EAT, Pray, Love put Bali back on my travel bucket list. Honestly, it wasn’t the charms of this magical island but the hopes of finding Javier Bardem or his avatar of sorts. I know…very silly but you cannot fault me for being a hopeless romantic.
I was thrilled when we planned my girlfriend’s birthday in Bali this year. However, instead of Javier, I was chasing sunsets – yes…sunsets given the magnificent viewpoints in and around Bali. Unfortunately, the traffic scene in Bali is not conducive to being punctual for sunset viewing. As such, may be practical to consider some alternative plans of what to do between sunsets. Below are a few ideas of what I tried during my holiday.
Seafood BBQ at Jimbaran Bay
Jimbaran bay is dotted with seafood restaurants and is ideal for beach dining. Seafood a plenty – you can either choose your grilling stack or go with the suggested sharing platters which are suitable for groups of 3 and more. A must try and highly recommended starter is the grilled corn. It comes in 3 flavours – sweet, salty and spicy.
If you’re not a fan of seafood, I would still suggest a visit to this place for its ambience. The non-obstructive view of the sea front and planes kissing the sky with each take-off and landing sets the backdrop as you peel through grilled prawns or sip some cooling coconut water. Musicians strum from table to table, adding vibrancy to the sound of the beating waves. Writing a line more and I’ll have to teleport myself back there.
Shopping – Kuta, Seminyak or just about anywhere
Live your millionaire dream and go shopping. The currency denomination in Bali is so significant that a simple sleeping t-shirt costs a couple of hundred thousand rupiah. The streets of Bali have something to offer everyone and even if you’re not much of a shopper, I suggest, you try this because it’s an amazing feeling. Having millions in your purse, shopping for millions and still having millions more to spare. If you can’t decide on souveniers, pick up some local instant noodles – they are inexpensive, come in delightful flavours and are simply yummy.
Drink the most expensive coffee in the world
Indulge in a cup of ‘kopi luwak’ or civet coffee when taking a break from your shopping spree. The coffee is produced from the coffee berries eaten and defecated by civets. Coffee producers state that civets select to eat coffee berries with better beans and their digestive process enhances the flavour profile of the coffee berries that are eaten. Whilst I prefer my low fat café mocha, this cuppa is something you can consider sipping once.
Given the array of therapies and well, time till the next sunset, 2 hours should be the minimum when checking into a spa. The spas outside of the hotels are inexpensive but the flip side is the lack of single occupancy rooms. A must try from the spa offering is the traditional Balinese scrub, lulur, which will leave your skin smooth and silky.
Sightseeing at Tanah Lot
Tanah lot (Land in the Sea), is located in Tabanan and one of the most visited places in Bali. This temple sits on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide. Tanah Lot has been part of Balinese mythologies for centuries and it is one of several sea temples around the Balinese coast. It is said that each of the sea temples were established within eyesight of the next to form a chain along the coast.
Strike a Pose
Always remember that you’re the highlight and the backdrop is merely the accessory. Fortunate for us, Bali offers stunning landscapes – from hills, sea views, sculptures, cultural sites and even a slice of the Mediterranean. The drive to Karma Kandara hotel is a notable example. Go trigger happy.
Watch the sunset
And yes, the sunset. There are many beautiful sunset points in Bali and at some point during your visit you must make the time to watch the SUNSET.