InterContinental Bali Resort
When you first wake up, the beauty of this legendary island seems so stunning that you may be convinced you are dreaming. Rub your eyes, sprinkle drops of cool water on your face and you will be delighted to find that your eyes have not deceived you. After a breakfast of the freshest and sweetest tropical fruit, I can recommend a short journey that few try but those who do never forget. Bali's sunsets bathe the sky in a dazzling array of colour, but its sunrises are equally spectacular. To appreciate it fully, you can make the short trip to a local Hindu temple, where you will likely find yourself alone on hallowed ground, to watch the light trickle over the Balinese landscape.
With the tropical climate and fertile, volcanic soil, Bali is just made to grow orchids, which makes the Bali Orchid Garden idyllic for an afternoon walk. The rows of beautiful flowers seem so perfect, it's almost like mother nature is just showing off. To compete with her, the evidence of man's endeavour lies in the natural valley which holds one of Bali's oldest and grandest monuments, the Gunung Kawi. This is a set of memorials cut out of the rock face, each one of which commemorates a member of the 11th century Balinese royal family. Myth surrounds this place and guests tell me that they often leave this place with a sense of awe and lingering mystery.
In the evening, whilst you are eating exquisite food at the hotel, you can enjoy a show of Balinese dancing. So much tradition and meaning is imbued in Balinese dance, many see it as the essence of the culture itself; a pure form of expression that transcends language and touches something spiritual within us all. The movement and nuance is staggering and to feel awe for this art form is as natural as it is for any other of Bali's natural treasures. I hope I have shown you that Bali is an island of wonder unlike any other, but it is the people who give it its soul.
The largest towns are Denpasar (the capital) and Singaraja in the north of Bali.
InterContinental Bali Resort has direct access to the beach, which is fabulously well-maintained.
Life in Bali is very communal with the organisation of villages, farming and even the creative arts being decided by the community.
Most Balinese are Hindu, however it is very different from Indian Hinduism. The Balinese believe strongly in magic and the power of spirits and much of their religion is based upon this.