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Asia » Indonesia » Bali April 4th 2020

There is no doubt that most families want to travel together and look for a perfect travel destination. Bali is definitely one of them. This magnificent and exotic island with breathtaking sunsets, comfortable weather, beautiful beaches, and welcoming local people keep families return for family holidays again and again. If it is your first time traveling to Bali with kids, here is a useful guide on where to stay and what to do in Bali as a family. Accommodation There are many accommodation options in Bali, so you will not have a problem to find a perfect one for yourself and your family. Most families choose between two of them - hotels and private villas. Hotels are pretty easy to find because there are tons of travel websites with useful information, with Booking.com the most popular ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Bali March 26th 2020

YOU CAN CLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO ENLARGE IT - RECOMMENDED - THEN GO BACK TO THE BLOG OR GO THROUGH THE 67 PHOTOS - CLICK ON NEXT OR PREVIOUS IN THAT ENLARGED FORMAT. I PUT LOTS OF INFORMATION IN THE PHOTO CAPTIONS SO YOU CAN SKIP THE NARRATIVE, JUST LOOK AT THE ENLARGED PHOTOS AND CAPTIONS AND YOU'LL STILL GET MORE INFORMATION THAN YOU EVER WANTED. TO RETURN TO THE BLOG ENTRY, CLICK YOUR BACK BUTTON OR ON THE NAME OF THE BLOG - BELOW THE NUMBERS ON THE LEFT. As you have probably figured out, these travel blogs are a way for Bernard and me to keep track of our adventures. I can't tell you how many times we've referred to one of our over 70 travel blogs looking for various details, maps, dates, ... read more
Indonesia on Top, Bali Below
Danu Bratan Temple
Morning Temple Procession

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud March 25th 2020

Our return flight to Canada from Bali was originally booked for April 28th, but we moved it ahead to March 21st in light of our Canadian Government’s calls for its citizens to return home, combined with those of our son and his partner - both highly trained nurses - strongly encouraging us to get on a flight home while we still had that option. But let’s backup a bit, to convey a sense of how quickly things were changing in our world, just as they were everywhere else. Wednesday, March 11th: Conversation with my niece and her husband in Vancouver. Me: “Bali is so chill. If you didn’t listen to the news or other tourists talking about the news, you would not even be aware that anything was wrong. It is totally calm here. No one ... read more
Indonesian Government Declaration, March 18th
 Bali International Airport: Quiet
Singapore International Airport: Quiet

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud March 15th 2020

Bali’s New Year’s Eve day, as determined by the Balinese Saka calendar, is a Hindu holiday mainly celebrated in Bali, Indonesia. This year the celebration takes place on March 25th. It is also known as Nyepe Day, or the Day of Silence. On this day, the entire island of Bali turns off all power, stops all traffic, abandons all global activities, including the internet, and remains in silence. Streets are literally empty of all traffic, as only emergency vehicles are allowed, and people are expected to remain in their homes or their yards, but cannot venture on any public streets. All businesses are closed, including the international airport in Denpasar. The intention is multifaceted: to spend quiet time connecting alone or with family; to rest and meditate upon the year, resolving to practice forgiveness for any ... read more
Ogo Ogo in All Its Terrifying Glory
Ogo Ogo Proud Village Community Creators
Ominous Mount Agung from our Bedroom Window

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Amed January 6th 2020

In the search of the traditional side of Bali, we have been quite succesful by visiting Sudaji in the North and staying in the ricefields in Tampaksiring. So our last stop in Bali was planned in the south, well, in the south-east that means. Because the south-west (being the centre of the mass tourism industry) was a no-go area for us. For whatever reason we found the widespread village of Seraya on the rocky coast in the very east. We had a private driver (the owner of "our" treehouse in Tampaksiring) who took us to Seraya. It was a beautiful drive across the countryside from Tampaksiring via Gianyar, Sideman and Amlapura. We passed very nice villages. Our driver was supernervous as it was extremly windy that day. So a lot of branches from coconut trees fell ... read more
Black Sand Beach near Seraya
enjoying our welcome drink at the Frangipani Inn in Seraya
great view over the White Sand Beach

