“If you can tear yourself away from a hot stone massage long enough to take a trip down to Ubud you’ll be doing yourself a tremendous favor with the incredible sights that await you”
When in Bali on a relaxing holiday even just considering donning more
than a two-piece bikini and leaving the tranquil
surrounding of your private villa can seem a daunting task. Believe me, I know, I tried, and thankfully succeeded. Be assured, taking time to explore the wonders that await you beyond the boundaries of your new luxurious five star neighbourhood and heading down to the rice fields of Ubud is well worth the minuscule effort it requires.
There is no trekking involved and you need not pull out the hiking shoes you packed with no intention of using. In fact, it’s as simple as leaving the aroma of essential oils in your wake and asking reception to organise a driver to take you on a tour of the rice fields. Before long, the journey begins and the beauty of all things non-spa related are thrust upon you.
During my holiday in Bali with my girlfriends our driver picked us straight up from the front of the resort and we took off immediately for the rice fields, but with the option of a few pit stops scheduled along the way.
If you need more motivation than the simple beauty that is the spectacular rice fields in order to leave the sanctuary of your sunbed, consider the drive itself. With wild speeds, sharp turns, this drive is not your average guided tour service. It’s sure to get your heart racing and your mind scurrying over all the things you wanted to do with your life before it’s due to swiftly end. But much like at an amusement park, all you need to remember is to sit yourself down, strap your safety belt on, and fear for your life while knowing deep down that all is well and this is simply how the ride goes.
After marveling at the roads, the driving style and how exactly it is that anyone manages to survive this fascinating death trap, make your way to your first stop at the silver markets. Walk into the building that houses a large jewellery store filled with locally produced sparkling beauties and receive a short lesson in the Balinese jewellery making process. Men and women line the walkway demonstrating the different elements and processes (yes, there is live welding for enthusiasts) that combine together to create just one single piece of locally produced silver jewellery in Bali.
Wander through the seemingly endless gallery of goods for sale (being sure to bargain before you buy) and take in your fill of pretty shiny things before retiring back to the entirely safe (probably) roads that lead you to what can only be described as sarong heaven.
The textiles factory becomes the next stop and consists of a large indoors store where you’ll find sarongs in all of the colours of the rainbow. But before making your way through the enormous doors separating you from your one true sarong, take a walk through the terrace where you’ll have yourself a small sarong education with live production on show.
Sitting underneath the broad terrace women sit weaving and painting fabric, creating the very sarongs sold inside. Request your own personalised items if you feel so inclined or else make your way indoors where the options are unending. The large doors open up to the grand shop filled with all the prints and sizes of sarong you could ask for and sales assistants ready and willing (no seriously, be vocal if you’re opposed) to give demonstrations on how to wear them. If sarongs aren’t you favourite, fear not, as you’ll find many other locally produced goods, including purses, towels, and bowls to squeeze into your already overloaded luggage.
If you feel you’ve satisfied your shopping quota for the day then make your way to the final destination, the star attraction, the magnificent rice fields. It’s the kind of site your eyes can hardly take in all at once, try as they might. The kind of scene that the panoramic photo was designed to capture. With vibrant greens plantations littered with tall imposing palm trees reaching as far as the eye can see and minuscule workers in the distance tending the fields, this is a sight best taken in with a beer overlooking the view.
If after indulging your eyes in the beauty of this natural scenery, you feel your belly aching for some sustenance, request a stop at a beachside restaurant for a fabulous seafood banquet. Take your pick of freshly caught seaside goodies and choose your favourite cooking style then tucker in to some seriously tasty, and incredibly affordable, prawns, fish, crays and calamari, with a view to boot.
With tummies guiltily full, bags loaded with treasured souvenirs and eyes already revisiting the rice fields in your pictures make your way back to your luxurious haven at the resort. It only takes a few brave steps to leave that blissful sanctuary, (and some serious willpower), but make your way out to the place where nature overcomes you and you’ll be sure to leave Bali with more than just relaxed muscle tissue. Besides, leave for your tour early enough and there’ll be just enough time to get in one more massage before the days end. Or maybe a cocktail as the sun comes down. Luxuriating, Bali style.
WHERE TO EAT -
WHERE TO SLEEP -
WHERE TO DRINK -
WHERE TO RECEIVE ULTIMATE RELAXATION -