If you are staying in a villa rental in Bali you will likely see some of the work of Indonesian artists decorating the walls. There are many Indonesian artists who are producing world class work and pushing forward creative boundaries and, in some cases, smashing them entirely.
Biasa Art Space specialise in discovering and developing ‘new’ artists and their principal, Susanna Perini, has spent considerable time and energy over the past decade travelling to various parts of the archipelago seeking contemporary art and artists and helping cultivate their talents. Susanna, a photographer turned fashion entrepreneur turned gallery owner, has a superb eye for talent and she not only knows what she likes, but also why she does. Her choices are acerbic and insightful and sometimes brave; challenging conventional opinion and widening the appreciation of art-lovers in Bali and the wider world.
Biasa Art Space is a small gallery on two floors but it is large enough to allow visitors sufficient freedom to be able to observe larger works at a distance. It is a powerful space, reflecting Susanna’s elegant simplicity; which is also reflected in her garment business in the shop next door. They have held dozens of exhibitions since they were founded in 2005 and openings are always extremely popular. The market for high quality paintings and sculpture has been boosted in Bali by the villa rent sector. This has encouraged artists here to grow their talents and produce work for the world market; and they have been very successful in this regard. The gallery has achieved the twin successes of bringing buyers and collectors to Bali to appreciate and purchase Indonesian artwork and to have taken exhibitions to other countries.
Biasa have also specialised in bringing foreign artists to Bali, notably from the emerging new art scene in Italy. Recent exhibitions have included live creative art performance and one where a yellow faux-dynamite cluster is attached to a wall. There have been several very amusing caricatures of the seriousness of the conventional art scene and one opening by Ugo Untoro, saw the artist riding into the exhibition hall on a scruffy old horse!
Villa rental in Bali has helped the Indonesian art scene develop by providing a hungry appetite for premium artwork and providing artists with a just reward for their efforts. A typical Bali villa for rent will contain several works of art and they are worth further study, armed with the knowledge that they may be contemporary classics!
The ‘temple on the rock’ on Bali’s west coast at Tanah Lot is one of the most recognisable icons in South East Asia. It has been considered a holy site since at least as far back as the megalithic era and, to back up this assertion, menhirs have been found during archaeological investigations. The temple is thought to have been the work of sixteenth century priest Dang Hyang Nirartha, who was responsible for refashioning Hinduism in Bali; introducing some new concepts and building several temples and augmenting others. It is said that he came to Bali at a time of great plagues in Bali and upon arrival at the court of King Dalem Baturenggong he presented the monarch with a single hair from his head and told the king it would end the pestilence. This hair became the focus of a Shaivite temple.
The temple at Tanah Lot is approached from the parking lot though an aisle of trinket shops which do little to engender feelings of spirituality but which provide much needed employment for local people. Walk about six hundred metres towards the west and the temple is suddenly revealed, standing against the manifold shades of the Indian Ocean. It is a wonderful sight and evokes feelings of timeless majesty; the continuity of purpose here is astonishing and is testament to ‘something bigger’ having been felt here for millennia.
At low tide the temple is approached across a narrow strip of beach; the landward side of the cliffs contain a ‘Holy Snake’ and for a few tens of cents one can peer into the darkness and guess at its outline! The temple itself, as with all holy sites in Bali, can only be visited when dressed in a sarong and never by menstruating women; but really, the best non-spiritual experience here is from a little further away where its charismatic beauty can be properly observed. For this purpose there are many small cafes ranged along the southern cliff top which make a great place to stop for a while and drink an ice-tea or a juice in respite after a hard day by the pool of the Bali villa you rent.
There are many Bali villas for rent within a short distance of Tanah Lot and these represent an ideal place to base oneself in Bali. Villas for rent offer an exceptionally good deal for visitors and give a feeling of exclusivity which many people enjoy. The Bali villa rent can be much lower that hotel prices, especially when shared between a small group of people.
Bali villa rental is a great choice for a vacation in Bali. Increased privacy, personalisation and continuity of service and first class facilities at a very competitive price. Bali villa rental is becoming an interesting choice for investors with an expected full return of investment in five to ten years on a land lease contract of twenty five years. Many people who are new to living here and visitors who are just passing through will need to learn where they can shop for provisions on a daily basis. What’s hot and what’s not?
