Saturday, January 09, 2010


Many people find it hard to believe that I have never been to Bali. But I have not been very attracted to the place as I always had an image of it just full of Australian truckers and pushy bracelet sellers on the road side! Only recently have I realised that perhaps there is a reason why a lot of people love and keep going back there. And true enough, I wasn't at all disappointed.

First and fore most, contrary to what I thought before, there is so much more to the popular tourist destination than its beaches. Bali's rich culture mainly stems from their practice of the oldest form of the Hindu religion. And this is seen not only through the many puras (temples) there but in their everyday life. Every shop we went to no matter how modern and 'westernised' would have a little place of worship with offerings.

The people are very nice, warm and genuine. No doubt some can be a little pushy like these girls selling knick-knacks at the paddy terrace in Ubud, but I guess that is to be expected in a place that is full of tourists! Plus they are so sweet as they are and just so pleasant, it is almost impossible to get angry at them.

Although the beach (at least the one that we went to) is not as nice as some of the beaches we have here, I do understand why surfers flock there all the time! The waves are pretty amazing and in fact can be dangerously choppy. Both Imran and Rania enjoyed having a play in the sea when Imran especially usually prefers to stay near the sand building castles and what not.

On top of all that Bali has to offer, I have to admit that I find the mix of old and new and of east and west particularly fascinating. The many Europeans, Australians and Japanese who fell in love with the place and decided to live there by virtue of opening villas, shops, restaurants and bars not only create a vibrant international community there but also inject a very unique flavour to the place. And the fact that most of these people have a pretty much similar outlook towards life, i.e relaxed lifestyle and appreciation for culture of others - I certainly think I wouldn't mind staying here for a few months just to pause from our hectic schedule and simply enjoy life for a while!

Lastly, the villas which is dotted everywhere in Bali are indeed very special. Where else can you be pampered with such spectacular architecture thanks to the many foreign architects and designers who live there and superb workmanship thanks to the highly artistic Balinese cratftsmanship - combined with such affordable services. I felt almost too spoilt having staff attending to our back and call, and having spa sessions in the villa itself whenever we felt like it. I was in fact worried that I would get used to it all and was quite glad to leave and be back to reality on our last day there!

But one thing is for sure - we will certainly be back to Bali especially when it's just a few hours away as it's hard to beat the place with all its attractions.