Travel Diary: Bali

Oh, how I love Bali! I fell in love with the place when I first visited in 2010. I was there for a press junket for Pond’s and stayed at beautiful Nusa Dua Hotel. Everything about that trip was magical and amazing–I loved the delicious food, the trendy resorts and restaurants, the super chic retail stores and the overall vibe of the place. I promised myself I would go back for a vacation, which didn’t exactly happen because I went back for my lifestyle/travel show Trending Now, which was still basically for work. I still want to keep that promise and go there with Carlos one day, and hey, maybe we can bring our little baby boy or girl, too.

So I was there sometime in July 2014. I know, this seems like a really late post, but this episode was only shown recently as part of Season 2, which is kind of why I decided to wait this long. I didn’t think it could be possible, but this trip topped my last trip, by a long shot! I truly had the best time, and really got to learn about the Balinese culture while I was there (plus, I was able to squeeze a little shopping, too). I loved this trip, and a big BIG part of why our work-vacation was so memorable was because of our accommodation. We stayed at possibly one of the best resorts in Bali, called AMETIS VILLA.

IMG_2492Ametis Villa is a brand new villa development in its area. It has a relaxed, almost homey feel, and it offers an intimate and private stay while providing the highest level of service. Like the name espouses, Ametis is made up entirely of private villas that are fully equipped with its own kitchen and dining room, pool, lounge/tanning area and of course, spacious and luxurious rooms. Every guest is assigned a personal Butler, who excels in a singular ability to anticipate your every need, and to exceed your every expectation.

Located in Canggu area, it is about 35 minutes from Kuta. Canggu is becoming better known in tourist and expat circles and living in Seminyak, you can feel the way things are moving. Canggu is a place that most surfers will know about, apart from that, it is quiet, very local and offers lovely views of rice fields as opposed to cement in Seminyak. Another plus, the beach is only 5 minutes away!!!

IMG_2488Each villa has a complete set of amenities and appliances. You can cook, host dinners or lounge around in your bikini as if it were your own home.

IMG_2424And you have you own private pool! This one is on the second floor. Ahhh, so relaxing!

IMG_2871Of course, I brought along my fave pair of Havaianas.

IMG_2484This was my little nook (this was in front of my bedroom). I could read a book in peace here and enjoy quiet time by myself.

IMG_2485Looking down from my balcony. An area for lounging and tanning.

IMG_2408My #OOTD that day haha. This was my shopping in Seminyak outfit.

IMG_2483My lovely room! To the left is my huge closet, which slides discreetly. And on both sides of my bed are the doors to my outdoor bathroom.

IMG_2477I loved this idea of an open outdoor bathroom. I felt so close to nature while I was doing my thing haha. And at night I showered while looking at the stars.

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For reservations, go to http://www.ametisvilla.com.

IMG_2513So of course, we went all around Bali to check out their famous tourists spots. One of the first places we visited was Uluwatu Temple. It is officially known as Pura Luhur Uluwatu (yes, that’s the real name: “Luhur” means “something of divine origin” while “Uluwatu” can be broken into “ulu” which means “land’s end” and “watu” means “rock” in the old language). This view was nothing short of spectacular.

IMG_2503I feel like I have to warn you guys about the monkeys at the temple. There are A LOT of them there, and some can be pretty aggressive (I saw a girl have two monkeys steal her neon yellow flip-flops off her feet. Scary.). If you’re going here, it is best not to wear your sunglasses or eye glasses, keep shiny/sparkly things in your purse and make sure your bag has a zipper. These monkeys steal without warning! 

IMG_2497This is basically my look of terror. I was really afraid of these monkeys. Ugh. Oh, and if you’re wearing shorts you would need to put on these sarongs which you can easily get at the entrance.

IMG_2531Really enjoyed the view.

IMG_2533Beautiful.

www.podas.infoAnother amazing temple we visited was Tanah Lot. It is a famed temple on a huge slab of rock off the shore from Beraban village, Tabanan. Tanah Lot means: “the small island floating on the sea”. It was used in the Megalithic period as a holy place, and until today people go out here to worship and pray. (Photo: www.podas.info)

IMG_2661The entrance leading to the temple is a tourist spot in itself–they sell all kinds of merchandise, souvenirs, food and refreshments.