Bintang Supermarket in Seminyak is very popular with expatriates. They carry a huge range of mostly local products at prices which are reasonable but not quite as low as local supermarkets in other locations. It is convenient, however, and here you can fulfil most of your basic shopping needs. It’s probably the cheapest place to buy imported Italian olive oil in large cans and their fruit and vegetables section is very good. Try the Tiger Moretti Espresso blend of ground coffee (in the black bag) for a very good cup of local coffee from an Italian expatriate producer. Indonesian made Hatari cream crackers, in a yellow packet, are the closest we have found to the taste of those from the west and are a quarter of the price of imported ones. Similarly, Ayam brand baked beans are a good substitute for Heinz and, again, are about a quarter of the price.
A little to the northeast of Bintang is Bali Deli. More expensive for most items (but not all) they have an extensive selection of imported foods and drink. They have a great baked goods section and probably the best choice of imported sweet treats. Another great place to buy patisserie items is Café Moka on Jl. Seminyak with delicious chocolate and cream treats for the sweet of tooth. Of particular note are the individual Tiramisu cups. In a ridiculously opulent chocolate case, these are absolutely delicious and the temptation is to kick sand in the face of diabetes and over indulge! Great bread is also to be found at Bali Catering Company on Jl. Petitinget, just up from The Living Room. They also have a wonderful selection of ‘home baked’ biscuits, the best of which are the macaroons.
Stocking your Bali villa rental can be a delight, rather than a chore and needn’t break the bank; and with the money you save selecting a Bali villa rental stay over that of a hotel, you can afford to splash out a bit.
One tip: if you are a fan of salt and vinegar crisps but don’t want to spend $10 on a bag, try buying a family pack of Yellow Lays and adding a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar; not quite the taste of home, but almost!
Bali is a great place for a holiday. Lovely beaches, compelling retail therapy, mind-blowing bars and clubs, set against a background of magnificent rice terraces, towering volcanoes and colourful spiritual and artistic culture. It’s an island of activity and, inevitably, sometimes things go wrong and people get hurt or fall ill. Bali has some world class medical facilities and some dedicated and caring staff. It is easy and cheap (compared with the west) to buy non-restricted pharmaceuticals in Bali and these range from the common to the obscure. Some medicines require a doctor’s prescription but this is straightforward to obtain if you actually have the condition you are seeking relief from. Indonesia is not a country to come to if you are seeking controlled drugs for recreational purposes.
Ibu Robin Lim’s clinic is the best choice for the health needs of women and children in the Ubud area. Her Bumi Sehat Bali Clinic is the best place in Bali for gentle birthing and her team do home deliveries as well. She offers ‘Louts Births’, where the umbilical cord is left attached to the placenta until it falls away naturally. This is considered by many midwives to be the gentlest birth possible for your baby. Australian nurse, Kim Patra, is part of a practice on Jl Dewi Sri (the road from the large intersection half way along Jl. Sunset and Ace Hardware). She is also an excellent first contact for women’s and children’s issues, has a full range of vaccines (including rabies serum) and also arranges medical insurance.
The BIMC Clinic on Jl. Bypass, just after Simpang Siur, has full hospital facilities and is western standard. It is expensive if you don’t have medical insurance but if you do it should be your number one stop for accidents and acute illnesses. Kasih Ibu Hospital is also recommended for a western hospital birth experience but like all Indonesian birthing centres, they have a high rate of caesarean section deliveries.
Prima Medika Hospital, also in Denpasar, is another good general hospital as is the Bali Royal in Renon. Good, clean facilities and a modern approach with caring, competent doctors. Sanglah Public Hospital in the middle of Denpasar is good for general medical issues but if you stay there, better to ask for a private room. This hospital is still in need of modernisation but they treat thousands of patients per day and they were the main hospital treating patients after the 2002 bombing. The nearby Surya Husadha Internatioanal is also recommended.
Bali villas for rent have changed the landscape in several ways, the main being that they have increased the quality of accommodation, competing against each other and the hotels. With the rise in the quality and number of Bali villas for rent has come an increased demand for high quality ancillary services and we are pleased that medical facilities have been part of this ‘upgrade’. Bali villas for rental are the informed choice of smart visitors to Bali. Villas rental has become an industry in its own right – which attests to a success born from word of mouth recommendations of satisfied holidaymakers.
One of the reasons that Bali is as colourful and joyful as it is, is the almost complete adherence of the island’s population to Balinese Hinduism. When one thinks of Bali, apart from villas and beaches, it is the ceremonial practices which really give the island its flavour. Processions of hundreds of people, dressed in immaculate, brightly coloured clothes, endless ceremonies and temples and offerings everywhere; every private house, hotel and villas of Bali has at least one temple.
