INDEED BALI'S WARMTH extends beyond its perfect climate. The friendliness, humour and sincerity of the people living on this Indonesian island is truly heartwarming. This is the place, after all, that inspired the “Love” section of Elizabeth Gilbert’s famous memoir Eat, Pray, Love.
Devotion and spirituality is interwoven with daily life. From the bright offerings of flower petals at every corner to the rituals and processions you’ll see in the streets and in temples. Bali is the only Hindu island in an essentially Muslim archipelago. Its joyous spirituality also embraces elements of Buddhism, cosmology and unique local traditions.
To fully absorb Bali’s magic, one needs a base that is as tranquil as it is rich in colour and culture. Idyllic Jimbaran Bay is that place. This gently curving stretch of beach is uniquely sheltered and surrounded by lush flora. Explore the celebrated local fish market with a guide and choose seafood to be cooked by the chef at dinner.
Those wishing to travel further afield have a wealth of options. Head east to the island’s mighty volcanoes and dense jungle, or bathe in the restorative waters at the royal palace, Tirta Gangga. In the rural west, experience traditional village life at the peaceful rice terraces. Visit the breathtakingly beautiful Candi Kuning temple at Lake Bratan.
There’s something about the nature of Bali that makes you want to move. It’s unsurprising, then, that dance is a deep part of the local culture. Take a private lesson at the hotel or see the Kecak Fire Dance at the clifftop Uluwatu Temple come sunset. Return to the resort at nightfall, and you’ll see the moon reflected in the ocean, while frangipani flowers fall on the lawn like fragrant snow.
As Hans Christian Andersen put it so beautifully: “Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.”
PLEASE CHOOSE YOUR LANGUAGE