Saturday, July 30, 2011


Trails of Indochina – 10/8 Phan Dinh Giot Street (Ho Chi Minh City, Tan Binh District); 011-84-8-3844-1005;

Villa Indah Manis & Bulan Madu – Jalan Raya Semer 883 (Kerobokan, Kuta); 011-62-361-730-668;; carved out of verdant jungle and centuries-old taap trees, tiny (population 300) Hindu farming village on Penet River; near Kuta Beaches; 6 thatched-roof villas.

Sights & Sites
Pura Ulun Danu Temple – Singaraja-Denpasar Road (Candikuning, on Lake Bratan’s western shore); after Tanah Lot, island’s most photographed temple; among Bali’s iconic images; gives illusion actually floating on water; built in 1633, devoted to Ida Batara Dewi Ulun Danu, lake’s goddess.

Sights & Sites
Padang Padang – pretty beach on which Eat Pray Love parts filmed; oasis of calm surrounded by cliffs.

Blue Lagoon – Padangbai;; can see rare scarlet Paddleflap Rhinopias scorpionfish; also, coral bommie, frogfish, moray eel, glassfish.


Menjangan – Bali Barat National Park; 011-62-362-94-700;; opened at jungle camp decade ago; recently renovated; try to get 1 of 7 new beach bungalows; good restaurant (Bali Tower), perched high in tree-house-like space.
Sights & Sites
Bali Barat National Park – Kantor Pos Gilimanuk; 011-62-365-61060; founded in 1941 mainly to protect Bali Starling and last of wild banteng, from which most Balinese cattle descend; 19K ha area; mountainous and consists of primary monsoon forest, mangrove forest, lowland rain forest, savanna, sea grass vegetation types, coral reefs, sandy beaches, and both shallow and deep sea waters; peninsular Prapat Agung, with extensive footpaths, park's most accessible part; cape cut off from rest of reserve by main Singaraja-Gilamanuk Road, as well as by forestry plantations inland of Teluk Terima; great snorkeling done on Menjangan Island, with hectares of colorful coral reefs.

Karma Kandara Resort – Jalan Villa Kandara (Banjar Wijaya, Kusuma, Ungasan); 011-62-361-848-2222;; beautiful beach; hang at Nammos Beach Club; great open-air kitchen.

Gilimanuk (includes Menjangan Island)
West Bali National Park (Taman Nasional Bali Barat) – Jalan Raya Cekik; 011-62-365-61060;; official park trails should be explored with guide recommended by national park office; Tegal Blunder Trail most popular with birdwatchers & easy 2-hour walk; ranger checkpoint at Slumber Klampok village; from same checkpoint, can take more strenuous Gunung Klatakan Trail southeast; 5-hours, through some memorable rainforest; uninhabited Menjangan Island is must-do for any visitor to Bali interested in diving, marine life, or snorkeling (boats leave from Labuan Lalang beach at Teluk Terima bay northern edge; notable temple on Menjangan called Puri Gili Kencana.

Jimbaran Bay
Bars & Nightclubs
Rock Bar – Jalan Karang Mas Sejahtera (at Ayana Resort & Spa); 011-62-361-702-222;; outdoor lounge built into cliffs; perched above crashing waves; get there early for sunset.
Ayana Resort & Spa – Jalan Karang Mas Sejahtera; 011-62-361-702-222;
Bulgari Resort – Jalan Goa Lempeh (Banjar Dinas Kangin, Uluwatu); 011-62-361-847-1000;; 59, cliff-perched villas; tram takes guests down to deserted beach; all rooms have plunge pools and breezy dining pavilions; June-September; Villas 40-49 have unobstructed ocean views.
Desa Seni – Jalan Kayu Putih 13 (Pantai Berawa, Canggu); 011-62-361-844-6392;; set amid rice terraces, 10 integral antique houses from all over Indonesian archipelago create storybook town with meandering cobble paths; creature comforts not neglected with high-tech accoutrements; pretty saltwater pool; good food with organic produce; June-September best; Rumah Widja Cottage bungalow best, with balcony on 2nd floor and view over fields.
Four Seasons Bali at Jimbaran Bay – Denpasar; 011-62-361-701-010 or 800-819-5053;; on island’s southernmost tip; resort looks onto Mount Agung; villas have massive vaulted thatched roof ceilings and are built into terraced hillside; surrounded by manicured gardens.
Jimbaran Puri Bali – Jalan Uluwatu; 011-62-361-701-605;; owned by Orient Express.
Kayumanis Jimbaran Private Estate – Jalan Yoga Perkanti; 011-62-361-705-777;; overlooks broad, coconut grove refreshed by sea breezes; cobblestone path winds past 19 well-spaced residences; classic Balinese thatch roof bungalows house bedroom and indoor/outdoor bath; good food; June-September for breezes and blue skies; “Bungsil” is best bungalow.

