Need a Respite From Life? Bali – “The Island of Gods” is the Answer!

Southeast Asia is one of those places that deeply resonates in my heart and soul. No matter how many times I go, I’m already planning my return as I’m departing!

Bali – “the island of Gods,” is one of the 17,508 islands that form the Indonesian archipelago which boasts over one quarter of all the marine life in the world. There are approximately 300 species of wild birds in Bali – including white herons (which can be seen roosting in the trees at Petulu village), egrets, sea eagles and kingfishers. Amazing!

Bali is such a magical and mystical country, full of secrets – the perfect place for a transformational journey. Most itineraries include visits to sacred temples where you can take part in blessing ceremonies, experience a personal purification ritual, or simply take time to meditate to find your inner peace. At JOTS we offer different experiences, smaller off the beaten path temples, ones that the typical tourist doesn’t have access to. After all – who wants to be in the middle of a crowd looking when you could be part of an experience instead?

There are also wonderful cultural opportunities to take part in such as: learning how to play some of the Balinese instruments you typically hear in the local village gamelan orchestras, taking a Balinese dance lesson, or even learning how to make a proper temple offering!

For example, have you ever wondered why the Balinese use incense during their spiritual ceremonies? In Bali, incense is traditionally used in temples and homes as offerings made to the gods. Since no one knows where the gods may be in any moment, people believe that the incense smoke will find its way to the gods, assuring that their offerings and prayers will be safely delivered.

We have an array of heart-opening itineraries that can be tailored to create your personal spiritual journey – here is one of my favorites:

Komaneka VillaSince Bali is a long flight away from the United States, I always recommend to break up the journey in one of the closer Asian Cities like Tokyo, Seoul or Hong Kong. I have found through my many personal journeys I have done to South East Asia that I am really doing my body and mind a big favor by doing this. You get to see another exciting place in Asia and you also arrive in Bali rested and prepared to take in all the wonders you are about to experience.

Upon your arrival in Bali you will be met and taken inland to Ubud, considered to be the cultural center of Bali, by private car. We have an amazing selection of small and intimate resorts where our guests are being pampered and well taken care of, one of them being the Komaneka Resort on Monkey Forest Road.

While in Ubud you will have the opportunity to participate in a purification ceremony in one of the many temples or take a walk into town and admire all the amazing crafts created in Bali. Whenever I am in South East Asia I always go to a place where only the locals eat and immerse myself, even for just a moment into the culinary experience of the country.

After a couple of days in Ubud we’ll arrange for a drive through the Munduk countryside, an area of spectacular terraced rice fields, with a stop to see the Munduk waterfall, where you’ll have time to take the short hike to reach the falls.

If you love snorkeling I’d highly recommend a visit to the north of the island, in Pemuteran. On the way there you will have the opportunity to visit a small mountain village. This is an area completely off the beaten track and is rarely seen by visitors to Bali. You will be able to stop at an elementary school where you’ll visit a classroom and deliver a gift of school supplies. On arrival to the village there’s also the chance of visiting a farmer in the fields and if you feel up for it you can participate in preparing farm implements and planting or cultivating rice using traditional methods. In addition you’ll have a lesson in how to make a temple offering , learn how to make a woven bamboo hat and take a rice field trek. This will be a truly authentic Balinese experience.

The Oberoi SpaAfter a few days of discovery, filled with unforgettable experiences it is time for some quiet and rejuvenating time at one of the exclusive boutique resorts at Seminyak Beach, where you can take in one of their amazing spa treatments or if you still have the desire for more adventure, take a horseback ride along the beautiful beach. This will be a perfect ending to an amazing spiritual journey to one of the most magical places on earth.

If I’ve stirred up your adventurous spirit, please give me a call or send me an e-mail and I’d be more than happy to design an unusual and soul-inspiring trip for you.

With Love & Blessings, Ales

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Thank you to The Oberoi Bali, The Komaneka Resorts and Lonely Planet for the beautiful pictures.

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