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How to Spend the Perfect Week in Bali

By on Feb 27, 2013 in Indonesia | 0 comments

With a nickname like the Island of the Gods, it should come as no surprise that Bali is an incredible destination to visit. The island nation is home to warm weather throughout the year, stunning beaches, artistic mountain villages and unbeatable scenery. Whether you are searching for the ultimate place to relax and unwind or a destination full of outdoor activities, you can have it all in Bali. Since flights from Australia can be as short as three hours to Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport, and great deals on flights to Bali are getting easier than ever to find, there is no better holiday than spending a full week on the island. Here is a great itinerary to follow in order to see, taste, explore and enjoy as much as you can in just seven days. Day 1: After arriving at the Ngurah Rai International Airport, take a 15-minute taxi ride to the coastal town of Kuta. This is the most popular tourism destination on the island, and it is a great introduction to all that Bali has to offer. After checking in to one of the many great hotels along the coastline, head over to Padma Beach for a cocktail and to watch the beautiful sunset. Day 2: On your first full day in Bali, nothing could be more fun than taking a private surfing lesson. Although there are dozens of places to try out surfing in Kuta, the best place to book a lesson is at the Hard Rock Hotel. For about $35, you can sign up for a three-hour course and enjoy free transfers from your hotel to the beach. After a day on the waves, try a massage to help rejuvenate your tired muscles. Spas like Villa de Daun and Carla Spa offer affordable and luxurious treatments, but you can also get a quick massage right on the beach for just a few dollars. Day 3: Although Kuta certainly has plenty to offer, escape the beach for a day and head up to the mountain village of Ubud. This is generally regarded to be the cultural hub of Bali, and there are a number of landmarks, temples and museums worth a visit. Spend the day on a guided tour taking in the Agung Rai Museum of Art, the ornately carved Goa Gajah, or Elephant Cave, the Pura Kehen Temple and the hot springs of Tirta Empul. Day 4: On your second day in Ubud, learn something new with a class in cooking, painting, ceramics, yoga or even traditional Balinese dancing. These courses can be as short as 45 minutes or as long as a full week, but many of the half-day classes are ideal for travellers. Ubud is also a great place to enjoy some of the best local Balinese foods. Stop by Ibu Oka’s at lunchtime for Babi Guling, which is a whole roasted suckling pig. Other great local foods to try include Lawar, a fresh salad, Urutan, a spicy sausage, and Sudang Lepet, which is a salted dried fish. Day 5: For a chance to see a different and less touristy side of Bali, head to the West Bali National Park. It is here that visitors can enjoy hiking along the Tegal Blunder Trail or canoeing in Gilimanuk Bay. This is a place to relax, slow down and take in the breathtaking scenery. Day 6: On your final night in Bali, head back to Kuta to experience the best nightlife on the island. Start with a beer or two in the casual outdoor bars on Poppies Lane II, and then head to the nightclubs in Jalan Legian later in the night for dancing and live music or DJs. Day 7: Before you head home, you will want to pick up some souvenirs or your trip and gifts to give to friends and loved ones. Kuta Square is a great place to find affordable and sometimes odd gifts, but the Beachwalk Bali is unbeatable as it boasts ocean views as you shop. Seven days may not seem like long, but there is no end to the fun activities that you can enjoy in that time on Bali. For more on the best things to do and see on the Island of the Gods, take a look here for more tips. Guest Post by Vanessa Harrington Have you visited Bali? Then feel free to let us know below about your favorite places to visit and activities that you’d...

The Art Zoo in Bali

By on Mar 29, 2011 in Indonesia | 0 comments

  Forget the mundane Louvre, that crazy Gaudi dude or the supposedly good pop art of Tate Modern, the Art Zoo is where it’s all happening. I first saw the Art Zoo as I was cruising along the coast of Bali exploring the many hidden hideaways of the secluded northern villages. The Art Zoo lured me in with the promise of crazy colours and the opportunity to wander into the somewhat surreal realms of the Balinese art scene. I wasn’t disappointed. The Art Zoo is a gallery like none other and more represents an extension of the artist’s imagination than simply a piece of artwork produced on canvas. As you walk through the grounds with giant hands appearing through walls, long eccentric golden dragon spirits, crazy art and spiral towers, you start to wonder if you have crossed into Wonderland. Then you meet the Cheshire Cat.   Just as you start to form an opinion – you’ll either love this for the eclectic view into contemporary art or you’ll love that it’s incredibly corny that its fun – you meet the man behind it all or I like to kindly call him, the Cheshire Cat. Quietly swinging in his hammock, watching from a distance before enticing you into a riddle of conversation. It was explained that he had built the place from scratch over time, would eventually sell up because of too many foreigners and start over again somewhere else. The main mural that was being working on by him and his apprentices was about to be sent to Singapore for an exhibition, whilst other artwork was on its way to his Ubud gallery.   The Art Zoo in Bali is crazy in a good way as it doesn’t take itself too serious. It is well worth a stop and is found west of Tedjakula along the main coast road. It will take you about 3 hours from Kuta to reach it and if you’re planning to come this far it’s well worth staying a couple of days in the...

