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In Tune With Bali

  • September 21, 2016
  • By 50 Shades
  • 26 Comments
In Tune With Bali

I had come to Bali second time around, not to experience the upbeat and frenetic pace of Kuta or Legian, but to completely relax at a resort located in Tanah Lot around 23 kms from Kuta. My aim was to cleanse my body, clear my mind and reinvigorate my soul, after having a busy year to date. Sounds cliche I know! But seriously this body needed some respite!

There was no better place to do this than at the Pan Pacific Nirwana Resort located in Tanah Lot, Tabanan adjoining the famous ‘Sea Temple of The Earth’ – Pura Tanah Lot, constructed on a large rock jutting out into the Indian Ocean, paying homage to the guardian spirits of the sea. You can simply sit at one of the many prime locations at the resort and soak in the majestic views of this temple with the sunset being the most spectacular.

 

Views of Tanah Lot Temple from the Resort

Views of Tanah Lot Temple from the Resort

Of course we know that ‘nirwana’ or ‘nirvana’ is a Buddhist word that means “an ideal condition of rest, harmony, stability, or joy” – right? If this is what you are after during your holiday then the Pan Pacific Resort is the perfect sanctuary to relax and unwind completely.

Our Welcoming Party at the Resort

Our Welcoming Party at the Resort

I’m talking five star luxury at this resort! It is located over a sprawling area that encompasses an 18 hole championship golf course featuring some of the most scenic ocean views, three restaurants, four pool areas with play areas for the kids and adults – such as basketball, volleyball, water slides and floating toys.

Resort Grounds

Resort Grounds

Bales or cabanas are located around the pool areas and by the seaside that you can reserve for a romantic dinner for two, if you are feeling that way inclined. There is a kids club, day spa, two tennis courts, extensive pathways for walking or cycling, cycle hire, a Sunset Bar, library, gym and a couple of shops.

A Bale with a view at the resort

A Bale with a view at the resort

In addition to the above the Pan Pacific Nirwana offers seven unforgettable ‘nirwana’ experiences during your stay, called the 7 Secrets of Nirwana:

  1. Balinese Cooking Experience
  2. Baby Turtle Adoption and Release Experience
  3. Pejaten Pottery Village Experience
  4. Greg Norman Sunset Golf ExperienceGold Course at Resort
  5. Mountain Rafting Experience
  6. Balinese Equestrian Experience
  7. Tanah Lot Blessing Experience
Driftwood Restaurant at the resort

Driftwood Restaurant at the resort

Out of the seven experiences I was fortunate to be part of the baby turtle adoption and release program which I have to say was awesome. After a quick traditional Hindu blessing and a couple of photos, my Olive Ridley turtle, who I called Tommy, made his way safely down the black sandy beach until he was swept up by a wave and taken out to sea. Bon voyage Tommy!

Turtle adoption and release at the Resort

Turtle adoption and release at the Resort

Our days here passed quickly in a haze – sweating in the heat and breathing in the thick humid air, dipping in and out of the pool in an abandoned way, eating healthy Indonesian food and a large variety of local fruits, sipping sweet and sickly cocktails at happy hour at the pool bar and strolling around the undulating terrain around the grounds of the resort, sometimes walking across to Tanah Lot Temple to watch the sunset. I felt completely at peace after a few days of this.

Resort Pool

Resort Pool

Pura Tanah Lot is one of the most photographed and sketched temples in all of Asia. From your clifftop aspect you can watch the hypnotic sunset of this oddly shaped rock silhouetted against an orange-ade sky. Otherwise you can walk along the black volcanic rocky shores at low tide beside the temple – but beware there are scores of poisonous snakes (ular suci) sleeping in sandy holes just above the waterline along the beach. This fact I only learned after I had walked along that beach!

Bali does possess some of the most picturesque temples in South East Asia. If you have more time in Bali there are 20,000 temples to see on this Indonesian island paradise.

Pura Tanah Lot Temple at Sunset

Pura Tanah Lot Temple at Sunset

The resort provides a free daily shuttle bus service into Kuta and Seminyak that gave us enough time to walk around, stroll on the beach at Kuta, do a little shopping or pamper ourselves with a cheap massage or manicure/pedicure.

A stroll along Kuta Beach

A stroll along Kuta Beach

My husband had last been to Bali in 1980 with surf club friends and had his photo taken in front of the Kuta Beach Club with a mate who has since passed, so we were trying to find this building without success. This photo had to suffice.

From the resort you are able to hire a driver to take you to Ubud or elsewhere on the island for the day for around $40, depending on the distance.

Ubud

The Ubud area is around 200 – 300 hundred metres above sea level and surrounded by terraced rice fields, which makes it noticeably cooler than the other tourist destinations in Bali.

