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East Bali: Top things to do and best beachfront villas

in Destinations by
Villa Pushpapuri Bali Beachfront Villa

Its easy to be seduced by the glamour of southern Bali with its trendy restaurants and uber-cool beach clubs, but if you have something a little quieter in mind for your Bali holiday, the pristine Sunrise Coast on the island’s eastern shores has a charm all its own.

Saba beach in East Bali

Peaceful coastal villages nestle amidst banana plantations, lush green rice fields and exotic palm-fringed black sand beaches. A trio of volcanos looming in the distance make the most stunning of backdrops, especially when bathed in the pearly pink light of a Bali sunrise.

TOP THINGS TO DO

The atmospheric seaside town of Candidasa is situated mid-way up the east coast just 60km from the airport. Local art shops sell paintings, handicrafts and wood carvings, while casual open-air restaurants are strung along the shore, some with candle-lit tables right on the beach. Make sure to check out the main temple with a dreamy location on the edge of a lotus-filled lagoon.

Adventure-seekers can trek to the top of Mount Agung – the island’s highest peak, while water enthusiasts can explore Bali’s best dive sites, such as the HMS Liberty Wreck. Adrenalin junkies can get their kicks on a shark dive, or glide through the water with manta rays. The cool waters of Tirta Gangga, an elaborate water palace tucked into the nearby hills, makes a gentler respite with its spring fed pools and water fountains carved from stone.

A few kilometers inland from Candidasa, the 700-year-old walled village of Tenganan is home to the Bali Aga, the island’s first inhabitants. It is quite a cultural attraction these days, but still provides a fascinating glimpse into a traditional way of life and is justly famed for its beautiful ikat weavings.

The small coastal village of Jasri is home to Charly’s chocolate factory. You won’t find Willy Wonka, but you will find delicious chocolate (try the Narkabo dark chocolate nibbles) and great photo opportunities thanks to a quirky assortment of cone-shaped bamboo houses clustered in a grove of coconut palms right on the beach. Nearby, a bumpy dirt road winds through verdant forest to emerge at Pasir Putih (white sand) rightly crowned as Bali’s most beautiful beach. Bathe in the turquoise sea, soak up the rays from a deckchair and indulge in fresh fish for lunch, barbecued right in front of you. 

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Obama in Bali: All the Pictures

in News by
Obama Bali Holiday Labaran June 2017

How does the former First Family handle a holiday in Bali? By touring the island’s delights, that’s how. 

See all the photos of Barack, Michelle, Sasha and Malia, The Obamas during their recent visit to The Island of the Gods, where they caused quite a stir of excitement and brought about many “thumbs-up.”

 

Obama Jet Arrive Bali

(1) The 44th U.S. President and family arrived in Bali, Indonesia on 23rd June 2017 aboard a private jet and were warmly greeted by a well organised line of people and two large cars.

One of the ladies wore a comfortable-looking white-coloured pull-over as she disembarked the aircraft, which is excellent flight attire.

 

Obamas Jet at Bali Airport

(2) Mr. Obama received a welcome handshake from Bali Governor, Made Mangku Pastika.

It is not known what was in the lonesome bag or why it had such prominence in this blurry photo.

 

Barack Obama at Tirta Empul Bali Temple

(3) For a visit to the Tirta Empul Temple outside of Ubud, a relaxed and informal Mr. Obama had the “Dad abroad look” nailed as he gestured to something in the distance.

Meanwhile, the man in the light-blue shirt stood with a wonderfully authoritative pose. It’s nothing short of majestic.

 

Obama Handshake Bali Temple

(4) Dressed in his favourite dark blue jeans and conventional white polo,  Mr. O warmly greeted hosts with his double-handed handshake and famous golden smile.

 

Sasha Obama and Malia Obama sightseeing in Bali

(5) Wearing the traditional garment known as sarong or selendang, Sasha and Malia Obama made sure they didn’t miss a shot with both a phone and chunky DSLR on hand.

 

Michelle Obama in Bali

(6) Michelle Obama confidently led the way in her brand-new sneakers as the family explored the site.

 

Obama waving in Bali

(7) Barack Obama waved to the many onlookers vying for his attention.

Better than nothing.

 

Obama at Bali Temple 2017

(8) Apparently it was tricky to get a good photo.

 

Obama tall tourist visiting Bali

(9) The presence of a shorter man in the posse almost cleared the way for an unobstructed view of Mr. Obama playing tourist. 

 

Barack and Michelle in Bali

(10)  As it turned out, his edgy specs and over-shoulder straps would catch your eye in any photo.

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Famous Massages

in Wellness by
Massage at Villa Amazi in Bali

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.

