Jasmine Travel Stories

My Travel Journey to Bali

Time of Travel: March 2024
Rainy season, but I enjoyed a lot of nice weather and had hardly any rain.
Travel journey to Bali & Lombok

My travel journey to Bali

It has been a while now that we have been working with Indonesia as a destination, especially with a number of islands such as Bali & Lombok. And since I am interested in a long-term collaboration, a study trip to Bali & Lombok was also an absolute must.

Given my busy schedule, it is not always easy to plan my own trips. Actually, that’s a bit ironic. But my work mainly consists of planning, organizing and guiding travellers who choose to collaborate with me.

My first travel journey to Bali is set

And then, out of the blue a fascinating and inspiring trip to Bali was planned in my agenda in between all the other busy weeks. I had planned to limit working remotely so that my focus could really be on discovering the destination.

After all, that was the purpose of my trip. I had provided my quite long wish list to my local team, who then put together a special & unique travel program for me, just as what I do for my travellers.

On a discovery journey through Bali & Lombok

Of course I know that Bali, in particular has the image of being super busy and too touristic. And I certainly won’t deny that some places in Bali can be quite busy, especially in the high season. But during my tour I visited quite a few places that were anything but busy or overflooding with to many tourists.

That is of course also a conscious choice. I personally think it is important that tourism contributes to the local economy and that the local population can also experience the benefits of tourism income. That is why we looked for a number of local projects organized for and by the local population.

Indonesia is without a doubt a destination where I will return to

But without a doubt my travel experience was a very nice and pleasant one. Nevertheless I can’t remember I had a bad travel journey. I find the people in Indonesia very hospitable and friendly. I really received a very warm welcome and no question was too much for them.

It is just like our other destinations, a destination where hospitality is not just a fancy word but really matters. Where you as a guest are extremely pampered. In addition, the roads are good in most places and the hotels are of excellent and some are even of exquisite quality.

A few of the places I have visited during my travel journey are:

First stop in Ubud, Bali

If you want to opt for an adventure, Ubud should definitely not be missing on your travel to-do list. The jungle of Bali is certainly a favourite hotspot for many travellers. But the region has many more places to offer, which unfortunately I didn’t had time to visit. But thinking that you are only surrounded by wilderness is not the case.

I visited the beautiful rice terraces, among other things. There was still such a beautiful mist hanging over the hilltops, which made the view breathtaking, the ideal setting for a postcard.

We took a short walk of about 45 minutes, of course good walking shoes are required, while you can get mesmerized by the views. Here and there you will even find a stall where you can buy local snacks and soft drinks.

In the meantime, you will gain insight into how farmers grow crops here, of course rice, but they also alternate crops every now and then, just to avoid exhausting the soil.

From there it went via the road to the Tan Na Lot temple. Especially a hotspot for the many travellers during the breathtaking sunset that you can admire there. You can only visit this impressive Hindu temple at low tide and then you must of course ensure that you return on time.

It is also best to keep enough distance because before you know it you may feel wet due to the meter-high waves that you can admire here, propelled by the rough Indian Ocean. It is therefore completely logical that this could be a hotspot for surfers.

Meeting with the locals in Bali

Let’s be honest, from experience I know that a visit with the locals is not always “so local”. In the past I have already experienced that some activities in other countries were really created for tourists.

And that just takes away from the authenticity and the experience. So I was very happy that the excursions I made were really with and for the local population and were therefore a really nice experience.

Daytrip in Bali

We have started our day with a cup of tea and some local snacks and an explanation from our local guide. Even though the breakfast in the hotel was quite extensive, you better be well prepared for a full-day excursion where the humidity rises to heights that you didn’t even know existed in addition to a blazing sun and of course warm temperatures.

So first a short explanation and a freshly made tea with lemon grass to stir with and we could go on our way for the day. Along the path, the guide explains in detail that he wants to add an added value through tourism for the residents of his village in this way. You really notice how convinced he is about his concept.

Although many Indonesians rely on agriculture as a source of income, young people are dropping out en masse. They move to the city and then look for work there. Talking about a concept of sustainable tourism.

The walking route is actually along a good road, which is also ideal for a bike ride. But because my time is limited, we are really going to go off road this time, we choose a different route, straight through the fields.

Offroad walk in Bali

The guide offers me a walking stick. I honestly wonder if I already look like that kind of an age that I need a walking stick for walking. But it’s not about anything of that kind. It turns out to be a really useful tool because in some places the surface is quite muddy and some extra support is needed.

It is indeed an impressive route and certainly requires good walking shoes and sufficient balance. But it is absolutely worth it. Along the way you will receive an explanation about the various plants and herbs that can be found in the fields.

After a walk of about an hour we arrive back in the village. One of the local residents is sitting there designing a kite. We can also test whether we can make this ourselves. I am admitting, it’s harder than it looks.

Once the kite has been put together, it is time to enjoy a local lunch. For me personally, it’s the ideal way to get a taste of the local cuisine and get to know dishes that you might otherwise never taste yourself.

When the lunch is finished, the journey continues to a neighbouring village, where we see a number of artists at work who design, among other things, hand-painted fans, one of which I get to take home with me.

Jimbaran & Uluwatu in Bali

Of course, in addition to the jungle, Bali also has many beautiful beaches to offer. A number of exclusive luxury hotels can be found in Jimbaran & Uluwatu, among others. For those looking for a idyllic location to stay.

I understand why couples choose Bali as a honeymoon destination, for example. I am convinced that Bali is a great choice for a honeymoon. The hotels are really more than wow. And you will definitely be pampered, as I experienced during my stay at Alila Villas Uluwatu. A real gem amongst ultra luxury hotels in Bali.

