Once you get past all the hype, unbridled Romanticism, and post-structuralist mumbo jumbo about primitive cultures and Dionysian rites, there remains something special and different about Bali. Even a solid skeptic with only a few days' experience there can discern that. But what is unique is not captured on the beaches at Kuta, nor necessarily in the paintings and carved masks of the infinite shops lining every street you travel. What seems to be special about Bali is the pace of life and the degree to which one can still sense, at least at the edges of the hustle and bustle of accommodating tourists, a connectedness to the land and a culture that would be there even if their were no tourists to buy, photograph, or record it on video. Our eleven day trip to Bali provides glimpses into the adventures that await you there.
Search of. . .SOLITUDE: Murni's Houses in
Our first stop was to a favorite retreat of Tracy's, Murni's Houses, a beautiful set of guesthouses in Ubud. To learn what is so special about this place, click here or on the entrance photo.
and About in Ubud
Murni's served as a base for our visits in and around Ubud. In addition to exploring the bargains found in the shops along Monkey Forest Road, we also dined at some wonderful restaurants and enjoyed a bit of Balinese culture in the gamelan music and legong dances. We took several hikes into the neighboring countryside, exploring the temples, rice paddies and the small villages that are accessible primarily by walking the paths that line the ridges of the hills. Click here or on the pictures to visit Ubud and its environs . . .
New Year's Celebration
Following our stay at Murni's houses, we traveled outside of town to her new place, Villa Kunang-Kunang, where we rang in the new year. For a glimpse of the villa and the festivities, click here or on the picture
On the road to Candidasa:
Elephant Caves and the Water Palace
En route to our next stop, the coastal village of Candidasa, we took in two of the major historical sights, the Elephant Caves near Ubud, and the beautiful water palace in the former seat of Balinese rule, Klungkung. Click here or on the image to see these two historic spots.
In and around Candidasa
Candidasa is a village located on the eastern shore of the island of Bali, a 90 minute drive from Ubud. We spent several days there sightseeing, enjoying the ambiance of the Water Garden Hotel, and shopping for the distinctive baskets that are made in nearby Tenganan. Come sample the sights and sounds of Candidasa (pronounced chandi dasa) by clicking here, or on the image.
The Water Garden Hotel
It is hard to imagine a more idyllic place to stay in Candidasa than the secluded Water Garden Hotel bungalows. Each room is a beautiful isolated bungalow, shrouded in lush foliage, and each with a porch overlooking a lotus pond, stocked with goldfish. It is the perfect retreat after a day of walking through Candidasa or the nearby villages. Take a look for yourself by clicking here, on on the image to the right.
The Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay, Bali
We had the trip of a lifetime over our fall break, as we headed to the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay, Bali to celebrate Tracy's 50th birthday. It was quite simply the best vacation either of us can remember. The setting was stunning, the accommodations were superb, and the service was unbelievable. Come share the experience by either clicking here, or on the photo to the left.
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