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Monday, May 21, 2012

Malaysia Truly Asia and Beautiful Bali


It was 25th Dec, Christmas day, and our flight from Terminal three of the new IGI Airport at Delhi was scheduled to depart at 8 PM. We comfortably settled down and waited. After a while the pilot announced that due to onset of fog the flight will be delayed. As time passed the visibility reduced further and we could barely see the runway. The thought of spending a long night in the flight, waiting for fog to clear was very depressing. Around midnight the airlines staff distributed some sandwiches and juice but the spirits were still down. The prospect of the aircraft to depart was grim as no further announcements were made. Around 6 AM the airlines made an announcement that we could disembark and wait in the lounge after going through the security process once again with new boarding passes. The flight departed at 11 AM the next day (delayed by 15 hours!). There was no Santa Claus to alleviate our misery. We had been sleepless for now over 36 hours when we landed in Kualalumpur and soon after checking in the hotel, dropped in the bed.

Christmas festivities at a mall in Bukit Bintang  in Kualalumpur
The view from the seventh floor room was majestic overlooking the Brickfields area, with towering skyscrapers and busy marketplace right below, as I peered out from the window the next day morning. We headed to the twin Petronas Towers and the sprawling Suria KLCC complex. It was decorated with buntings, neon lights and Christmas trees. People were thronging the place right from the morning dressed in their best attire. A whiff of freshly baked bread from the bakery was overpowering. The eating places offered a wide variety of selections from local Nasi Lemak(local Malaysian fare) to Chinese, Continental, Italian and Indian food.The dancing fountains and beautifully maintained lush green lawns in the vicinity of Petronas towers are a treat to watch.
Later in the evening we went to Bukit Bintang, a major commercial complex, which was decked up like a bride. It was bustling with activity and all the trees were covered with twinkling multi hued lights giving the place a look of a fairyland. The children enjoyed the ice creams while watching the two men dressed in all golden and green attire that stood like statues. Malaysia is a country which truly represents every form of Asian culture in buildings, languages, food, culture,religion and many more, and still very cosmopolitan

Next day, we were to leave for Bali! I was wonder struck about the place after reading ‘Eat, Pray and Love’ by Elisabeth Gilbert. Time had come to visit this beautiful Hindu island in Indonesia.

Arjun on the chariot in Denpasar
Bali is a melting pot of cultures! One can see tourists from every part of the world that descends to this Hindu island in the midst of a Muslim country. It is stepped in culture and blended with modernity. The cultural roots are deep and at every major crossing one can see huge statues of Hindu gods like Varuna, Hanuman etc One can see the massage parlors, the hip restaurants, huge hotels with sprawling lush green foliages and tropical gardens. Locals crowd the narrow streets on their motor bikes as they jostle with taxis on busy thoroughfares. During the busy hours in morning and evening the traffic just about manages to crawl on the narrow street leading from Kuta to Seminayk.. The setting sun behind the Kuta beach is a perfect idyllic setting soothing to the soul as the gentle waves gently brush the sandy shoreline. One is reminded of the legendary medical man Ketut of 'Eat Pray and Love' fame on a visit to Ubud. The heart yearns to a meet him to know what luck has in store! A taxi ride from Kuta to Mt Kintamani with en route stopover at Ubud , the art villages and visit to Balinese temples gave a kaleidoscope view of this culturally rich region
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Barong Dance
With my family at Mt Kintamani
The mesmerizing performance of Ramayana and Barong dance, lush green rice fields, the rising active volcano of Kintamani all make it a complete family holiday The roads are very good and there are no hiccups while traveling. Around Ubud there is dense vegetation and the drive on the long winding road is exciting as cold gust of wind uplifts the soul. The art village, the painter's village, batik painters , the gold & silver inlay workers village, pottery makers, and all the traditional arts are concentrated around Ubud whereas the best beaches and up market cottages and resorts are located near Nusa Dua and Seminyak There are ample food choice besides the local fare of rice, roast pig ling, fish, chicken and mutton.

On the New Year eve, the whole town was out in the streets and the environment was charged with, fun, music, gaiety and color. An occasional shower sent the revelers scurrying for shelter. A burst of crackers and fireworks heralded the New Year as the skies lit up. The rejoicing continued for the next day as we continued with a binge of eating and going around. The previous evening's rain had not dampened our spirits.

