Where would you go for a memorable honeymoon… How will you choose the best location for your honeymoon to ensure that is the most romantic…
It goes without saying that each one of us newlyweds desire to celebrate our marriage in a special place that is both intimate and exotic. My husband tried his best to keep it all a surprise, making it a no-brainer holiday for me. But me being me, I had to know the details and get down with the planning, because that’s what I love doing. That’s where the journey begins.
Part 1: The Planning
Our travel was supposed to be in December, so we began looking out for possible options. It’s best to trust your instincts while planning your holidays. It was clear that we wanted to go to a beach destination and after a little research, we inclined towards Bali in Indonesia for a number of reasons:
1. There is more to Bali than just beautiful beaches
2. The tropical green ambience
3. The art and handicrafts (me being an art loving person)
4. The Balinese massage
In essence, Bali offered so much more than just a sun and sand retreat. So, the first part was done. Bali it is..!!
Tip no 1: Do not fall prey to standard itineraries that mix Bali with other countries. There is so much to do in Bali that you wouldn’t want to dilute its experience with any other place.
Tip no 2: Block your date and book your flight tickets at the earliest to get the best connectivity, least stopovers and the lowest fares.
How to get there: We took the Malaysian Airlines from India with a stopover in Kuala Lumpur. We asked our hotel, the Grand Hyatt, Nusa Dua to arrange for our pickup from Denpasar airport in the capital of Bali.
Part 2: The Holiday begins
There’s so much to do in Bali; you can go from the extremely relaxing to the extremely adventurous. Since it was our honeymoon, we decided to stick with the relaxing itinerary. We stayed at two parts of Bali: Nusa Dua and Sanur. We could not go to Ubud, which is one thing I still regret and I might plan another holiday to Bali just for a visit to Ubud.
The marble walkways and silent beach was our first glimpse into its pampering world. The Grand Hyatt in Nusa Dua has everything that honeymooners seek: standard marble touches, spacious grounds, separate lagoon pool inside the resort, quiet beach with smooth slope, no hawkers and great food. We enjoyed having food at the Italian restaurant facing the pool and the beach.
Bali Beds at Majestic Elegance Hotel Image Via Flickr
For families with kids, I would suggest other places to stay that are central located with activities enjoyable for kids. Vacationers – do not stay in Nusa Dua, for you will surely miss out on loads of action strolling along the lazy long beach; other places like Ubud and Kuta have a lot more action packed fun for you! We were classic Honeymooners who wouldn’t leave the property, except when we went to Kuta or the little shopping complex across the resort during the day.
After 3-4 days, we moved to Sanur and were welcomed into the grand foyer of Bali Hyatt, Sanur. While the Grand Hyatt had an urban feel to it, the Bali Hyatt in Sanur is more into Bali culture. It’s more traditional than the Grand Hyatt but still offers the same Hyatt luxury to get pampered.
The Indian connection
One thing that you are bound to notice while moving around in Denpasar city is the influence of Hindu culture in Bali. Almost every major road crossing has gigantic stone statues of Hindu gods and some scene depictions from Hindu epics. Whether it is the scene from Mahabharata with Lord Krishna as Arjun’s charioteer or it is the statue depicting Ghatotakach or his father Bheem, each one is exquisitely done.
When I looked at these statues I wondered “How come Bali in Indonesia is a Hindu island in a Muslim nation?” After some research I learnt that Indonesia might have the largest Muslim population in the world, but its constitution acknowledges five different religions and diverse traditions in one nation. Way back in the 5th Century, Hinduism and Buddhism arrived in Indonesia, as trade with India intensified under the south Indian Pallava dynasty. Later immigration from India, China, Portugal, Arabia, and the Netherlands also contributed to the diversity of religion and culture. So it might not be correct to call Indonesia a Muslim nation!
Bali – Hindu Temple in Nugara Via Flickr
The Indian influence in this diverse nation is clearly evident in the national motto of Indonesia –“Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” (translated as “Unity in Diversity”), which is written in an old Javanese language with an exclusive Sanskrit influence on it. Some recognisable words that you will come across are: ‘Bahasa’ – a colloquial slang of Bhasha in Sanskrit; ‘Bhoomi’ (earth), ‘Putra’ (son), ‘Guna’ (quality). The word ‘Bali’ itself comes from ‘Vaali’, the feisty brother of Sugriva in Ramayana!
Feeling proud of our culture’s influence on a foreign land, we moved towards our resort in the evening. The Sanur area along the main street at the back of Bali Hyatt is a lovely and peaceful location just to wander around for a dinner at night. The street offers a choice of some really nice and good value restaurants. Shopping is brilliant here, particularly for the Balinese artwork, if you are an art appreciating person. The AAA art gallery in this area has some great paintings.
One evening, we took time off and headed for the famous “The Balinese massage”, which is something best had in Bali itself. All I remember about it is that it started with some pleasant calming music in the background and then I dozed off in relaxation.
We were in Bali for six days and trust me, I was not done yet! It is such beautiful place and there’s so much to enjoy from the experiences that every destination has to offer. This was the first destination that I travelled to, which made me realize that there’s so much to learn from every place you visit.
|This is a guest post by Ayesha Mahajan, all the images in this post are by the author.|