in different ways: some mix herbal remedies; some create drawings of magical inscriptions and symbols to protect the wearer; and some, while in trance, communicate messages from the Bali Hindu deities that dictate the creation of certain offerings and ceremonies. Paramount to the work is the study of the actual practitioners: who they are, the types and varieties, what they do, why they do it, who they work with, etiquette and behavior.
We will also explore the history of traditional medicine (Usada), the source of information, and where people learn about it. Tantamount to understanding Balinese medicine is to understand the magic of the Left versus the Right. Love potions, black magic and their relationship to illness.
Medicinal plants & herbal medicines play an important, daily role in the indigenous population and we will spend time investigating the forms and applications of these. Every Balinese knows how to make the simplest medicines for common colds, flu, headaches and wounds. Made from basic ingredients found on the island, these remedies have proven over the centuries to be effective in any country in the world. Most Balinese grow their own herbs, but they can also be found in the local markets. We will go on a herb walk, learn about mixing herbal medicines, and observe the use of these medicines during visits to Balinese healers. We will also learn the art of making a temple offering.
Massage is regarded as an important healing art on the island of Bali. Almost every family includes one member who practices this art, and there are many professionals on the island. These Balian Tulang are similar to doctors, and are called upon in emergencies to set broken bones or dislocations. Many of the Balian's have received their knowledge from a parent or grandparent, while others have acquired their skills directly from the Hindu deities. During the trip each participant will receive three massages from three respected practitioners, with enough time to schedule repeat sessions. For your well being we are also including Yoga classes with a respected local teacher.
Purification ceremonies are an important part of Bali Hindu religious cycles. Usually held during times of stress, plague, transgression, or purification, these ceremonies many times involve sacred masks, and most are held within the villages temples. Each member of our group will experience a purification ceremony

Aug. 30-Sept. 13

Mon. Aug. 30: Travel day BLD Depart USA aboard regularly scheduled Airlines . As all flights to Asia depart after midnight, you will need to arrive at the airport the night before (Sunday). Cross international date line and lose one day, which is made up on your return.

Tues. Aug. 31: Sanur. BL Arrive in Bali where you are met by your guides and rapidly transported to your beach side hotel, for an optional light dinner and a comfortable night's sleep.

Wed. Sept.1: Munduk. BD Enjoy our hotel swimming pool or take a sunrise walk on the beach. Buffet breakfast, followed by an introductory session with Made Surya, your local guide with focus on basic Indonesian manners & customs. The remainder of the morning is at leisure. After lunch, depart Sanur for the mountain village of Munduk, stopping along the way at the fruit and flower market, where you have a chance to sample some of Bali's unique tropical fruits, and peruse the variety of spices the islands produce. Arrive in Munduk and settle in to your beautiful bungalows with views of Bali's volcanos and the Java Sea. Afternoon talk on Bali Hinduism, followed by dinner.

Thur. Sept. 2: Munduk: BD Following breakfast, a guided tour of natural medicinal herbs both growing wild and cultivated in the hotel herb garden. Then take off for an easy walk to Bali’s tallest waterfall with a chance for the adventuresome to take a dip. Lunch, downtime, and massages begin. Late afternoon orientation session, focusing on the caste and banjar systems and introduction to the art of making temple offerings. Group dinner together.

Fri. Sept. 3: Munduk. BD Breakfast, followed by walk through hike through the neighboring countryside: small villages, rice fields, coffee and clove plantations, culminating at the magical Growing Stone. Return to hotel for lunch. Massages continue. Late afternoon language session and seminar on the Balian, local traditional healers, followed by group dinner.

Sat. Sept. 4: Munduk BD Breakfast is followed byvisit to a local Balian for an interview and to observe his work.After lunch, massages continue. Late afternoon third language session and talk focusing on Rites of Passage and temple festivals followed by dinner.

Sun. Sept. 5: Munduk BD Morning we learn about making Jamu, the traditional medicines used by most Balinese and Indonesians on a regular basis. Afternoon observe a dance class by village children. Late afternoon talk on Kanda Empat, the “Four Siblings” each person is born with. Evening farewell to Munduk ristaffel and performance of music and dance by the village Gamelan group.

Mon. Sept. 6 Ubud B Depart Munduk for Ubud, Bali's "Cultural Center," stopping at Pura Ulun Danu, Bali's most stunning temple floating on a small island in a volcanic lake and the fruit and flower market. We wind our way through the towering volcanoes and Bali's fruit and vegetable basket, ending our travels in Ubud. Downtime. Late afternoon talk on Chakras and Balinese beliefs about Tantraism.

Tues. Sept.7: Ubud B First Yoga class Your guide has a day off and you are free to explore. Appointments for second massages begin.

