Friday, January 4, 2013

BALI is a Honeymoon Haven!

Known as the Island of the Gods, Bali continues to be a major draw amongst honeymooners. With its unique natural and cultural assets, Bali welcomes couples from around the world who want to experience natural beauty, art, harmony, and peace. The island's beaches and spas are it's main attraction, but there are plenty  of sights to explore.

The Balinese are gracious and laid-back people who are proud of their customs and traditions that stem from a localised version of Hinduism.  Experience how various rituals are used in the daily lives of the Balinese (such as the daily offerings to the Gods in little bamboo baskets at every doorstep, wondrous  ceremonies, and spectacular dance performances such as the kecak and legong). Their craftsmanship is legendary. Evidence of this mastery can be found throughout the island in the form of ornamental gateways into homes, richly decorated temples and palaces, and art galleries that sell a myriad of batik paintings, wood carvings, stone sculptures, and intricate glass and ceramic ware, and jewelry.

Bali’s has 5 main beach areas: Kuta, Seminyak, Legian, Sanur and Nusa Dua. The Kuta-Seminyak-Legian stretch is by far the most popular, especially among surfers. This stretch has a broad range of accommodations for all budgets, and is chock-full with restaurants, beach clubs, bars, discos, shops, supermarkets, travel agents, car and moped rentals, banks, spas and every other imaginable facility.

Nusa Dua is a more serene area with breathtaking five-star hotels, beautifully-manicured gardens and a pristine, sheltered coast. The spectacularly situated Uluwati Temple is close to Nusa Dua. Built on a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean, the views are quite phenomenal, but beware of the monkeys!.

Between Nusa Dua and the airport is a stretch of sand called Jimbaran where you can enjoy a seafood dinner at one of the many restaurants lining the beach. Do not miss this experience. Get in before the sun sets, order a cold drink, wriggle your feet into the cool sand and take in a beautiful sunset!

Lovina Beach, located on the island’s northern coast, is another popular beach area. Just off the beach are several coral reefs that are ideal for snorkelling.

Obviously while in Bali you want to experience more than just their amazing beaches. We can hire you a car and a driver for a very reasonable rate or you may decide to rent a small jeep and drive yourself around. One of the areas definitely worth spending a few days in is the city of Ubud, Bali’s centre of arts and crafts. There is quite a lot to see and do and is probably the best place in Bali to really experience the centuries-old culture of this island. Surrounded by forests and verdant rice fields, Ubud offers a unique atmosphere that is both soothing and intriguing. Though relatively small, Ubud boasts a wide range of art galleries and museums. Some of the favorites are the Agung Rai Museum of Art and the Antonio Blanco Museum. If you love to go to spas, you're in the right place as Ubud offers the Bodyworks centre for a wonderfully therapeutic massage. There are restaurants galore (if you love roast pork, try the roasted suckling pig at Bu Oka).

One of the other sites we can recommend is a visit to the Monkey Forest. Here you can stroll through the lush green forest and experience the antics of  the mischievous monkeys that live there. You can also find a vast variety of handcrafts, jewelry shops, and stalls throughout the town (don’t forget to bargain! It’s part of the fun). Being the cultural capital of Bali, there are various dance performances and ceremonies at the many temples or artistic centres. You might want to check  out the kecak (fire), legong and the Ramayana ballet performances.

When you travel from Ubud to Kuta, you may pass the small town of Batubulan (literally means ‘moonstone’). This small town hosts the largest collection of stone carvings and makes for a fascinating stop, if only to admire the many forms of carvings from Balinese Gods to fountains and animals…it really is quite astounding.

Another town that is worth a visit is Klungkung (Semarapura), the former royal capital. The town is home to the beautifully Kerta Gosa, which means the Palace of Justice. View the frescos that are especially striking. Next door, you’ll find the Bale Kambang (floating pavilion), which features ponds filled with water lilies and lotus blossoms, and an exquisite staircase. Close to Klungkung, in the town of Gianyar, you’ll find the Bali Bird Park. the ‘Mother Temple of Bali’. This temple complex is spectacularly situated at the foot of Gunung Agung, Bali’s highest peak.

The volcano Gunung (Mount) Batur and its crater lake is another highlight of a trip to Bali. It’s not the highest mountain in Bali. The highest mountain is Gunung Agung, which is another active volcano. You approach Gunung Batur via a village called Penelokan. On clear days, the views from here of the volcanos (Gunung Batur and Gunung Abang) and the crater lake are truly breathtaking. For the adventurous visitors, it is possible to climb Gunung Batur – most climbing trips are arranged in the early hours of the morning to view the sunrise and for a stunning vista of Bali and the surrounding islands.

One of the most popular tourist attraction in Bali is Tanah Lot. At first sight, it’s little more than a temple on a rock at the edge of the sea. The local people believe this place has a certain magical quality to it. Maybe it’s the shape of the rock or the way the graceful temple stands proudly on an edge, with a cluster of trees partially concealing its full structure. The magic of Tanah Lot comes to life at sunset. Hundreds of tourists make this pilgrimage every day, but don’t be discouraged by the throngs of people, the sunsets here are some of the most spectacular you’ll ever see.

We hope you have enjoyed reading about the hidden treasures Bali has to offer. Feel free to contact one of our Travel Specialist who are more than happy to assist you with all of your travel needs. You can reach us at 866-720-5435 or