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Bali

Island of Gods

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Bali carries a myth to many that this island lies somewhere in the South Pacific- thanks to a Hollywood musical. But within the Indian Ocean is Bali,
also famously known as the morning of the world–  where Balinese maintain a unique culture of animist traditions which blended into Bali-Hindu Dharma as is practiced today.

bali-map
The south coast of Bali is known for surfing,
the beach resorts and club scene and has become very congested.  To the Balinese, life is directed inland towards the sacred mountains and volcanoes which are the abode of the gods.

See links below for Ubud
and exploring beyond to the East and up North.


Ubud
as the center of the arts, is a good place to begin a journey into the cultural heart of Bali. Located approx. one-hour drive north of the airport, Ubud has come a long way since my early days of no phone connections and magical evenings on the verandah with a little gas lamp, watching fireflies over moonlit rice paddies. Now so many visitors sit in chic cafes staring at their laptops or smartphones! But the magic is still here in Ubud- in the devotion to the temple rituals, in art, music and dance. Bali’s vibrant culture continues to defy a total take-over of modernity and the Balinese continues to welcome visitors with their heart in hospitality.

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Alam Indah is a wonderful home-base nestled along the Monkey Forest. Meaning Beautiful Nature, Alam Indah offers lovely accommodations where you can feel the essence of Bali. Traditional architecture blending with modern comforts, Alam Indah will feel like a retreat, yet offers easy access to the cultural center of Ubud.

Learn more about the Alam Indah properties created by the family of Café Wayan: www.alamindahbali.com

While in Ubud, you can immerse yourself in:
Cultural workshops, Cooking Classes and Spa and wellness treatments.

Learn about the History of Ubud
Ubud Story Walks
led by passionate local guides bringing history to present day- life- a must-do for any visitor to Ubud:  https://ubudstorywalks.com/

Essence of Bali Heritage Walks and Backroad Cycling:
Join an exclusive guided tour tracing the origins of Bali Hindu Dharma.
Approx 30 minutes drive north of Ubud, visit hidden temples and holy springs along the Pakerisan River valley with the company of young Balinese hosts who love to share their insights and who are dedicated to cultural preservation.  Options also include soft backroad treks introducing  traditional way of life.
More on:  
http://balipuretour.com/
email: 
booking@balipuretour.com

Bali Eco Tours, Backroads Cycling and Mt. Batur Treks
http://baliecocycling.com/index.php

Art Galleries in and around Ubud:

Neka Museum
exhibits art by Balinese and foreign artists who settled in Bali:
https://nekaartmuseum.com/

Puri Museum Lukisan-  Ubud’s first art museum:
https://www.purilukisanmuseum.com/

Setia Darma House of Masks and Puppets-  a fabulous private collection:
http://www.maskandpuppets.com/

Yoga Studios and retreats:

Intuitive Flow- long established and intimate-  located on the hill above Campuhan in Penestanan with a view of Mt. Agung
https://www.intuitiveflow.com/

Anand Ashram Center for Wellbeing:
  https://ubudashram.org/

Friends of National Parks Foundation:

Learn more about the Bali Starling Breeding program and Wildlife Rescue Center: www.fnpf.org

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Textiles:

Threads of Life: supporting traditional weaving arts of Indonesia.
Visit their gallery at Rumah Roda on Jalan Kajeng in Ubud.
Textile appreciation classes and workshops are offered.
More on: www.threadsoflife.com

Other areas to explore on Bali:

East Bali:

Sidemen – in the beautiful Tebola valley along the sacred Unda River.
Located north of Klungkung with a large textile market, Sidemen is home to weavers and a base for beautiful walks and visits to The Mother Temple of Besakih.

Accomodations in Sidemen:

Darmada Eco Resort along the sacred Unda River: https://darmadabali.com/

Cepik Villa – an intimate 6-room resort with gorgeous views:  https://www.cepikvilla.com/

Surya Shanti Villa:   www.suryashantivilla.com

Subak Tabola – long time established in Sidemen: https://subaktabolavilla.com/

East Coast:

Mendira Beach –  a quiet enclave not far from Candi Dasa

Sea Breeze Bungalows:  https://seabreezecandidasa.com/

Beautiful Luxury along Mendira Beach is  Candi Beach Resort:
https://candibeachbali.com/

A short drive will bring you to the Bali aboriginal village of Tenganan famous for double-ikat weaving known as geringsing and beautiful basket making.

Much of the beach along the East Coast is rocky with volcanic black sand. There is a beautiful  Hidden White Sand (Virgin Beach) further up the East Coast down a bit of a rugged road at Prasi- between Candi Dasa and Tirtagangga. Drivers should know this place. No accomodations but local seafood stalls and lounge chairs to spend a relaxing day.

Central Highlands:

Munduk in the central highlands- a beautiful, non-commercial area where you can hike around rice terraces, coffee plantations, waterfalls and lakes.

Puri Lumbung Cottages: pioneer accomodations in this area  providing community support hospitality training;  www.purilumbung.com

Sanak Retreat  – gorgeous mountain views within rice fields:
https://sanakbali.com/

Munduk Moding Plantation-  Luxury with exquisite views:
https://mundukmodingplantation.com/home/

North Coast:

Zen Resort Bali: wellness Center with easy access to see dolphins! www.zenresortbali.com

Brahma Vihara Buddhist Meditation Center is located in Banjar close to the north coast- a beautiful place to visit.

Northwest Coast:

Pemuteran is an area off Menjangan National Park where the best corals, snorkeling and diving is found off Bali.

Taman Sari
offers a lovely range of accommodations: www.balitamansari.com

Biorock Reef Restoration Project:
http://www.biorock-indonesia.com/project/pemuteran-bali/

Turtle Hatchery Pemuteran:
https://reefseenbali.com/turtle-hatchery/

Menjangan Dynasty:  luxury tents overlooking the bay and sea with a private beach:  https://mdr.pphotels.com/

Secuded luxury in nature at the edge of West Bali National Park:
The Menjangan: 
https://www.themenjangan.com/
and
Plataran Menjangan:
   https://www.plataran.com/plataran-menjangan/

Crossing over to Java:
from Pemuteran, appros 30min. drive brings you to the ferry boat crossing to East Java  where you can explore Ijen Crater.

Ijen Resort and Villas   at the foot of stunning rice terraces:
http://ijendiscovery.com/home-2/

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