Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Bali: The island of the Gods

After travelling the world on a superyacht Jamie Neben says his heart belongs to Bali.

Bali is a small island in Indonesia just east of Java. Majority of Balinese practice a form of Hinduism that worships many Gods.

From the beaches to hikes, art to Buddha bowls, Bali is still one of my favourite places to visit. They even have some of the most expensive and exclusive coffee in the world. The reason why it is so highly priced is the unique method of production. Kopi Luwak coffee is made from the droppings of a civet, a shy cat-like creature living in Asia.

I recommend heading to Canggu. It has some of the best cafes and restaurants and is a great place for sundowners at the beach. Some of my favourites are Mason, la Brisa, and Lola’s Cantina, a Mexican restaurant on a road they call the Shortcut. Be careful though this road is extremely busy and narrow.

If you want something more family-friendly, I recommend Sanur. The streets are a bit quieter, and it is where more of the larger hotels are located. They have a great surf break just off the beach where you can hitch a ride out with the locals.

Bali has some beautiful hikes. One of my favourites is Kelingking Beach. There’s a very steep climb down to a beautiful white sand beach. The climb is not for the faint hearted but totally worth the effort.

If you want to experience something a little different, visit the Trunyan Cemetery. Popularly known as the Skull Island Bali Village, it is hidden in the mysterious pine forests of Kintamani. After a short boat ride, you arrive at a village where the locals don’t bury or cremate their dead, instead they are placed in bamboo baskets underneath a sacred tree. Once the bodies have dissolved, the skulls are placed on a rock wall under the tree. It’s an unusual and bizarre experience.

Bali has some of the kindest people you’ll meet. I’ve stayed with a local family many times just out of Ubud in a town where you don’t find many tourists. Everybody always makes me feel so welcome and they have shown me how to cook a few local dishes. My favourite being a chicken with turmeric and lime cooked over a coal fire.

Until next time Sampai jumpa, sampai ketemu.

Jamie Neben
Jamie Neben
Notes from superyacht chef and photography buff, Jamie Neben’s travel diary.
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