The Incomparable Kecak Fire Dance In Bali, Indonesia

Kecak Fire Dance

Photograph courtesy of Angeli C. Picazo (October 04, 2013)

Keyak is the adaptation of the ancient ceremony called Sanghiyang that was used to purify a village when there was an epidemic. The Balinese dance used to be performed by male dancers until 2006 when women kayak dancers were allowed. The nightly performance brings a lot of tourists from the resorts in Bali to the southern tip of the island in time for the show.

All of us, locals and tourists alike were seated in a circle as we waited for the Fire Dance. It started at about 5 PM when there was still enough light. Everybody was eager to watch the fire dance and we could hear shutters clicking as the ancient ceremony started. Surprisingly, there were no musical instruments that typically accompanied cultural dances. A chorus of 70 men told the story and provided the sound effects through chattering cak-cak sounds.

I loved the performance that was filled with spirituality. It was a combination of humor, dance, chanting and drama which was really amazing. The cultural dance has a complicated plot with twists and turns that are associated with our favorite TV series. From what I understand, a woman is stolen by the devil from the husband. The husband and the brother face all sorts of challenges to rescue the woman. As the sun sets, the story is build to a climax wherein the monkey king sets the castle on fire. It is a very dramatic moment with the orange flames and the embers in the middle of the stage.


Photograph courtesy of Angeli C. Picazo (October 04, 2013)

The Kecak Fire Dance is a traditional Balinese ritual but it was actually created by a German, Walter Spies in the 1930’s and was based on the popular Hindu story of Ramayana. The cultural dance is now internationally popular because of the tours that have been arranged for the Balinese groups. However what makes the Fire Dance extra special and different is the chorus of human voice composed of men that sways, sits, stands up and lies prone on the ground as the story develops.

Benefits Of Skiing To Kids

Benefits Of Skiing To Kids

If your favorite winter sport is skiing and you have kids then it is good to train them early. Many might not see it but there are many reasons why it is recommended for kids to try skiing.

  • Number one reason is that skiing is a great activity that can be done outdoors during the season of winter. Majority of the kids prefer to stay inside during the cold months and play video games thus the problem with childhood obesity is on the rise. It is not easy for parents to encourage their kids to try other activities when the temperature has dropped. Kids who are into skiing will have a healthy outlet during the months of winter. It is essential that kids should be active all throughout the year.
  • When they are younger, they are easier to teach and able to pick up new skills fast. This is true in every aspect of learning – kids are fast learners. There are ski schools that offer classes to children as young as three years old.
  • Stay active, stay youthful. Some adults may say that they have tried something when they were kids. The same goes with skiing. Parents will share their sentiment of playing the winter sports during their childhood years. Ageing does not mean you have to stop being active. Parents will be able to join their kids as they learn new skills while sharing a wonderful bonding experience. It will also make them feel younger because they are always active.
  • Skiing with the entire family can be a great bonding. This is a good way to stay active together while making sure you have more time together doing fun things. Learning together is more fun because you will have someone to share the experience as well as the disappointments.

For parents, you can book a vacation with plans of skiing in Japan or any other winter countries in the world without worrying what the kids will do since they will be able to join in the fun. This is a good way to travel and do something together.


Aftermarket Exhaust System To Achieve A Powerful Engine Sound

Aftermarket Exhaust System To Achieve A Powerful Engine Sound

Many individuals prefer to buy motorcycles instead of cars because they are cheaper and easier to maintain. When there is a need for replacement parts, it is very easy to access one from the original manufacturer of the motorcycle or through the aftermarket. However, the aftermarket is not only a source for replacement parts; it is also the place where you can find parts to improve the performance and aesthetics of the two-wheeled vehicle.

Why should you buy a motorcycle exhaust system?

In cars and trucks, the exhaust system is used to expel gases away from people. In the motorcycle, the system works pretty the same way although it is often used to create a more customized look. In cars and trucks, there is only one main exhaust system but in the motorcycle, there are several pipes connected to different cylinders to blow the air away from the driver.

Even if your motorcycle’s exhaust system works well, you can still purchase a replacement from the aftermarket to create a more stylish appearance, to decrease the weight of the bike, to ensure a better sound and to enhance the engine’s performance. If you want a sleek and modern look, your best option is a shiny slip-on muffler or a vintage style exhaust pipe to create a traditional look on the modern bike.

One of the more popular reasons for buying aftermarket exhaust systems is to create a more powerful sound. Car drivers use mufflers on their exhaust systems to minimize the sound of the engine; however, motorcycle riders prefer the roaring sound that enhances the driving experience. It makes the engine seem so powerful and mighty.

