I have been asked many times why I chose Bali to host my Escapes & there is no single reply that sufficiently sums up why. I have also been asked many times to write a blog & I figured there is no better time to start but with a new year. So here goes.
So why Bali?
Bali is one of most popular destinations in Indonesia & has long been a favourite for Aussie holiday makers & for good reason. It's close proximity to Australia means that you can be in Bali within a matter of hours depending on where you live ( a little longer for the eastern & southern states) and although so close it seems like a world away with the diversity of landscape & culture. The moment you step off the plane & leave the airport something tells you that you are well & truly not in Kansas now Toto.
For first timers to Bali the initial onslaught of the traffic i.e. swarms of scooters, cars & taxis turning 3 lane roads into a 5 or even 10 abreast can be a little overwhelming but after you've spent some time here you will begin to feel a sense of calm when on the road as you soon realise that despite so much traffic everyone is patient & courteous & they just simply want to get where they are going safely, even if that means driving on the footpath. The "yield & forgive" mentality they practice is one that many western countries would do well to adopt. I always imagine that the flow of traffic in Bali if viewed from above would resemble a march of ants ebbing & weaving even if mostly it's at a snails pace. I am continually fascinated by it & I don't think I will ever tire of the sights I see on the streets.
Traffic aside, Bali to me is like a tapestry of old & new, authentic Balinese culture steeped in tradition but blending with a new & ever changing landscape.
So here are my top reasons why:
1. The beautiful people - widely known for their gentle smiles and hospitality the Balinese are always eager to please us, as guests to their country & this is clearly evident as you are always treated like royalty and one can never do enough to accommodate you or your needs.
2. The culture - although Indonesia as a whole is majority a Muslim nation, Bali is majority Hindu. Religion is a major part of life in Bali & you will see temples of significance dotted all over the landscape along with offerings known as canang sari which are placed not only at temples but also inside & outside homes & business' three times a day. These offerings are swept away each day & new ones put in their place.
There are more ceremonies held in Bali than I've had hot dinners & if you are lucky enough to witness one, it is truly a sight to behold. Dressed in traditional clothing, it is an explosion of sound & colour & probably one of the most wonderful things I have seen.
Another significant part of Balinese culture is the many forms of traditional Balinese dance. These dances & performances express stories through intricate hand & eye movements which are taught before they can even walk.
3. The amazing landscape - from sandy white & sometimes black volcanic beaches, world heritage rice terraces, waterfalls and jungles to volcanic mountains, tropical islands & some of the most amazing blazing sunsets on the planet Bali has some fantastic natural wonders to see.
4. The fabulous food - A magical fusion of traditional Indonesian fare mixed with new and exciting western cuisine. With so many restaurants to choose from using an abundance of locally grown fresh ingredients I guarantee you will never go hungry. If you are a foodie, why not try your hand at an Indonesian cooking class.
5. The shopping - there is everything from your Bali bargain Bintang t-shirts & souvenirs to high end fashion with many international designers now calling Bali home. Seminyak is the place to find high end fashion with boutiques on just about every corner. There is however, a new culture emerging for shopping when it comes to not only fashion but incredible homewares & home decor with some of my favourite stores now establishing themselves out at hip & happening Canggu just north of Seminyak.
6. The massages & spa treatments - if you love a good massage then you won't be disappointed with what is on offer in Bali. You can get everything from a basic Balinese massage from approx $10 Australian dollars right up to advanced spa & skin care treatments including cosmetic injectables, cosmetic surgery, teeth whitening etc. If advanced treatments are your thing I recommend doing your homework & seeking recommendations before making any decisions. If your like me & just want to relax with a good massage of fragrant oils followed by a beautiful flower bath then you won't have any trouble finding something to suit. Pure bliss!!
image credit google search
Bali is so close, yet is a world away & filled with so much that is diverse & different from our own culture. It allows you a space removed from your everyday & the many hats we wear as women to focus & reconnect with YOU.
So when you say why Bali, I say why not!
Until next time, happy travels!
All images belong to Indah Escapes unless noted