After reading the book, “Eat, Pray and Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert, many moons ago, I knew I was bound for Bali one day (as indicated on my Travel Bucket List). The moment I stepped into the Ngurah Rai International Airport (also known as Denpasar International Airport), I knew we’d arrived in paradise. Bali is unlike other tropical places I’ve visited such as Hawaii and the Caribbean. Its streets are bustling with tons of mopeds, cars, dogs, and people everywhere. Some may consider this mayhem as there are no defined rules of the road; but to me, it was a rhythmic motion in which everyone knew the tune and magically moved together.
Throughout the streets are women carrying various items on their heads; workers alongside the road (a lot of construction and rice field workers); items big and small transported by moped; kids playing freely and selling items; and offerings being made outside of storefronts. Most of the people on the island are Hindu; followed by Muslim, Buddhist, and Christian in the minority. Several times a day, Hindu people can be seen making an offering which may consist of flowers, a small food item such as crackers, and incense. The simple offering ceremony is a beautiful sight to witness.
Greeted with our name on a sign was our cheerful driver, Dewa Swastio, owner of Dewa Bali Private Tours. Best way to get around Bali is by hiring a driver unless your adventuresome spirit can handle the perils of the road. I came across Dewa by reading outstanding reviews in the Trip Advisor forums. Dewa immediately responded to my email and provided a full travel itinerary. After the airport pick up, a stop was made at the Genesha Cafe in Jimbaran Bay to grab dinner and watch the sun set. What a great way to kick-off the trip!
We stayed in the town of Sukawati, an hour drive East of the airport and a half hour South of Ubud, at the Bali Masari Villas & Spa. Breathtaking is the best word to describe this villa oasis. Nestled in a valley these private villas offer scenic views and a magnificent infinity pool.
The staff was wonderful and the spa was amazing. The spa overlooked a forest with sounds of a running stream below. The feeling of being immersed in nature while getting a relaxing massage was incredible. A one-hour massage was 280,000 rupiah; equivalent to approx. $21US. A full spa package, consisting of a massage, facial, and body scrub w/spa drink ran about 400,000 rupiah; approx. $30US. At these prices, how not to take advantage?
The five-day stay was pure rest and relaxation with one day of an action-packed tour compromising of a traditional Balinese dance; hike to a waterfall; stop at a woodcarver’s workshop; visit to a coffee plantation; lunch at an active volcano; and finishing up at a rice terrace.
Click here to find out about the exciting day we had on this tour.