Two things about Bali make it a very special place. All men/women have only one of the four names based on the birth order. The first one is ‘Wayan or Yan’, the second , ‘Made’, third one is ‘Nyoman’ or’Komang’ and the fourth one is ‘Ketut’.If there is a fifth child in the family he / she is Wayan Balik(or Wayan again). The second special thing is that both birth and death are associated with elaborate rituals and festivities and sometimes very expensive!


The New Year day was spent in taking a long stroll through the market place and later retiring early to take the flight back. Past midnight we were awakened by the hotel staff and after changing we found the taxi waiting to take us back to the airport. The road was still wet as the taxi sailed past the puddles of rain on the road. Within 10 minutes we were at the Denpasar airport.The flight was full as the morning sun broke out from the east.It took off for return to Kualalumpur and onward to Delhi with some lovely memories

126 comments:

  1. You haven't said which airlines it was! that was a short and sweet trip and both your girls are beautiful :) I have heard a lot about Bali being a cultural melting pot too. I think we should head there once. The names of Baliites (is that the right way to say it?) is interesting.

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    1. Zephyr, it was Air Asia which has now discontinued service from Delhi. Thanks for your lovely compliment. The one in pink dress is my wife( Jyoti) and the one in white top is my daughter( Vaidehi):) :)Bali is just amazing with the kind of options it has for a family holiday! Thanks a lot for your kind comment!

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  2. wow- this was indeed interesting!! Of course for me- Malaysia is almost like second home- but Bali, on the other hand, I have not been to! It was good seeing it through your eyes.

    I loved your title- as I immediately heard in my mind the song from the commercial, "Malaysia, Truly Asia..." :) a very catchy ditty to be sure! Another catchy one is the "Singapore girl...a great way to fly..." (but that one might be too old for the younger folks to remember- it used to be the song sang with the Singapore Airline commercials)

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    1. Anjuli, I know about Malaysia being your second home so it would have felt nice to connect:)I remember those nice jingles which you mentioned in that nice comment!

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    2. sorry- ha ha- I'm sure you've seen by now my mistaken comment and then the quickly deleted one :)....sigh...old age! ;) (well at least that is my excuse for tonight)

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    3. Anjuli, I appreciate your comments even if mistaken:)

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  3. A very close feiend of ours resides in Singapore, and he is after us to visit Singapore and then malaysia and Bali. Your post makes his offer even so more tempting now. And I have heard about the indian influence in Bali. The barong dance picture is merserising. Also first time a family pic for us :-) I loved it!

    And sorry if I sound silly, but just 4 names reused in the family. Isn't that odd?

    The 15 hour flight delay was surely a dampner, but both the beautiful cities made up for it!

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    1. Jenny please do avail the offer and I can assure you that you will not be disappointed. Also, I may catch up with you in Singapore:)
      Yes, a quaint system of name but that is how it is!I have gone through a lot of adventures on international travels and this 15 hr hiccup was nothing in comparison:)Thanks for reading these stories!

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    2. Ahh Rahul sir, you are off to Singapore :-)))))))

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    3. Yes, so don't be surprised when I catch up with you, Jenny:)

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  4. Wow!! this was such an interesting read...I want to go on a vacation right away. Loved the pics, especially the family one. :)

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    1. Thank you, Ria for being ever so supportive to my writing endeavors! Hope you travel soon:)

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  5. Looks like a nice enjoyable well planned holiday barring the irksome delay in departure !

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    1. True Rama! Man proposes and airlines disposes:) Thanks a lot!

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  6. I am glad that the little hiccup did not spoil the holiday :) and you had fun.

    beautiful pics .. makes me wanna go there myself

    Bikram's

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    1. Bikram while doing a 'safar' sometimes one has to suffer too! A huge thanks for liking.

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    2. I like that comparison he he he indeed a bit of suffer in the safar is jayazz tooo :)

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  7. wow..a wonderful way to recapture holiday memories. Loved the description. Interesting to note the peculiar way of naming in Bali :-)

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    1. Thanks a lot Uma for enjoying the read! The naming system and the caste system followed in Bali is unique. I would need another post for that!

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  8. What a wonderful trip! What a wonderful place! I so want to go there now!

