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Unlike your typical tour guide, Agung Rai didn't feel the need to fill every moment with commentary. In fact, other than the basic introductions, he didn't say too much at all until we'd left Ubud proper and made it out into the rice paddy and jungle countryside.

Then he pulled the well used Toyota SUV off to the side of the road and shut off the engine. We were in the middle of no particular place and he got out of the driver's side and beckoned us to do the same. After we'd walked a little ways from the truck, he said, "Listen to the water."

The best advice I'd got in Bali since, "Try the curry."

The post A Golden Hour Bali Tour with Agung Rai appeared first on Travel Past 50.

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Travel Past 50 by Tom Bartel - 1d ago

Don't spend all your time on the main streets of Ubud, although they're kind of fun if you like to shop and be asked if you want a taxi every two minutes. Here's a list of what to do in Ubud, Bali.

The post What to do in Ubud, Bali appeared first on Travel Past 50.

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There's an older man who comes by our villa with his wife a few times a week to do a little gardening while his wife makes smoky offerings to the gods. He's an unfailingly cheerful sort who always has a bit to say, but doesn't hang around enough to become burdensome. Until today, he'd always spoken to us in his rather halting English. But today we discovered by accident that we both spoke Spanish, and the conversation got a lot more interesting.

He was the one who told us last week about Tuesday's cremation ceremony and invited us to attend. And when he came back today, he asked if we'd been there and if we had any questions. Let me describe the ceremony first, so we know what we're talking about when I get to the questions.

The post Lessons from a Bali Cremation Ceremony appeared first on Travel Past 50.

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Travel Past 50 by Tom Bartel - 1d ago

Rice field at sunset, Ubud, Bali There's a quality to the light in southern Asia, particularly in Bali, that I haven't seen anywhere else. I don't know what causes it. The tropics? The pervasive watery green of rice paddies? The smoke from cooking fires, and sometimes burning paddies? But this light pervades all [...]

The post Images of Bali appeared first on Travel Past 50.

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Rice temple ceremony, blessing the water (December 2011, Ubud, Bali) For over a thousand years, the cycle of rice growing in Bali has been managed through water temples, organized by watershed districts. The irrigation system begins at the fresh springs and crater lakes of Mts. Batur and Batukaru, and courses through rivers, irrigation [...]

The post The Subak System: Rice Growing in Bali appeared first on Travel Past 50.

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Matera at twilight on a drizzly evening. The lights provide the only color, and this was the only view of Matera we got on the first night. Matera, in the province of Basilicata, is right in the arch of the boot of Italy. And, as such, it was the starting place of our [...]

The post The Cave Churches, and More, of Matera, Italy appeared first on Travel Past 50.

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This is a list of Unesco World Heritage Sites in Russia, with links to posts about the ones we have visited. Russia has 28 Unesco World Heritage sites.

The post Unesco World Heritage Sites in Russia appeared first on Travel Past 50.

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Travel Past 50 by Kristin Henning - 3w ago

Stay a little longer in Puglia and get to know the local food and wine, neighborhoods, and daily routines from the comfort of your home base.

The post Where to Stay and Eat in Puglia appeared first on Travel Past 50.

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Sometimes we go out of our way to visit places so you don't have to. This was the case with Castel del Monte, near Andria, Italy. Read about it, but don't go too far out of your way to get there.

The post Castel del Monte, Andria, Italy appeared first on Travel Past 50.

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When it comes to the attractions of the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina area, I'd have to list my favorite as Brookgreen Gardens Sculpture Garden.

The post Brookgreen Gardens, Sculpture in Myrtle Beach, SC appeared first on Travel Past 50.

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