Majestic Volcanic mountains, iconic beaches with coral reefs, terraced rice fields- there is one such place which offers these attractions and more. A place which pulls you into an immersive experience – Bali.
The people in Bali are very cheerful and high-spirited. After a 30 hour flight, we reached our Villa at Seminyak, in the south of Bali. The Villa staff wowed us with their warm smiles and amazing hospitality as they welcomed us with refreshing fruit juice.
We visited the Ulan Danu Temple, a water-temple surrounded by a large water body and mountains. This place is cool and breezy, even during the summer. Later that evening, we watched the sunset at Tanah Lot, a beautiful place for photography enthusiasts.
In Ubud, we hiked through terraced rice plantations sprawled over steps cut into the hills. We learnt that this type of cultivation decreases erosion and surface run-off and provides the stability required for growing crops such as rice, wheat and barley. Along the rice fields, you will see shops selling the world famous “Luwak” coffee or “Cat Poo” coffee. It consists of coffee beans ingested and digested by the Luwak(a type of weasel). The excreted coffee beans are cleaned, dried and roasted to achieve a very expensive cup of coffee. We decided to give the coffee a miss though, considering it’s origins and also, out of consideration for the poor Luwaks which are captive in small cages, looking tired and sleepy.
Bali has a rich palette of tastes to offer for those who delight culinary experimentation. Due to it’s tropical climate, you will find here a large assortment of fruits, some of them with extrememly curious-sounding names. One such fruit is “Mango Stein” ,which looks nothing like a mango but tastes sweet and juicy. Another fruit called “Salak” aka “Snake skin fruit”, tastes slightly sweet and acidic, but looks nothing like what its name implies. The tender coconuts here are to live for!The size of a human head, these nutritious treats are just packed with natural electrolytes. Bali also has restaurants for all categories of cuisines in addition to the traditional Bali fare with options for Vegan,Gluten-free diets.
One can find the influence of Hindu culture on Indonesia, as almost every block has a temple, much like the temple towns of India. Everywhere we walked, we would run into offerings of flowers and incense laid on the ground for the spirits. From the idols they worship and their traditional massages, to the Bollywood movies that they watch, this Indian influence is evident.
Bali is a shopper’s delight as its a treasure trove for fine art and artifacts, antique furniture, home decors and much more! Here, bargaining really works and getting a good price depends on one’s bargaining expertise. Some famous markets to visit are the Kuta Market and Kuta Beachwalk and the Ubud Art Market.
For all the adrenaline junkies, there is a wide range of activities such as surfing, sea walk,flyboarding etc. We learnt that surfers from around the world come to Bali due to its great weather and warm waters.
One cannot leave Bali without a Balinese Massage, a relaxing therapy to stimulate your lymphatic system. It is truly a treat for your tired limbs after a day of seeing the sights.
A few other places we visited include the beautiful Black Sand Beach at Komune and Lovina, known for glittering in the night; hike the Mount Batur hiking begins at 2:30am and you finish at about 10am ; a splash in the Telenungan Waterfall; and a peep into the Goa Gajah caves; visit the Surfer’s destination Uluwatu.
Long story short- visit Bali for truly enjoyable and memorable experiences. We loved it!
Written & Photo Credit By FLocal Local Team Member: Swathi Omprakash