The Island of Gods, Bali

By on Dec 1, 2009 in Indonesia | 0 comments

Niki and I flew up with Air Asia on Monday night, arriving into a hot, forehead sweating type of humidity. You know the stuff, the type that make your legs feel like they are swimming past each other when your walk down the street. The type that when you lift up your arms a spray of water shoots out  and takes out the person your standing next too – like in the links deodorant advert.  The type of stuff that….hmmm I think you get the point. We were up here for a quick 4 days to book our wedding package and just to make sure that Niki liked the place. It had been 5 years since my last trip to Bali and the first for Niki; it hadn’t changed much at all! We caught a taxi to Seminyak and got ourselves a cheap guest house for $11 a night with free breakfast. The shower was something out of the heart of Borneo but the room was clean and cheap. We then hurried down to the main Jalang (road) to grab some yummy Indian grub and my first Bintang since I became a beer drinker in Germany. I knew I was missing out on something all those years ago! With a full stomach and a slightly light head from the beer, we let the Island of Gods do its magic and slow us right down. Bali is one of those places that has its own pace, everything gets done…eventually. No one is in a rush and no one worries, I can see why Perthonians love it up there. It’s similar to our own lifestyle except no stress. So as we sat around drinking a few more beers and lazily made our way back to our hidden Guest house, I knew the next 4 days were going to be great! Day 1 was full off appointments as we were taxied to our photographer’s house and then to our wedding coordinators – won’t bog you down with the details. Just to say that everything went well! After a little afternoon rambling through Kuta Square and an afternoon siesta! SIESTA, I always feel like saying SIESTA is a loud over the top Spanish accent and clapping my hands – if only you could see my little dance! We headed to JD’s, a restaurant come late night music venue in Seminyak. This place had reasonably priced drinks, bit pricey compared to Kuta and by 9pm a local band would pull in the crowds. We enjoyed the “special of the day”, a yummy steak roll and listened to some classic local indie music. They weren’t half bad and it was the type of band you’d expect to see at a local pub here in Perth. After a few good covers we decided to head back to our Guest house. Day 2 involved us getting a taxi up to the mystical kingdom of Ubud or as normal non-mushroomed hyped up people may call it, the hippy and cultural centre of Bali. There is no other way to put it except to say that I love Ubud! I always have and I always will. It’s a quiet little town about 1.5 hours from Kuta an offers a more relaxed vibe then Kuta. In fact Julie Roberts was there a week before filming a new movie based here. There goes my relaxed vibe when the movie comes out! We got ourselves a little guest house, Sanias, and as my guide book explained – “it could rival the gardens of Babylon”. It was a traditional Balinese compound with small guest rooms. The smell of freshly cooked rice and sweet incense would slowly waft through out the gardens. It was perfect! That afternoon we made our way to the art markets and rambled through the “you buy, you buy” calls and “taxi mate, taxi mate” shouts from across the road. It was great to get lost in the markets; I missed that old feeling of visiting Asia and getting lost in its ways. Niki and I then headed down to MONKEYYYYY FORESSSTTTT DA DA DA DAAAAAAAA. From our last experience in Kuala Lumpur, Niki has been a little traumatised by monkeys, she has even been to a few AMA meetings. You don’t know what AMA is? Asian Monkey Anonymous meetings – their mission statements is “Have you been assaulted, peeed on, bitten or taken advantage of by an Asian monkey, then come see us – we can help!”, apparently its full of Australian and Japanese tourists. Anyway, Monkey Forrest is a small park that you pay to enter and is home to hundreds of long-tailed macaques, all eager to deprive you of the bananas that somehow you got conned into buying at the start for the price of a small car. Then here I am running the gauntlet of my life, fighting of monkeys, trying to protect my fiancé and make it out alive when all of a sudden my bananas are gone and the monkeys don’t want to know you anymore. Then for some crazy reason, I felt that I wanted to buy some more bananas! Niki quickly smacked  me across the head, said I was a psychotic and dragged out of the park by my ear. I’m sure the monkeys were pointing and laughing! Day 3 was another wedding day, however with a twist. I was allowed to...