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    1. A big thanks, Smitha for that kind comment! Hope you travel there soon:)

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  9. A wonderful travelogue, must have been so special too with all the festive colors spread in the air. Interesting to note the significant naming system of Bali. Amazing how each part of the world that we live in has something so different and unique and experiencing and making ourselves aware of those very things is truly the real joy of travel :)

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    1. Arti, any words of praise from you, an expert on travel writing acts as a booster:)Yes, the world has so many unique things that even if we travel all the year round, we may still miss many things. Thanks again!

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  10. I think you should compile all your travel experiences into a book, people could learn so much from you! A 15 hour delay - thats terribly long but the golden ticket at the end seemed to be very worth it. KL is one of my favourite cites, love the vibe and culture, which you have clearly and beautifully depicted here. I would love to visit Bali, it sounds like an adventure of the senses, tastes and mind. Had no idea about the names, thats so interesting!

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    1. Sam, you are ever so kind and generous in praise! I wish I could write all about my travel tales! The 15 hr delay was no way a dampener and as you rightly said was a golden ticket for the remaining journey! Thanks again for enjoying what I wrote!

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  11. this was worth after your 15 hr flight delay. You should start a travelogue

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    1. Thanks a lot Insignia for being there to keep encouraging me in my writing endeavors!

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  12. 15 hours delay, I would have slept for 2 days the moment I landed in the hotel. I think Bali is one of the most beautiful places on earth. And the name theory they use there is very amusing. And like India they have rituals on both birth and death. Thank God, your return flight by on time. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

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    1. Saru, I lost one day in Malaysia because of this delay and if I had slept for two days, the time in KL would have been spent in bed itself:)Bali is indeed very captivating!Thanks a lot once again for ever being there to read my travel stories:)

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  13. Hi Rahul, this is the first time I am not jealous as I have visited Malaysia. I loved the Petronas Towers. Bali is a place I want to visit.

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    1. That was a huge consolation Rachna this time!Anyway, at least those words from you keep on pushing me to remember my old travel tales to put them across for sharing with other! Thanks a lot:)

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  14. Replies
    1. Francesca, I am sure you would have seen some places which I never even heard of and that would make me jealous:)

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    2. hmmmm, thailand, USA, Brasil, Venezuela, mexico, that's it...not too much!
      Don't Call Me Fashion Blogger
      Bloglovin'
      Facebook

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    3. Francesca, that sure now makes me jealous as I have not seen Brasil, Venezuela and Mexico, the most gorgeous ones:(

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  15. Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Alessia! Am sure you will like the place if you go there:)

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  16. A lovely descriptive post about your holiday dear Rahul, I very much enjoyed it and the photos too; a lovely photo of you with your beautiful girls.
    xoxoxo ♡

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    1. Thanks a lot Dianne for those kind words. I am happy you liked my family picture which I described in my reply to Zephyr!

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  17. Very descriptive. Great job

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    1. Welcome to my blog Amrit! Thanks a lot for your kind comment!

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  18. Love the post ..Malaysia is beautiful.But sorry it is not truly Asia. This is scam just to attract tourist .India is truly Asia.

    Far east Asian countries never attracted me ever in my life.

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    1. Izdiher I love the way you 'call a spade a spade':)You have bestowed the honor to India for representing Asia is even a bigger icing on cake:) Thanks a lot!

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  19. We covered most of KL on foot. It's a vibrant city and so easy on your pocket. Bali, from your description sounds tantalizing.

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    1. Purba, I too have lugged around all over KL,Langkawi etc on foot on earlier visits and agree those places are very pocket friendly:)You must visit Bali sometime and it will not disappoint you:)

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  20. wow! 2011 my Yearend Vacation was to Malaysia! and have been to the place u have mentioned in the blog :D I can totally relate to the Christmas Celebration :D

    and I recently saw the movie EAT PRAY LOVE ;) dint u meet KETUT?
    and I am sure if you had met him, He would have held your hand and told ;) you are gifted writer and will spread good message to world ;)

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    1. How come I missed seeing you, Ramya in Malaysia:)I feel on top of the world with those lovely words, of which how much I really deserve is a matter of conjecture:)

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    2. Yes you truly deserve it :D be proud of the talent you have :D I am very happy to have got such awesome blogger loop atleast after 5yrs being in blogger.
      Happy have met you!

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    3. I feel humbled by those kind remarks, Ramya:) I am so fortunate to have someone as nice as you reading this blog and also writing some remarkable posts too!My sincere thanks once again!

