Its easy to be seduced by the glamour of southern Bali with its trendy restaurants and uber-cool beach… Keep Reading
Your weekly up-close view of those wow factor extras that make our villas outstanding. After all, attention to detail always makes a difference.
The dreamy beaches on the Indonesian island of Lombok are on every visitor’s ‘Things to Do’ list. One of them presents a rare natural phenomenon you need to see for yourself.
Tangsi Beach, better known as Pink Beach is on the island’s far south-eastern shore, and it’s one of only 10 pink sand beaches in the world. Indonesia boasts two beautiful pink beaches – the other is on Lombok’s neighbour island, Flores.
WHAT MAKES THE SAND PINK?
The waves bring millions of dead red coral fragments to the beach, blending them with the white sand and giving it its glorious pink tint.
A hidden gem untouched by mass tourism due to its secluded location, Tangsi Beach is a perfect destination as part of a memorable day out exploring the unique natural beauty of Lombok. And the calm waters of Pink Beach are perfect for swimming.
THINGS TO DO AT PINK BEACH
Enjoy the view and the sea breeze in the sun or shade while sipping a coconut. Right on the beachfront are simple sunbeds and loungers with shade umbrellas for day use at a small fee.
Vendors selling bottled water and cold drinks are common, but visitors should always carry drinking water and sun protection for a day trip to the beach.
Cool off in the ocean. Play in the gentle waves. The water here is safe for swimming with friends (no lifeguards on duty).
For a breathtaking vista from above the beach, take an easy 30-minute hike up the hillside to the shaded berugak (a simple hut with roof and pillars, a traditional chill-out spot).
HOW TO GET TO PINK BEACH
Pink Beach is a 2-hour drive from Mataram city (3 hours from Tanjung). The best way to get there is by private car hire with a driver-guide. Alternatively you can get there by hiring a fishing boat from Tanjung Luar Port. The journey by sea takes around 3 hours, but you will see the wonderful scenery of southern Lombok en route.
OTHER PUBLIC BEACHES IN LOMBOK
Many of Lombok’s beaches have pristine powder-soft white sand or light golden-coloured sand lapped by gentle waves from the dreamy turquoise sea.
A growing number of Bali restaurants are catering to tourists who are partial to plant-based diets and in pursuit of a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. Yes, even whilst on holiday. Their menus are laden with Asian-fusion vegan/vegetarian dishes combining fresh local produce with the aromatic flavour profiles famous around Southeast Asia, as well as vegan renditions of well-known western meals.
For a large selection of vegan-friendly and exclusively vegan restaurants in Bali, visit the trendy laid back surf town of Canggu on the island’s west coast (or go to yogi haven Ubud, but that’s a different list of restaurants for another day).
To all the vegans, vegetarians, health nuts, locavores and omnivores (OK that’s everyone), feast your eyes on our guide to Canggu’s best restaurants with good vegan food. Maybe you’ll find a new favourite food spot.
VEGAN CAFÉ FOR BREAKFAST AND LUNCH
Vintage bicycles meet vegan food on the corner of Jl. Pantai Berawa. The friendly, creative atmosphere and irresistible menu at Peloton Supershop welcome you for a scrumptious breakfast or lunch. Their burgers with a charcoal or spirulina bun, and large hearty vegan salads fuel you up with goodness. Nourishing superfood shots and coffees with coconut, almond or soy milk make a perfect accompaniment.
Jl. Pantai Berawa No.46
RICE FIELDS FOREVER
Overlooking the rice fields on Jl. Tanak Barah, this popular Canggu vegetarian restaurant serves up delicious vegan and gluten-free dishes that won’t leave you hungry or disappointed. Their menu consists of bowls, burgers and wraps that delight from breakfast to dinner. This cute hideaway’s garden décor makes it a great place to grab a coffee and a piece of cake with in a beautiful setting anytime.
Jl. Tanah Barak No.57
Green Ginger Noodle House
VEGETARIAN ASIAN FOOD
Delivering a range of exotic flavours, Green Ginger Noodle House is a vegetarian restaurant which also boasts an excellent variety of vegan dishes,
Some of the world’s most popular massage therapies originated in our island destinations – gentle Balinese massage, vigorous Thai massage, Ayurvedic massage, reflexology, aromatherapy, acupressure, muscle kneading and body scrubs relax your muscles and soothe your skin. Experience authentic full body massages from skilled therapists in the privacy and comfort of your luxury villa.
