Southeast Asia

Bali Bound

June 29, 2015
Bali Statue

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.

Denpasar International Airport

Ngurah Rai International Airport

Our official Bali Welcome Photo at the airport

Our official Bali Welcome Photo at the airport

mopeds in Bali

Many mopeds on the roads of Bali

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.

Balinese Woman

Woman carrying plants on her head

rice worker in Bali

Man working rice field

moped driver

Items transported by moped

Balinese kids

Balinese children selling fans to my daughter

Hindu offering

Woman making an offering

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!

Genesha Cafe

Genesha Cafe

Dining on the beach at Ganesha Cafe

Dinner and drinks on the beach

Sunset in Bali

Beautiful sunset over the Indian Ocean

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.

Bali Masari Villas

photo credit: balimasarivillas.com

Bali Masari Villa

View from our villa

Pool at Bali Masari Villas & Spa

Pool view

Infinity pool at Bali Masari Villas & Spa

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?

Spa at Bali Masari

Spa view

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.

 

 

 

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