If you're a traveler who chooses to visit a place or city by selecting festive dates for cultural experience, Bali has the most unique new year's celebration called Nyepi. It is a Balinese "Day of Silence" that falls on Bali's Lunar New Year. This year it is observed from 6 a.m. Tuesday 16 March 2010, continuing until 6 a.m. Wednesday 17 March 2010. During this time all public facilities outside the hotel will be closed. It is a day of silence, fasting, and meditation. Be your own judge to select this time of the year to visit Bali or not.

Westerners open the New Year in revelry, however, in contrast, the Balinese open their New Year in silence. This is called Nyepi Day, the Balinese day of Silence, which falls on the day following the dark moon of the spring equinox, and opens a new year of the Saka Hindu era which began in 78 A.D.

Nyepi is a day to make and keep the balance of nature. It is based on the story of when King Kaniska I of India was chosen in 78 A.D. The King was famous for his wisdom and tolerance for the Hinduism and Buddhism societies. In that age, Aji Saka did Dharma Yatra (the missionary tour to promote and spread Hinduism) to Indonesia and introduce the Saka year.

Nyepi (from the word Sepi = silence) is a day reserved for self-reflection and as such, anything that might interfere with that purpose is restricted. The main restrictions are: no lighting fires (and lights must be kept low) no working; no entertainment or pleasure; no traveling; and for some, no talking or eating at all. The effect of these prohibitions is that Bali's usually bustling streets and roads are empty, there is little or no noise from TVs and radios, and few signs of activity are seen even inside homes. The only people to be seen outdoors are the Pecalang, traditional security men who patrol the streets to ensure the prohibitions are being followed.

Although Nyepi is primarily a Hindu holiday, non-Hindu residents of Bali observe the day of silence as well, out of respect for their fellow citizens. Tourists are not exempt; although free to do as they wish inside the hotels, no one is allowed onto the beaches or streets or to go on tours, and the only airport in Bali remains closed for the entire day. The only exceptions granted are for emergency vehicles carrying those with life-threatening conditions and women about to give birth. On the day after Nyepi, known as Ngembak Geni, social activity picks up again quickly, as families and friends gather to ask forgiveness from one another, and to perform certain religious rituals together.

Many starred Bali hotels are said to have offered special Nyepi attractions, where they hope to be able to escort guests around the streets in vehicles, to take in the "atmosphere" of Nyepi.
A government spokesman, Nyoman Puasa Aryana, however says hotels have no dispensations, that only ambulances and fire engines may be allowed to operate on the day. Hotel owners should learn from past mistakes:

"A few years ago a tourist vehicle got attacked by a mob during Nyepi."
Bali Tourism Board head, Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya, said any hotels that encouraged their guests to drive around town were insulting the holiness of the day and the people who observe it.
Visitors are advised to stay inside hotels or accommodation compound for the duration of Nyepi Day as these are the only facilities available to any traveler on that day. Visitors are required to minimise noise levels throughout the day.

Visitors will only be allowed to buy foods inside the places they are putting up at.

To keep yourselves occupied, it is recommended that visitors prepare their own entertainment such as books, iPods, portable DVDs and snacks ahead of Nyepi Day.

No traveling outside hotel
No noise

Special conditions:
Exceptions are granted only for emergency trips to the hospital.

Wishing you all a very Happy Nyepi Day! 

I'm virtually scouting for villas to accommodate a party of 6 in and around Bali, Indonesia. We'll be there in August so pray no natural and human inflicted disasters will occur pre, during and post to the absolutely beautiful and enchanting island of Bali. The trip is in August but I've already started searching for villas with the best value for money more than a year ago.

There are 8 villas featured on allbalivillas.com at various locations around Bali.

Recommended Bali Villas

The Ulin Villas 
Complex of Villas - Seminyak - Price: From US$200
Perfectly situated in the heart of Bali’s ultra stylish Seminyak, The Ulin Villas and Spa is within walking distance to an array of restaurants, nightlife venues and trendy boutiques. The Property is mere minutes from the white sand beaches for which the island of Bali is famed.