IMG_2669Some of the colorful items for sale.

IMG_2663While we were there we chanced upon a procession.

IMG_2666IMG_2667IMG_2664It was nice to see the traditional Balinese attire for an occasion like this.

IMG_2673This was leading up to Tanah Lot Temple.

www,indoturis.comTanah Lot was quite beautiful. (Photo: www.indoturis.com)

IMG_2553Back at Ametis Villa, I learned how to make traditional Balinese dishes.

IMG_2548One of the dishes I learned that day was how to make Chicken Satay. This was very tasty, no need for peanut sauce!

IMG_2561I also learned about Canang Sari, the Balinese Hindu tradition of placing daily offerings of flowers, herbs, rice and incense on their front doors.

IMG_2579IMG_2583Canang sari is made of the following parts: there are peporosanceperraka-raka, and sampian urasariPeporosan or the core material is made from betel leaf, lime, gambier, prestige, tobacco and betel nuts. Material of peporosan is symbolize the Trimurti, three major God in Hinduism. Shiva symbolized by lime, Vishnu symbolized by betel nut, and Brahma symbolized by gambier. Canang sari are covered by ceper (a tray made from palm leaf) as a symbol of Ardha CandraRaka-raka is topped with sampian urasari, which are in turn overlaid by flowers placed in a specific direction. Each direction symbolizes a Hindu God (deva). Bali has these offerings everywhere.

IMG_2589Next, I visited the 9th generation medicine man Ketut Liyer, who was made famous by the book: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (it was made into a movie starring Julia Roberts in 2010).

IMG_2598I was very, very excited about this visit/reading. I am a huge fan of the book and I really wanted an Eat, Pray, Love experience of my own.

IMG_2599The compound was bright and airy, and there were so many different kinds of birds (the unison chirping was very calming). It was very cheerful, and from what I heard you can rent out one of these villas.

IMG_2614IMG_2620I finally met Ketut! He was apologetic for his poor English, which I didn’t think was so bad. He was actually quite good, as he made jokes about his age and memory (he claims he is 90 years old). I have to say I expected a lot from the reading, which I thought was kind of repetitive and overly simplistic. He kept saying the words, “you are very pretty”, “you are very lucky” and “you will be very successful in all your work” A LOT. It was encouraging at first, but I guess I was waiting for the “Elizabeth Gilbert experience”, which didn’t happen. He read my palms, my face, shoulders and legs, and he basically concluded that I was the prettiest and luckiest person on the face of the earth. I’ll take that haha. One thing stuck though, he said I would have three children: one girl and two boys. Ack! Lets see if this will come true.

IMG_2613Overall, it was a pleasant experience. I was definitely feeling the Eat, Pray, Love moment haha. Better than hearing about bad things, I guess!

IMG_2637This was just outside Ketut’s house. The team was still taking shots of his place so I decided to take advantage of the free time and do a little shoot.

IMG_2690There’s plenty to see (and to shop in Ubud). The area is dotted with shops and galleries that make great souvenirs. If you love a good bargain and love to haggle, this is the place for you! I was doing my spiels here, which is why I look funny. And notice my pinkie haha–that’s the way to host!

IMG_2702Last stop: Tegalalang Rice Terraces in Ubud. This is very much like our own Banaue Rice Terraces, but its a mini version. This makes a great holiday photo! IMG_2697Picturesque and so serene.

  1. Kat Jardin Reply

    Hi Kelly! This blog made me excited about my bali trip in April. What are other must-see places in Bali?

    1. kellymisa Reply

      Cool! Enjoy Bali! I already listed down all the places I went to. I guess you can also try going to Potato Head, I went there for an afternoon drink and it was nice. 🙂

  2. kerry woods Reply

    Hi Kelly. Your post gives a good overview of all about Bali. i love it. I myself have never been to Bali. And in the near future I get a plan to go there. What about the people in Bali? do you think they are friendly? I often hear that in his place was very friendly and has a high tolerance. Of course, Bali is an interesting place to visit.

    1. kellymisa Reply

      Bali is a wonderful place to visit. The people are amazing, the locals are super nice and helpful and tourists are mostly young families and couples who are very friendly. You should go visit! It has a great, energetic vibe–restaurants and hotels are super nice and shopping is pretty great, too.

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