Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Bali’s Tropical Beauty

Splendor by the Sea in an Indonesian Paradise



Kecac dance courtesy Ayana

 

I first read about the tiny island of Bali as a child. It fascinated me even then – a distant land with beaches and jungles, coffee plants, exotic spices, flowers, monkeys and temples. My husband and I had a chance to visit this past fall; it was everything I had imagined and more.

 

The Indonesian province is predominantly Hindu – there are temples on every corner. The reverence the Balinese people have for life is palpable. Nowhere have I ever felt more welcome. It is an island paradise waiting for you to explore.

The Jungles of Ubud We focused our visit on two areas – the jungles and cultural center of Ubud (about 90 minutes north of the airport) and the southern coast overlooking the Indian Ocean.

Ubud is filled with art, paintings, carvings and dance. The area’s wide green rice paddies are intersected by rivers and jungle-filled ravines. Our remarkable journey began the moment our guide met us at the airport.

one-bedroom at pool villa; Saraswati Temple in Ubud by Susan Lanier-Graham


The roads, like those in most developing countries around the world, were filled with a cacophony of motor scooters, cars, vans and buses creating five or six traffic lanes on every winding two-lane road. I was thrilled someone else was driving.

Luxurious Mandapa Reserve Our stay in Ubud was at the newly opened Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, with 35 suites and 25 private pool villas. Mandapa reflects a traditional Balinese village with the customary temple, rice paddy and walled homes.

When our driver turned down a side street in the middle of Ubud, I could not imagine we were approaching a luxury resort. As you pass through the split gates, however, you know you have arrived someplace magical.

Our exquisite villa sat on the edge of the Ayung River, the massive bedroom decorated in traditional hand-painted Balinese artwork. Its full-sized pool became our favorite spot to relax. At the edge of the pool, only the occasional rafter interrupted our view of the river and the jungle beyond.

Ocean view villa pool courtesy Ayana


Exploring Ubud’s Culture and History Although tempted to spend every moment at Mandapa, we hired a guide to help us explore Ubud. We watched children learn traditional Balinese dances at the Ubud Palace. We wandered past blooming lotus in the ponds at Saraswati Temple. The street market buzzed with locals and visitors shopping for everything from tourist knick-knacks to fruits and vegetables. We wandered past grand stone carvings that my husband only half jokingly tried to figure out how to ship home.

A bit outside Ubud, but well worth the ride, is Tirta Empul Tampak Siring, or Holy Spring Water Temple. Built in 962, this is a place of spiritual rebirth for people from around the globe who bring food offerings and line up to make their way through a series of 12 cleansing fountains.

Back near Ubud, we visited Bali Pulina, where a guide pointed out some of the local agricultural specialties, including snakeskin fruit, ginger and cocoa. In addition to growing and roasting rich Balinese coffee, Bali Pulina is also home to the infamous Luwak coffee. The buzz is that this drink is made from the excrement of civet cats, but there’s more to it than that: our guide explained the complicated process of collecting the untouched beans, and then washing, shelling and roasting them over an open fire. There is also a chance to sample specialties such as ginger tea and pure cocoa.

Puri Saren Palace in Ubud by Susan Lanier-Graham


Our final stop in Ubud was at the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. Located in the center of town, this is a protected jungle home for hundreds of Balinese long-tailed monkeys. You can walk the path leading through the sanctuary and past temples to watch monkeys in their natural habitat.

Relaxing on Jimbaran Bay After a few days in Ubud, we made our way back south to the joint destination resorts of RIMBA Jimbaran Bali and AYANA Resort and Spa on the island’s southwest peninsula. The resorts are fewer than 10 miles from the airport and offer some of the most breathtaking vistas in the world. We stayed in a villa at AYANA, where a butler answered our every request.

There are multiple restaurants, pools and shops, but the one spot you must not skip is Rock Bar. Getting to it is an adventure. You take an “inclinator” down the side of the mountain, about a half dozen people at a time, to a series of ledges perched more than 45 feet above the crashing waves. The sunsets from here are breathtaking.

