A Bewitching Vacation: Bali, Indonesia

10th Sep 2016
Photo of A Bewitching Vacation: Bali, Indonesia by Sanghamitra Bordoloi

In a country, known as the Island of the Gods, made up of thousands of volcanic islands, this vibrant city in Indonesia is to perfectly describe – Bewitching. Being unaware of the beauty that this world’s largest island country holds, I decided to embark on this journey to experience and take in it all.

Habituated to travelling since young and fulfilling travel dreams in India and the world, I usually travel prepared. Weeks of pursuing of what will interest me and finding the right sanctuary to dwell during my habitat period in Bali, I found myself planning a perfect little vacation. Only tip I can give to someone who enjoy being a traveler is to take in all you can from Bali. Bali is not just a place to visit, it’s an experience you preserve for a lifetime.

As days and weeks passed, and it was time to emplane. The flight descended towards Bali halting for few hours in Kuala Lumpur. The wait was exciting and full of turbulence.

Hours later, maneuvering atop volcanic mountains, the greenery, the island, the ocean, your pilot makes sure you find yourself caught up in a europhoria. Being breathless for a while and came back to our senses once we started to descend. My exhilaration couldn’t be explained to finally have step foot on this island.

Deplaned and stamped we quickly grab our baggage, changed our currencies’ and rode towards our habitat.

Picturesque city with architectural landmarks, locals adorning balineese traditional garments, tourists on scooters, you get to experience the age old culture and ancient beliefs with a modern hip twist on the way.

Photo of A Bewitching Vacation: Bali, Indonesia 1/4 by Sanghamitra Bordoloi
Architectural Marvels of Bali

Every crossroads and traffic intersection in the city, footpaths, outside shops, women folk will pray and place offering known as the Canangs Sari. Made of leaves and filled with flowers, fruits, coins, and incense, it’s a daily offering given to the spirits of the earth below.

Balineese culture is combined and formed beautifully with balineese-hindu – Buddhist religion. It is known for its creativity depicted in dance, drama and sculptures. Hinduism has a major influence over Bali from the very first century.

Photo of A Bewitching Vacation: Bali, Indonesia 2/4 by Sanghamitra Bordoloi

Local people are the sweetest and donot hesitate to give respect and a smile wherever you go. Greetings like Good morning Selamat pagi (S’LAH-maht PAH-ghee) Good afternoon Selamat siang (S’LAH-maht PAH-ghee SEE-yang) Good evening Selamat sore (S’LAH-maht PAH-ghee) follows you all day. You can always give back a Thank You Terima kasih (Tuh-REE-mah KAH-see) with a smile to these lovely folks.

Le Grande, Pecatu -

Nestled in the heart of Kuta, the western coast of Bali, is a grand sanctuary. Often a top spot for golf lovers and wedding events, 4 star hotel with all amenities, lush green walking paths with vibrant fishes swimming across the paths, hours can be spent in this habitat doing exactly what I do best – Nothing.

Photo of A Bewitching Vacation: Bali, Indonesia 3/4 by Sanghamitra Bordoloi
Le Grande, Pecatu on a rainy evening
Photo of A Bewitching Vacation: Bali, Indonesia 4/4 by Sanghamitra Bordoloi

Book yourself a Pecatu suite or deluxe balcony, each rooms styled in a contemporary Balinese style with a view. Book a spa and laze around while sipping your favorite cocktails and gorging on fresh fruits.

Must Visit Places / Must Do’s -

An active volcano formed about 28,500 years ago, last erupted in 2000, is a must visit destination in Bali. Approximately 2 hours from our habitat in Kuta. You can enlive the scenic beauty by grabbing a seat at any local restaurant, sitting face to face with the volcano and enjoying a cold beer and a lavish buffet of local delicacies or if you are into trekking and looking for an adventure/off beat path, you can always opt of the Mount Batur sunrise trek which usually starts at very early in the morning and by the time trek ends you are on the volcano gleaming at the glistening first rays of the sunrise, enjoying boiled eggs made on the crater itself or the steaming holes of the caves.

Photo of Mount Batur, South Batur, Bangli Regency, Bali, Indonesia by Sanghamitra Bordoloi
Photo of Mount Batur, South Batur, Bangli Regency, Bali, Indonesia by Sanghamitra Bordoloi

At the southern end of Bali lies this beautiful spot called Seminyak. Much laid-back in lifestyle than hip Kuta. From temples to boutique shopping and to find a beach which is quieter than rest of Bali this is the place. Check out the Petitenget Temple which is a local place of worship and to catch a beautiful sunset, Seminyak beach is a go.