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  21. Yes dear Rahul I know that one is your wife and the other your daughter, they are both your beautiful girls! :)
    xoxoxo ♡

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  22. Thanks Dianne for those beautiful words :)

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  23. What a wonderful holiday you had with your family!
    I've never been Malaysia or Bali so I didn't know that malaysia represents every form of Asis. Barong dance looks fun,exotic.
    Indeed waiting for 15 hours realy exhaust.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Have a great week ahead!

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    1. Thanks a lot Sarah! You have such a refreshing and beautiful blog that every visit is rejuvenating:)

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  24. Sounds great! Beautiful write-up and photos. Oh, and very nice to see your gorgeous family. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

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    1. Very kind of you, Ash for the generous appreciation!Good to see you return with that lovely blog of yours:0

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  25. super post..pleasant family..gr8 going sir..

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    1. Thanks a lot, Ramesh for those warm remarks:)

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  26. Malaysia is on the ticked-off list..Yet to visit Bali. Recently a friend who had been there came back with such a mouth-watering array of pictures that I'm so tempted to make a trip this year itself. And now reading your post has made me want to make a trip sooner than later..:)

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    1. Deepthy, you must visit Bali if you get an opportunity, so I do get to read your gorgeous stories thereafter:)

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  27. Have never been to Bali.Malaysia was beautiful and fun place to be during Christmas and new year for us too.
    Your travel stories are really nice!

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    1. You too have been to Malaysia, Sharmila! Great place and would write about my earlier travel to exotic beaches of Langkawi sometime later:) Also, please do visit Bali and you will love the place for its friendly character!A big thanks for reading the yarn spun by me:)

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  28. Beautiful pictures and your post brought the place alive for me.
    Thank you for sharing.

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    1. A huge thanks, Rek for that very kind comment!

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  29. Great photos, Rahul!

    Aloha! --Cheryl

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    1. So nice to see the Hawaiian lady again:) Thanks a lot Cheryl and am tempted to go to Hawaii:)

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  30. You are so lucky to have visited such beautiful places. Bali seems so lovely. And, your wife and daughter are pretty!

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    1. Honestly, I am lucky, Rachna to have been to some nice places and the urge to share becomes difficult to suppress sometimes:)Thanks a lot for your appreciation of the family pic!

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  31. Posts like this increases my appetite for traveling :P
    narration is awesome as ever :)

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    1. PS: yep m finished with exam :)

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    2. Very nice to see you back, Jyoti with the load of exams off your head:) Thanks a lot for the nice words and hope you travel all over the globe and see many places!

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    3. Smiles :)
      load is off for a small time only :P

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  32. well now i m looking forward to seeing these places :)

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    1. Wishing you a very good time and an enjoyable holiday, Purvi! A big thanks :)

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  33. hmmm..your post made me fresh.
    you know i have been married nearly six months yet could not arrange our honeymoon trip.i decided to go to Maldive if i could spare some money but after reading your post had to change my mind.
    by the way you and your family looking as fresh as the lush green field behind.

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    1. Thanks a lot, Arooj for your kind comment. I wish you travel to a place where you and your better half have a great time ! BTW Malaysia and Bali are very pocket friendly for Asians with great choices of stay and seeing things:)

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  34. Never been to KL. Planning to this August so thanks for sharing your visit.
    www.thoughtsofpaps.com

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    1. Wish you happy holidays in KL, PAPS:)

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  35. Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Martina! It certainly was:)

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  36. This sounds like a very exciting trip! I don't think I could survive that wait in the plane, I hate flying (am a nervous flier) so that would have done me.;))
    Never been to Bali, but hope to get there one day (heavily medicated;))
    xoxo

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    1. I remember reading a post of your fear of flying, Zuzana:)Bali is a nice place to visit:)

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  37. Ketut...where have I come across that name before! Just kidding. l It's so cool when you get to visit a place you have read about in a book, right?
    The tidbit about the names in Bali is very interesting. It was news to me.

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    1. Very true, Divya. Reading about a place makes you secretly wish to go there!Next on the list is Strawberry farms and Japanese gardens:)Thanks for liking the post!

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  38. you observe so many details that i am surprised, because I have seen so many countries, but if I sit to write, I complete all of them in one page:)

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    1. Renu, that was really kind of you ! I try to cut down on so many details as I fear they may bore the reader:)Thanks a lot!

