In the middle of the month of August this year, I made a trip to a wonderful resort in the hills of Karnataka India. But why would I share about Karnataka with Bali? The resounding theme at the resort was about Bali. Balinese architecture was used in its design and was spread throughout the property and that planted a seed somewhere in my mind. Soon after, flight prices to Bali began to drop and I could feel that a trip to this island could be possible in the not so distant future. Like always, I am on the lookout for more adventures and mystical places to set my foot on. I set a date in my mind for a visit to Bali in Indonesia sometime in 2018 and I quickly forgot about it.
Three months later, in November, out of the blue, I get an invitation from Malindo Air and Indonesia Tourism to tour the island. I was ecstatic but a little taken aback at first, I couldn’t believe that the trip would happen sooner than I thought it would. With the excitement brewing to the brim, on a rainy night, I boarded a flight from Kochi with a quick transit in Kuala Lumpur and then flew into Denpasar, the capital of the island.
The next morning the bright morning sun emerged in the sky by my window seat, and as I stepped out, I peered through the tinted glasses of the aerobridge to see the very first glimpse of this lovely little island they call BALI, the Island of the gods, they say, and the Land of a Thousand Temples.
I was now halfway across the globe on an island known for its active volcanoes, tropical climate, terraced paddy fields, the oh so lovely beaches and remarkably one of the best sunset spots in the world. Yes! Mark that in red, please!
Bali is home to a predominantly Hindu population as opposed to the main islands like Java. The architecture in Bali is nothing short of stunning to an architecture lover and incorporates their rich culture and religion. Intricate woodcut artwork on doors, windows, walls, colorful paintings with tantric designs, hand-worked stone sculptures on the streets, not to mention the split gateways called the Candi bentar that are found everywhere on the island. Every household has a dedicated deity and a temple attached to its premises. An ancient purer form of Hinduism plays a prevalent role in most of the island’s culture and religion.
Now mind you, I did no research on the place, no google searches, watched no movies that were shot here, so all of this was new to me. It’s amazing when you travel to places without any expectations and preconceived notions, you end up appreciating the place even more. Word! I always believe that is the best way to travel. I had heard a story or two from friends who had visited the island and they had a great time. But that’s the best I knew about Bali.
Historical connotations and tourist feedback apart, Bali has transformed into a traveler friendly haven that is well within a backpacker’s wallet. Yup. You can just show up with a couple of dollars and feel like a millionaire thanks to the heavily devalued currency in Indonesia. So with a million bucks in hand, the island offers you some breathtaking views strewn over smoking volcanic mountains like the famous Mount Agung which made news recently.
The lush green paddy fields in the countryside remind me of my own home state Kerala in India and then there are countless beaches that lie on the coastline where the beach bums can go take a dip in. As you go deeper into the heart and soul of Bali in Ubud, you would be surrounded by a tranquil tropical paradise of terraced farmlands beside sloping hills shaded with coconut palms, something you wish you get lost into. Or like my friend who is always on the lookout for tender coconut water in every country.
What sets you in the mood is the aura the place emanates that newlywed couples spend an enormous time honeymooning here. I’m serious! I bet you already knew that. Reminds me that I should take a plus one along the next time around.
Want some more of Bali?? Well, why don’t you just immerse yourself in these images and then you can pin this place to your travel map. I’m sure your trip to Bali will be right around the corner. I’ve already called dibs on some of the places I want to be with the aforementioned plus one when it happens. You can have the rest of the cake though. Haha!
Bali from my lens
I already mentioned Bali’s wonderful architecture
some of it can be found at every corner, like this one at a beach
Say wall art?
Ha, the beaches! No, I won’t share clichéd beach photos
I like street art, maybe you do too, Genius!!!
erm, a literal off the shore temple, and the most famous one of them all, Pura Tanah Lot
Snorkeling is definitely fun in the crystal blue waters of Crystal Bay. Looks greener over here though
Or enjoy a candlelit dinner with some Balinese dance performances like this one at Jimbaran with a plus one of course
Head over to Ubud and taste some Luwak/Civet pooped coffee, there’s a reason they call some nincompoop. Haha! Just kidding. I hope PETA doesn’t find me here.
While in Ubud, walk around the countryside and stumble across such quaint gardens in front of local homes.
Who doesn’t love sunsets? I missed this one but boy, the color show stayed around just calling for some romance
Seriously! No kidding! It stayed on for a good one hour. All right, I won’t exaggerate, it was probably around half hour or so.
With all that swimming and snorkeling and what not, you’ll need an energizing Balinese massage at the end of the day. Seminyak and Kuta are full of spas every hundred meters.
I went a bit further and ordered a nice little glass of Bali Black Rice Pudding to top it off. Yummy!!
Forgot to mention, Quad biking was the best activity I found in Bali. So it’s not just water sports after all. Leave the
one plus plus one behind and head over for some adrenaline pumping action through some pretty villages in Ubud.
I liked the name of this Indonesian salad, Gado-Gado, a worthy mention when you look out for food
Some more architecture I suppose. Pretty cool right?
Park your bike by the curb and make a quick prayer at one of those colorful temples by the street anywhere in Bali. This is the Land of the gods after all.
I’ll leave you be now, Om suastiastu, and head to Bali I say. That wasn’t Hindi I promise and not a tongue-twister on purpose.
Pin this image!!!
*All views expressed here are my own.