Paya-Paya Villa
Individual Villa Compound - Petitenget - Price: From US$200
Created to accommodate up to six adult guests, Paya-Paya Villa is an exotic haven of infinite comfort that does not compromise personal space or privacy. Alternatively, it is the perfect base for a family with teenage children seeking to explore the island of Bali at a relaxed pace.

The Ahimsa Beach
Villas within walking distance to the Beach - Jimbaran - Price: From US$300
The Ahimsa Group redefines luxury accommodation by providing discerning guests with the ultimate boutique villa experience. Contemporary design and traditional Asian architecture coupled with impeccable five star service ensures your stay will be an unforgettable one.

Featured Bali Villas

Villa Sankara
Canggu, Beachfront Villas, From US$1000
Villa Sankara is an exclusive beachfront villa situated on the picturesque Berawa Beach in Canggu well known by the surfers. Within 35 minutes from the Airport, 20 minutes from Nirwana Golf course and only 15 minutes from Seminyak area, the best of Bali is offered just close by.


The Kunja
Seminyak, Complex of Villas, From US$300
The Kunja is a boutique hotel offering 18 fully serviced private villas conveniently located in Petitenget Seminyak. Idyllically located on the outskirts of Bali’s trendy Seminyak area, only minutes away from one of the island’s most famous stretch of golden-sand beaches.


Four @ Drupadi
Seminyak, Complex of Villas, From US$300
A property that celebrates the spirit of tropical living, Four @ Drupadi showcases four unique design concepts enveloped within a secluded compound complete with a private pool. Each villa takes on the theme from a different region around the world that is recognised for its strength, character and cultural identity.


Villa Gajah Putih
Canggu, Beachfront Villas, From US$1000
Villa Gajah Putih is located in Canggu, just a twenty-minute drive from the greater Kuta/Seminyak area where the prime dining, shopping, and nightlife in Bali are located. Because of its slightly out of town setting, it has the double attraction of being relatively close to everything one might need.

Villa Mako
Canggu, Individual Villa Compound, From US$400
Villa Mako is a peaceful 3-bedroom retreat, complete with swimming pool, located in a quiet traditional village above a small river valley. The single-storey villa is neo-colonial in style, similar to the Dutch guesthouses of the Javanese and Malay hill stations, characterised by louvre shutters, old teak doors.

 They also hv all villas by location:

This site also lists villas by settings. My favourites are:

Ricefield View Villas; and

Villas within walking distance to the Beach

As you can see, the choices are unlimited! I would definitely appreciate personal recommendations and favourites to good spots to opt for and those to avoid to narrow down our search.

A friend who's an experienced tour guide with Sedunia Travels recommended that we rent a van with a local driver to save cost on moving about the island since we're planning to move around and spend 1 night at each spot.

This place is so far, it took the same time for the postcards to arrive Malaysia the same time with its sender. Mike's back at the office and I got 2 postcards mailed by him from Helsinki on my table this morning.

"Inspired" by a conversation we had in her car when coming back from lunch today, a colleague shared this link with me..

This tutorial will show you how to look like a haunting vampire. Inspired by Anne Rice's beautiful vampires. They're evocative, bewitching, desirable and haunting. Read Interview With The Vampire..I love Vampires. From anime like Vampire Hunter D, Blood: The Last Vampire and the games Castlevania Symphony of the Nights.

This is her channel on Youtube

Twitter is huge and everyday it’s becoming more popular in the crowd. Everyday from a geek to a carpenter uses twitter in many different ways to enhance knowledge, relationship and reaching a mass audience which eventually brings passive business. Today I am introducing another twitter tool called Foller.me. Foller.me is a creative and research initiative by one of my great twitter contact @kovshenin. Today is the live date of this product. So lets take a look at his startup.

Click here to read the full article..


