Going wherever the wind blows me and enjoying the ride.
Published June 13th 2012
When thinking of a luxury getaway, Bali is often a location of choice. A favourite holiday destination for decades and there are hundreds of reasons why. The best part of a Bali getaway? If you are on a budget, the calibre of accommodation you could only dream of in the western tourism scene is suddenly affordable!
Dripping with 5 star luxury, Ayana Spa & Resort is a must for seekers of comfort and opulence. Ayana was Julia Robert's resort of choice and she stayed there for a period of time while filming Eat Pray Love. The rooms are sheer indulgence with a mixture of sleek modern and elegant traditional style.
Several magnificent pools exist within the resort. Ocean Beach Pool hangs off the rock face a mere stones throw from the ocean. You can laze in the sun on the deck chairs or jump into the saltwater pool for a cooling swim.
Lavish buffet breakfasts await lucky Ayana guests with mountains of food from the four corners of the globe. Not the time to think of your diet regime, relax and enjoy the high-class food and environment with live Balinese music accompanying your every meal.
Ayana houses a luxury spa, where you can soak your worries away. The Ayana Aquatonic Pool is the world's largest Aquatonic Seawater Therapy Pool. This is a place you can have some therapeutic exercise through the 12 hydro massage stations resulting in a feeling of complete relaxation and rejuvenation.
Ayana has multiple high-class eateries to cater to all tastes. Rock Bar is one of the most scenic places you will ever dine. Situated on a cliff-top overlooking the sea, listen to the waves crash beneath you as you sip your icy cocktail in the warm summer sun.
If you are looking for something a little more extravagant for your wedding, Ayana can cater for all your wedding needs. There are a variety of packages available to suit your personal requirements and style. Contact Ayana to arrange your own dream wedding.
There is an elephant show where they prance, dance and even paint. Animal lovers can relax. These elephants are treated like royalty; they even have their own bathing lakes. According to the trainers, the elephants, who are highly intelligent, love to learn. They have been trained cruelty free and it's obvious to see they enjoy the attention the tourists and trainers give them.
A half hour elephant ride through the forest will leave you in awe of these gentle giants. If you are a dedicated follower of all things elephant, there is, in fact, accommodation at the Elephant Safari Park. Voted the most unique hotel in the world, you will be within constant view of these magnificent beasts and may even wake to a morning swim with the neighbouring elephants.
Welcome to the zoo the way you always wanted it as a child. Get up close and personal with dozens of weird and wonderful creatures at Bali Safari & Marine Park, from the terrifying tiger to the magnificent macaw. Some animals are out in the open and others can even be handled. At certain times you may be lucky enough to pet a baby tiger, or perhaps have a cuddle with a tiny orang-utan.
At specific times throughout the day, shows and performances run throughout the park so keep your eyes and ears open to ensure you don't miss out! A safari bus runs through the open range zoo that allows you to see animals in their created habitats at close range.
For lovers of all sorts of fearsome beasts, you won't want to miss the feeding of the piranhas. Zoo keepers razzle dazzle their audience with an up close and personal piranha viewing where an entire chicken roast is placed in the water with hundreds of piranhas, who erupt into a feeding frenzy. Within moments, the entire chicken carcass is picked clean.
Vibrant Macaws Free of Cages
There is a respectful silence when viewing the enclosure of the komodo dragon. These terrifying giant lizards are known for tearing to pieces anything that should happen to fall into their den, so keep all limbs at an arms length!
One of the less touristy, but perhaps most memorable things you can do in Bali, is hire a car and go on a self-orchestrated tour to see the countryside. The landscape of Bali is vast and beautiful with millions of wondrous places tucked in the hillsides and hidden on private beaches, waiting to be discovered.
A natural wonder worth seeking out is the terraced rice plantations. Magnificently staggered down hills and mountains, their breathtaking beauty is unforgettable. Two of the best locations to find them include Tegallaland village in central Bali and Jataluwih in Tabanan.
Watch out for changing traffic conditions. The roads crawl with scooters and motorbikes that frequently dart dangerously in and out of traffic. Navigating the island requires a little bit of guess work, so make sure you mark your track along the way.
Let's not forget the shopping! Hundreds of vendors line the streets in most towns, selling their wares to anyone who wanders into their shops.
Located in Padangtegal, Ubud, the Sacred Monkey Forest has a very forbidden, 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' feeling about it. Literally thousands of monkeys call this place home and it is definitely a sight to behold.
One of the More Adorable Inhabitants of the Forest
Watch out for these friendly little fellows, they can be bold as brass and quite the devilish mischief-makers. It's not uncommon for them to jump on unsuspecting tourists and you may just find them reaching down your blouse and grabbing your unmentionables with their furry little hands.
Ancient temples rise out of the thick jungle with centuries of moss and corrosion visible on their surfaces. You can enter parts of the temple, but must don the brightly coloured garb provided by the park for a small fee.
This is a uniquely different coffee which is harvested as a by-product of a little possum-like creature known as the 'luwak' or 'asian palm civet'. The luwak eats only the ripest coffee beans. While the beans pass through the digestive tract of the luwak, they undergo a special fermentation process that results in the distinctly flavoured blend at the end of the line. Yes, you read correctly, the coffee is made from beans that have been voided by an animal. However the process is said to remove much of the bitterness of coffee leaving the famously smooth, rich blend.
Sample all the coffee luwak you please, but it's not the best idea to bring it back as customs are likely to confiscate it from you at the airport. Nevertheless it is a must-try, once in a lifetime experience for coffee lovers across the globe. There are usually sampling sessions of various tea and coffee and at the end of the tour, you are free purchase your products of choice.
Tours guides can be arranged with Destination Asia through Flight Centre. The guides can tailor the trip so you can see everything you want during your visit. Often, specific businesses have arrangements with local tour guides, which means significant discounts for many of your tours.