The popularity of Bali is mainly based on the surf, stylish beach resorts and its overall affordability. I get that. But that’s not the essence of the Balinese culture. The also known Land of Gods is more than just a fun-in-the-sun destination. The Zen-infused island of Indonesia oozes spirituality and genuine human warmth. Who doesn’t need some of that?
My time in Bali is short. Seven day short, to be exact. But I get to see the iconic highlights of the island, including the kindhearted locals. I share incredible meals with old and new friends (whom I meet at yoga). And above all, I get a chance to shake off my hyper-connected lifestyle and restore my harmony with nature. Think ocean swims, deep tissue massages and lush, tropical gardens.
Mind the Tourist trap
It’s true to state that Bali is a crowdpleaser. And the locals sure know how to work their way around it. Some, if not most attractions are based around making a dollar. Pura Lempuyang Luhur, for example. Many tourists don’t know that the famous Gate of Heaven-picture is only an illusion created by a photographer using a mirror. (note: It’s not the one pictured above, that’s a real refection) The same tourist trap applies to the Bali Swing! On the other hand, you can easily escape those crowed places & find lots of authentic spots to visit.
The Power of Purification
I might need a painkiller after my Balinese massage, but my body feels heavenly relaxed the day after. The masseuse works her way down, scalp to foot. Not a centimeter goes untouched. I learn it’s important to drink a lot of water after the massage, to flush away the toxins. Cleansing the outer body with water is equally important in the Balinese culture. Hence the many holy water temples. The Balinese Hindus wholeheartedly believe in the healing properties of these waters. Many hotels will incorporate smaller versions of the magical temples for their guests.
Beauty of Bali
There is something enchanting about Bali. The free spirited lifestyle on the island and the Balinese locals make me feel very welcome from day one. And although I only get to see tiny bits of it, Bali already triggers me to revisit the ‘Eat-pray-love’-driven location very soon.