Tanah Lot, Bali Luxury Travel

A Little Peace Called Bali (by Leah Kammeyer)

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Resting peacefully in between Java and Lombok islands, Indonesia offers a little piece of paradise called Bali. On this island province, spend your time in style by the serene seas in Seminyak and Jimbaran, then retreat into the cultural core of Ubud, set in the Balinese mountains amidst the gentle, rolling earth, terraced in rice paddies. Indulge in adventure, culture, and tranquility in this resplendent Asian land nicknamed the “island of the gods.” Curious about finding one of the most beautifully serene places on Earth? Let Explorient show you this most fascinating place called Bali.

Uluwatu, Bali Luxury Travel

Uluwatu Cliff Temple, Bali

Embarking on the southernmost part of the island, we begin with a unique and mesmerizing experience atop the Uluwatu Temple for the Kecak Fire Dance. This dramatic ritual begins with a group of dancers descending around a lit coconut oil centerpiece, chanting cak-kecak-kecak in a percussive, yet sing-song tone. The chanting persists as they surround the flame in tight, concentric circles and sit, arms raised in the air and their bodies swaying left and right. As they establish their rhythm, the main characters appear to portray a story from the Hindu epic, Ramayana. At its simplest, the story tells of the evil King Ravana, who has kidnapped Princess Sita, the wife of Prince Rama. The Vanara, a group of monkey-like creatures, engage in a battle to help Prince Rama defeat the evil king. No music accompanies the performers, other than the rhythmic acapella chanting. Though the modern Kecak Dance hails from the 1930s, its roots stem from an ancient Balinese ritual, meant to drive the evil spirits away.

Next, we change gears for Jimbaran Bay, located at the top of the southern outcropping of Bali. Known for its fine, white sands and calm waters, Jimbaran beaches are perfect to stroll upon the or let the children play and swim. You’ll notice the intimate town set with small streets and smiling faces, greeting you warmly as you pass by. This former fishing village has transformed itself to the lap of luxury, catering to the finest tastes in Bali. There are plenty of spas to relax and indulge your senses, and fresh seafood restaurants featuring the day’s catch. It’s easy to take up a beachside seat at one of the restaurants and enjoy a relaxing dinner or drinks as the sun retires below the horizon.

Crossing the land bridge to the north is Seminyak, another haven of upscale fashion and high-end tastes. The grey, sandy beaches harbour a town full of fashion boutiques, art galleries, and a range of budget to world class dining. Enjoy the high end shopping, exquisite spas and sophisticated atmosphere in Bali’s capital of luxury.

Jimbaran, Luxury Bali Tour

Shift into a different realm to encounter more of this island’s serenity and experiences to transcend any others. Bali is a unique land steeped in spirituality and nature, the island adorned with thousands of temples. Hinduism was introduced to Indonesia in the 5th century, and despite the rest of the country’s historical shifts in religion, Bali remained a Hindu isolate and developed into Balinese Hinduism. Balinese Hinduism is specific to the island and culture, distinct from its original Indian origins. You’ll find the daily life and practices of Balinese people are driven with deep, spiritual intention. Sacred offerings are given often several times a day, which may consist of a shallow, woven basket filled with rice, incense, and flowers.

Beautiful Tanah Lot is just one of the amazing spiritual sites, sometimes called the “Floating Temple,” as it’s perched upon a rock just offshore in the sea. Built by a Hindu priest in the 15th century, Tanah Lot is part of a series of temples designed such that while standing in one temple, the next is within sight, thus forming the chain of seven sea temples surrounding the island.

Ubud, Bali Culture

Balinese Ladies, Ubud

Travel north east and to reach Ubud, the cultural core of Bali. Ubud has known roots back to the 8th century, and despite Bali existing as a Dutch Protectorate from the 1800s, a brief occupation by Japan during WWII, then finally gaining independence in 1949, Ubud managed to remain largely untouched by foreign influence. Some of the region’s culture and traditions, including dances, architecture, and rituals date back over 900 years. Ubud today consists of 14 villages sprawling from its center. Carvings made from stone or wood decorate the doorways to houses, and entrances to the many temples in the area. It remains a nucleus of art, creativity, and of course, spirituality, with endless opportunities to appreciate art, craft, and meditation in the many art museums, temples, and yoga studios within the district.

Bali Tour Package

Gently banking the artisan villages of Ubud toward the north are the neatly terraced rice paddies. Green staircases of earth and water shape the dramatic landscape, making these Tegalalang rice terraces one of the most iconic Balinese scenes. It’s not uncommon to see an artist set up for painting or sketch to capture this marvel of interaction between human and nature, perpetuated by subak, the traditional, cooperative irrigation system used since the 9th century. From the Tegalalang village, you’ll encounter local vendors selling wooden carvings, batik-print cloths, and other handmade craft. There are also plenty of opportunities to connect with your adventurous spirit: cycling through the countryside and exploring rural villages, white water rafting or tubing in the Ayung River, trekking amongst the lush rice terraces, and more!

Also near Ubud, you’ll encounter the dense-growth Monkey Forest, also known as Alas Kedaton. This small forest is overtaken by monkeys, specifically the crab-eating macaque and the long-tailed macaque. Though the monkeys are tame and well-acquainted with human presence, they are attracted to food and shiny objects. Keep an eye on your belongings, or you’ll encounter some monkey mischief first-hand!

Batur Trek, Bali Active Adventure

Mt. Batur Active Volcano, Bali

Traveling further yet to the northeast part of the island, Mt. Batur rests regally among the landscape. Mt. Batur is one of the largest mountains and active volcanoes in Bali. If you’re game for an early start, there are tours that hike up the mountain starting at 2am. While you may wake wondering why you sacrificed precious sleep to go on an arduous hike up a mountain, it will all be worth it when Mt. Batur grants you a most stunning view of the sunrise over Bali. If the fogs are huddled over the valley, the sun appears to radiate over a sea of clouds, or at the very least, heavy wisps of white clinging to the mountainsides. On a clear day, a grand view of Lake Batur rounds out the sight.

Once your journey begins in Bali, you’ll never want to leave. The island’s richness in natural beauty, hospitality, and cultural and spiritual embrace will leave you with a spectacular impression never to be forgotten.

Explorient offers a fascinating array Honeymoon, Romance, Family and Active Adventures to Bali. For more information, visit our Luxury Bali and Indonesia Tours at Explorient.com/indonesia-tours or simply call us at  at 1-800-785-1233. We look forward to making your dream Bali Vacation a reality!

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