After Bali my next stop in Lombok

Traveling is always a bit of an adventure. And that was no different during my trip to Bali. You will never hear me say that a trip always goes 100% perfectly because there is always something like that which can happen.

Due to the heavy rain and storms, I was a bit difficult to travel around from one island to another. Something you definitely have to consider and keep in mind when travelling during rainy season. The day before I needed to travel, I heard that the boats to Lombok were cancelled. Because to be honest, I didn’t find such a boat trip on a rough and wild sea that much attractive.

Despite the short flight time. Due to a technical issue, my flight was delayed by about 3 hours. So I had been easily 6 hours on the road. But then again that was very soon forgotten after seeing the view from the plane, which was just breathtaking.

Undiscovered Lombok

I am very happy that I visited Lombok after all. You immediately see that the dynamics here are completely different than in Bali, which is of course one of the most important tourist islands in Indonesia. Lombok is much quieter & more unspoilt. But here too you will find real gems of hotels.

Day trip in Lombok

Today we plan a hike in the mountains. There is a project that strives for more autonomy for local women and who can achieve this by guiding travellers. The panorama along the route was truly unique. So a photo stop along the route should certainly not be missed.

The first stop was at a local village, where you can see how mainly the elderly live there. It was of course even more primitive in the past. But today they have electricity and even Wi-Fi. I did appreciate that the guide was honest enough to say that the younger generation simply lives a little further away and not in this very primitive place.

Despite that, it is unique to see how people actually live so simply and with very little. In the modern times in which we live, you can hardly imagine it.

Unfortunately we had to cancel the trek because due to the heavy rains the week before they had to deal with a landslide, but today the rain was also pouring down. Unfortunately, nothing can be done about it, but it is something to take into account during the rainy season.

Snorkelingtour to the Gili Islands

Today I have again an early morning. This time to go for snorkelling tour on the Gili Islands. Be aware that the Gili Islands consist of a large group of islands. So you can go snorkelling on several of them.

After an hour and a half drive we finally arrive in the bay where our boat is waiting. Due to the bad weather and heavy rainfall in recent weeks, a lot of waste had washed up on the beaches. Regular “beach clean ups” are organized by the local communities to ensure that the beaches remain tidy.

Anway it’s time to set off  to a boat trip. In the meantime we start looking for a suitable islands where we can admire the coral reefs. But because there is a very strong current, it took some searching before we found a suitable location.

Beautiful reefs to be discovered

And then yes, found it! We have chosen a more remote island to have a better experience. Time to gear up with our snorkelling equipment and get into the water. I had no idea what to expect, since it’s my first time snorkelling in Indonesia.

But I did found the reefs very beautiful. Not that I am a super expert in snorkelling, but the visibility is really very good in the area where we are. When the current is strong, the view in the water can be unclear.

We are spotting a wide variety of colourful fish, blue starfish and even blue coral reefs. Without a doubt a very unique and nice experience. After the snorkelling trip we are sailing to the next island to have our lunch.

Here travellers can swim in the sea, while the lunch is being prepared on the spot. What a nice place to cool down and at the same time enjoy the beautiful and scenic landscape. There are worse places to wait for your food being prepared.

After lunch is time to clean up and get on the boat again to travel back to the shores, goodbye to the beautiful Gili Islands but it’s more a see you next time. As life on the water always pleases me.

Time to say goodbye from the beautiful Lombok

And so it is time to say goodbye to beautiful Lombok! Finally I found time to sleep a bit longer and then it’s time to travel back to the airport. This time, both check-in and boarding went very smoothly.

You actually only need to be at the airport 1 hour in advance for this flight. Boarding also goes very smoothly. Since you are travelling with quite a small plane, everything goes very fast. And once again, I can enjoy the beautiful views on the plane, so a window seat is for sure an extra on these flights.

However, as the temperatures are rising outside toward 33 degrees. And the airco is not put up, the temperature rises inside the plane. But once the wheels are up, that is also solved.

Not much longer after taking off, the plane sets for it’s landing. The aircraft is not parked at the gate but simply in the middle of the tarmac. There are no busses who drop you at the airport terminal. You just have to go on foot. Now  that has been a long time since I have last experienced that.

I only need to collect my luggage from the belt before I can head to the last hotel and then heading back to Belgium.

A beach stay in Kuta & Seminyak in Bali

This time it goes to the seaside resorts of Seminyak & Kuta. I first make a stop in Kuta for some souvenir shopping at the request of my family members back home. Ah yes, since unfortunately they couldn’t come this time, a souvenir is of course well deserved for them.

I immediately notice that Kuta is a busy seaside resort. With numerous shops, bars and restaurants. Especially travellers who are looking for some relaxation in the evening or during the day will certainly enjoy themselves here.

Too soon my trip to Bali & Lombok is coming to an end. The last hotel where I will be staying is Alila Seminyak, located in Seminyak. The hotel offers splendid views from your room at the rough sea. What an awesome hotel, where you have the choice of 3 swimming pools to relax of which one is an adult only pool. While spending time at the pool, you get a breathtaking sunset for free.

I find the atmosphere in the hotel quite pleasant and anyone who likes to go out in the evening has plenty of opportunities to do so. The hotel is located a short distance from the airport and is therefore ideal for those who do not want to drive too far before catching the long flight home.

For me, Bali & Lombok definitely left a special impression. It is a destination that has a lot to offer, from nature to culture to the beach. Of course this was an introductory trip for me with a visit to a selection of places.

But above all it has given me a clear picture of Bali & Lombok and I have no doubt that many travellers will feel attracted by this inspiring destination.

Luxury Travel Ambassador @ Jasmine Travel & Events

Contact me at info@jasminetravel-events.be
Luxury Story Teller @ Jamine Travel Stories 

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