I get it. I understand why travellers love Bali. It’s beautiful, it’s spiritual and everybody smiles – even while they’re being knocked down by a scooter. It’s probably the
hippiest happiest place on earth. It’s also the place where backpackers can afford mani-pedis and a restaurant lunch with a five star view costs less than an M&S sandwich.
1. BREATHTAKING LANDSCAPES
This is the Tegalalang Rice Terrace. No wonder Bali’s unique irrigation system is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Spicy food, healthy food and comfort food. Nasi campur, a macrobiotic meal at Bali Bhudda and a rice pudding my neighbour brought round for breakfast.
It’s all about art. Beautiful works by Lempad in the Puri Lukisan (above) and the Neka museum. A small collection of Walter Spies’ paintings at ARMA.
This is the view at 1,717m from Mount Batur. Mount Agung is on the other side of the lake. To its left, you just make out Mount Rinjani over on Lombok.
I came across these ladies on my way home one day. They were taking fruit offerings to the temple.
6. A LITTLE THANKS
I’ve found an offering outside my front door every morning. Sometimes there’s even a little cracker or some rice. The trouble and care that goes into these makes them very special indeed.
Tirta Empul. The waters here are said to come from a holy spring, which is why thousands of people use the fountains for spiritual purification.
8. THE BEACH
This was a real treat. Nusa Dua was very laid back. Amed is also on my list for next time.
9. MAKING FRIENDS WITH YOUR ENEMIES
A quick game of hide-and-seek at Monkey Forest in Ubud. When your breakfast has been stolen by these critters, it’s hard to like them. I tried.
10. LOCAL ENTERTAINMENT
There are always plenty of opportunities to see Kecak, Barong or Legong dances, but shadow puppet shows are few and far between. I love them – the combination of the live gamelan music and the narrator screeching his way through an often violent story, is really captivating.
The thought of returning to Bali one day is something to keep my spirits up as this amazing twelve month journey reaches its final stages. Next stop – Singapore.