Layover in Bali is a serene escape from the hectic life of the cities. It is a ‘spiritual adventure,’ a perfect blend of closeness to natural beauty, beach holiday, water sports, and underwater adventures. You have to be an outdoor lover to enjoy Bali; however, even if you are new to enjoying nature, when outdoors is this breathtaking, you can’t help falling in love with the place.
I have flown into Bali several times, and each time I have had a diverse experience. Sometimes, I have stayed in bamboo treehouses, while on others, I have enjoyed the unadulterated luxury of beachfront vacation rentals. If I have to sum up Bali in a few words, it is a ‘Pathway to Paradise.’
Bali’s Spirituality: Nature, Temples, Meditation
We fly to Bali year round, but the best time to visit is April to October. The weather is neither too hot nor too wet. This is the perfect time to stay in an eco-friendly treehouse. As we are a fun-loving crew, staying amid nature didn’t need second thoughts.
However, Bali makes it much easier to be closer to nature. Being one of Indonesia’s most popular tourist spots, Bali has its treehouses equipped with modern amenities, especially washrooms. Bali blends convenience with nature instead of picking out just one.
Some of the most relaxing and spiritual activities in Bali are:
- Ulun Danu Beratan Temple Visit: The temple is a shrine to Goddess Danu, the queen of water, according to Hindu beliefs. This makes the temple site all the more relevant as it is situated floating in Lake Betaran. There are several tiered shrines, and my most favorite one was the majestic eleven-tiered shrine, the tallest of them all. You can even hike up to the Eka Karya Botanical Gardens from here.
- Visit A Spa: As a crew member, I get to travel a lot. Although I get to explore beautiful places, it is tiring too. And nothing can be better than a relaxing whole-body massage at a spa. Bali is the perfect place to do that. The island has close to 1200 spas, so a layover in Bali is ideal for relaxation.
My favorite experience was at La Joya Spa in Jimbaran. It is within walking distance from Balangan Beach, so I went to the spa after a long sunbathing session for an Ayurvedic massage. The aromatic oils transported me to a whole new world. The next time I will relax in the elevated plunge pool at the spa and stare at the beautiful blue beach water.
- Yoga & Meditation Retreat: If you are charmed by the ancient healing science of the east, Yoga Barn is your favorite Yoga & Meditation center. You can relax, attend a community-style meditation center, feel closer to your inner self, and take a few dance classes. The place has close to 130 classes every week; just head to any one of these. Also, don’t forget to taste the delicious vegan food at the Garden Kafe. Bali is a complete healing process for the mind, body, and soul.
Once you are thoroughly relaxed, you have an array of adventure sports options to explore. Pick any one and enjoy the thrill you have never experienced before.
Bali’s Thrill: Adventure Sports & Under Water Expeditions
Layover in Bali is relaxing, but it’s fun too. Being an island, it has access to all the water sports and underwater adventures you can imagine. You can simply relax at the beach or go for some adrenaline rush.
If you love to stay above the water, Bali offers a lot of exciting activities:
- Surfing at Kuta: Kuta beach is perfect for riding the waves and is the top surfing destination. The best part of hitting the Kuta beach is that your days are adventurous, and your nights are glamorous as Kuta is filled with nightlife venues such as pubs and discos. It is the perfect place to have the tropical party of your dreams.
- Flyboarding at Benoa: Being a flying crew member, I am not new to flying; however, flyboarding 60 feet above the water is a step too far for me. I leave that to the tough guys. Benoa appears to be the top destination to feel this thrill. The whole experience is incredible and so liberating!
- White Water Rafting at Telaga Waja: If you want to take up a group adventure activity, head to Telaga Waja River for white water rafting. It is safe for beginners and has enough flooding for advanced rafters. Although a part of the thrill comes from the water flow, another part comes from knowing that you are surrounded by the highest and most active volcano on the island, Mount Agung! But don’t be scared, rafting is available only when the volcano is not erupting.
If an underwater expedition is your preference, then being in Bali helps you explore the most beautiful marine life and adventures:
- Muck Diving in Padang Bai: If you are interested in unique marine life and want to capture some magnificent and rare species, Padang Bai offers the perfect volcanic black sea bed that harbors these beautiful creatures. There are several diving sites in the area, each offering its own unique marine life, including coral reefs, sea horses, sharks, string ray turtles, and so much more. It is a unique and memorable experience.
- Wreck Diving in Tulamben: While marine life is a top deep sea attraction, wreck diving is another unique adventure in Bali. There are several sites offering their own sea wrecks, but the one we went to see was of the WWII US Army shipwreck. We could still see the captain’s wheel and a war canon in the wreck. The ship had faced the wrath of the Agung eruption and could never resurface.
Bali’s Cuisine & Culture: Food, Festival, Fun
While adventure and nature are the top thrills of Bali, its community lifestyle, culture and food are the delights you just can’t miss. Some of the top things to explore are:
- Sea Food in Bali: The charm of any coastal destination is the freshest seafood you can find nowhere else in the world. Bali offers ample variety in this department. The crew and I had so much seafood while we were there, but nothing could beat the grilled lobster preparation of Sardine Restaurant in Kuta. The freshness and traditional preparation made us want more even after having several helpings.
- Nusa Dua Fiesta: As I have experienced several layovers in Bali, I have visited the island during October, when they celebrate their biggest festival of lights. It is a breathtaking sight with life-sized lanterns and hot air balloons covering the entire sky and songs and dances filling the air with happiness.
- Art Markets: If you want to take a piece of the island with you, head to any of its art markets. You can’t imagine how many innovative handicrafts you will come across here. You can pick your favorite memorabilia from an array of handicrafts, including handcrafted wooden masks, bamboo baskets, and lanterns, stone and wood carved decorations, and so much more. I have a souvenir from every layover in Bali, my favorite being the Conical Asian Hat worn by paddy farmers.
Bali, you’ve stolen My Heart: “Terima Kasih” (thank you)
Each Layover in Bali has been a pleasure. I have never seen such diversity in one place anywhere else. The serene surroundings are so rejuvenating. Wherever you look, you see lush pastures of greenery and rice paddy. It’s like living in a thick forest.
Bali urges you to slow down and admire the beauty around you. You don’t have to cover the entire island in just one day. So take a deep breath of fresh air, relax, and experience a peaceful life.
And once you are all energized, head to the nearest beach for some thrilling adventures or to enjoy the delicious seafood and stroll through the art markets picking out beautiful handicrafts. You simply can’t stop saying wow when you are in Bali.
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