 

Puri Bawana Bali massage baleBalinese and Javanese massages in Bali

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 at Villa Amanzi in PhuketThai massages in Phuket

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

 

Villa Pooja Kanda setting for ayurvedic massageAyurvedic massages in Sri Lanka

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

 

Comfortable loungers at Maldives beach

Maldives Spa Massages

Javvu Spa’s highly skilled therapists are trained in the Pure Massage Style as well as being fully committed to giving you the best quality treatments with your preferences in mind. +READ MORE

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Ayurvedic Massage in Sri Lanka

in Wellness by
Villa Pooja Kanda setting for ayurvedic massage

As well as its wealth of historic temples and rich culture, Sri Lanka’s wellness traditions are a feast to discover on a trip to its picturesque shores. Among them is the ancient healing system of Ayurveda, which is still practiced widely in Sri Lanka and neighbouring India.

Ayurvedic traditions are thousands of years old; some estimate they have been passed from master to disciple for more than 5,000 years and that Ayurveda is the oldest healing methodology in the world. The beliefs and practices central to Ayurveda have given birth to other natural healing methods, such as homeopathy and polarity therapy, while Sri Lankan massage therapies use the age-old healing techniques of Ayurveda to restore the body and balance the mind.

Indeed, Ayurveda means ‘knowledge of life’, and the core philosophy of the Ayurvedic system is that the key to health is a balance of your three doshas – energies we all have in our bodies, known as Vata, Pitta and Kappa.

As a form of traditional medicine, Ayurveda uses plant-based treatments to heal and boost physical and mental strength to prevent illness. For many locals in Sri Lanka, Ayurveda is a total way of life that incorporates diet, daily yoga practice and regular meditation. But you don’t have to go the whole hog to appreciate the benefits of Ayurveda. Massage therapies are an important part of Ayurvedic medicine, and as well as having many reputed health benefits, they are also deeply relaxing.

We’ve got the low down on ayurvedic massage treatments and what to expect.

Ayurvedic Body Massage

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. Hard-core Ayurveda purists will have a full body massage – known as abhyana in Sanskrit – everyday, for general mind/body support.

We’re not saying a daily massage is de rigueur (although there’s no reason why you shouldn’t –you’re on holiday after all, so why not treat yourself?). One will be enough to give you a taste of the traditions that are interwoven in Sri Lankan culture, plus it’s a wonderful way to relax on vacation. That said, once you’ve tried it, chances are you’ll soon be booking another.

WHAT TO EXPECT: You may start with a consultation about your health,

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Thai Massage in Phuket: Reviving the Body and Soul

in Wellness by
Thai massage at Villa Amanzi in Phuket

Phuket is known for its hedonistic holiday pleasures – beach club parties, sunset cocktails, luxury yacht cruises, seafood feasts and the like. Alongside these carefree pursuits there are a growing number of places for self-care, where travellers can heal their bodies and revive their souls while on a Phuket holiday. Yoga studios, intensive martial arts training, detox/diet centres, fitness boot camps and meditation retreats are just some of the restorative activities on offer. None is as prevalent in Phuket as the age-old healing art of traditional Thai massage. 

Traditional Thai massage

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.

WHAT TO EXPECT: During a Thai massage, no massage oils or lotions are used. Loose-fitting clothing is worn during the treatment, which was traditionally carried out on a low bed or mattress on the floor. These days, however, massage atop a massage table, spa bed or sun lounger is more common throughout Thailand.

TECHNIQUES: Experienced therapists have incredibly strong hands, and they also use their elbows and knees to apply pressure at various points along your body. A Thai massage session can also include cracking of the joints and neck and pulling the limbs.

BENEFITS: By the end of a one- or two-hour treatment, you’ll feel completely invigorated from head to toe. Given that some of the techniques can be rather forceful, be sure to talk with the therapist first, especially if you have any injuries or chronic pains that need to be handled with extra care.

Villa Napalai Surin - Massage RoomMASSAGE AREA AT VILLA NAPALAI – SURIN BEACH, PHUKET

The principle behind Thai massage is that life is sustained by a vital force, ‘lom’, that is circulated through the body along invisible pathways called ‘sen’. When these pathways are blocked it leads to illness, fatigue and imbalance. Thai massage is believed to help unblock the pathways and stimulate the flow of lom, thus restoring the body back to health and vitality.

Thai massage is an integral part of traditional Thai medicine, with techniques that have been passed down through the generations for more than 2,000 years. Ancient texts of Thai medicine have been lost to the ages but in 1832 King Rama III of Siam commissioned 60 stone etchings to be made using fragments of text found at the royal court.

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