Valentine’s Day may be just around the corner, but for some of us, the occasion is just another excuse to revel in the delights of solo travel. A destination of many personalities, faces, wonderful demeanours and complete and utter beauty, forget Valentines – Bali is the island you should be feeling the loving for, 365 days of the year. Here’s why.
Balinese is undoubtedly one of lesser known varieties of Asian cuisine, overshadowed somewhat
(mistakenly) by the likes of Thai and Vietnamese. Much like the birth of your first born (go with it), getting your hands on anything wrapped and steamed in a banana leaf for the very first time will result in nothing less than love at first site. This traditional way of delivering dinner not only adds a certain aroma to the food, but it also imparts a unique flavour and let’s face it, makes things look quite pretty. Try Ikan Pepesan; freshly caught fish in fragrant ginger and chilli, snuggled up tightly in a banana leaf and steamed over an open fire.
Image source: Flickr
Cupid needn’t have struck for you to the feel the love on the beaches of Bali, as they serve as secluded retreats for lazy days and laid-back nights under the stars. Not your typical white sand affair, Bali’s beaches are unique in that those on the east coast are formed of volcanic rock, giving the sand a deep black appearance. Another massive tick on the list of rarities to be found on the island. And if it’s wildlife you’re into, almost every inch of the coastline is a vibrant underwater kingdom in its own right, but it’s Lovina Beach where you’ll come across groups of dolphins who create the perfect backdrop to an evening spent with your toes in the sand as the sun drops beyond the ocean. Primed for surfing, Bali is a water enthusiast’s paradise.
Image source: Flickr
Whilst loved up couples will be looking to swoop in and snap up those last-minute Valentine’s Day hotel deals the rest of us are more hung up on finding the most imaginative and ludicrous places to lay our heads at night. From tree houses and floating villas to glamping amongst wildlife and nights in bamboo huts, the best hotels in Bali offer a level of personalized service in intimate surroundings you’ll be hard pressed to find elsewhere. Five stars aren’t going to break the bank in Bali, furthering its reputation as an island to truly kick back and splash out on your trip of a lifetime.
Image source: The Legian Bali
Notoriously friendly, extraordinarily warm and always welcoming, the people of Bali are renowned for being some of the happiest on the planet. And who can blame them? Pull up a chair at the local warung, the neighborhood restaurant, and engage with the locals. A fascinating culture built on age-old traditions, the way of life on the island is different from much of Asia in that a unique societal system has been created over time. The Balinese people claim to have reached a state of self-content, where when asked what heaven is like, their response will likely be something along the lines of, “an exact replica of Bali, just without the worries of day to day life”. The people of Bali love Bali – what better stamp of approval is there?
Whether you’re in search of soaring mountains or rolling green rice paddies, the Island of the Gods takes gold when it comes to serving up one mammoth helping of unforgettable scenery. Climb to the dizzying heights of Mount Agung’s summit to see this sprawling volcanic island at its very best, taking in the sights and sounds of the vast ecological system that thrives unremittingly along the way. It’s rare to find such variation on an island of this size, where visitors could conceivably find themselves deep sea diving, rice paddy trekking, horse riding, kayaking and paragliding all in one day. As one of the most photographed landscapes on the planet, this is one for the nature enthusiast with an eye for natural beauty.
Image source: Flickr
Ian Garstang is a travel writer and marketing specialist working in the luxury travel market. Ian is the editor at Luxury-Travels.net and has worked with such brands as GHM Hotels, Four Seasons and Aman. Ian was name Hotel Club’s ‘Bali Expert’ and nominated in the top 20 luxury travel bloggers on USA Today. Ian has written for various websites including A Luxury Travel Blog, Luxury Asia News and Travelo Café. Follow his Luxe Asia Travel News on Twitter.