Welcome back to Gadling’s newest series, Dreaming of Bali. Visiting the exotic Indonesian island of Bali is truly a feast for the senses. First time visitors and expats alike frequently remark on this island’s rich tapestry of exotic stimuli: the brilliant orange glow of a sunset as it slides gently into the sea; the wafting scent of kerosene and crushed chilis at a roadside food stall; the soft vibration of a gong as it’s struck in a temple. These are sensory experiences that bury themselves in your subconscious, sticking in your mind long after your return from a journey – they are ultimately the impressions that help to crystallize our understanding of our travels.
Words are only one way to tell a story. Borrowing an idea from Gadling blogger Stephen Greenwood, I’ve tried to capture my impressions of Indonesia through the medium of sound. Embedded below are four “soundscapes” from my recent visit to Bali and the nearby island of Java. Click on play, close your eyes, and prepare to be transported far away to the islands of Indonesia:
Sitting on the beach at dusk, listening to waves crash on the beach – a symphony of frogs croak at the onset of dark:
A group of musicians practices their Gamelan performance at a temple in Ubud:
Walking inside Ubud’s morning produce market:
Most of Indonesia, with the exception of Bali, is muslim. Here’s the afternoon call to prayer in Yogyakarta, Indonesia:
A team of explorers from the U.S. and Britain, along with locals from Papua New Guinea, recently descended into the volcanic crater of Mount Bosavi, where they discovered a “lost world” with a host of new species that have been evolving in isolation for thousands of years. The crater is more than a kilometer deep and three kilometers across, and lacks the major predators that are often common in rainforests around the globe. The result, is that many creatures were able to adapt to living side by side in an environment that remains nearly completely cut off from the outside world.
In the five weeks that the explorers and scientists were in the crater they found a wealth of interesting creatures, including kangaroos that live in trees, a new type of bat, and a fish that makes grunting noises. They also discovered 16 new species of frogs, including one with a set of fangs, as well as a new breed of rat that my now hold the record as the largest in the world.
The scientists on the expedition were surprised and amazed at these discoveries, and are now making renewed calls for the preservation of rainforests across the planet. The amount of new species they found in just five weeks makes you wonder what else is out there, still hidden in the jungles, that we don’t know anything about. There is still a lot of this world left to explore and plenty of new things to discover, despite what we might think.