Balinese massage therapists use a firm, kneading massage style to stimulate blood flow, along with pressure point techniques and reflexology to help soothe muscle tension, and the aromatherapy of essential oils to ease you into blissful relaxation. +READ MORE
Thai massage (also called assisted yoga massage) is a vigorous treatment by which your body is moved and manipulated in a series of bends, stretches, lifts and acupressure compressions to stimulate energy flow and restore balance. +READ MORE
Ayurvedic massage is a great introduction to the ancient practice of Ayurveda. Aficionados believe massage plays an important role in healthcare, helping to detoxify the skin and body, and improve digestion. +READ MORE
AN UNDERWATER DREAM COME TRUE
Don’t let the name deceive you. Diving in the ‘MalDIVES’ is anything but mal! Teeming with marine life, the 1,190 tiny islands of the Maldives lie scattered across 800 kilometres of Indian Ocean like jewels escaping from an overturned treasure chest. And they offer some of the best diving in the world.
As the Indian Monsoon Current sweeps across this equatorial island chain, it brings with it nutrients that feed the soft corals and sponges found clinging to rock walls. Caverns and overhangs dotted with mysterious, vibrantly coloured creatures line the ocean channels, while rock pinnacles extend to the water’s surface within crystalline lagoons.
These coralene islands are home to some 900 species of fish. While manta rays, whale sharks, turtles and eels co-exist below the waves, stunningly white beaches provide a dreamscape for visitors looking to get away from it all.
The blissful Baa Atoll is a prime pick for when it’s time to tick ‘Diving in the Maldives’ off your bucket list.
“The best way to observe a fish is to become a fish” – Jaques Cousteau
Diving Baa atoll is an experience like no other. Designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in June 2011, it is the jewel on the necklace that is the Maldives. The atoll is situated on the west of the archipelago and experiences far fewer visitors in comparison to its southerly neighbours. From above, the 61 islands – half of which measure less than 10 hectares – resemble extra-terrestrial orbs spread out over a deep blue canvas. Close up, they offer heavenly visions overflowing with stunning natural beauty.
Our top pick in Baa Atoll is the less-than-one-kilometre-long Amilla Fushi, which translates to ‘your island home’. This quintessential paradise island boasts some of the best dive sites in the Maldives and can be reached in under a half an hour by seaplane from Malé International Airport. From Amilla Fushi, visitors have the opportunity to dive any of the 30 sites of the Baa atoll, including the Blue Hole and world-renowned Hanifaru Bay.
To guide you in your underwater explorations is HUB (Home of the Underwater Biosphere) in partnership with luxury dive pioneers Dive Butler International. Their team includes an international group of highly qualified marine conservationists and dive professionals who can tailor excursions to meet your needs.
Sri Lankan cuisine isn’t particularly well known on the international stage. Although it is often misunderstood or taken to be an extension of Indian food, it is a very unique cuisine. For many who do visit Sri Lanka it’s love at first taste!
Sri Lankan cuisine consists mainly of fragrant curries and starchy accompaniments, which include hoppers (crispy bowl-shaped fermented rice flour pancakes), string hoppers (steamed rice flour vermicelli ‘nests’) and rotis (flatbreads). A cross between Thai and Indian cuisine, traditional Sri Lankan curries are cooked using a fresh spice paste, comprising ginger, garlic, fresh chilli and sun dried spices, with flavours influenced by region and the cook’s ethnicity.
Almost any fruit or vegetable can be used to make a curry or an accompanying dish such as a sambol (usually hot and fiery), mallung (shredded greens), or chutney, and a typical meal includes a meat or fish dish, a few vegetable dishes and a lentil curry (dhal). Coconut milk is used in some curries to add creaminess while others are left ‘dry’, and the result is a really healthy balanced cuisine.
SRI LANKAN CURRY FROM jamieoliver.com
Rice and curry is typically eaten for lunch whereas hoppers and string hoppers are often on breakfast and dinner menus, usually served with a fish and/or dhal curry, a fiery kata sambol (tomato, onion and dried chilli) or a sweet onion relish. Sri Lankans aren’t big on desserts, and usually end a meal with fresh tropical fruit, ice cream or an adopted Malay crème caramel-like dish, watalappan.
Sri Lankan New Year takes place in April, and this is a time of celebration for the island’s Buddhists and Hindus who prepare special sweets and sweetmeats for sharing. Thanks to the island’s Muslims, biryani is another popular ‘borrowed’ dish as is fried rice or fried noodles, a favourite quasi-Chinese dish adapted by the Sri Lankans that you’ll see in many guises on numerous restaurant menus.
You’ll be able to try an endless number of delicious Sri Lankan curries when you book a stay at one of our villas in Sri Lanka. The villas come with a full complement of staff, including a chef or a cook,