Gado Gado at cooking school at RIMBA courtesy RIMBA


For a more traditional Balinese evening, visit Kampoeng Bali at RIMBA. The open-air theater is the perfect setting to experience the island’s culture and food. A sunset ritual kicks off an evening of celebration, complete with a massive spread of authentic dishes – be sure to sample the gado gado salad with peanut dressing and the nasi goring fried rice – followed by a musical performance of a traditional Balinese tale.

Bali is captivating. It offers a unique culture defined by a friendliness unlike any I’ve experienced elsewhere, along with breathtaking tropical vistas, rich flavors of local spices, smells of incense and flowers in the air and plenty of luxurious pampering.

 


 

► Before You Go

 

EVA Air, based out of Taiwan, flies from Houston to Bali via Taiwan: evaair.com

Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve: mandapareserve.com

AYANA Resort and Spa: ayanaresort.com

RIMBA Jimbaran Bali: rimbajimbaran.com

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »You Might Like

The Festival of the Arts’ Legacy

Arts Council OKC director Peter Dolese retraces the origins and expansion of the week-long celebration of creativity that is the Festival of the Arts.

The Natural Touch for Self-Care

Natural products from lotions to fragrances in conscientious self-care that are perfect for a season of renewal.

An Oklahoma Story in Stone

Nearly 150 years after Sophia Pitchlynn died in what was then Indian Territory, her gravestone still stands silent vigil in Garland Cemetery.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

April 2019

Meet all the Princesses at The Oklahoma City Fairytale Ball. This magical event is full of memorable moments you won't want to miss! Dance with Cinderella; read with Rapunzel; share sweet...

Cost: $25-$60

Where:
La Bella
6701 W Wilshire Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73132
View map »


Sponsor: Pretty Princess Parties & Project Princess
Telephone: 405-777-2411
Contact Name: Brooke Potter
Website »

More information

The 30th Annual Spring Plant Sale at Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will feature a huge selection of native plants, hard-to-find herbs and well-adapted plants. There are a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Saviour is a pop-classical oratorio which takes its audience from creation through resurrection and is a picture of God pursuing His people. Its unique and powerful music will showcase the Voices...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crossings Community Church - OKC Campus
14600 North Portland Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73134
View map »


Sponsor: Crossings Community Church
Telephone: 405-302-1258
Contact Name: Lori Bunyar
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Sit down with the Mod Quad Collective creatives for a fun afternoon of bunny making! Come and go. Tickets on our website.

Cost: $15 per person

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Oklahoma City Community College's Paul W. Sechrist Signature Lecture Series will feature David Grann, the New York Times bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon. This lecture is free...

Cost: Free

Where:
OCCC Visual and Performing Arts Center Theater
7777 S May Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73159
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma City Community College
Website »

More information

Grab a friend and join us as we celebrate the launch of our 2019 Summer Collection.  Hosted with influencers Aubrey @thedandyliar, Jen @houseofkubes, and OKC's local rental clothier,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kendra Scott
5810 N Classen Blvd #2
Oklahoma City, OK  73118
View map »


Sponsor: Kendra Scott
Telephone: 405.241.4203
Contact Name: Casey Barnes
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The National Summit on Homeland Security Law, 2019, in collaboration with the American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL), is bringing to you two days of programming presented by homeland...

Cost: $0-$125

Where:
Oklahoma City University School of Law
800 N Harvey Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma City University School of Law
Telephone: 405-208-6300
Contact Name: Allison Rabon
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

As a local business, amshot typically focuses on IT services and software development, but our team is also passionate about supporting the local art community. With this in mind, we created...

Cost: $5

Where:
amshot
428 Dean A McGee Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: amshot
Telephone: 405.594.7642
Contact Name: Lexi Belvis
Website »

More information

  Verbode Urban Core Artists: Local art show to benefit The Homeless Alliance opens at Verbode on April 18 A new art show, Verbode Urban Core Artists, will benefit The Homeless...

