First things first, if you are a first time traveler to Bali like I was, you will have a hard time planning the trip. That’s because there is too much ground to cover and unless you have a good 7 – 10 days, you won’t be able to cover all of it. So start with a map of the island and choose the portion of the island you want to cover.
We recently shifted base from India to Singapore, and since Bali was conveniently close, I chose this destination to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary. The task I had in hand was to pack as much as I could in 3 days – comfortably and not so that we are running all over the island. I decided to stick to the southern part of the island.
A lot of people prefer to stay in Seminyak or Kuta – if you are looking to party every day and have access to the main shopping areas that’s where you should go. But do your research, Bali is infamous for its traffic and these areas are the busiest. We wanted to stay a little away from the crowd and yet not too far from the main Denpasar area. Hence we chose Sanur. Oh and yes Bali has some amazing AirBnB options.
The Little Tree House became our home for the next 3 days!
This place had amazing people helping you around. They greeted us warmly and were quite friendly. They also arrange for tours across the island at decent rates. Scootys and cycles are also available at any point in time at a nominal cost! We decided to take a scooty on our last day there and were pleasantly surprised when we got to know that the first litre of petrol is on the house!
We reached Bali early in the morning and after checking in at the Little Tree House we took a 10 minutes walk to the Sanur beach and grabbed a quick bite before heading off to Nusa Dua – which literally means two islands!
The Waterblow at Nusa Dua was our key attraction. It is located in the Bali Tourism and Development Corporation area of Nusa Dua. It is essentially a limestone cliff overlooking the vast expanse of the deep blue sea. There is a very narrow inlet into these cliffs where the sea water rushes in, the level starts rising until it suddenly blows out and then just as suddenly the water calmly recedes back into the sea and only a moss eaten empty limestone inlet remains – before the water hits AGAIN!
Like I said the deep blue sea – time just stands still here as you gaze upon this view with a smile on your face!
Nusa Dua had us geared up for our next majestic view of the sea at Ulluwatu! You absolutely can’t miss it. Somehow it just puts you in touch with your inner-self! You feel a calmness engulfing you.
We found a few locals meditating amidst the tourists and a few naughty monkeys! This was very inspiring – the level concentration you need for meditation is not a mystery to anyone, but to do that amidst so many happy tourist and chattering monkeys – that requires a lot patience, concentration and perhaps practice.
If you are planning an extravagant wedding shoot – this is what you are looking for. This bride must have had a gala time at the edge of the cliff posing away to glory 🙂
Ohh and yes – that’s the traditional Sarong that you need to wear before you enter Ulluwatu. Since this is a holy place, you have to wear the traditional “praying clothes” – in the words of our friendly driver.
We made it at the nick of time for a beautiful sunset at Ulluwatu. Mesmerized much?
Day 2 started as early as 8 AM for us since we had booked a Balinese Spa experience at Maya Ubud! Sanur to Ubud is an hour long drive. As you enter Ubud you realize that this part of the island is different from the busy areas of Denpasar. Its quieter, cooler, more green!
Maya, Ubud welcomed us as royal guests. This 5 star hotel has a serene environment that just engulfs you and transports into a blissful world. We had a hearty breakfast before heading towards the spa!
Imagine a spa session in the middle of the forest by the river. There was no soothing music playing – there was no need for it! The sound of the gurgling of water from the river and the rustling on the leaves was exactly what we needed while the lovely masseurs revitalized our senses! Our experience had a surprise addition of a herbal bubble bath at the end of the massage session…. Sigh! #ThrowMeBack!
Hola Secret Canyon!
Post our spa session the plan was to locate the secret canyon and we were successful in our mission and how!
We weren’t prepared for what this secret canyon had in store for us. The entire trek is 2.5 hours long. We managed to do an hour before we turned back because the sharp pebbles across the canyon scraped our feet – ohh yes you do this barefeet and with a guide, unless you want to slip and hurt yourself bad.
But no amount of pain takes anything away from the adventure of crossing this canyon Once you reach such crevices you definitely need pictures. The guides are always ready to be your photographers; and they are good at it, even with DSLRs!
Notice how the rocks form 3 faces – and one of them is that of a monkey! Can you spot them?
Post the adventurous canyon trek we stopped over at a Luwak plantation before hitting Potato Head!
One must visit these unique coffee plantations, where Luwak, which is a civet is used to produce coffee. How, you ask? Well the civet sleep during the day in their cages and at night they are let out into the plantation where they eat the coffee beans. Then their poo is collected and the coffee beans are separated out and cleaned thoroughly. These coffee beans are then roasted and further crushed.
It is the most expensive coffee in the world and must I say the best that I have tasted. We also tasted a variety of tea and coffee samples and bought some to take home as well.
Seminyak sundowners are a must, especially at Potato Head. The ambience is awesome. The view is awesome. The crowd is awesome. The music is awesome. The drinks, especially their cocktails, are simply awesome. It was so awesome that we had to come back the next day!
Day 3 saw us mostly cruising around the city on our scooty, stopping at cafes for food and the delicious Bali Coffee and lazying around the beach, finally ending the day with another sundowner at W.
A FEW OTHER KEY POINTS ABOUT BALI
- The Balinese people are the sweetest and friendliest
- The island is ornate with intricate sculptures of Hindu gods like Vishnu and Rama. These sculptures exude a lot about the cultural heritage of this place
- Coffee produce is awesome and the Bali and Luwak coffees are must haves
- It is indeed a sea food heaven. Kuta, alone provides 70% of the sea food in the island. Visit one of the sea food cafes on the Kuta beach and catch a sunset while enjoying a fresh catch!
We left Bali with a smiles, some amazing experiences and the sound of big crashing waves…