Saturday, August 15, 2015

Breath taking Bali!

As we thought about how we wanted to spend our anniversary we had three checkpoints on our list
1) Scuba Diving
2) Cheap (we are still recovering from our trip to UK last year)
3) On arrival visa
and the answer was clear; Bali! And what a memorable vacation it turned out to be; as soon as we landed in Denpasar airport we were relaxed; the combination of the warm sun in the gentle cool breeze was just what I needed coming from rain soaked Pune.

While I loved every day of my stay in Bali, these are some of the highlights of our trip
Liberty Dive Resort

1) Tulamben: It is a scuba divers dream; our resort was literally 100 meters from the ocean and the spectacular USAT Liberty Shipwreck, an American cargo ship which crashed in Bali and was forced underwater by a volcanic explosion in the sixties. It was a surreal experience to dive in a ship wreck for the first time and see the host of plants and sea creatures who had made it their home. This was also the dive on which I saw my first turtle up close. And it was on our last dive in Bali that I also spotted a shark and let some shrimp give me a manicure at 20 meters under water! I am always so awestruck my this enchanting hidden world thriving under us.

 2) The Balinese people: I find myself saying this in many of my travel posts, but it is really the people who make or break the trip for me; and in Bali the people were the stars of my experience. From the cab drivers, to the hotel staff, to the masseurs, to our dive instructor every one of them I wanted to hug. Such simple, lovely warm folks who go the extra mile to ensure you see their beautiful country in all its glory.

Happy me at Nusa Dua beach!
3) Handicrafts: The Balinese are some of the most talented craftsmen and women I have come across so far. I quite literally wanted to lug wooden cupboards back home, thats how lovely everything was. They have magic in their fingers and they use it on wood, cloth, bones, glass, sea shells and even coconut shells to produce masterpieces. And the silver, such beautiful unique pieces,must must buy silver! If you are planning a trip to Bali then dont be a fool like me and go equipped with an extra bag to haul all your shopping.

4) Beaches: Of course the beaches are fabulous; a gorgeous green blue ocean and white sand; isnt that the image that comes to mind when you think Bali! It comes to life when you go there and Nusa Dua shows you the five star beach experience. Its almost exclusively a five star resort island with many of them owning parts of the beach. You can luxuriate under the sun, take a dip in the warm waters while enjoying Shrimp Quesadillas and a cold Bintang! Such bliss!!

Uluwatu Temple
5) Temples: Now I am not the biggest fan of temples and had not really included it in our agenda but our driver Gusti insisted we visit them and gave us the grand tour when he took us. The Uluwatu temple, the Tanah Lot temple and the Tirta Empul ; all three of them are spectacular and give you an almost instant sense of calm when you get there. My favourite was the Tanah lot located on the sea with the waves crashing into the rocks that bear the temple. It is exceptionally lovely at sunset, however also exceptionally crowded.  The kecak dancers performing the Ramayana at sunset at the Uluwatu temple is also a memorable experience.

6) Landscapes: A small as Bali is it gives you a range of landscapes to enjoy; from the pristine beaches, to the volcanic mountains to the lush rainforests to the gorgeous green rice fields. And you can possibly see all of this on a two hour drive through the island.

Tegalalang Rice fields

7) Traffic: This is not something I worry about on holiday but there is something so peaceful about the traffic in Bali. The long winding single lane hill roads tend to get jammed, but there is no honking, no random overtaking, no abusing of any kind. People wait patiently for the road ahead to clear and keep everything very cordial. Coming from India I was pleasantly surprised.

The Balinese Thali!
8) Ease of access: Bali is a one stop flight from India, if you go via Singapore then no prior visa required and the exchange rate is in our favour. 1 INR - about 200 IDR which is so much fun! This means you can make a spontaneous trip to Bali and it will also not burn a hole in your pocket.

Breakfast served in our private balcony
While I didn't really enjoy Balinese cuisine, I loved the care that was taken to present the food to us and I discovered two things in Bali that I fell in love with; Sambal (I literally ate everything with it) and the Chocolate and Caramel Magnum.

I would recommend Bali to anyone who wants an easy chilled out vacation; it is the ideal spot for some sun, sand and pampering!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for planning this awesome 10th anniversary trip love.. Ummaah!