Bale Nusa Dua – Jalan Nusa Dua Selatan; 011-62-361-775-111;
Conrad Kuta – Jalan Pratama 168; 011-62-361-778-788;

Legian Beach
Legian – Jalan Kayu Aya (at Seminyak Beach); 011-62-361-173-0622;; among more established and settled-in, in terms of grandeur.
Marcy Meachin – 011-62-812-385-9454;; good surf teacher for beginners.

Fivelements – Banjar Baturning; 011-62-361-469-206;; 5-room hotel.
Fivelements – Banjar Baturning; 011-62-361-469-206;; stunning wellness center with transcendental massages.
Big Bamboo Chocolate Factory – Sibangkaja; 011-62-361-461978;; chocolate factory in eco-friendly structure that offers culinary classes and tours.

Hotel Alila Manggis – Jalan Raya Karangasem (Buitan); 011-62-361-975-963;

Nusa Dua
Laguna Resort & Spa – Kawasan Pariwisata Nusa Dua, Lot N2; 011-62-361-771-327;
St. Regis Bali – Kawasan Pariwisata, Nusa Dua; 011-62-361-847-8111;; manicured resort enclave; lavish.

Nusa Penida
Crystal Bay – Sakti (take only small road that heads west from main road until hit coast); stunning white sand beach at Banjar Penida (also west of Sakti, on northwestern coast); excellent snorkeling.

Pemuteran Bay
Karang Lestari
Sights & Sites
Pemuteran Reef –; large, “Biorock” coral reef restoration project; sunken Coral Goddess statute.

Sights & Sites
Sangeh Monkey Forest – Jalan Imam Bonjol (north of Tabanan); 6 hectares protected land, forested by nutmeg trees; make sure to see caves; surrounding 17th Century Pura Bukit Sari palace.

Bars & Nightclubs
Metis – Jalan Petitenget 6 (Kerobokan); 011-62-361-737-888;; candlelit bar.
Word of Mouth – Jalan Kunti 9; 011-62-361-847-5797;; lounge that doubles as boutique during day.
Anantara Seminyak Resort & Spa – Jalan Abimanyu (Dhyana Pura); 011-62-361-737-773;
Uma Sapna – Jalan Drupadi 20; 011-62-361-736-628;; 20 and chocolate-and-toffee-colored villas with private pools and outdoor patios; walking distance to town.
W Retreat & Spa Bali-Seminyak – Jalan Petitenget (Kerobokan); 011-62-361-738-106;
Biku – Jalan Petitenget 888; 011-62-361-857-088;; casual, congenial, neighborhood space, which includes small bookstore; everything from homemade meat pies and curries to Indonesian staples like nasi campur and spicy beef rendang; afternoon tea also popular.
Kafe Warisan – Jalan Raya Kerobokan 38 (Kerobokan); 011-62-361-731-175;
Ku De Ta – Jalan Laksmana 9; 011-62-361-736-969;; stylish, beach-club restaurant; showcases chocolate desserts, in particular.
Sardine – Jalan Petitenget 21 (Kerobokan); 011-62-361-738-202;; artsy, down-to-earth restaurant; seafood.
Sarong – Jalan Petitenget 19; 011-62-361-737-809;; high-ceilinged dining pavilion appointed with gauzy curtains, comfy sofas, and chandeliers; South and Southeast Asian dishes by Portugal-born Will Meyrick.
Waroeng Bonita – Jalan Petitenget; 011-62-361-731-918;; different kind institution; on odd night, can catch owner, Bonita Kramer, in top form, dolled up, hat on, and scarf billowing under fans, often leading impromptu cabaret, giving diners fabulous floor show; authentic home cooking from islands and some Western fare, as well; Indonesian buffet lunch attracts loyal expat and local following; live Balinese performances every Friday.
Lily Jean – Jalan Laksmana 102; 011-62-361-847-5872;; women’s wear.
Namu – 234 Jalan Petitenget; 011-62-361-279-7524;; Italian flair fashion and accessories with Indonesian influence.
Press Ban Café – Jalan Laksmana 50; 011-62-361-730-486; handmade shoes, Jackie-O glasses, vintage-wear.
Simplekonsepstore – Jalan Laksmana 40; 011-62-361-730-393;; 1-of-kind designs.
Word of Mouth – Jalan Kunti 9; 011-62-361-847-5797;; boutique that doubles as lounge at night.
Wrkshp 13 – 198 1B Jalan Petitenget;; Johnny Ramli's python clutches and handmade jewelry.

Liberty –; Bali’s most accessible and famous dive site; 411'; coral, fish, and sponges.
Mimpi Resort Tulamben – Desa Tulamben Kec (Kubu Karangasem); 011-62-363-21642;; nice infinity pool; steps away from great diving.