Ubud Terraced Rice Fields

Ubud Terraced Rice Fields

The centre for Balinese Arts, Ubud is where artisans and craftsmen create their magnificent pieces of art. You will find an entire area dedicated to factories where craftsmen turn slabs of timber into furniture and housewares – all ornately hand-carved. There are also factories where stone is sculptured into beautiful Hindu-inspired Balinese statues and figurines.

Ubud Art Markets

Ubud Art Markets

Strolling around the town centre you will find hundreds of shops selling antiques, woodcarvings, crafts, textiles, paintings and jewellery as well as some of the best art museums in the country, dozens of art studios, an excellent local craft market and galleries.

Shopping in Ubud

Shopping in Ubud

One of Ubud’s most popular attractions is Ubud Monkey Forest, also known as the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal; a natural forest sanctuary that is home to a horde of grey long-tailed macaques. There are also beautiful ancient temples with guardian statues covered in moss throughout the forest.

Just a hop away from the Ubud Art Market is the palace of the Ubud royal family, referred to as Puri Saren Agung. The Ubud Royal Palace is one of the most prominent places in Ubud.

Ubud Royal Palace

Ubud Royal Palace

Kintamani Volcano

Kintamani volcano or Mount Batur, is a popular sightseeing destination in Bali’s central highlands. The magnificent views of the Batur caldera lake serves as the main attraction, surrounded by the captivating Mount Batur range.

Kintamani Volcano & Butar Lake

Kintamani Volcano & Batur Lake

We set off on a day trip to this area, on a sometimes hair-raising, 40 km downhill bike ride tour beginning at Kintamani Volcano and ending in Ubud. After around 2.5 hours drive into the centre of the island in the Bangli District you are treated to breakfast and then it is another 2.5 hours downhill through rice paddies, vegetable farms, tropical rainforest and small villages.

Kintamani Bike Tour

Kintamani Bike Tour

The tour includes a short walk into rice paddies where you can experience first hand what it is like to grow, harvest and process rice. Plus you are introduced to a coffee plantation and some of the magic plants they have in Bali. At the end of the tour, with a sore rear end and legs like jelly, you are treated to a traditional luncheon in a Balinese home in Ubud.

Gorgeous views over the ocean

Gorgeous views over the ocean from the resort

Eight days was the perfect length of time to spend at Tanah Lot. I certainly saw a very different side to Bali than my previous visit – far removed from the busy tourist centre. I was completely relaxed and in tune with Bali – this beautiful peaceful country full of delightful Balinese people, Hindu Temples, rich green rice fields and a nice laid back atmosphere. It was with a heavy heart that I had to say Selamat tinggal (goodbye) to this place of reawakening.

If you’re looking at coming to Bali and not sure where to stay, check out A Guide to the Best Locations to Stay in Bali

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By 50 Shades, September 21, 2016 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
  • 26

50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

26 Comments
  • Jan Wild
    September 21, 2016

    So glad you enjoyed your time in Bali Kathy. What a perfect scenario to be able to look out over Tanah Lot without having to mix it with the hordes accessing the temple :-)

    • Kathy
      September 21, 2016

      It was a lovely holiday, but after returning home I caught a Flu virus and have been under the weather for the past week. So my relaxing and reinvigorating break in Bali didn’t do me much good! The Temple was a bonus and it changed appearance throughout the day depending on the light. I would highly recommend this place. :)

  • Johanna
    September 21, 2016

    Ah you spoke to my soul in this post Kathy! And your photos are wonderful. I love Bali and first visited in 1983 when Kuta was no more than a small road with some beach shacks and little gravel roads leading to the beach. Back then Nusa Dua was just starting to be built and as backpackers we were horrified that such a tourist enclave was being introduced! These days I love Nusa Dua almost as much as I love Ubud! The Melia and The Maya Ubud are my two favourite hotels in Bali. So glad that you had a relaxing and invigorating time, but so sad to hear that you caught a flu virus on your return. I hope you’re feeling better now.

    • Kathy
      September 22, 2016

      I know how much you love Bali too Jo. My husband first visited Bali in 1980 with mates and said the same thing about Kuta. There wasn’t much there at all back then. I haven’t been to Nusa Dua but maybe next time we may go stay here and I would also like to spend some time in Ubud as I loved it there. Thanks for the places to stay recommendation – I will take note of these. I am feeling ok but just a lingering cough. :)

  • Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)
    September 22, 2016

    The bargains are enough to make me want to go. I’d come back with brimming suitcases!

    • Kathy
      September 22, 2016

      Yes you do tend to that the first time you travel to South East Asia. In particular home wares and textiles are gorgeous. The clothing in the markets is a bit cheap and nasty but there are many other places to shop besides here. :)

  • Rhonda Albom (@RhondaAlbom)
    September 22, 2016

    Your trip to relax in Bali looks fantastic. I’ll have to consider a short hop to Bali when I’m in Oz next time. I have heard great things and your post is very enticing.

