BALI: THE TWO-FACED ISLAND
BALI: TWO-FACED ISLAND
I’ll admit one thing…Bali was not on my list of ‘’To-do vacations’’. Just like Thailand, I found this place to be a little too touristy for my taste and less tempting and original for a first trip to Asia; despite all the pretty pictures I came across on social media. And the beach is fine but what I was really looking for, above all, was the culture, change of scenery, complete and total immersion, to awaken my senses and to take it all in. Initially, we dreamed rather of Japan, South Korea or even more so, Taiwan, but finally the deal I found… a roundtrip for 499$ from Montreal-Singapore with a short layover in Beijing, made us reconsider our destination.
We had 2 weeks to travel and we really wanted to maximise our days on solid ground and not in-between transits or in the air travelling from one country to the next and thanks to domestic flights at really low prices, the possibilities to travel within Asia were endless and very appealing. After having hesitated between Singapore/Cambodia, Singapore/Malaysia, we finally opted for Singapore/Bali to be able to mix modernity, nature, beach, skyscrapers, shopping, traditions rest and adventure.
BALI, THE ISLAND OF THE GODS
One facet of Bali that is always shown on social media is the image of the deep blue sea, beautiful endless beaches, palm trees and coconuts dangling softly as the wind blows, a warm Balinese deco both elegant and sophisticated at the same time and high-end hotels designed for tourists looking for luxurious edenic vacations at an affordable price. The perception we have of Bali corresponds to a paradisiac idyllic post card and it is no coincidence that we call it The Island of the gods. However, this rich and culturally unique island has a lot more to offer and we can quickly distance ourselves from the local culture and miss a very unique experience if we decide to stay confined in our perfect little ‘‘all-inclusive’’ bubble.
EXPLORE BALI DIFFERENTLY
The other side of Bali paints an image of flamboyant rice fields, rural leafy landscapes, ancestral Balinese traditions with historic sites and a series of temples, religion in mythical narratives rich in history and rituals, typical architecture and a lot of other types of creative arts. We tried to experiment this representative and authentic side of the island and live the complete Balinese culture.
This is an island where the inhabitants live in houses with ornaments and small temples. There, where the food is simple, but so savoury and flavourful. Despite the fact that the south of the island is pervaded by the western culture to attract tourists, the north of Bali remains untouched. This is in fact the part of the island that I loved the most and that charmed me the most. Meeting artists, locals, discovering the history and the Balinese civilization is particularly insightful and rewarding. We were amazed by what we saw that we dream of renewing this experience to discover other hidden treasures of the island.
In fact, at first, I had mixed feelings on the island, after having spent a few days in Singapore. We arrived on a Tuesday night in Bali and the next day while walking the streets of Seminyak to get the pulse of the city, besides some locals that passed on scooters or who had market stands on the street, I quickly realized that we landed in an open sky resort full of Westerners… so much so that I almost felt like a minority. But after having gotten my bearings and exploring Bali differently I absolutely loved my stay.
To know more about Bali and its attractions, download the pdf "Bali Travel Guide"(at the end of the article) with all my best addresses and tips in Bali. If you find a roundtrip to Asia for under 500$, let me know!
Scroll down to discover our travel journey through pictures and a vlog.
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Shirline is the founder of Black Milk Women. She finds inspiration in every areas of life. Creative, passionate and dreamy ... "Eat Beauty, Live Passionately and Drink Life" is her everyday #Wordstoliveby.
Like music or romance she is old school she doesn't snap but she tweets. You can find her on twitter @ThePerfectshee