Sometimes, motorcycle enthusiasts tweak one part or two to improve engine performance and capability. For example, if the standard manifold is replaced with headers, the exhaust moves out of the engine faster so that its job becomes a lot easier.

There are many different motorcycle parts from the aftermarket from headers, fuel management systems, performance gaskets and mufflers. They are available in a variety of styles and designs for sport and dirt bikes to ensure that you have a customized and unique motorcycle.


Choosing Windows For Your Home

Choosing Windows For Your Home

One way to enhance the look of your house is to install glass windows. If you have old windows at home, it is time to consider replacing them for the new ones which are easier to clean and maintain. There are many things that should be considered when buying a new window for your house such as materials, types as well as features.

It is important for you to do your research in order to determine what window will work best for your home. Do not just rely on what the contractor recommends but rather ask around for advice and recommendations and read any reviews online. If you want to save then inspect if your windows are still viable for partial replacement only. This means that the existing frames can still be utilized and only the glass has to be replaced. If not then it is time to do a full replacement.

Remember that choosing the best window does not guarantee best results if the installation was not done properly. Thus, it is important to hire a professional installer to make sure there will be no problems in the future.

Choosing the window materials

Choosing the housing for your glass window is important. There are many options but the most popular are all-vinyl and wood frames. There are also all-aluminum but they are not as popular as before due t the introduction of vinyl. The type of material and its price does not guarantee the quality of window frames.

For wood, these are mostly solid in compositions but there are also available ones that contain composite materials such as plastic with fibers of food combined with it. There are many hardware finishes to choose from which makes it possible to match the color of your home.

Vinyl is the cheapest and does not need painting or staining. These usually come in color white and it is not recommended to be painted over and the hardware choices are limited.

The latest is fiberglass and though there is no necessity to paint it over, it can be painted if you desire to do so. There are only limited brands for this type.

If you are planning to do a partial replacement only of the glass windows then there are glass cutting Melbourne companies that can do this.

Legal Advice For Foreigners Planning To Buy Condo In Thailand

Legal Advice For Foreigners Planning To Buy Condo In Thailand

If you are a foreigner and planning to purchase a property in Thailand then you may have researched online regarding the matter. Majority of these websites tell you that it is possible for a foreigner to purchase a foreign condo unit and it will be theirs as such will be entitled to their name.

You should not stop at this statement alone because there are many things that you should know about buying a condominium in Thailand including Pattaya. These are important legal advices that should be considered before you start property hunting.

  • A maximum of 49 per cent of the condominium’s registered area only is allowed to be sold to non-Thai nationals. If you are planning to buy in Bangkok then this part should not be a problem because majority of the buyers and owners of condo units there are Thais. Even those condominium properties that are known to foreigners, it is unusual for foreigners to outnumber the Thai nationals owning parts of the building. You might be wondering why this rule is mandated and this is because most Asian countries are making sure that the foreigners are controlled by allowing only certain numbers and percentage of ownership. In other famous places such as Pattaya, you should make sure that you are still included in the quota of foreign nationals buying units in a freehold agreement.
  • It is rare for banks to finance the purchase of the condo units. Thai banks have to go through a lot of hoops and process in order to approve mortgage application of a foreigner thus they are not keen in financing any purchase of properties. Foreigners are especially considered a risky investment because they will have a hard time coming after foreign assets. Meaning majority of the foreigners buying properties are done by cash basis only.
  • In the meantime, there is an oversupply when it comes to condo units in Bangkok thus rental yields is lower than usual. If you are thinking of buying a unit as investment thinking that you will get high returns then you should talk with a local real estate agent first to avoid any disappointments.
  • Management of the condo is not up to you. If you are looking for a Pattaya condominium for sale then do not expect to have a voice if you are a minority owner. The management still depends on the developer and the management assigned to the particular building.

Gift Giving Made Easy Through Christmas Hampers

Gift Giving Made Easy Through Christmas Hampers

Choosing a gift nowadays can be daunting because of the number of choices available in retail stores. A better option for the budget conscious is the gift basket that is flexible enough to contain different items that will please the recipient. Gift baskets can be conveniently personalized to suit various tastes and preferences. For example, for a coffee lover, the gift basket can contain different coffee blends including a pretty mug for the early morning coffee fix.

