Pristine beaches, lush flora and cultural treasures surround the island of Bali, which is also part of a province of the same name that belongs to the expansive archipelago that makes up the Asian nation of Indonesia. A definite must-see for anybody who loves tropical settings, there’s sure to be something for everybody on this island from surfing to art to excitement. The Manual recently visited Bali and we traveled around the island to curate the best places to stay, eat and see while in this beautiful island.
Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran
Be warned — you may not want to leave this amazing resort once you check in. It has everything you need. Situated only a minute away from Jimbaran Beach and the famous seafood restaurants that line its shore, this hotel consists of 118 exquisitely designed rooms that surround a sprawling lagoon-like pool. Swim out into the pool straight from your balcony if you have Lagoon Access room or enjoy pure bliss from the infinity pool on the roof of the Aqua Pool Sky Penthouse. Be sure to enjoy breakfast at Bamboo Chic, which has an amazing buffet spread of both local — we suggest the Bubur Injin, a black rice pudding, with coconut cream and palm spirit — and international dishes. Once you’re ready to go out and explore Bali, call on the hotel’s knowledgeable concierge to create a custom itinerary just for you.
Jalan Bukit Permai
+62 361 8466888
CATCH SOME WAVES
Rip Curl School of Surf
There’s a reason why surfers travel to Bali in droves — its waters are home to some of the world’s greatest waves. Seasoned surfers, bring your boards and catch the waves along Kuta. Those of you who are interested in learning, sign up for a course at the Rip Curl School of Surf, where seasoned surfers will teach you everything from the basics to how to do cutbacks and extensions.
Locations in Legian and Sanur
+62 361 735858
EAT LUNCH WHILE STARING AT SPECTACULAR RICE FIELDS
I Made Joni
Beware — there are a lot of ways you can catch traveler’s diarrhea, lovingly referred to as Bali Belly. We were warned to stay away from street food and joints that the locals eat in. Our tour guide Gusman took us to I Made Joni, a pleasant outdoor eatery visited by both Indonesians and tourists where you can stare out at beautiful, green rice fields while dining on some local Balinese fare. Go for either the crispy duck or smoked duck (we had the smoked duck and we were definitely satisfied). We couldn’t help but think, wow, we’re really lucky to be here.
+62 361 975324
GET LOST IN UBUD
When we visited this city, we became enthralled by the royal palace, bargained for a caftan at the outdoor market, sipped an organic juice at the raw food café Soma and visited the studio of a painter who can be considered the Jean Michel Basquiat of Bali. Not bad. Definitely stop in Ubud if you want to bring home local souvenirs — this is the place to get them. Just don’t forget to bargain without shame; vendors often will shout out a price that’s 100 percent more than they will sell it to you for.
HAVE A CUP OF THE WORLD’S STRANGEST AND MOST EXPENSIVE COFFEE
Teba Sari Bali Agrotourism
Wander around the paths of this organic garden to see the fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices Bali has to offer. After, enjoy a flight of all the tea and coffee made here. But — and those of you who have watched “The Bucket List” will know what I’m talking about — the most interesting thing here is the price coffee called Kopi Luwak, made from the feces of an animal called the Luwak, or Asian Palm Civet. Now why on earth would anybody drink coffee made from animal sh*t you ask? The Luwak is a smart animal; they only eat coffee berries containing the best beans, but they don’t digest them. So once they pass them, the beans get washed off and roasted. Then they are finely grinded and brewed so that you can enjoy a cup of this rare, flavorful, smooth and robust coffee.
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