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Recreation - page 7

Must-see places and can’t miss things to do from Malé to Bali

24 hours in Batu Bolong

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Having settled into your exquisite villa on this island paradise, it’s time to head out and explore Bali’s hippest ‘hood – Batu Bolong.

While Canggu is a cool collection of gorgeous green tropical tracts of rice paddy with smatterings of sacred cows, Batu Bolong is blooming into the hottest locale for chic bohemian lifestyle.

Think organic market and chichi yoga meets beach-bum couture accessorised by celebrity-anointed designers. The food is fab too.

Secure that chauffeur-driven car and kick the day off with a tres authentic French breakfast at the holy shrine of Monsieur Spoon, or graze on the most amazing Nagu Bomb breakfast bowl of sweet local fruit, coconut milk and granola at Betelnut Café. Cool cafés are a growth industry on this strip, so check out the super buzzing Crate, the uber healthy Avocado and the recently opened Bro – an intriguing mash up of ‘awesome Chinese and authentic French’ – while you’re here.

Machine-porn at Malamadre is where custom-created motorcycles are produced from a tiny workshop, while over at the epic Deus ex Machina they are customised alongside surfboard shapers, a barber, live music and food.

Artist types longing to embrace Bali’s creative realm will adore silver smithing at the House of Alia where professionals share their painting and jewellery-making skills at workshops for small groups, including kids from age seven.

If the main game is retail therapy, the starting point is near the ‘Deus’ intersection.

Twentyone/Degrees stocks swimwear, jewellery and clothing ranges, while Flow & Yonder is a smokin’ hot surf-wear institution up some super-steep steps.

Puravida has non-resort-style women’s casuals while Asmara offers fashion with a Balinese spin. Nearby Horn has concept street-wear while a hop across the road to Bottle Avenue will secure some grape-based libations and vinyl music is sold next door.

Kiki’s Kloset has gorgeous beach-bum wear and smashing dresses. Blak is for the little ones and The Berawa Art House is worth inspecting, while opposite is Moon Rocks and 69 Slam – famous for teens.

Batu Bolong blooms restaurants like so many flowers, with a clutch being the chilled siblings of swank Seminyak outfits.

Kitchen Rustica offers classic Italian take-out made with love while inside the pod of shops at Love Anchor is the Roman restaurant Pinsology, dedicated to dishing pinsa – a type of pizza from Rome – plus tiramisu.

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Romantic Hideaway: 7 Hidden Beaches in Bali

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Looking for a little romantic adventure? Jump on the scooter and explore some of Bali’s hidden, picture-perfect beaches.

Green Bowl Beach

Finding this secret gem is not easy, but trust me, it will be worth the effort. After you’ve paid your IDR2,000 entrance fee, you’re in for a serious cardio workout heading down the concrete steps until you reach the beach. Result – your very own private stretch of sand with world-class surf.

green-bowl-beach-4

How to get there.

Pandawa Beach

It may no longer be quite so hidden, but its stretch of white sand and turquoise waters make Pandawa Beach one of the most beautiful on the island and definitely not as crowded as Seminyak or Kuta. We know a picture speaks a thousand words, so take a look for yourself.

Pantai Pandawa, Bali 2013--14

How to get there.

Karma Beach

This well-kept, exclusive private beach is a perfect place to spend a romantic day together enjoying the stunning views and soothing sounds of the Indian Ocean. Excellent Mediterranean cuisine is also served here. Entrance fee applies.

photo by Karma Resort

How to get there.

Balangan Beach

Bordered by two cliffs, the skirt of Balangan beach stretches for about 1km. This also means that there are great swells for surfers. An amazing mixture of white and black sands on some spots of the beach, the unique green and dark brown musty stone texture on the shore, and the pond-like hollow spaces filled with clear water (and sometimes with little fish), are among the features you can expect to find in this paradise.

photo by Balangan Seaview Bungalow

How to get there.

Geger Beach

Geger Beach is famous for it’s seaweed. It’s worth peeking in on one of the many seaweed farms nearby after frolicking about in the crystal clear waters.

source unknown

How to get there.

Nyang Nyang Beach

Another gem requiring some physical activity to reach, but totally worth it. Follow the dirt track close to Uluwatu Temple and keep a lookout for a sign saying “Nyang Nyang Surfing Beach” before alighting the flight of 500 steps that finally open up to the beach. This beach has amazing photo spots.

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Jimbaran and The Bukit Peninsula – Bali’s southern belles

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While Bali is perhaps best known for its verdant and picturesque rice-terrace landscape, The Bukit Peninsula possesses a very different kind of beauty. Towering limestone cliffs, thick coastal forest, timeless fishing villages and legendary surf breaks typify this rugged lemon-shaped headland marking the island’s most southerly point.

A narrow land bridge separates the sprawling southern plains of Bali from The Bukit, and it’s here that you’ll find the peaceful fishing community of Jimbaran. The wide, gentle curve of Jimbaran Bay is protected by a reef, which creates a calm lagoon of sparkling turquoise water. Safe swimming conditions and beautiful soft white sand make this lovely beach a hit with families. Colourful jukung (traditional fishing boats) rest on the sand, and casual restaurants line the beach. Jimbaran’s nightly seafood barbecues regularly top ‘must do’ lists in Bali. Choose your fish or seafood, then take a table on the beach while it is basted in Jimbaran’s famous spice mix of garlic, black pepper, kaffir lime leaves and chilli, and grilled over coconut husks. Those in search of a finer dining experience and bespoke cocktails can head up to the fabulous beach club, Sundara, tucked into the corner of the bay, while foodies shouldn’t miss Cuca, one of the island’s most innovative restaurants.

