Bali Your Way
the Beach, the Past, and the Pose
Imagine yourself actually doing yoga in a rice field of Bali.
38 ▶ summer 2013
Photo by Jill Gocher
By Miriam Shumway
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Bali is a place of many wonders, ranging from ancient temples and nature
reserves to world-renowned yoga centers and warm beaches. With so much diversity in this Indonesian province of nearly four million people, tourists may get overwhelmed when choosing which exotic spot to visit next.
THE HISTORY BUFF
Bali is located in the eastern part of the Indian Ocean. It lies south of the Philippines and is about half the size of Hawaii’s largest island. A tourist can easily access everything from the coast to the mountains because of the island’s small size.
The number of temples on the island definitely cannot be counted on one hand—or even ten hands. History lovers will be astounded by the number of ancient and modern Hindu temples at the site known as Mother Temple. Located in the town of Besakih on the east side of the island, this site lies at the foot of Mount Agung, a dormant volcano. The Mother Temple is a large complex of over 80 temples that date back to the ninth century. Local families still visit
The best way to visit Bali depends on the traveler. Most sites in Bali fall into one of three categories for vacationers: the peace seeker, the history buff, and the adventurer.
THE PEACE SEEKER
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www.tripadvisor.com/ Attraction_Review-g294226d506291-Reviews-The_Mother_ Temple_of_Besakih-Bali.html
Zorn also spent time at the Puri Saren Palace, also known as the Ubud Palace, which is an old royal home dating back to 1768 that housed the kings of Ubud. Now tourists can sleep
in the palace-turned-hotel. The city is also a major gathering place for local craftsmen. Sellers bring woodcarvings, weaved fabric, and silver statues to display in Ubud. ▶▶
Across the street from the palace sits Ibu Oka, the famous Bali restaurant known for its babiguling—a traditional dish of suckling pig grilled with coconut shells. This restaurant serves cheap but delicious food for tourists desiring to connect with the culture through a Balinese meal. For dinner and a show, the Devdan Show is the place to be. Located in Nusa Dua, on the
poses and mats. Practicing yoga can also help individuals look inward and work on themselves. After people become comfortable with themselves, they can go on and contribute to making the world a better place. The Yoga Barn offers classes every day of the week. Guests are encouraged to completely immerse themselves in the classes. If students need help getting into the element, they can simply look out at the rice
fields and mountains around them. “Many people who come to Bali come here to decompress,” Patton says. “The whole premise behind yoga is to get to know yourself better. For us here, having a healthy and wealthy lifestyle is about giving back to the community and taking care of the temples that are your bodies.” ▶▶
Photo by Matthew Winterburn
The Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali, offers classes for beginning, intermediate, and advanced yogis.
Photo by Matthew Oldfield
On the southern coast of Bali lies Kuta Beach, which houses resorts and pristine shores with board walks and spas right on the beach. Plan to stay and watch an incredible sunset. Charlotte Chen, a public relations account coordinator from Singapore, has visited Bali several times. She says Kuta is one of her favorite beaches and recommends spending time on the beach one day of the trip. “Bali has pretty beaches where the water is warm and the waves are big,” Chen says. “The boardwalk has fun shopping where you can practice your bargaining.” After a relaxing day at the beach, take a taxi (the best mode of transportation) an hour north of Udub. The town is home to the highly rated studio, The Yoga Barn—a local studio surrounded by beautiful greenery that teaches yoga classes geared toward a range of students, from the greenest of beginners to the ultimate yogi. Charley Patton, cofounder of The Yoga Barn, says yoga is more than
the site to bring offerings for their ancestors. “Bali is the land of the temples. Every day you smell the incense from the offerings,” says Nancy Zorn, from Captain Cook, Hawaii, who traveled to Bali for three weeks in 2012. “They have a very religious culture. It’s a huge part of their lives.”
Numerous temples and statues in Bali date back thousands of years and are treasured finds for history buffs.
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southern tip of Bali, the Devdan Show is a live show that will entertain people of any age. The show covers the history of Bali, along with other Indonesian cultures such as Java, Sumatra, and Papua. Audience members can watch history come to life through elaborate costumes, acrobatic dancers, and displays of fire and rain on stage. Another major plus for the show is the air-conditioned theater. “The audience will experience cross-cultural encounters in a highly entertaining way,” says Agnes Herdiasti of the Devdan Show. “Devdan Show opens the door for them to see into cultural diversity in the Indonesian archipelago.”
Hop off your bike and grab hold of a rope to experience the incredible canyoneering sites that dot the island. On the southern side, voyagers head to Kalimudah Canyon to discover new pools or to Anahata Canyon to rappel through waterfalls. ▶▶
THE ADVENTURER Enjoying cheap prices and good food along the way, Kelley Beanmen says the highlight of her trip was a bike tour. She and her new husband traveled from Chicago to Bali for an exotic honeymoon. “People go [to Bali] for the beaches, but I don’t think as many people realize there’s this whole other side of the island,” she says. After an hour bus ride, the Bali Breeze Tours Company dropped
Splash into the water: Bali is also known for spectacular scuba diving on the east coast. The island is surrounded by a coral reef and the crystal-clear water will only deepen your desire to dive in. ▶▶
Bali has it all, and a tourist can experience all Bali has to offer. In the rice fields, visitors can bike through or clear their minds with a yoga pose. Families or single travelers can enjoy massages on the beach and a lively show in the evening. With so many options, a traveler must get away for a while to enjoy this island destination.
“All of My Days”—Alexi Murdoch “The Lucky Ones”—Brenden James “Bali Ha’i”—South Pacific
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Photo by Matthew Winterburn
off Beanmen and her husband with their bikes. The group commenced a 20-mile ride through the scenes of Bali that most tourists never see, like small villages and rice fields. “It felt so uncommercialized,” Beanmen says. “It was like we were visiting friends who were taking us around their neighborhood.”
A waterfall and footbridge in the Gitgit area of northern Bali offer breathtaking views.
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