My Indonesian Paradise - a rendezvous in Bali
Undoubtedly Bali is the most famous of the thousands of islands in the Indonesian archipelago. It has been a tourist favourite for decades and is certainly the top destination in Indonesia. The tropical island is often referred to as 'the land of Gods' since it has so much to offer, in particular its sheer natural beauty of verdant terraced rice fields, an azure Indian Ocean and looming volcanoes that bring peace and serenity to every visitor. Bali enchants with its dramatic dances and colourful ceremonies, its arts and crafts, to its luxurious beach resorts and exciting nightlife. In addition, if you are a fan of temples, you will find intricately carved temples almost everywhere you go.
Therefore, it is a perfect destination for all kinds of people. If you are a fan of arts and crafts, spas, shops and beautifully designed coffee shops you will find all that you are looking for in Ubud which is located only 1.5h from the main airport in Denpasar. On the other hand, if you are keen on partying and exciting nightlife, Kuta is your ideal destination. For those who prefer a relaxing lifestyle, Sanur and Sukowati will be your best bet. There are plenty of amazing hotels all over Bali. Before heading there I did my research and booked a splendid resort called the Royal Purnama nearby Sanur. The second part of my trip was supposed to be spent in Gili Trawangan. However, my family did not fancy commuting to Gili with a speed boat. We ended up staying in Seminyak which turned out to be very pleasant with its vibrant streets full of restaurants, shops and lovely beaches.
Catch a plane from Brisbane airport to Denpasar. It takes only 6.5 hours to get to Bali from Australia.
It is probably one of the shortest flights I have ever taken to get to an island. My typical flight lasts minimum 9 to 22 hours.
Arrival at Denpasar airport. We got picked up by a hotel driver. The trip to the hotel took about an hour.
I loved staying at the Royal Purnama. I will definitely go back there and stay again.
We chilled by the pool in the morning and explored Sanur in the afternoon. Sanur is about 20 minutes from Sukowati and is famous for its beautiful beach as well as plenty of cafes. There are also a few shops here and there but be careful. They are usually market-like shops with Balinese women who beg you to buy something.
A full day tour to Ubud with our private driver. It was totally worth it! We started our trip at the Jewellery Factory. It is located in an extraordinary building full of sculptures and marvelous pieces of art. We saw how the jewellery is made, designed and eventually sold in the shop. Our next stop was at the Batik where we observed how Balinese clothes are made. Next we were dropped off at the Art and Crafts shop and a Balinese Temple which were both very impressive. However, the main attraction of this tour were: a visit to a coffee plantation overlooking the rice fields as well as a walk to Tegenungan Waterfall. Swimming underneath a waterfall is a unique experience. I also recommend checking out a swing in Ubud. Although, it is not for faint-hearted, it is a truly thrilling experience! I spent some time talking to the locals, in particular children and the elderly people. They seem to know English to an extent. I think they need more education. Therefore a language school there would be really useful.
Transfer to Seminyak. Our hotel was located in the city centre relatively close to all the shops and restaurants. We spent our day chilling by the pool and discovering Seminyak's beach, coffee shops and restaurants. I decided to try some spa shop. The massage was divine. It was a relaxing day before another day of exploring Bali.
We headed to Ubud once again as I wanted to discover all the areas and connect more with the locals. In addition, I feel awesome when I am surrounded by nature. We stopped at a few shops and also discovered the Monkey Forest. One of the monkeys almost stole my handbag. I got carried away while taking a picture :) Fortunately I managed to escape and saved my bag! A useful tip: do Not touch the monkeys if you go there. They are not friendly, on the contrary they are rather aggressive. Anyway, we made it to get to Ubud and I tried to find a spa where I could get a special massage called Ayurvedic Massage. It was really hard to find it as the name used in Bali is different to the name I knew. Anyway, I ended up finding it and I got it done. It was a very different type of massage. It took about 2 hours and it included a spa, full body massage with oils as well as identifying any parts of the body that are out of balance. I usually get a back massage. So, it was a bit awkward but in the end it was fine. I felt really good and the therapist said my energy was simply beautiful. So, it was worth it!
We spent some time by the pool before we went to a little island with a beautiful beach and Uluwatu temple. Uluwatu is an iconic place with a temple at the top of the mountain. It has got some amazing views from the top of it. We also watched a popular Kecak dance. The Kecak dance is staged most dramatically in the open air by Pura Tanah Lot as the sun slowly lowering in the sea over the horizon beyond this beautiful temple. The Kecak dance tells the story of Ramayana wherein prince Rama’s wife, Sita, is abducted by the ogre Rahwana.
We finished off our trip by exploring some more shops and getting spa.
Arrival in Australia.
In a nutshell, it was an awesome trip. I wish I could have stayed longer. I loved the scenery as well as the amazing spiritual experience in Ubud.
Stay tuned for more stories!
Waterfall nearby Sanur
Sunrise @ the Royal Purnama
Boiling hot day @ Padam beach
Coffee Plantation of Luwak coffee in Ubud. Bonding with the locals.
Rice Fields in Ubud
Seminyak beach bar
Monkey Forest in Ubud
Chilling @ the Royal Purnama
The entrance to our villa
Chilling by the pool
Pool bar @ Astagina Resort
The Royal Purnama,
Jl. Pants I, Sukawati, Gianyar, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia.
The Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa
Jl. Kayu Aya, Pantai, Seminyak, Kabupaten, Badung, Bali, Indonesia
Astagina Resort Villa and Spa
Jl. Werkudara No.8, Legian, Kabupaten Badung, Bali, Indonesia
Also recommended: The Hanging Gardens in Ubud. (Sadly, it was booked out).
Places that are worth checking out:
UC Silver Bali - jewellery store
Jl. Raya Batubulan, Kesiman Kertalangu, Denpasar Tim, Bali, Indonesia
Rice Terraces in Ubud
Tegenungan Waterfall, Sukuwati
Traditional Art Market in Ubud
Batik with clothing - various locations around Ubud and everywhere else in Bali
Uluwatu Temple & the Kecak Dance
Seminyak Beach & the main streets in Seminyak if you fancy good shopping
Sanur beach nearby Sukawati
Ps. Watch this space for more info!