Wanderlust: Expat Life & Style in Thailand The Relationships Issue - Page 55
A Honey moon in Technicolor :
Your Guide to Romance in Bali
Travel by ANNALIESE WATKINS
Looking back , it ’ s easy to view my blissful Balinese
honeymoon as simply a symptom of the rosy radiance most newlyweds find themselves in the weeks after the wedding .
But I know better than that . The Indonesian island we visited for our first trip as husband and wife was more than just a backdrop to honeymoon romance . It was a place to fall in love with .
Now , to be sure , we were basking in the glorious glow of freshly married life : Wedding planning stresses were over and annoying habits forgotten ( for the meantime ). All we had to do was sunbathe , laze and luxuriate . But while lying next to one another beneath the deep green fan of palm trees or the shimmering canopy of a clear night sky , there was a distinct feeling that our bliss wasn ’ t just due to our marital romance ; there was something about Bali itself . Instinctively , we knew this was a special place .
Before you get too nauseated , you should know that we are not usually like this . We avoid PDAs and pet names and prefer taking the proverbial over whispered sweet nothings . But in Bali we became that couple — a doe-eyed product of paradisiacal pastures mixed with good old-fashioned love .
Though a relatively small island , Bali is incredibly diverse . From every corner of this dreamy destination , you ’ ll find a tropical landscape to suit your mood . For the more romantically inclined , some tricky decisions await . Will you choose the lively , tourist-friendly beaches to the west ? The peaceful , snorkeling spots of Lombok ’ s stunning archipelago ? Or a laid-back escape to the artsy heart of the island ? To help you decide , here are my must-visit spots for a Balinese love story you ’ ll want to read forever .
Seminyak and Canggu
A short 30-minute drive from Ngurah Rai airport , Bali ’ s south west coast is perhaps its most popular spot for incoming tourists . Lively Kuta Beach , the island ’ s party hub , is often the final stop for visiting revelers , but a little further north sits family-friendly Seminyak .
The classier neighbor to Kuta ’ s wild social scene , Seminyak is a hotbed of glam hotels , fine restaurants and stylish shops , not to mention a stunning stretch of wide , sandy coastline perfect for romantic strolls . It ’ s far from quiet in Seminyak — in fact , traffic can be a real problem — but one could easily wile away a week or two in this sleek beach town .
Further north and quieter still , lies Canggu . Harboring hip surfer vibes , boho beach cafes and layers of lush rice paddies , Canggu is the easygoing antidote to Kuta ’ s thumping baseline . The hipster hotspot actually sits sandwiched by some of Bali ’ s best-loved attractions , including Tanah Lot , the most visited and photographed temple on the island , to the north , and Uluwatu Temple in the south .
Stay a night or two in Canggu for some essential chillout time together , or use the quaint coastal village as your base for exploring the entire west coast .
Head to La Laguna Restaurant and Beach Bar at sunset to see the sky turn magical hues of pink and purple over Canggu ’ s Berawa Beach . This funky eatery has taken over a huge patch of land just by the shore and turned it into an eclectic exhibition of gypsy wagons and beatnik knick-knacks .
Colorful caravans line the route to the restaurant , passing a twinkling garden with beanbags propping up the bar , while a rickety wooden bridge leads to the sprawling beach . Just when you think it couldn ’ t get any better , La Laguna dishes up a delightful menu of dinnertime treats and inventive cocktails to sup and sip through dusk .
You won ’ t be short of accommodation options in Seminyak or Canggu ; in fact , the breadth of choice can make it difficult to whittle down a shortlist . But the stars of the show here are often the private villas , and you might adore a stay at Canggu ’ s luxurious Komea Villas . I know we did .
With La Laguna and Berawa Beach a five-minute stroll away and several dining options nearby , it ’ s perfect for a short stay . The accommodating staff are often on-hand to drive guests into Seminyak and beyond for when livelier surrounds are in order . But with a private pool and tropical landscaped garden all to yourself , who wants to leave ?