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud January 4th 2020

I loved the region of Ubud 9 years ago - that was the only part in Bali which really got under my skin. So, of course, I wanted to share this experience this time with Markus. That is why we came here. But beforehand I was warned a bit by many vlogs - Ubud seemed to have changed quite a bit. Still all vloggers come here and stay longterm in Ubud or Canggu and rave about it. But watching different vlogs, I could see a Bali and especially Ubud which I did not like (traffic chaos, too many people in one place, fancy modern shops and cafes, far too many artificial instram spots). So, we were curious to come here and see what it was for us. The day we left Sudaji in the north was ... read more
Markus exploring mystical Gunung Kawi
Mount Batur as seen from Kintamani
little hidden waterfall around Gunung Kawi

Asia » Indonesia » Bali January 1st 2020

You realise that you are off the beaten track when your destination is not listed in travelblog :-D - just joking....... After a terrible start in Bali we hoped for better. To be honest, we had spent long hours at home looking for some remote places to find a Bali how it was many, many years ago. This is definitely impossible and you realise that the minute you have arrived in a remote village which already has a 5G antenna. But, I guess, we came as close to the real Bali as it is still possible. We definitely lucked out. We stayed at Omunity and were greeted very warmly by Zanzan, the owner, and his wife Putu. Omunity was founded by Zanzan in 2010. Its highest goal is to make it a green sustainable place for ... read more
on our terrasse - did we tell you, it was rainy season :-)?
Brahma Vihara Arama
Markus enjoying a nice massage

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Sanur December 31st 2019

Today we leave for home, which is always bittersweet after a great vacation. We are both excited to be back in our own beds, watching for Charlie the seal, enjoying our awesome home and seeing our friends and family . However, leaving the sun, smiling locals, healthy/tasty food and the chill vibe is also sad. Some take-aways from our time in Bali: The people of Bali are so welcoming and gracious. They are always ready with a smile and a greeting, no matter the time of day. It never feels contrived and you do feel like a very valued guest. The food is amazing. It is fresh, flavorful and varied, with options from grilled meats/vegis to noodles to rice to smoothies. We have been careful over the past two weeks to not drink the water (even ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Sanur December 30th 2019

The next two days are football focused, with today being the Clemson/Ohio State game and then tomorrow the Seahawk/49er game. Luckily, we found a great beach bar with TV’s and the right channels, so we aren’t missing a thing! Our first night at the Nike Villa room was quite comfy, with a big king-sized bed, blasting AC and being very quiet. I am posting some pictures of the property, which is quite serene and tropical. We enjoyed our full breakfast in the small little outside eating area and then got ready to walk the 1+ mile to the Sanur Beach House for the 9am Clemson kick-off. Even at 830a the sun is hot and by the time we arrived to the bar, we were sweating and ready for some cold refreshments. Since it was still early, ... read more
Ken Bonding with Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence
Go Tigers!
Nike Villas

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Sanur December 28th 2019

It is time to say goodbye to the Swallow House, but before we leave we get to have another wonderful breakfast on the patio served by Uly. This time it was the fruit, with black rice and little mini-rice cakes. I also realized that I hadn't really posted any pictures of the guesthouse, so most of the pics on this blog are from the Swallow House (not the Nike Villas). We had time for a last dip in the pool, before packing up, saying our good-byes to Wayan, Uly and Coco the cat. Luckily, they were able to haul our bags on the motorbike down the path to the road, where are driver was waiting to take us to Sanur. The mileage to Sanur is only 20 miles, but the traffic in the various little villages ... read more
Bathroom in the Swallow House
Hallway leading up to the 2nd floor
View from the second floor of the Swallow House




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