... from Helsinki, Finland. Dated 2nd Feb, the postcard really took its time to arrive. Nevertheless! I love postcards! Thanks, Mike! See you soon, indeed.

Addressed to the 2 Olivia's at Integricity, Mike wrote this postcard in the air on an internal flight.Can't wait to hear stories from afar..

I missed this month's digital networking night called Web Wednesday hosted by Malaysian Digital Association to tend to personal matters. To know more about the event or the organising committee, a Google search might be able to provide you with enough info. Or maybe not.

Anyways, thus far the previous gatherings didn't increase my knowledge of the web industry nor did it provide me with any insight of how to change local client mentality over the cost of maintaining an online presence. Most big brands out there just leave the dirty work to media agencies to segregate and rid them of their budgets for the year so that every one looks like they are doing their jobs.

But that would be digressing from the matter at hand.

So, some friends were tagged in a photo album on Facebook during the event and I browsed the photos. Not only did the organising committee bribed attendees with free beer and even dinner, they had a mascot of some sort of weird/freak attraction you would normally pay a circus to go see. I couldn't believe my eyes when almost every other picture captured this person with its head full of short strands dyed in a cheap light red hue. It started to look like some kind of badly planned branding stunt, associating the Night with this persona. It was appalling to say the least. I do plan to attend a Web Wed Night some time soon but if it is going to turn into some kind of feature freak show then I would have to maybe start my own networking night else where.

Now, I could post up a photo to show you how the "freak mascot" looks but I have myself to debate with over if it would be right to expose the freak's identity even though she was a cold hearted bitch to me when in the last SMCKL (social media club kl) all I said to her was "Wow, high security. Isn't it quite a hassle for you?", only to get a hard stare and some stiff words forced out of her thin lips. Bet her fist was mighty clenched too. Anyways, indirectly I made her fetch me a mug of water when my peers asked if there was any water served. She rolled her eyes and went to get 2 mugs for the 5 thirsty people. Total number of attendees that night was 15, give or take. Might be a long time until the next one.

Long story short, she's one mean bitch and a big time shoe polisher.

Due to a certain request, this blog post has been edited to omit its original content.
It was a short entry of my own conclusion of my boyfriend when an issue at hand wasn't clarified when I brought it up in search of certainty. All I got was a short and curt answer without much else. There was even a photo of that person in his phone camera album after he went out with her on a one on one outing which some would call a date. So wouldn't that just spark something off? So now in exchange of editing or deleting the post, I was given 3 points as the only explanation of the relationship of my boyfriend and that person.

Oh well, back to the drawing board for me.

The Zebrafrog from oilcorner.deviantart.com

And 44 more at Noupe.com

Ice Snail from the 2008 World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks Alaska found on simonsonjh's photostream on Flick

A compilation of various works here 40 Insane Ice Sculptures
Simply amazing!

Pretty cool design this landing page, click on it to view the website to get the full texture effect.

Awesome handwork and well taken pics. More castles in the skies stories at My Milk Toof

The office was buzzing with jokes of the latest tech buzz, something called the iPad. Not really bothered with hyped up products (until I find them useful at some later time) I didn't get involved in the conversations and left it to my own finding out later when I had time to. A buddy posted on Facebook his take on the iPad on his Posterous page and it had summed it up for me.

The All New Apple iPad

And today on CNN.com Tech Edition reads about the reactions over the name and stating that some female bloggers wrote that Apple seemed not to have any women on its marketing team over the insensitive naming of a product with this article iPad name draws feminine hygiene jokes

And to cap it off, here are 19 Rejected Names for the Apple iPad on Techland.

Naturally, iPad is a trending topic on Twitter so lots of reading to pick through..

While snoozing and waiting for the next alarm to go off, I was wishing for a text message from a particular someone.. it hadn't developed into a habit but there were the rare times when I was greeted with one in the morning. The need for one was persistent this morning but as usual it was filed under 'It's OK'. Good thing is I didn't forget to bring my phone with me for the day.