Wed. Sept. 8: Ubud. B Early morning departure for the Sacred Springs of Tampaksiring, believed to have healing properties. There will be a purification ceremony for those who wish to participate. We will also see the ancient monuments at Gunung Kawi , an ancient Buddhist temple. Return to Ubud for lunch. 5:00 talk on trance, followed by evening performance of the Kecak dance by torch light, and the Fire Trance dance.

Thur. Sept. 9: Ubud B Yoga class. Visit to the home of another local Balian (healer) to watch him practice and perhaps have a "checkup." Finish massages. Late afternoon discussion of healing techniques. Evening performance of Legong classical dance.

Fri. Sept. 10: Ubud B Island tour to East Bali, taking us through striking visions of terraced rice fields and craggy mountains, ending up at the aboriginal village of Tenganan to watch the double ikat weaving process (created only two places in the world), and a demonstration of Balinese lontar or palm leaf books being made. Lunch overlooking the rolling surf in Candi Dasa. Our next visit is to Pura Kehen, a beautiful and important temple in Bangli village. Our last stop is the "Elephant Cave" at Goa Gadjah (a 9th century temple).

Sat. Sept. 11: Ubud BD Yoga class Visit to our third healer--a woman who specializes in trance channeling. Farewell to Ubud feast--an elaborate ristaffel banquet, and performance of the Frog Dance in Batuan Village.

Sun. Sept. 12: Ubud BL 9:00 Depart for a performance of the Barong dance, the struggle between the forces of good and evil, in Batubulan village of stone carvers. Then Visit to the Capitol city of Denpasar and tour the anthropological museum, and hear about the power of sacred masks. Onward to the traditional family compound of your guide, have a wonderful lunch created by the family, and tour the family compound.

Mon. Sept. 13: Travel Day USA. BLD Rest and relax before beginning your journey back to the real world or stay on and enjoy more of Bali or Indonesia. You arrive in the USA on the same calendar day.

Itinerary may change subject to unplanned opportunities. Although no one is required to attend any activities, there will be no refunds for missed activities. Anyone who leaves the tour at any time, for any reason, is on their own.

Trip Package Includes:

  • RT Air on Singapore Air, rated #1 wortld-wide for safely and service.
  • 2 traditional massages with local professionals, with time to schedule further treatments if desired.
  • 3 visits to Balian, Balinese traditional healers
  • Instruction in the art of making Balinese temple offerings
  • Attendance at five classical dance and Gamelan music performances
  • Island tours include visits to Tenganan aboriginal village, traditional markets, and the temples of Goa Gadjah, Tampaksiring, Gunung Kawi, Mengwi, Ulun Danu.
  • Three treks through rain forests, rice fields, and plantations.
  • Five dinners in Munduk, lunch in family home, and ristaffel dinner of Balinese festival food. Breakfast each day.
  • Seminars on sacred masks, local customs and culture, language, and Hindu religion, ceremonies, trance, rites of passage, East/West medicine, etc.
  • Evaluations and discussions.
  • Services of Madé Surya, professional guide who speaks both Balinese and English • 1 night at Sanur Beach.
  • 5 nights at Munduk mountain resort.
  • 7 nights in Ubud, Bali's cultural center.

Not Included: RT Air, laundry, visa fee ($25.00), airport taxes (currently $17.00), overweight fees, additional sightseeing, tips, meals not noted.

Cost: $3200.00 based on two persons sharing a room with bathroom. Single supplement available. Minimum 8, maximum 16 participants. The cost of the trip may be affected by fluctuations of airline fuel surcharges.

Roommates: Single people may sign up for accommodations desired on a shared basis; roommates can be chosen from other tour members. If a roommate is unavailable, the participant will be notified of the adjusted price for a single supplement: $295.00 extra.

Deposit: A deposit of $350.00 per person is due at the time of booking. Final payment is due 45 days prior to departure. Deposit, minus a $75.00 cancellation fee, is refundable until 45 days prior to departure. No refunds will be made after departure.

Passport, Visa, and Health: A passport, valid six months from date of entry with proof of onward transportation is required for entry into Indonesia. Visa on arrival with payment of a $25.00 fee valid for 4 weeks. If you wish to stay longer, apply to the Indonesian Consulate for a 2 month visa prior to arrival. No inoculations are required or advised. Everyone participating in this trip is expected to be in good health and able to walk at least three miles unaided.

Trip Organizer/Leader: Madé Surya B.S. is a professional tour organizer and has been leading study tours in Bali for 23 years. He has translated and worked with scholars and educational film and video crews, including National Geographic, and lives in Bali half the year. He was senior research assistant for several scholarly books relating to the Balinese view of the After Death. He is on the advisory board for Sacred Sites International, and has been a contributor to Hinduism Today. Surya has continuously led Healing Arts tour to Bali since 1987, and has studied with one of Bali’s most esteemed healers for 9 years.

Call toll free 888-476-0543 or email for further information.
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