Day 0: Let’s face it and agree too that travelling with your wife for the first time pumps up your heart with joy, while simultaneously an unnerving feeling grasps you. This feeling grasps you even tighter when it is an arranged marriage! My wife and I decided to take a trip to Bali for our Honeymoon. We got in touch with iTraveller to plan our honeymoon and later with a lot of nervous excitement, we set off from Kolkata to Bali via Thailand.
In my experience, one can get a glimpse of both the Balinese and Thai culture at Suvarnabhumi Airport
Day 1: We arrived at Bali after super long hours of travelling. I suggest you plan ahead keeping in mind the transit time and try to get good sleep at the transit station. But I must mention that the immigration officials were super kind and hospitable. The officer’s warm smile with ‘enjoy your honeymoon’ recharged our drained out batteries.
On finally reaching Bali, we met Mr Rusli, a representative from local travel partner. Oh man, such a charismatic person! And Mr Putu, the driver of the vehicle. They were young, knowledgeable and fun loving people who made me realise that travel is not only about going to different places but knowing how to touch the heart of some stranger. Such is life, such is Balinese people!
Travelling through low traffic (and I mean low as I know what moderate means which comes from my experience of living in Kolkata and Delhi for several years), we reached Swiss-Belresort Watu Jimbar at Sanur. My work has made me travel to distant parts of this globe where I have stayed with many hotels, but trust me, the resort was mind-blowing! Exotic foods, overlooking the beach with white sands and pool…made our evening. We went out to check local markets in the evening. Knowing the price of a handmade beach hat freaked us out. Actually, we screwed up the conversion rate (effect of the long travel, I must say!). Nonetheless, we had a gala dinner at a local restaurant (forgot the name!). And here’s part of the cuisine!
Must Read: 10 Local Experience that are a must in Bali
Day 2: After having English breakfast, we kicked off for some local visits. You see, in Bali (or Indonesia per se), one can find a mix of many religions. But Hinduism did make a mark there. The story of Ramayana still inspires a lot of people and they try to cut out their daily bread by using the story. You will find forms of Ramayana as sculptures, paintings, plays, story books…and the list will go on. And ‘story’ about some of their gods and goddesses (like Barong) resemble that of our mythology. And so does Buddhism!
We went to UC Silver at Denpasar, a factory where they create amazing artefacts using silver (and gold).
Scary, huh? Okay, so we had a tryst with a God and some fun.
We moved on to Mount Batur, which is an active volcano located at the centre of two concentric calderas north west of Mount Agung. On the way, stopped at a place where local artisans wood-carve statues with immense intricacies.
Anyway, it got a bit cloudy when we reached Batur. The place we had lunch at Kintamani was fabulous. Guys, I suggest you have the local cuisines wherever you travel. I did, and it was finger licking good…
After resting for some time, we headed off to Bali Putina. Basically, it’s a coffee plantation farm near Kintamani, but the way they make coffees make it interesting. Ever heard of civet (they call it Luwak)? Well, the coffee they make has something to do with ‘whatever the civet leaves behind’! Google it out, you will get it better. And you will get ginger coffee, vanilla coffee, this coffee, that coffee…what not coffee. This wonderful gentleman explained to us what each cup contains. Well, we loved vanilla coffee. Aromatic with different taste…you can buy it there too.
We pushed off to an art gallery. What a better way to call it a day! So this gallery is not like what we see around. They have created this gallery inside a small jungle to enhance the feel. Want to see? Here it goes…
Enough of day 2. Off to the hotel, eat, laugh, sleep! Bruh!
Day 3: Start the day with a temple visit, we were told! Fine then. We went to Tamun Ayun Temple at Mengwi, a sub-district in the Badung Regency and its capital, Bali. What impressed us is the way they maintain the temples and the intricate sculptures that dot the temple. Mind-blowing. You see, money and Visa Card can’t do everything. One needs to have a passion for the making this world a good place to live in.
We moved towards Pura Ulun Danu Beratan, or Pura Bratan, which is a major Shaivite water temple on Bali, Indonesia. The temple complex is located on the shores of Lake Bratan in the mountains near Bedugul. If you are into photography then go to this place when it is on the verge of raining. Nature and Barong God won’t betray your wishes, I promise you that. But we went for fun…so here it is.
It was getting cloudy (again). So we decided to have an early lunch. Mr Rusli and Putu took us to this place (don’t recall the name of the restaurant) which was located on some mountain. And we could see the step plantation from the open window. And then it started raining. Fantastic experience!
After the rain stopped, we went on for “Pura Tanah Lot” or “Tanah Lot Temple”. It is a temple which sits on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide. The temple is actually located in the middle of a sea.
We always look forward to doing something ‘off-beat’. So we slipped out and went to a local shop to drink coconut water while spying on things which can be done. The size of the coconut was bigger than my head! I don’t have a peanut sized head too… And then we saw a local dance group performing at a restaurant. Weird, you think? Well, the dance programme was part of some conducted tour for a Chinese group and we sneaked in. Trust me, we just loved it.
Day 4: We checked out from Sanur and started our journey for Nusa Dua. On the way, we went to a place which organises water sports. It increased the level of adrenaline. It was quite a long journey from Sanur. On the way, we stopped at Monkey Forest (serves its name right) and Uluwatu Temple. Uluwatu temple is built at the edge (Ulu in Balinese) of a 70-meter high cliff or rock (Watu in Balinese) projecting into the sea at Uluwatu (Kuta South, Badung). We saw Kechak Dance, a spectacular dance drama performance on Ramayana. Do try to grab a front-row seat if you want to enjoy it to the best.
Later that night we left the place and arrived at Amaroossa Suite Bali.
Day 5: We decided to alter our itinerary a bit and reduce a day’s stay at Nusa Dua and adjust it with our next destination. We informed the same to the hotel last night. So before going out for breakfast, we received a call from the reception. The hotel owner wanted to meet us. Strange! Anyway, we went to the restaurant and met Miss Quorina who owns the hotel, a strong spirited lady who manages both home and work efficiently. My wife is a lawyer got engaged with her talking about Indian culture, people and how we have experienced over the last few days. And we started our journey towards Seminyak.
We reached Seminyak after doing (some!) shopping. And checked in at Bali Dream Suite Villa. If you want private pools, then you should choose the hotels we went to. Another amazing hotel! Had a gala dinner at a local restaurant and explored some shops.
Day 6: We had a pretty slow start as we were practically rushing from one place to the next. So we decided to get a Balinese spa. It was so soothing and relaxing that it cured us of our tiredness. My wife decided to go for a pedicure, while I decided to take a stroll around. What I realised then was I hadn’t heard any blaring horns or rough driving in quite a while. Life was so smooth here.
Later, we decided to end the day on a romantic tone. So, we gifted ourselves an on-the-beach dinner. We went to Zimbaran Bay in the evening and booked a table at the last minute. Thanks to the people there and iTraveller’s support, we got a perfect table from where we could see the setting sun as we sipped on to pina colada. You have to be there to understand how truly amazing it was.
Day 7: Every journey comes to an end. And we were in the last leg of our journey. We checked out from the resort with our luggage and bags filled with memory, fun and a heart hoping for the next trip. We met amazing people and had a fantastic honeymoon, many thanks to Mr Rusli, Mr Putu and iTraveller for planning a perfect honeymoon for us.