Things are heating up in California, and so, too, is our Escape. Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce one of my favorite tropical destination escapes…Bali, Indonesia! The beaches alone are mesmerizing, but the cliffs and scenic landscape do everything in reminding you of just how very far away from daily life you are.
The people and places in Bali do more than just evoke “relaxing getaway”…there’s a true spiritual reverence surrounding you at all times, especially when touring the infamous temples. In viewing the Balinese temple offerings, I can’t help but wonder what silent hopes and dreams lie behind the food and floral displays.
Another common sight in Bali? Rice fields…and even they contribute to the tropical beauty of the landscape. How joyous is this rice farmer’s smile?
But my favorite location of all has to be the Balinese markets. I always say that you can get a true sense of any culture in visiting their markets, and Bali is no exception. The joy for cooking and for life are evident in everything from the people to the food here. And the smells are just magnificent. I could spend all day in this market!
Here are my picks for the best in where and what you should sleep/eat/see in Bali:
Sleep: The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah…located near the city of Ubud, yet worlds away in luxury and serenity, The Chedi is your best bet in experiencing the ultimate in luxurious accommodations without losing the distinct cultural experience of Bali. Stay in one of their one bedroom suites (perhaps a one bedroom pool or spa villa if you’d like), or stay in the Hadiprana Villa (the two bedroom luxury estate once owned by the founder and owner of the property). Either way, you’ll enjoy the lavish pool, cultural performances, fine dining, and local excursions in style.
Eat: Melting Wok Warung…located in Ubud, this restaurant is by far a must visit while in Bali!!! The food which utilizes local meat and produce, encompasses traditional and more modern Balinese cuisine. Reasonably priced and served in a simple yet elegant atmosphere, you won’t be disappointed. Reservations are a must, so be sure to ask your hotel concierge for help.
See: Beyond the temples and local beaches near Ubud, be sure to visit Bature Lake, which is the largest lake in Bali and a short drive away in Kintamani. The lake itself sits inside the crater of Mount Batur, next to an active volcano. Cross the lake to Trunyan village, where the island’s original inhabitants (the Bali Aga people) still live. To see the best in local artisan-try, head to the village of Tenganan, known for its people’s unique double ikat weaving and smoked grass woven baskets. Or climb Mount Agung, Bali’s highest peak and witness the infamous, multi-tiered 14th century Pura Besakih mother temple.
Until next week…