Deriving from the words, ‘lu’, meaning ‘lands’ end’, and watu, meaning ‘rock. It sits in the south-western tip of Bali. One of the surfing destinations due to the intensity of the waves which makes it a best surfing spot. Famous for the Uluwatu temple which is nestled on the cliff top. During sunset, you can sit back and enjoy the fire dance or monkey dance chanting a ‘keh-chak’. The dance is inspired by the story line from the Ramayana with balineese expressions. It usually starts at 6 in the evening.

Photo of Uluwatu Temple, Pecatu, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia by Sanghamitra Bordoloi

The cultural hub of Bali. Famous for textiles and handicrafts, this town is bundled amongst rice paddies and ravines. Streets filled with good restaurants overlooking the rice paddies, and you can always opt for pretty café’s and street shopping. Don’t be bamboozled by the prices, you can always look for a better bargain. You can visit the Museum of art, monkey forest or walk about the streets looking for handicrafts made by the local artisans.

In the village of Beraban, rests the famous temple of Tanah Lot on a large offshore rock. You can walk over to the temple when tides are low, but foreignerson-balineese people are not allowed to enter the temple.

Photo of Tanah Lot Temple, Jalan Tanah Lot, Beraban, Tabanan Regency, Bali, Indonesia by Sanghamitra Bordoloi

Remember to cover legs which is of outmost important while visitng any temple in Bali for both men and women – a Kain Kamben (sarong) around your legs and a Selendang (temple scarf) around your waist. These items can be rented at temple entrances or you can carry your own.

A must try is the luwak coffee, aka Poop coffee. Just as the name suggests, made out of the poop of the luwak. Produced in the Indonesian island of Java, Bali, Sumatra, the luwak eats the cherries and the fermentation takes place in the digestive track, passed through the intestines and finally pooped out. The coffee cherries are then picked up and made into the poop coffee.

Photo of Bali Luwak Coffee Plantation Office, Gang Kusuma, Pedungan, Denpasar City, Bali, Indonesia by Sanghamitra Bordoloi

Must Visit Beaches –

Crystal- Clear waters, salty air, ocean breeze and sunshine, beaches in Bali are to die for. To experience, Dreamland Beach, Karma Beach Club, Padang-Padang Beach, Sanur Beach, Nusa Penida, Uluwatu Beach are worth mentioning. To reach to a few of the beaches, you have to cross steep caves and monkeys and all the hurdles which will lead you to a paradise. Don’t wait just pack your sunscreens and sarong and head to all of them.

Padang-Padang Beach

Photo of A Bewitching Vacation: Bali, Indonesia by Sanghamitra Bordoloi

Nightlife –

For party mongers or for someone looking to just sit back and relax on the beach, you got it all.

Head to Jalan-Legion, Kuta and you will find streets filled with night clubs, music events and café’s. Party goes on till early morning. Number one mega club not to be missed is the Sky-Garden. One of Bali’s premier night clubs which has 8 in-house pubs and club under the roof. Magical colourful drinks, beautiful people and vibrant energy will make this your favourite hot spot forever.

If you want a pub with a legendary view, head over to Ayana’s Rock Bar. Sitting on a secluded limestone cliff at the Jimbaran beach coast, it is one of the popular sunset destinations. Getting to rock bar is always an experience. You need to descend throw lawns and long staircases, which first provides the bird’s eye view of the bar. On the way down you can enjoy the spectacular view and finally reach the bar on the cliff. Dress in Chic and grab a spot and go straight for the cocktails and enjoy the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks while enchanting music plays in the background. The cold ocean breeze will relax and calm your mind while the poles set on fire near you will keep you warm.

Bird's eye view while descending to Rock Bar

Photo of Rock Bar Bali, Jalan Karang Mas Sejahtera, Jimbaran, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia by Sanghamitra Bordoloi

Other popular destinations and things to do will include getting ready with your surf gear and hop aboard your motor and zoom off to surf at any beach where the tides are high, visiting temples, Having an array of seafood at the Jimbaran beach watching the colours of the sky change after sunset and laze around till night, muck diving, snorkelling, explore more paddy fields, bathe in the sacred waters at Tirta Empul, spend time with monkeys at the monkey forest, visit palaces and museums, drink from the fountain of youth at Goa Gajah, explore the cave under uluwatu beach

Sea-Food Display at Jimbaran Bay

Photo of Jimbaran Bay Seafood Club, Jalan Pantai Kedonganan, Jimbaran, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia by Sanghamitra Bordoloi

Bali will appease to your appetite at all times, whether you are here to experience arts and history and only want to stick to museums and galleries and enjoy the dance or balineese culture or want to kick back and cycle around the rice paddy field meeting the locals and enjoying scrumptious local delicacies or want to stay on the beautiful beaches and get a golden tan or want to succumb to the nightlife that Bali has to offer.

This is the place to be and to experience once in a lifetime.