Bali – The Perfect Honeymoon
To the uninitiated, Bali might seem just like another popular tourist destination, but for anyone who visits its shores, it is impossible not to be touched by certain magic from the ‘Island of the Gods’. The predominantly Hindu island, gives visitors the chance to have a unique and fascinating cultural experience, while still being able to partake in any number of exciting or relaxing activities, like surfing, golf, massage and diving.
Bali is an island paradise
With lush rice field terraces, stunning volcano and lake views and beautiful beaches, but it is often the warmth and friendliness of the Balinese people, that make any stay on the island so memorable.
Bali has developed into a sophisticated tourist destination offering some of the most exclusive, award winning, hotels, restaurants and spas in the world, all of which are just a short drive from Bali’s international airport.
Located in the foothills of Gianyar Regency (district) and surrounded by ravines, dense forest and picturesque rice paddy fields, Ubud is one of the most attractive towns in Bali and a ‘must-see’ for anyone visiting the island.
Overlooking the Ayung River in Mambal between Seminyak and Ubud, a hidden gem awaits the intrepid. Beginning early in the afternoon as the sun slowly sinks over the hills and bathes the area in a dazzling light, visitors will be treated to a sublimely picturesque High Tea experience.
A moderately challenging afternoon walk takes you through the moon-scape of various lava flows and ash-cones created by the more than twelve eruptions of Mount Batur between the periods 1963 to 1999. The hike begins on a path formed between mounds of frozen lava rock and newly grown scrubland, before traversing an expanse of volcanic ash and eventually heading up an ash-cone to the rim of the volcano.
You will visit the Ubud Monkey Forest, a lush nature reserve and temple complex on the outskirts of Ubud. The forest is home to more than one hundred species of trees, a number of interesting temples and hundreds of crab-eating macaque monkeys. During the afternoon, we will transfer you to Pura Sebatu Temple for a traditional “melukat” cleansing ceremony. One of the Balinese traditional purification ceremonies, melukat, resembles a river bathing or bathing under natural fountain activity. A Balinese priest will lead the purification ceremony in a resplendent location at a confluence of rivers, waterfalls, or fountains—where participants will undergo a series of rituals, including praying, bathing, and soaking themselves in a holy stream.
There will be plenty of photo opportunities as you pass scenic vistas and interesting villages en route to Subak Guliang, a traditional farming village and compound in the centre of the island. Begin your local encounter by preparing breakfast in the Balinese compound. Seasonal tropical fruits will be served as well as soft drinks, mineral water, coffee, tea and Balinese cookies.
Invigorated by your fresh breakfast, the rest of your time here will be dedicated to exploring the local vicinity – take a stroll through local farms, walk to the nearby school and interact with its friendly students, witness the rural life of the Balinese people or learn more about the complexities of rice growing – from planting and harvesting through to the best methods of cooking it.
Visit Pura Kehan, an 11th century temple complex near the town of Bangli that is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful on the island. Thirty-eight steps lead to the Kori Agung (stone capped gateway) and an attractive courtyard that is guarded by a mythical dragon.
Proceed to Penglipuran, a well ordered village surrounded by plantations and bamboo forests. A Bali Aga village, the local community still adhere to the strict rules and regulations (known as the Adat) that were laid down by their ancestors many centuries ago. Tradition and time-honoured ways are still very important here and you will have time to explore this enthralling settlement before moving onto Kintamani, the best spot, weather permitting, for views of Mount Batur, an active volcano which sits alongside Lake Batur.
In the early afternoon you will meet your local food specialist guide and drive to a traditional Balinese house at the outskirts of Ubud. You will be welcomed by a local Brahman and see how coconut oil is produced and used to make ‘Pepes Clengis’, a traditional steamed grated coconut dish with Balinese spices wrapped in Banana leaves. Continuing your culinary discovery, you will stop at a small local Warung for a popular refreshment called ‘Cendol’, a jelly-like drink consisting of green pieces of Tapioka, mixed with water and coconut milk and sweetened with brown sugar. Next, take a walk around the famous Gianyar Night Market, which any local will tell you has some of the best food in Bali.
Today you will enjoy a leisurely cruise from Bali to the beautiful island of Nusa Lembongan. The trip takes around 1.5 hours, depending on the wind. The thoughtful crew will look after you all the way, serve you with coffee, tea, soft drinks and pastries as they hoist the sails and embark on a day to remember. Indoor and outdoor seating areas allow you to travel in comfort, or if you’re an enthusiastic fisherman, you can join the crew throwing lines off the back of the boat.
Travel to the southern-most tip of Bali to visit the famous Uluwatu Temple. One of seven sea temples that are said to form a ‘chain’ around the island, it is undoubtedly one of the region’s most venerable places of worship. Perched approximately 70 metres above sea level atop a steep cliff, the temple also has one of the most dramatic locations on the island and is the perfect vantage point from which to observe the huge waves as they roll in from the Indian Ocean and crash against the rock face below.