An ideal gift basket is customized according to the objective of the giver, the preferences of the recipient, the occasion and available budget. For some people, creating a gift basket is a challenge to their creativity and artistry. Different items can be gathered together to deliver a unique pleasure to the recipient. For example, items can range from a bottle of wine, chocolates, a box of cookies, fruits in season, various confectionaries and sweet treats suitable for the holiday season. The choices are endless and you can place just about anything into the basket to give happiness to an individual and his family.

The market for personalized gift baskets is no longer limited to a few individuals because it has expanded to corporate clients. In fact, corporate clients are the best customers of gift baskets because they have a long list of recipients for different occasions particularly the holidays. Corporate clients usually order the gift baskets because they do not have enough time to choose individual gifts for their employees and business partners. Besides that, the different contents of the Christmas basket can bring cheer to the whole family.

Providers of gift baskets serve as the shopper for the corporate client that usually makes a call to order the gift according to an allocated budget. There are standard basket offerings but it can be customized to create a special gift. Most gift baskets for Christmas include edible foods as well as non-perishable items. It is common to have a list of the items available for the Christmas basket. After the client has made a choice, the items are assembled quickly to create an attractive and pleasing presentation.

Recharge Through A Solitary Vacation In Thailand

Recharge Through A Solitary Vacation In Thailand

If you are looking for a place to spend a solitary vacation, one of your best options is Thailand, a country in Southeast Asia that is very popular among tourists. Even with mass tourism, there are places in Thailand where you can spend a few days in utter peace and tranquility. There are health retreats located in places with amazing sceneries that can help you improve your physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing.

How a tropical paradise can enhance your fitness

The beautiful and relaxing environment of Thailand can encourage you to do a lot of training and relaxation outdoors. Physical exercises like swimming and jogging will help tone your muscles and strengthen the body. Thailand offers its visitors a lot of opportunities to be healthier and stronger than when you first arrived in the place. Retreat houses have expert trainers who will guide you through the workouts as well as prepare a special nutritious diet that will complement the training.

When you do training, the body will require nutritious and healthy foods which are abundant in Thailand. There are detox diets that will help cleanse your body and make you feel refreshed. A mixture of good exercise and nutrition will not only benefit your body but your mind as well. When you are on holiday in a tropical location, you learn to leave all stresses behind in order to feel more energized. Indulging in massages and spa treatments will help you achieve relaxation something you missed from the busy lifestyle.

When you have a strong body and mind, you become more self confident and emotionally stronger. You will feel an inner peace that helps make sense of your life and where you are going. You will look forward to the normal life when you get back home because you are now more confident of your abilities.

It is a fact that many visitors are looking forward to health retreat in Thailand that have gained a good reputation because of the improvements they have managed in a short period of time. Health retreats have personalized programs that will support you in your quest for health and fitness.

How To Tell The Difference Between Marble And Travertine

How To Tell The Difference Between Marble And Travertine

If you are planning to buy a sink basin for the bathroom or install tiles on the floor and countertop, there are different options for stone tiles. You can choose from the most popular stones like marble and travertine that can enhance aesthetics and functionality. However, can you pinpoint the differences between marble and travertine when you buy a sink basin from the home improvement store?

How to distinguish marble from travertine?

Marble is a very popular material for kitchens and bathrooms because of its hardness and distinct color patterns and designs. Normally, a sheet of marble for a countertop comes in a single solid color with streaks of another color running through it. The most common colors of marble you can find the market includes white with gray or black veins, black, pink, blue and green. The texture of marble is very smooth because it is usually manufactured with satiny polished finished or high gloss polished finish.

Travertine has a more natural textured look with visible pores. However, some manufacturers sands down and seals the stone to make it smooth and suitable as material for sink basins and countertops. Sealant is used on travertine to prevent debris from penetrating the smoothness and softness of the stone. Travertine stone usually comes in warm colors from the lightest white or cream to beige, gold, brown and sometimes red. You will notice slight variations in color and pattern that keeps them from looking too identical.

Natural travertine stone costs more than cultured marble but it is more cost effective than natural marble. However, the price of the beautiful stone tiles also depends on its quality and the initial seal placed by the manufacturer to ensure its resistance to wear and tear, stains and scratching. If you are going for stone in your wash basin, choose travertine because it is easy to clean by wiping with a damp cloth.

Pre-fabricated Travertine Bathroom Basin on Oak Vanity Unit Set is offered through bathroom stores so that you will have reliable and beautiful furniture to enhance the beauty and elegance of your bathroom. The vanity set is expertly crafted with quality so that you will gain the most value from your money.