The first time I was in Bali, it was for a business trip. We stayed at the beautiful Komaneka resort at Bisma, Ubud.
I wished I was there for a holiday instead so I could just sit and stare at the views. Thankfully, I did have the chance to try out their spa which was sublime. After the treatment, I was given time to just soak in the tub where the platform opened up wide to tall bamboo trees and I could hear the rushing streams of waters in the distance. They served me a watermelon juice and I just sat there and quietened my heart. I could hear some talking in the distance too. Humans were so near and yet so far which suited me just fine.
Last November, the family decided to go to Bali together. I wanted to see if we could stay at Komaneka again as Ubud seemed to be the best area of Bali to stay in for our kind of preferences. The trip was decided pretty late and hence in the end, we could only find something in Seminyak. We don’t usually go for such luxurious picks, but this time, we stayed at The Layar which was nice for the family as it was a villa with 3 bedrooms.
It had a beautiful private pool and outdoor showers. Just like what you would imagine from a quintessential Bali experience. Just watch out for visitors when showering. A toad and giant spider came by on one of the nights:)
As our very nice Bali driver would describe it,
- Kuta was popular with Australians who liked to party and drink,
- Seminyak was popular with all types who liked to shop and eat,
- Ubud was popular with Europeans who liked the quiet, culture and nature
I guess I am more similar to Europeans in terms of preferences.
We headed to Jimbaran for seafood dinner by the beach. It was there where we ate the most amazing buttered grilled corn. I don’t usually even like corn but this was really good. In that same night, we bought corn sticks thrice. You will see these stalls dotted along the beach.
The waves were getting bigger so we played a game after dinner. It is called see-who-can-stay-where-they-are-closest-to-the-wavelines-and-then-run-away-as-fast-as-possible-when-waves-come-crashing-in! People stared at us as if we had gone mad.
In the morning, I woke up and stepped out to enjoy the fresh air and peacefulness of the place. I found yellow frangipanis dotted on the bright green grass. Seemed like the perfect spot to do some yoga; except that I had no mat nor could remember much of what I learnt before.
But, we can play frisbee.
Across the waters too
Just look straight ahead and not get jumbled up in sight. Especially on money.
Did you know that there is a really nice Bali Safari & Marine Park? We didn’t know till our friendly driver told us. Are you ready?!
You could hang out with the chimps,
Escape from a stampede,
Pet a baby lion (absolutely the highlight of my trip. I was so thrilled to be able to do this. He was only 4 months old! He just feels like a bigger dog with rougher fur.)
And compete with giraffes to see who has a longer neck,
It was way past lunch time when we were done, and we wanted to go look at the padi fields of Bali. We came to this really nice restaurant serving Balinese and western food:
As the Chinese saying goes, 粒粒皆辛苦 (literally means there is a lot of toil and sweat behind every grain of rice). It is pretty much back-breaking work to plant each stalk so the parents would always say, don’t waste your food!
Clearly, they thought the rice deserved a crown too:
I always like a coffee after a nice meal. I got way more than I wished for. I had a table array of different flavours coffee to try out at Tebasari, an agrotourism spot that also grows coffee. They also had the world’s most expensive Luwak coffee, but I didn’t really enjoy seeing the civet cats in cages (as the coffee beans had to be retrieved from their poop. Sounds digusting but people do pay a premium for this coffee!)
We also visited the shops which sold beach wear, lace wear, furniture, and this pottery shop by Samantha Robinson. Her pieces are really pretty!
At the beach, we were attracted by the sailing ship in the sky. The kite seller was chilling out and clearly enjoying himself. We went by a lot of bars including Ku De Ta which had signature bright red umbrellas. Good place for washing sand off your feet when you are ready to rest. They have a nifty foot wash right at the edge of the beach just before you step in.
In Bali, one of the things you gotta do is to get a good massage. The Layar was really nice, as they gave us each a short complimentary one.
There are many other things you could enjoy in Bali. Temple visits, looking at art galleries and craftsmen work their magic, climb mountains to see sunrises, or go to Tanah Lot to see the sunset. What was a really really good experience happened on our last trip when we went to whitewater rafting down Agung River.
I didn’t bring my phone along as I didn’t want it to get wet and I regret that choice. I can’t swim very well so I was afraid it would be dangerous. The guide was really reassuring so I went for it. In the end, even the parents joined in for the fun! It was a 9 km ride with some serious thrills of going up and down the waves and over the rocks. We were surrounded by the hills and it started drizzling at some point. I never enjoyed the rain as much before than I did on that raft that morning.
Now that I have tried it, I am going to look out for more opportunities to do white water rafting on my next travels!
One of the best parts of travel is always about meeting the local people and understanding more about the place and secret spots from them. Eddy was our guide and he is really nice. If you would like to look for him on your Bali trip, you could text him at +62 818 05456266.