Nowhere have I seen so much local culture, apparently untouched by the distractions of the modern world. Ubud is a mainstream tourist destination, but the Balinese way of life goes on apparently unaffected.
There were New Year celebrations last weekend, and the sound of gamelan could be heard morning, noon and night. Barong (half dog, half lion) dance troupes toured the streets, with the two men playing the beast accompanied by players carrying their instruments, and stopping to perform outside shops and houses along the way. In the temples, the players sat cross-legged with their instruments arranged in front of them. The sounds were rich and resonating, harsh, and tinny.