Bali was always on my bucket list, and to be able to fulfill this wish was a dream come true. I flew Premium Economy from Los Angeles on Eva Airways was very surprised with the level of service. The immigration process upon arrival was pretty quick and our cheerful guide, Willie, was waiting for us outside the immigration hall.
Bali has a lot to offer: adventure, culture, Spa, Yoga and Spirituality retreats. I had the privilege of experiencing all of the above. There are accommodations to suit every traveler, ranging from moderate to luxury. I stayed at the Mulia Resort on the beach in Nusa Dua. The resort’s International Café restaurant is a must visit for any guest staying here. The food choices were simply amazing!
My adventure continued and one amazing evening was at a hilltop temple overlooking the Indian Ocean in Uluwatu where we saw the Kecak Dancing or Ramayana Monkey Chant performance at the temple with men wearing a checked cloth around their waist, the male dancers chant in unison while depicting a battle from the Ramayana. I remember my mom used to tell me this story when I was a little little. The evening was followed by Dinner under the stars at the Belmond Hotel in Jimbaran.
Balinese people are very spiritual and every home has a temple. It can be difficult to differentiate between a house and a temple as the structure of the house is practically is the same as the temple. Every house has intricate design and villages are just divided by small signs. I very much enjoyed our tour of East Bali where we visited Balinese house with their typical entrance gates and unique architecture. Every house in the village seemed like a work of art.
There are lots of temples in Bali with a few that are very significant to the locals. One such temple is in the East of Bali called The Besakih Temple. This is considered the Mother of all temples in Bali, located on the slopes of Mt. Anug, very sacred and visited by every Balinese at least once a year for special ceremonies.
My next stop was in Ubud, the cultural hub of Bali, surrounded by beautiful rice paddies, luxury resorts, countryside and jungle, a perfect place for yoga, meditation, spa and wellness retreat and of course Arts.
Ubud is quickly becoming a foodie destination with major food festivals from chefs around the world. There are plenty of activities in Ubud such as hiking, rafting, yoga lessons and meditation.
My accommodation at Amandari took my breath away. Surrounded by Villages on one side and the jungle on the other, I did not miss the crazy world I left behind for a few days. I signed up for a Yoga Class one morning even though I had never done Yoga before. I am happy to say I have continued Yoga upon my return and have improved a lot. A Bali vacation is not complete without visiting Ubud.
I continued my adventure to the beach town of Seminyak. On our way to Seminyak we stopped at a rice paddy and met local farmers at work. This reminded me of my parent’s farm I grew up in Fiji. I saw firsthand how rice is cultivated. It’s pretty interesting and was one of my personal highlights of the trip. Another highlight of my trip to Bali was “BALINESE BLESSING” by a resident priest at the Four Season Resort in Jimbaran. The next stop was at Silver Jewelry shop where we saw firsthand how beautiful and intricate designed silver jeweler is handcrafted from the beginning.
The next stop on our adventure-filled day was to see the Tanah Lot Sea temple, possibly the most photographed temple in Bali. This temple sits on the edge of a large offshore rock. One has to wonder how such a masterpiece was created, simply amazing!
From here we continued our sightseeing to visit the Taman Ayun temple, a royal temple from the Mengwi Empire, before arriving at the Alas Kedaton, a small forest where mischievous monkeys roam free. I had one sitting on my neck before I had snack in my hand. It was crazy monkeying around with them but I did manage to take few good pictures to prove it.
My trip ended in Seminyak at the beautiful Samaya resort. There are lots of restaurants, side walk cafes, bars, massage parlors, night clubs and a shopping mall.
Bali is exactly what I had in mind, warm and friendly people, simple lifestyle and sense of spiritualty so deeply rooted in every Balinese. So, whether it’s your honeymoon, anniversary or a personal retreat, allow me to create an experience of a lifetime!