Situated on the gentle rise of Jimbaran Hill, with charming views over the bay, (best enjoyed from a roof-top Jacuzzi,) the light and spacious Villa Aiko is well set-up for families. Nearby are two more fabulously equipped villas, each with ocean views and walking tracks down to the beach: Villa Jamalu is equally suited to jetsetters in search of a luxury pad and families looking for a quite holiday retreat, while the popular, highly contemporary Villa Adenium boasts a massive gym and games room.

Further up the hill is the area known as ‘millionaires row,’ an exclusive neighborhood boasting million-dollar views and some of the island’s most exclusive villas. Early mornings reveal central Bali’s dramatic chain of volcanoes, while evenings see the island’s southern plains ablaze with twinkling lights. The Longhouse clings to the mountainside, with a stunning design by renowned Balinese architect Popo Danes, and bedrooms showcasing some of the many rich cultures of the Indonesian archipelago.

Back on the coast, golfers can play a round at the New Kuta Golf Course,

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Cruising Bali in a VW Kombi

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Have you ever dreamt about exploring the tropical island of Bali in your own unique way? Thanks to Brett and his team at Bali VW Limo, you can turn back the clock and channel your inner hippy for a nostalgic cruise in a classic VW Kombi Limo.

What started off as office banter about building a fun vehicle that would have a boom box, WiFi, slide-out kitchen and customised mini bar, turned into a huge project that finally came to fruition last year.

In May 2013 Brett found a VW Kombi for sale roadside in Denpasar. After re-registration, the Kombi was given a major revamp. The paint job was designed by Brett’s daughter Nisa and made real by Bali’s most famous airbrush artist. Ten months on, the Kombi was ready to hit the road. Now there are 4 of them cruising the island’s picturesque roads with 5 more on the production line.

All the vehicles are equipped with WiFi, air-conditioning, excellent sound system and remote-controlled minibar. Each VW Kombi Limousine comfortably seats five adults and comes with an experienced driver, English-speaking concierge, and cold water and towels on pick up.

Brett and his team can tailor a full day of activities for you whether it’s a trip with your friends or family to Bali’s arts center Ubud or down to Kuta’s party strip. Just send them an email and they’ll help map out an exciting, yet comfortable itinerary for you: info@vwlimobali.com

For more info visit VW Kombi at www.vwlimobali.com

Looking for a luxury place to stay in Bali? Check out our hand-picked selection of luxury villas HERE.

VW Limo Bali attracting attention at Ku De Ta[2]

VW Limo Bali ricefields in Cemagi[1]

VW Limo Bali on tour Batu Ngaus[4]

Have you traveled in a VW Kombi? Share your experience in the comments section.

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8 Things To Do In Galle

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The south coast Galle region is one of the most complete tourist destinations in Sri Lanka. The historic UNESCO-certified Galle Fort is the region’s foremost attraction but there are many more activities and attractions in the local area to keep you busy for days. Here are some of our favourites:

Galle Fort Walk

Local author Juliet Coombe hosts a variety of guided walking tours in historic Galle Fort, focusing on architecture, people and food. The walks last for around 90-minutes and include a stop for refreshments. Galle Fort’s historic streets, lined with cafés and boutiques and home to European churches, mosques, old spice warehouses and museums, are also ripe for exploring on your own.

Website: www.sriserendipity.com/walking_tours.html

Galle’s Beaches

Galle is blessed with a great variety of beaches. Galle Fort itself has a pretty beach just south of the lighthouse that can be lovely for an early morning swim before anyone else is about. Other favourites are Dalawella Beach, beside the popular Wijeya Beach Restaurant, and Unawatuna Beach whose wide horseshoe-shaped bay offers safe swimming throughout the year. From Unawatuna you can also arrange diving, deep-sea fishing and snorkelling.

Idle Bikes & Boats

Explore Galle’s picturesque interior by bicycle on a guided tour of the region’s verdant hills, sleepy villages, paddy fields and jungle. You can pick from a variety of trails; each route takes in the quietest, most scenic back roads and bunds. Idle Tours also offer boat trips on the Gin Ganga River west of Galle, a peaceful waterway home to a Sri Lanka’s aquatic wildlife and birds.

Website: www.idletours.com

Looking for a perfect spot for lunch or dinner? Have a look at our favourite restaurants in the South of Sri Lanka. 

Handunugoda Tea Estate

Tea is grown across Sri Lanka, and The Handunugoda Tea Estate is one of the closest tea plantations to the coast. Here you can take a tour of the estate, have a nosy around the factory and enjoy a tasting and buying session of the many types of tea. The estate is also famous for producing white tea, a delicate variety that retails for around US$1500 a kilo.

Website: www.virginwhitetea.com

Habaraduwa Turtle Hatchery

Sri Lanka’s sandy shores are prime targets for nesting marine turtles who come ashore to lay their eggs in the very same place they were born.

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