Hinduism came to Indonesia in the First Century, and spread throughout the archipelago. There were several kingdoms during this time and these reached their zenith in the Majapahit Empire which ruled between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. The Majapahit Empire was enormously influential in the region, conquering much of South East Asia as far as Thailand and The Philippines in the north and West Papua in the east. The territory defined during this time largely defined the boundaries of modern Indonesia.
With the rise of Islam in the sixteenth century, Bali became a refuge for the Hindus who refused to convert. Balinese Hinduism is a combination of animism, whereby all objects, plants and animals are seen as being inhabited by spirits, ancestor worship, the worship of Indian-Hindu gods and deities and Buddhist luminaries. Ida Sanghyang Widi Wasa is considered to be the Supreme Being who gives rise to the other gods; Shiva, Bramha, and Vishnu. After that, the hierarchy continues to minor deities and down to spirits and demons. These spirits have the capacity for either good or evil and it is seen as important to make offerings to these spirits in order to maintain a healthy balance and so the scales do not tip towards evil. The spirits of departed ancestors are still very much a part of the lives of every Balinese Hindu and it is important that offerings are made to them as well.
One of the primary concerns is of purity and ceremonies are performed to ensure this; they are many and often. Ceremonies to dedicate and re-dedicate temples (odolan), tooth filing to mark coming of age and ceremonial days such as Galungan, Kuningan, Pagerwasi, Saraswati and Melasti and many others. The Balinese staff in the hotels and villas of Bali seem to require time off every few weeks to fulfil religious obligations and to deny them this is a violation of their customs.
Hinduism has created the modern Bali and makes it distinct amongst the other Indonesian islands. The villas of Bali are a relatively modern occurrence and have become more sophisticated and more competitive over the past decade and the hotels are rightly concerned that they are losing ground to the villas. Bali is unique in that it exists as a fiercely independent state within a sea of homogeneity. Balinese Hindus number some three million people in a country of nearly three hundred million and it is this diversification from the mainstream which makes Bali such a magical place to visit.
When planning your honeymoon, why choose a place that has been done for years? How about some places that are unique, romantic with some adventure and flair thrown in? Sure you can honeymoon in places like Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean but they are huge tourist lures which means it may cost more to enjoy yourselves. But what about honeymooning in places like Japan, Bali and Tanzania? These exotic lands offer so much more than you’d think.
Honeymooning in Kyoto, Japan, is a great start. You can enjoy cherry blossoms in the spring, skiing in the winter, you can enjoy the beach in the summer and relax at one of many spa resorts in the fall. You can talk a walk through thousands of year of history by visiting ancient ruins dating back to founding dynasties, you can tour temples and shrines and enjoy taking in the culture by watching traditional dances, Kabuki theater and shadow puppet shows. And don’t’ forget about Japanese cuisine. You can have authentic sushi, sashimi, and sake while listening to traditional Japanese music. You can even buy authentic kimonos to bring home as a keepsake of your first journey as a married couple.
Another inspiring place to go on your honeymoon is Bali. There are many places to choose from to stay such as a Bali villa rental or a hotel. You can find many things to do that aren’t that far from your Bali villa. From sunning on either a black or white sandy beach, to visiting Bali’s Orchid Garden or taking in some beautiful scenery while walking through some of Bali’s immersive historical temples and shrines. The Balinese people are friendly and enjoy sharing their rich culture with tourists. There is even a few places where you can enjoy Bali’s night life by going dancing or watching a show of traditional dances with music and authentic Indian food. After a night out, you can come back to your hotel room or Bali villa and relax or fall into a petal covered bed.
Who would think visiting Africa would be romantic and a great place to honeymoon? Well, it is. You can enjoy Africa’s raw and natural beauty. If you come to Africa don’t forget your camera. You can take pictures of some of the 25,000 large mammals in Tanzania as well as go on a safari through the Serengeti, and jump into natural hot springs to soothe away all of the aches from the car ride. And don’t forget to visit Ngorongoro Crater, a verdant and lush landscape created by the collapse of a volcano over 2 million years ago. Looking over the landscape can make you realize why Africa is considered the cradle of life.
