A trip to Bali, Indonesia is incomplete without being enamoured by the traditional Kecak Dance.

My quest for local traditions and culture made me look beyond the gorgeous temples, beaches, adventure sports and food in Bali.

Out of the several art and craft and dance forms, I was awestruck by the magnificent Kecak Dance.

History of Kecak

Kecak is a Balinese Hindu dance form from the Paradise Island. This is performed primarily by men dressed in black and white checkered bottom wear enacting stories from The Ramayana. Also known as the Fire Dance, it is a regular affair at the village temples. It showcases vivid characters and incidents from the Ramayana amidst repeated chanting of the word, “Kecak”. It is performed by a huge group of men with occasional characters enacted by a female cast.

Trance or Dance?

Initially, Kecak was a trance form of dance which was restricted only within the boundaries of a few villages in Bali, Indonesia. This resulted in Kecak being a local art form. Courtesy Walter Spies, a German curator, Kecak has travelled globally. It has been performed at various stages internationally. The dance form has gained popularity with time and is regularly exhibited at various other cultural forums. I was awestruck by the ecstatic performance of the troupe. They shouldered the responsibility of displaying the rich culture of the land.

A high energy performance!!

As the leader sets the tone, the group moved rhythmically. They swayed together chanting “Ke Chak – Ke Chak – Ke Chak – Ke Chak” repeatedly. It was a mindboggling experience to watch the artists perform as the sun, set at the backdrop. The arena was slowly draped in mystic darkness. The hundred-plus men sat in a big circle to render their Ke-Chak chants sans any instrument or music. They swayed, jumped, leapt, and played with fire while narrating the legend of Rama. The ambience was set just right for the dancers to pick momentum. Amidst the darkness, a fire was lit right at the centre as a result of which the act got even more engrossing.

Where is it staged

An enigmatic experience of an hour is staged at Uluwatu Temple, Tanah Lot Temple and various other cultural spots. Keep your Bali currency handy to procure the tickets at the venue. Watch the gorgeous sunset against the backdrop of Uluwatu or Tanah Lot temple. Post which you can head towards the amphitheatre. Check with your Bali tour guide/Bali travel partner for the inclusion of Kecak dance in the Bali Package Tour.

Can it be watched with family?

This is a complete family cultural show. Be ready to be enamoured by a serene trance. So ensure that you enjoy the dance form with your family when travelling to Bali, Indonesia.

Average time taken for the show

People in Bali are extremely calm and composed. One needs to be patient while watching the show as the seating arrangement takes a bit of time. The performance begins only after the amphitheatre is filled to full capacity. The duration of the show is approximately 1hour.

This is a highly recommended culture show when travelling to Bali, Indonesia.

STD Score – 4.5/5

(Sanchita Travel Diary Score)



The journey of a coffee bean from cherry to cat poop to a beverage of opulence.

         Coffee, a beverage favoured by many in different brews and shades have gained popularity worldwide. It is due to its distinctive flavour and origin that it is a beverage of choice. Bali, one of the largest producer and exporter of coffee worldwide is known for producing Kopi Luwak. It steals the show along with a vast range of other hand-pounded and exclusively curated coffee.

The Highland region of Kintamani takes pride in producing mind-boggling varieties of coffee. Acres and acres of farmlands are dedicated to coffee plantation. Civet cats in little cages are strategically placed for mass production of this expensive coffee.

Most expensive coffee in the world

The beverage of luxe comes at a premium cost. Civet coffee is much in demand worldwide and is priced at 35-80 US dollars for a single cup. 500 US Dollar for a kilogram of Civet coffee beans!! The Coffee is relished by the cream-de-la-cream of society with much ado and fanfare. Celebrities and socialites have further favoured their love for this brew to make it a premium product with grandeur.

How is Kopi Luwak made – A crappy affair

Coffee cherries once harvested are fed to Asian Palm civets. The Civet cats are caged and kept in captivity within the farm premises. These are shy nocturnal animals that generally wander in the fringes of the forest and lush greens of tropical regions. The partly digested coffee beans excreted by the cat is carefully collected and sent for further processing. The coffee cherries are fermented as they pass through the gut of the Civet. The faecal matter, aka popped cherries, are then dried, aged and hand pounded to perfection. 

The brew

Brewing Kopi Luwak is an art acquired only by a few. Medium ground coffee beans measuring 1-2 teaspoon is gently added to a cup of freshwater. Time taken to brew the coffee depends on the caffeine lover. The longer the brew stronger is the coffee. Post a good brew the aromatic decoction is ready to be relished sip by sip.

Beware not to add sugar, cream or milk to Kopi Luwak.

Sip it to believe

Well, Kopi Luwak is believed to have a distinctive nutty flavour that is rich in taste and delicious on the palate. People addicted to the coffee of opulence find it difficult to adjust their taste buds to regular coffee. The beverage laced with a hint of Caramel and chocolate can make one crave for more.

To drink or not to drink

A not so happy side of the coffee!

The process of how the shy nocturnal Civet cats are caged and overfed with coffee bans awaiting their precious dung. Civet cats are often under stress within the cage undergoing an involuntary procedure for exotic coffee. Though it is illegal to capture and cage Civet cats for commercial use, few organisations still indulge in this cruelty in the name of exotic caffeine for selfish reasons.

   Whether to have the cruelty filled coffee or not is a big question that I would love to ask the Kopi Luwak lovers patronising cruelty towards civets.

  Post your comments on Kopi Luwak…. awaiting your valuable inputs.


