6 November 2016
Beauty in Bali
Destination : Bali
told, Bali has never been a destination high on my “to see” list. However,
after holidaying there for almost two weeks I admittedly had a change of tune.
Bali is very much on the tourist trail but popular places aside, there are serene and silent corners of this island where you’ll hardly encounter a soul. While traffic chaos rules its metropolitan districts, somehow there's a strange sense of order during the mishap-free commutes.
The Indonesian island also has an old-world oriental feel with many areas steeped in traditional architecture and culture almost everywhere you look, but equally intersecting this are commercial precincts offering visitors a plethora of things to see and do.
My first destination in Bali was Legian, on the cusp of the hustle and bustle. Here, hotels and resorts line the streets adjacent to the beach and it’s a perfect compromise between being busy, or laying low.
where I stayed in Legian was comfortable, self-contained in a way with its own bars and restaurants, but also within walking distance to other dining and drinking establishments, shopping malls, and the traditional “market-style”
stalls where you haggle for purchases. Legian is also a well-connected base for touring other parts of Bali with many tour companies offering a complimentary collection service from your hotel.
Next was Ubud, known as the culture capital of Bali. Ubud itself is quite abuzz with visitors and is surprisingly commercialised (I judge this on the presence of Starbucks). Having said that, the authentic café experience here was wonderful with many opening up to picturesque gardens once inside. The food – like anywhere in Bali – delightful.
I stayed 20 minutes north of Ubud on the edge of a rainforest high in the mountains where bamboo, banana trees and monkeys grow
wild. Nearby was a hiking trail to a sacred temple overlooking the resort. At night, nothing could match the soothing sounds of the river rushing below. As one might expect, the weather was quite overcast and wet.
My last destination was in Bali’s North-West - Pemuteran which I travelled to via the iconic Jatiluwih Rice Terraces and Pura Ulun Danu Bratan. By far my favourite location, Pemuteran is a blissful bay where you can watch the sun rise and set while sunning it on a lounge chair without leaving your resort. Not far from here is the stunning Menjangan Island, a national park inhabited by deer and boasting one of Bali's best snorkelling spots.
Legian, Kuta, Lembongan Island, Tanah Lot, Ubud, Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, Menjangan Island and Pemuteran.
Visiting the Jatiluwih rice fields, soaking up the sun on a secluded stretch of sand in Pemuteran, sampling delicious Balinese cuisine, taking in Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, meeting monkeys in the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, haggling in the markets of Kuta and Legian, experiencing a traditional Balinese massage, trekking off the tourist track in Ubud to picturesque countryside views, snoozing in the sun while moored off the coast of Menjangan Island, meeting the Balinese who are some of the world’s friendliest people.
visited Bali, or are you planning a trip? Would love to hear your thoughts and experiences below.