Whether you choose a cherry blossom getaway in Japan, a relaxing seclusion of a Bali villa rental overlooking the ocean, or a wildlife filled safari adventure, these three places are truly unique– as unique as you new spouse and the love you share with one another.
You took a romantic getaway to Bali with your significant other where you had an amazing time. And when you get back home you start thinking about how nice it would be to have a secluded place to getaway. So you start thinking about whether or not using another one of many of Bali villas for rent or maybe you should just buy one for your personal use whenever you visit there. It isn’t very expensive to getaway to Bali and it might be cheaper to own a villa in Bali than it is to keep renting one every time you go back. So let’s weight the pros and cons of continuing the use of one of Bali villa rentals versus buying one.
Let’s think about the costs in buying a piece of property. You have to consider an international home loan, possibly the increase in taxes for being an out of country owner, and other costs that many come up either during or soon after the purchase of the property. These costs may include inspection of the property, repairs that are needed, finding a caretaker not to mention property insurance, etc. You would also have to pay a mortgage every month on property that you may use only once or twice year. You could make your home away from home one of Bali villa rentals in order to help with the cost of the mortgage and upkeep with the help of a reliable and trustworthy caretaker.
One worry that might cause many considerable headaches would be finding the right renters. Having the wrong renters could end up costing you more than their rent to make repairs to damage they caused. And in order to get the costs back from them you would have to pursue it in court which adds to the costs in both time and money lost. But as the owner you can make changes to suit your needs and wants to both the property and landscape to make it more of a paradise for your needs. On the other hand, being a renter has its pros and cons as well. As a renter, you don’t have to worry about the cost of repairs if you didn’t cause the damage. You only have to pay for the time you are staying at one of Bali villas for rent.
On the other side of the coin, the place you love to stay at when you visit picturesque Bali may not be available when you plan on visiting and you have no control over the increase in rent as well as other charges and fees. As a renter, you can’t make any changes to the decor, landscape or any other part of the property. You can make suggestions on how the owner can make changes to the interior of the villa. So making the choice of whether to rent or to own a villa in Bali is definitely one to think long and hard about. The cost effectiveness versus the need of a villa in your favorite vacation spot is all up to you and your financial planner, but never overlook the fact that you can purchase Bali villa rentals, live in them for part of the year, then rent them out when you aren’t in residence.
Some people go on vacation to lose themselves in the sights and experiences that their vacation spot offers them. Well vacationing in Bali is no different. Not only does it offer activities, shopping and places to explore but it is also a place that someone who is lost can be found. Hinduism is one of the main religions in Bali. You can’t look out of your window of any hotel or villas Bali and not see a piece of their history or culture. There are over 10,000 religious compounds in Bali. There are shrines and there are temples that see millions of visitors every year.
Temples draw tourists in not just for the religious experience but for the architecture that have withstood thousands of years of ran, wind and earthquakes. One of the most spectacular temple complexes is the Besaikh Complex resting on the Agung volcano. This complex is home to 20 temples and numerous shrines. It is called the “Mother Temple of Bali”. It is named after the Dragon God that they believe lives in the mountain. It is also the only temple that any follower of the Hindu belief can worship, no matter what caste they practice or who they believed to inhabit the mountain, it’s said to be the only temple where a Hindu of any caste can worship.
Temples are the focus of the Hindu religion. Each village has three temples; the temple of origin, the village temple and then the temple of the dead. There are also temples that are built at each directional point of the island. These nine directional temples or the kayangan jagat, are said to be built to ward off evil from doing harm to the island of Bali. So from any place on the island, you can find a hotel or Bali villa for rent (the best villas in the world are villas Bali) that isn’t be short car rides to visit any of these awe inspiring pieces of incredible belief.
Not only can you leave any villas Bali and find your way to a spiritual experience at any of the temples, but you might what to learn a little about etiquette before you do. The Balinese people are very inclusive and enjoy sharing their rich religious history with others but they also would like those people to respect the sanctity of their ceremonies. They don’t mind if their religious ceremonies, whether it being an offering, wedding, or funeral are photographed or videotaped, but don’t be rude and step in front of anyone to get a better picture and be at level lower than the priest performing the ceremony.
Another thing is don’t dress like you are visiting the beach or going dancing after visiting the temple. Dressing in a casual way with proper coverage is appropriate. Most temples also require both men and women visitors to wear a selendang around your waist as a sign of respect. And this may sound silly to others, but women who are experiencing their monthly issues aren’t allowed into the temples, it is actually forbidden and considered a wrongdoing. But in any case, from any Bali villa for rent or hotel room, you can go and experience one of many temples dotted around the tropical paradise known as the “Island of the Gods”.