    • Kathy
      September 22, 2016

      It was a fantastic holiday Rhonda. I guess that is why so many Aussie flock to Bali year after year for their holidays. It is not only cheap but also very beautiful once you get out of the touristy areas. :)

  • California Globetrotter
    September 24, 2016

    Looks absolutely amazing! I’ve been dying to go to Bali and considered it for our honeymoon next May/June, but we chose Italy. I think I made the wrong decision… #Wkendtravelinspiration

    • Kathy
      September 24, 2016

      Bali is a beautiful chaotic place. The resort we stayed at would be the perfect location for a honeymoon. Although Italy doesn’t sound too bad either. I am also planning a trip to Italy in April//May next year so we may just cross paths. :)

  • becomingatravelingfamily
    September 24, 2016

    Bali looks beautiful! I’d like to go there some day. #Wkendtravelinspiration

    • Kathy
      September 24, 2016

      Bali is one of those holiday destinations that everyone would enjoy. There are so many gorgeous resorts and it has a very laid back relaxed vibe. It is very cheap for us Australians to travel here so that is why it is so popular. :)

  • Lydia C. Lee
    September 24, 2016

    It’s so pretty, and there’s so many temples. I was really suprised at all the things no one ever talks about. I thought I’d hate it and I loved it so much.

    • Kathy
      September 24, 2016

      There are temples everywhere in Bali, even in busy Kuta amongst the resorts, markets, restaurants and bars. The secret is to get out of the touristy areas and enjoy the less known areas like Tanah Lot. :)

  • Paula McInerney
    September 24, 2016

    I like Bali. I like the people and I like the cultural diversity. I also like that you can just totally chill out. Despite it being a bit of an Aussie enclave, that is because for us it is close and it is different.

    • Kathy
      September 24, 2016

      I had to be sold on Bali. For years I refused to go there because I thought it was full of Aussie bogans all behaving disgracefully! However I have discovered if you remove yourself from the busy touristy areas it is gorgeous and the Balinese people are so lovely. :)

  • seizetheday20
    September 24, 2016

    I haven’t been to Bali yet, probably because of the whole Aussie magnet thing, so it’s great to see your perspective on this beautiful place. Your photos are really lovely. So special to be part of the turtle adoption program too :)

    • Kathy
      September 25, 2016

      You are possibly the only Australian that hasn’t been to Bali Lyndall! We know people who holiday there all the time. I initially didn’t want to see Bali either, but my daughter convinced me to go a couple of years ago and then my husband decided he wanted to go back after 36 years. The secret is to book a luxury resort, like we did, and see some of the beautiful countryside. I’m not that fussed on the congested touristy areas. The turtle adoption and release was the highlight for me. :)

  • Ruth
    September 25, 2016

    Cathy, this places are beautiful (the resort and the areas you visited). I can see why so many people fall in love with Bali. Those 7 Secrets of Nirwana sound great. I would like to do the cooking class.

    • Kathy
      September 25, 2016

      We did see the best of Bali this trip with the gorgeous resort being the highlight. I wanted to do the cooking class but ran out of time. Maybe next time! :)

  • Nancie
    September 29, 2016

    Hi Kathy. What a beautiful resort. I’ve been to Bali a few times. I generally stay in Ubud, and do day trips around the island. The sunset at Tanah Lot is amazing. Thanks for linking up. #TPThursday

    • Kathy
      September 29, 2016

      Tanah Lot was a gorgeous location for a relaxing holiday. We did a day trip to Ubud and absolutely loved it. I think next time I would like to do a Yoga Retreat here. :)

  • budgettraveltalk
    September 30, 2016

    I loved seeing your photos of being In Tune with Bali. I remember looking into the caves beneath Tanah Lot and seeing the snakes – that was in my early 20’s – so lots of generations of snakes have kept guard since then lol.

    • Kathy
      September 30, 2016

      Jan if I had known those caves were full of snakes I would have ran a mile! I only found this out afterwards. Tanah Lot was a gorgeous place for a relaxing holiday. I wish I was back there now. :)

  • eileen g
    October 3, 2016

    I’ve been to Bali twice. I really love Ubud and for beach time I much prefer Jimbaram to Kuta. I can imagine it being a very nice place for a retreat vacation. everyone you meet there seems very at one with themselves,

    • Kathy
      October 3, 2016

      Hi Eileen, I can see why you would love Ubud as I really enjoyed our day visiting here. I haven’t been to Jimbaram but I totally understand why you would prefer to spend time at the beach here. We went to Ulawatu to a beach last time I went and it was gorgeous. Bali is a lovely place to chill out. :)

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