From Bali, With Love
Bali is perfect if you are looking to travel solo or with your partner or as a large group. The people are compassionate, kind and incredibly resilient and the only thing, I wish we would all do more of is to respect their land and their customs
As I write this, my heart goes out to all the people who have lost their lives or have been displaced due to recent events in Sulawesi and Lombok. I hope the people get all the aid they need for rehabilitation and restructuring.
Bali is perfect if you are looking to travel solo or with your partner or as a large group. The people are compassionate, kind and incredibly resilient and the only thing, I wish we would all do more of is to respect their land and their customs.
The place offers solace to weary travellers, the best wellness offerings for the overwhelmed brain and a zen sanctuary for you to introspect and focus on your well-being.
On my last trip in April, I wanted to spend a few days far away from the crowds so I checked the hotels for a rather memorable vacation. The Amankila, is a real gem, located on a quiet stretch of Manggis in East Bali. This beachside getaway has 33 suites and activities for every kind of traveller from scuba and marine discovery, culinary workshops and an insight into Balinese healing.
Two nights were certainly too short to enjoy everything that the property and the area had to offer and I could not get enough of calm and solitude. I would spend my mornings doing yoga or swimming in my suite and proceed towards a languorous breakfast replete with black rice pudding, miso soup, gluten-free bread with lox and a side of Kintamini coffee.
I decided to grab a picnic bag and head down to the beach club to spend the day there one afternoon. As I watched young kids make sandcastles, older couples walk hand in hand barefoot on the beach, I realised that time really slows down here and time, is, in fact, our biggest luxury.
The next morning, I will never forget, we were woken up to breakfast in bed and we headed out to the port to take the cruise out for the day. As the Amankila Xii departed from the shore, within minutes, we could see the colours change.
I was accompanied by a few guests to spend the morning at sea and after a little viewing, the instructors on board told us it was safe to swim and snorkel. So off we went, with flippers and our masks, as we started to swim, I noticed just how rich and beautiful this area was- teeming with marine life.
In the next 90 minutes, I saw a sea turtle, schools of brightly coloured fish, corals until we swam back to the boat. The staff had prepared a wonderful picnic lunch, with our dietary restrictions in mind, and we opened a bottle of bubbly.
Almost all of the food was sourced locally and fair trade and the hotel makes every effort to join hands in minimising plastic. I slept very soundly that night after a day full of adventures. The next day, it was time for us to leave.
We checked into the Amandari afterwards. Ubud, the magical healing town in the hinterland of Bali has an energy, a vibe about so palpable that you feel it as soon as you enter and walk around the narrow streets.
Home to the islands healers, waterfalls, geysers, spas, water purification sites and ashrams, it appeals very much to seekers, wellness enthusiasts and people looking to hone in on their spiritual practice.
Our days in Ubud were absolutely magical. We witnessed cultural performances, went and met a local healer and spoilt ourselves silly with an indulgent spa treatment.
You will be spoilt for choice with all the food that is on offer at the hotel. Guests can choose to eat a la carte, partake in a rather large buffet or get a packed picnic to eat during your excursion to the temple.
Being gluten free was not a challenge at all and I noticed that the property took dietary requirements and allergies very seriously. On my last day, I decided to go in for a water purification to the Tirta Empul temple.
We got there quite early and there were still a few people before us. After donning our sarongs, we walked into the springs for purification. Our guide talked to us and explained the significance of each spring until we finally sat down for prayers with the priest.
I left the site feeling calmer and more centred than I had been in a very long time. Bali will captivate you quite quickly so do not tell us we did not warn you.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.