RJ Kay aka Karan Machado shares his experiences from his visit to Bali.
Bali is a place that has always enamoured and mesmerised me. From mountains to beaches, great food and warm people, it’s got everything you could ask for. If you plan well in advance, travelling to Bali is very affordable.
1. Ubud is a must-visit spot in Bali. It has a different charm to it altogether, with a unique vibe and culture. Trekking to Mount Batur, an active volcano here, is something I was looking forward too since the trip began. It takes about two hours to climb the mountain; on reaching the top, the view of the sunrise is breathtaking. I also loved the stay in Gili Islands, especially Gili Air. The island is so tiny that you can walk around its whole circumference in under an hour. It is a beautiful, secluded area, away from the all the humdrum, definitely the most memorable part of my stay here and something I would come back for. Canggu is another spot I would suggest, for a surf on the waves or simply relaxing on the shore.
2. The people of Bali are amazing; they are very warm and welcoming, and show a genuine interest in understanding Indian culture. The fact that people of a foreign land could be so nice was actually a culture shock for me! They are especially friendly towards tourists and outsiders.
3. I would highly recommend shopping in the Ubud Market. This market has some beautiful specimen of local handicrafts. Some of my top picks were the bags made out of cane and the intricately stitched dream catchers, handmade by the locals themselves. If you scour the market carefully, you’ll even find pieces of art made by local artisans. The wooden masks available here are a also a great buy. The best part is that they’re all available at pocket-friendly prices.
4. Food at Bali is a different experience altogether. The Nasi Goreng (stir-fried rice with pieces of meat and fish) and the Mie Goreng (spicy fried noodles) are regular Indonesian specialties. But Babi Guling is what steals the show. It is a barbecued pork belly dish, made with a special paste called ‘bumbu.’ Non-vegetarians in Bali should definitely go for the Babi Guling.
— Christina Tom