Bars & Nightclubs
Café Havana – Jalan Dewi Sita; 011-62-361-972-973;; dance classes and salsa bands.
Lamak – Jalan Monkey Forest; 011-62-361-974-668;; cocktails; try El Diablo (tequila, crème de cassis, lemon juice, and ginger ale)
Amandari – Jalan Raya Kedewatan;; set amid rice fields along Ayung River; river-stone walkways and high stone walls demarcate spacious and gorgeous single-and double-story villas built like Balinese houses; excellent food.
Como Shambhala Estate – Banjar Begawan (Desa Melinggih Kelod, Payangan); 011-62-361-978-888;; exquisite.
Four Seasons Bali at Sayan – Sayan; 011-62-361-977-577 or 800-819-5053;; unbeatable 1st impression; guests cross teak footbridge to rooftop, distinguished by elliptical lotus pond; descend stairway into lobby; heart-stopping river views.
Komaneka at Bisma – Jalan Bisma; 011-62-361-971-933;; carved into hillside, 44 villas and suites look over rice paddies and river valley thick with bamboo and palm groves (note that drive-up is unprepossessing); sparely decorated villas have 40' pools and spacious sun-decks (and even butlers); public spaces have examples from owners' private, extensive art collection; also, intimate riverside spa and open-air restaurant.
Panchoran Retreat – Jalan Nyuh Gading (Banjar Nyuh Kuning); 011-62-361-974-028;; former Linda Garland Estate; 7 bamboo-and-recycled-wood houses; excellent kitchen.
Ubud Hanging Gardens – Desa Buahan, Desa Payangan; 011-62-361-982-700;
Kafe – Jalan Hanoman 44b; 011-62-361-780-3802;; art-filled, sunny, vegetarian café; good baked goods and salads.
Minami – Jalan Raya Sanggingan; 011-62-361-970-013;; stylish Japanese restaurant; dining room overlooks lantern-lit garden.
Mozaic – Jalan Raya Sanggingan; 011-62-361-975-768;; French-Asian fare.
Naughty Nuri’s Warung & Grill – Jalan Raya Sanggingan; 011-62-361-977-547; barbecue and chicken.
Warung Ibu Oka – 2 Tegal Sari (at Jalan Suweta); 011-361-976-345; for babi guling (roasted suckling pig).
Bali Eco-Cycling – Jalan Pengosekan; 011-62-361-975-557;; arrange day tours, starting with breakfast.
Ubud Bodyworks Centre – 25 Hanoman Street (Padang Tegal); 011-62-361-975-720 or 011-62-361-971-393;; massages.
Jean-Francois Fichot Gallery – Jalan Raya Pengosekan 6; 011-62-361-974-652;; gem and stone-covered jewelry and objects.
Gaya Ceramic & Design – Jalan Raya Sayan; 011-62-81-361 745-1413;; beautiful raku ware and smoke-fired pottery.
John Hardy – Banjar Baturning; 011-62-361-469-888;; vast group thatched huts in which 600 artisans work; take tour and have lunch.
Nusantara Gallery – Jalan Raya Pengosekan 7; 011-62-81-797-97804; rare primitive art and weavings.
Rio Helmi Photography – Jalan Suweta 24A; 011-62-361-978-773;; photography depicting Bali over 30 year period.
Sights & Sites
Goa Gajah (“Elephant”) Caves –; at cave’s facade is menacing creature and demon relief; site mentioned in Javanese poem Desawarnana written in 1365.

Bulgari Bali – Jalan Goa Lempeh (Banjar Dinas Kangin); 011-62-361-847-1000;; managed by Ritz Carlton; combination Italian comfort and Balinese romance.
Alila Villas Uluwatu – Jalan Belimbing Sari (Pecatu); 011-62-361-848-2166;; sets bold new standard for postmodern tropical architecture; also, sustainable structure; 61 sleek villas, each with cabana-private pool; cantilevered pavilion juts out over cliff.
Warung – Jalan Belimbing Sari (Pecatu, at Alila Villas Uluwatu); 011-62-361-848-2166;; breezy setting offers fine introduction to local cuisine; try ayam betutu (chicken dish) and sate lilit (seafood skewers).
Sights & Sites
Pura Luhur Uluwatu – Jalan Labuan Sait (Pantai Suluban); dramatically perched, black coral rock temple on high promontory overlooking surf; possibly Bali's most visually spectacular shrine; dates to at least 1025; well-known for walet birds (nests important Chinese birds' nest soup ingredient); well-preserved stone carvings; 1 of 6 directional temples on island, being southwest guardian against evil spirits; every evening at sunset (6pm) dancers present kecak, arguably Bali's most dramatic and famous dance; need to rent sarongs and sashes at entrance if not traditionally dressed.

Banyan Tree Ungasan – Jalan Melasti (Banjar Kelod); 011-62-361-300-7000;; beautiful; try to get Villa #218.

Laguna Bintan
Angsana – Jalan Teluk Berembang; 011-62-770-693-111;

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