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  39. Thanks for your kind comments :)

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    1. It is my pleasure , Sam to have a lovely multifaceted blogger like you as my reader:)

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  40. Thanks for the visit. Enjoyed a virtual tour of Malaysia and Bali.I have hear and seen pics of Ramayana performances.

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  41. Welcome to my blog, Chitra!I am happy you liked this post. Lforward to seeing you more here:)

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  42. Thank you for your very kind comment, it made my day!

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  43. Wow! Nice memoir! Good read.

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  44. What an adventure! So glad it finished better than it started. Have a great weekend!

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  45. True Karen, though not well begun it was more than half done :) thanks

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  46. wish the Barong dance pic was a bit larger

    you took us on this trip to Malaysia with you through the narrative :)

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  47. So nice to see you after your laptop crash! I will ensure not to disappoint you as regards pictures:)

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  48. I actually felt like I was also a part of a group travelling with you, when I read every line of your Trip. Really nice place. Planning to visit it sometime :-)

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  49. Ashwini a sincere thanks for those kind words!

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  50. such sweet pics!!! Never been to Bali but now am a wee-bit curious:) I like the naming protocol--could save a lot of identity clashes and perhaps generates more harmony that way!

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  51. Thanks Bhavana! Certainly a lot of unique things exist in Bali:)

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  52. Amazing post and pictures! Sounds like you 'n your family had a great trip... very well described!

    Cheers,
    A.
    http://e-pinion.blogspot.in

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    1. Welcome to my blog!Thanks a lot for your kind comment:)

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  53. That Arjun with horses/chariot statue closely resembles the art-work I described in my post :) I didn't know that Bali was a Hindu island. Is it a separate country or is it within Malaysia?

    Destination Infinity

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    1. Bali is a part of Indonesia and is an island where predominantly Hindus reside:) Thanks a lot DI !

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  54. I was delighted to go through this wonderful post as I am also planning to visit Bali once I land up at Singapore this year end.

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    1. Thanks a lot, PN for liking!Hope you have a great time in Bali! It is definitely worth a visit:)

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  55. Sounds like an awesome trip! Oh! That’s long hours of waiting and I’m sure it must be a great disappointment. But the following description was cheering and was like overtaking the long waiting at airport.

    Lovely photos and great view on the Mt.!

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  56. Thanks a lot Jeevan! It did turn out to be a nice trip after initial fiasco:)

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  57. The delay was just delaying the wonderful time you and your family were going to have! :) Nice pics sir..

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    1. True Binu, the delay was a precursor for better times ahead:)

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  58. The naming convention is interesting! Have always wanted to visit Bali. Great read, Rahul. Thanks!

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    1. A sincere thanks for liking this post, Vidya! You should travel to Bali and you will certainly not be disappointed:)

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  59. Wonderful pictures. Many such delays or waiting for hours in airports for change of flights is really very tiresome and boring.I remember once travelling by Sri Lankan airways to Europe, where we had to wait for 4 hours,in their airport,it was really boring. We had opted for that airway because it was the cheapest at that time to London, and their service too was very good except for the waiting.
    Anyway, it was good to know that you enjoyed the trip.
    Personally I liked Thailand better than both Malaysia and Singapore.
    I haven't been to Bali yet.
    The picture of your daughter and wife is very good.

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  60. Thanks a lot, Rama for liking the family pic and also comments on your trip by Srilanka Airlines:)Agree, Bangkok is much cheaper and has so many attractions. I do not compare the places as each have something unique about their character:)

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  61. Such a lovely family photo. Hope you keep traveling like this always.

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    1. A sincere thanks Gayatri that you liked the pic:) Will write more about my current trip on return:) Nice to see you again!

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  62. This blog looking awesome and well described about Bali Honeymoon Package
    Bali Holiday Packages I found various information here about Bali Packages
    Bali Honeymoon Holiday packages
    Thanks

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  63. Well clicked moments, love to visit this place.

    Destination Travels
    http://www.destinationtravels.in/
    destinationtrvl@gmail.com

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    1. Thanks a lot Diana for your nice comment!

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  64. Wow.. you have wrapped it all so well. The unknown and the interesting parts have been covered all.. Mine has turned out too lengthy.. I enjoyed the post.

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    1. A big thanks Manjulika for taking time off to read this post:) Look forward to read your series!

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