Cost: Free

Where:
Verbode Urban Core Artists
415 North Broadway, Suite 101
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Verbode, Valor Bank, Hive Design Team
Telephone: 405.604.7947
Contact Name: Christie Owen
Website »

More information

Michael Sims established The Lawrence Lithography Workshop in 1979 in Lawrence, Kansas, as a contract printing and teaching facility for local and regional artists. He will show a collection of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

In anticipation of the 2019 grand opening of The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts, New York Philharmonic Principal Trumpet Christopher Martin will join the Oklahoma State University Wind...

Cost: $10

Where:
Seretean Center
132 Seretean Center
Stillwater, OK  74078
View map »


Sponsor: McKnight Center for the Performing Arts
Telephone: 405-744-9999
Contact Name: Katy Fabrie
Website »

More information

Just in time for tax season, Carpenter Square Theatre presents “Death Tax,” Lucas Hnath’s darkly comic tale about death and taxes and how we live with both.  ...

Cost: $5-$25

Where:
Carpenter Square Theatre
800 W. Main
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Carpenter Square Theatre
Telephone: 405-232-6500
Contact Name: Rhonda M. Clark
Website »

More information

Together with Elk Valley Brewing Co, we're bringing you a new VHS series here in Oklahoma City. Welcome to 'VHS GRINDHOUSE'! These screenings will be presented in glorious VHS...

Cost: Free

Where:
Elk Valley Brewery
1210 N. Hudson Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: VHSANDCHILL
Telephone: 405-503-0050
Contact Name: Sean Peel
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

The National Summit on Homeland Security Law, 2019, in collaboration with the American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL), is bringing to you two days of programming presented by homeland...

Cost: $0-$125

Where:
Oklahoma City University School of Law
800 N Harvey Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma City University School of Law
Telephone: 405-208-6300
Contact Name: Allison Rabon
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Skirvin Jazz Club is an immersive live music experience at the historic Skirvin Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City. We transform The Park Avenue Grill a swinging jazz club. We stage the band...

Cost: Free

Where:
Park Avenue Grill @ The Skirvin Hotel
1 Park Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: OkSessions
Telephone: 405.694.8843
Contact Name: Christian Pearson
Website »

More information

Just in time for tax season, Carpenter Square Theatre presents “Death Tax,” Lucas Hnath’s darkly comic tale about death and taxes and how we live with both.  ...

Cost: $5-$25

Where:
Carpenter Square Theatre
800 W. Main
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Carpenter Square Theatre
Telephone: 405-232-6500
Contact Name: Rhonda M. Clark
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Easter egg hunts will be held at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. for children ages 11 and under. Everyone is invited to meet and take pictures with the Easter Bunny! Egg hunts are free with regular Farm...

Cost: 11.50

Where:
Orr Family Farm
14400 S. Western Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73170
View map »


Telephone: 405.799.3276
Contact Name: Lauren Daughety

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Celebrate Easter with a trip to Andy Alligator’s Fun Park! On Saturday and Sunday, get $5 off an All-Day Pass with our Eggcellent Easter Special. All-Day Passes include Go-Karts,...

Cost: $23.95

Where:
Andy Alligator's Fun Park & Water Park
3300 Market Pl
Norman, OK  73072
View map »

More information

America’s largest interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: $59.95

Where:
The Skirvin Hilton
1 Park Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: The Dinner Detective
Telephone: 866.496.0535
Website »

More information

Just in time for tax season, Carpenter Square Theatre presents “Death Tax,” Lucas Hnath’s darkly comic tale about death and taxes and how we live with both.  ...

Cost: $5-$25

Where:
Carpenter Square Theatre
800 W. Main
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Carpenter Square Theatre
Telephone: 405-232-6500
Contact Name: Rhonda M. Clark
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags