This article originally appeared in Life Refined, Spring 2016.
Famed anthropologist Margaret Mead once called Bali an enchanted land filled with people who love nature. The tiny island, only 95 miles wide and 69 miles long, remains filled with that enchantment.
Known affectionately as The Island of Thousands of Temples, The Island of Gods and one of the Spice Islands, Bali has a culture filled with art and steeped in traditional Hinduism. There is a blending of ancient traditions and modern technology. Most of all, the locals are genuinely welcoming to visitors.
Although Bali, one of dozens of islands that make up Indonesia, sits half a world away from North America int he Indian Ocean, you will be welcomed with open arms. The majestic land, one filled with intensity, offers visitors sandy beaches, rocky coasts, lush jungles, rivers, mountains soaring to over 9,000 feet, rice paddies, relaxing spas and dozens of indigenous spices.
Enjoy the Journey
To immerse yourself in the Balinese culture, head straight for the mountains and the cultural hot spot of Ubud, about 90 minutes north of the airport by chartered car or a quick private helicopter flight via Air Bali. Ubud gained popularity party because of Elizabeth Gilbert's trek through the area in “Eat, Pray, Love”. But Ubud is so much more than a movie local. It is a place where you can easily witness the extremes between old and new. There are moments of solitude and reflection amid a densely populated town. Mere steps take you from busy streets with merchants touting their wares to serene vistas of verdant hillsides and the earthly aroma of the jungle.