STD (Sanchitas Travel Diary) Rating – 3.5/5

Here I am going to share with you the best things to do in Bali.

Bali is considered to be one of the most beautiful and romantic places in the world. Its sun-kissed pristine beaches and lush green hills, offers the best of both the worlds. This gorgeous Island is dotted with temples, palaces and mansions constructed the most aesthetic way following Balinese Hinduism architecture. Bollywood and Bali have a strong bond. The locals are fascinated with Indian cinema, Hindi daily soaps and are crazy about Indian movie stars.

Century-old temples like Tanah Lot, natural caves, rice terrace, exotic seafood, water sports at Nusa Dua, climbing Mount Batur, sipping on exotic coffee and walking along Kuta for a hurried last minute shopping. There is so much to explore in Bali for creating a bag full of unforgettable moments.  

Here is a list of the best things to do in Bali:

  1.   Culture vulture– Bali is known for its dance, drama and sculpture as it has a rich cultural heritage dating back to the 8th century with a major influence of Hindu mythology. Out of the various Balinese dance forms, the Kecak dance performed by a band of men folk using the word,” Kecak” non-stop is a jaw-dropping experience. The Balih Balihan dance form can be witnessed in the numerous cultural shows along with Barong and Legong dances. Interior designers from all over the globe throng to certain areas of Bali for their intricate creativity on different mediums. Local Balinese artisans carve sculptures out of wood and stone giving them a realistic look with thorough detailing.


  1.    Temple run – Visit a temple to claim your blessings.

Bali is embellished with temples and religious places where Hindu deities like Lord Ganesha, Lord Rama and goddess Sita are worshipped with much fervour. Temples like Tanah Lot, Uluwatu, Ulun Darun Beratan, Pura Kehen and Pura Tirtha Empul receive numerous visitors daily to offer prayers. The temples are set amidst mindboggling landscape like the Tanah Lot is on the shore of the ocean where visitors stay back to experience the majestic sun setting at the backdrop enveloping the universe in a warm orange hue. While the other temples have looming gateways leading on to lavish courtyards with magnificent gardens and lotus ponds. Remember to wear a sarong before entering a temple.


  1.   Life on a beach – A call to all the beach bums and water sports lovers.

The island of Bali lying between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean is enveloped by magnificent beaches and breathtaking Seascapes. Beach bums enjoy the best of the scenic beauty of Kuta beach, relish a candlelit dinner savouring exotic seafood on Jimbaran beach and enjoy the play of sun and shade lashing against the shores of Canggu and Legian beach. Best things to do in Bali beaches is to indulge in adrenaline gushing moments doing Jet ski, banana boat, Jet pack and snorkelling at Nusa Dua, Tanjung Benoa, Sanur or Ayung river Ubud.


  1.    Rice terrace – Cascading rice fields along the hillocks of Bali have featured in the list of UNESCO world heritage sites due to its traditional way of agriculture in the most picturesque setting. One of the best things to do in Bali is to relish a local meal sitting amidst the lush green rice terraces in a Balinese villa and cherish the bounty of nature amidst the rolling mountains. There is a certain sense of mystic tranquillity about these rice terraces which attract nature lovers and spiritual seekers on equal footing. The rice terraces of Jatiluwih, Tagallalang, Munduk and Soka fields offer the most strikingly beautiful picture postcard moments.


  1.    Local food – A taste of the food life

Bali spells of exotic food dished out to different cuisines. One of the best things to do in Bali is to sample the local dishes like Nasi Goreng, Nasi Campur, Bebek and Ayam Betutu, Satay, Jimbaran seafood and local desserts like Klepon and Bubur sumsum all washed down by litres of Bintang limon beer. The Beer in BALI is to kill for don’t forget to have as much as you can (BINTANG LIMON TO BE PRECISE).Vegetarians don’t lose your heart, Bali offers an array of local food for the plant eaters too. Try your spoon and fork on Nasi Padang, Gado-Gado or Tempe Goreng. Mega green coconut water is sold on the beaches to quench the midday thirst and the tasty coconut meat is served as an exotic dessert in many restaurants. Sample a dinner on the beach with live barbecue counters and grills with traditional culture shows in the backdrop. The costliest coffee in the world, Luwak coffee is cultivated with pride in this part of the world visit a coffee plantation to witness the process of cocoa and coffee making.(To know more read my article on Luwak coffee- costliest coffee in the world)


  1.    Nightlife – A little party never killed anybody

A country with strong spiritual inclination also offers myriad nightlife to the guests gallivanting their land. Bali is high on clubbing and party where places like Kuta, Seminyak and Legian go wild after its dark. The place transforms into a lively and happening place with DJs churning out chartbusters and gigs by bands performing the hits of the ’60s to ’90s through hi-tech music systems. The best thing to do in Bali to wrap a night is to sip on local beer which is smartly priced along with some exotic seafood humming Elvis Presley.


  1.    Shopping – Buy it in Bali or cry later

Travel bugs shopping for souvenirs or shopaholics looking for the best bargain, it is all there in Bali to suit your pocket. Fill your suitcase with Organic herbs, high-quality tea, cold pressed aroma oil, wooden knick-knacks, masks and Buddhas. Kuta has lanes and bylanes of shops selling dream catchers of every hue, garments and mementos for that friend awaiting your arrival.

If you have already been to Bali, let me know about the best things that you did.

Remember to post your comments, I’ll be waiting for your valuable inputs.