You have begun to make you plans for a vacation to Bali. A week of fun filled sunny days exploring, sunning and eating your way through what the Balinese have to offer. But you are trying to figure out the best place to stay. It all depends on how much you want to spend, how much privacy you want as well as how secluded you want to be. Well, how about we take a look at the pros and cons of staying in a hotel or choosing many of Bali villas for rent.
The main advantage of staying in one of Bali villas rentals is that you have privacy. You can do all the things you like to do at home and not have to worry about your neighbors reporting you to hotel management. If you are going with a group of friends, you can all stay in the same place and split the costs between the group. You have access to a kitchen so you can go to the market and stock up on things to cook or you can still choose to go out and enjoy local cuisine.
The downside to staying in a Bali villas rental is that staying in a villa may cost a bit more than staying in a hotel. Also if you aren’t a very tidy person, you will have to deal with staying in a garbage strewn place or pay for a housekeeper to come in and clean up after you. You are responsible for keeping the villa in the same shape it was in when you arrived and being untidy and attract the local bug life.
Staying in a hotel has its benefits over staying in one of many of Bali villas for rent. They are easier to find since many hotels have a few hundred rooms to choose from. You can choose which size you, you can find many of them online and view pictures of the rooms from the comfort of your home before you leave on your vacation. You can order room service or go out and eat at the hotel restaurant or at a local restaurant so you don’t have to cook for yourself, which for some people is a welcome change. Housekeeping does all of the cleaning in your room. You also have access to a concierge who can get transportation for you, maps, reserve tours space and helps with directions to anywhere you want to go on the island. The downside of hotels is that your neighbors can be loud and rude, small bathrooms in most places, and mattresses that have seen better days and cleaner sheets.
So being worth the money is all in the eye of the beholder. Your vacation should be able relaxation and having fun doing things you want to do. So whether you go with the quiet seclusion of a Bali villas rental or the convenience of being in a hotel, money is no object when you find just what you are looking for.
One of the most extraordinary things to do in Bali is to play with Sumatran elephants at the various Bali Elephant parks. These magnificent beasts, native to the huge, partially uncharted island north of Java and west of the entire Malaysian peninsular, are a lesson in the possibility of gentleness being exhibited by the mighty. Sumatran elephants are one of the smaller species of pachyderm yet even these diminutive creatures are enormous! Their trunks can uproot mature trees and handle tiny chips of food. The elephant is one of mankind’s staunchest allies and closest companions; they have been used to build in times of peace and to destroy in times of war.
Meeting an elephant in Bali can be one of the highlights of your vacation from your Bali villas for rent. Most elephant venues have a tiered pricing structure which, at the lowest tariff allows guests access to the elephant park and contact with the animals. For many this is enough. To caress the skin of an elephant, to feel it’s tough skin replete with bristles, to commune with one of our fellow travellers a few strands of DNA away from our own. It is magnificent and for many this is enough. Throw in new-born baby elephants and this is more than sufficient entertainment for many people. The more expensive options include small elephant treks and safaris through the local jungle which can last from half an hour to over an hour or more. While it is impossible to pick you up by elephant from luxury villas in Bali, it is possible to stay in several elephant parks which have Bali villas for rent.
Sumatran elephants are an endangered species and have been protected in Indonesia since 1931. It was estimated in 2000 that only about two and a half thousand Sumatran elephants remain in the wild, with another five hundred or so in captivity. The animals which remain in the wild are in severe danger from human beings. These magnificent animals are most in danger from being misunderstood. Thirty percent of elephant deaths are from the fear of humans. Their habitat has been eroded for centuries and much of it is now plantation. This is one of the reasons artificial elephant habitats are so important.
The biggest of these in Bali is the Bali Adventure Tours Elephant Safari Park in Taro, north of Ubud. Providing a superior Meet-the-Elephants experience at the central feeding station staff are happy to allow guests close interaction. Barrels full of sugar cane chips are provided for guests to feed to the elephants and it is a joyous experience indeed. Coming from the rarefied atmosphere of their villas, Bali offers this superb opportunity to spend time getting in touch with this most fundamental of beings.
In the past couple of years, several elephants have been born in the park. These most delightful of creatures are a joy to behold and are the root of the mission of the park – conservation with delightful rewards!