Tina Burton was blown away by the beauty of Bali.
There are few places that make me stop and stare in awe at the sheer beauty of a destination, especially with a view from a hotel. Beji Ubud Resort is a calming oasis, boasting stunning views from the infinity pool which overlooks the Oos River, flowing fast 250m below in the jungle canyon.
Beji Ubud is an authentic Balinese resort – listen to relaxing Balinese music while enjoying breakfast on the deck, enjoy a spot of yoga overlooking the canyon or a swim in the mesmerizing infinity pool, where I would sit for hours just staring into the canyon.
For the adventurous type, start early with a 3am pickup ready to tackle a sunrise trek up Mount Bautur (Gunung Batur in Balinese), a sacred active volcano. Trek through the night for two hours to the top to make it in time for an unforgettable sunrise. The view is worth the effort, I promise. Find your personal viewpoint and watch the sky change colour as the sun gets higher and brighter in the sky and you enjoy a tasty breakfast cooked by the tour guides using the natural steam from this active volcano. Your journey down shows you unrivalled views, a fun experience with monkeys (hide your water bottles) and reveals the challenging hike you completed that morning.
To maximize time, hire a personal driver for the day to take you on a tour of the best spots in the north. Explore the local culture of Bali, known for its arts and crafts, temples and discover local Balinese villages.
Visit the terraced rice paddies which give a whole new meaning to the word green! Explore by foot or by bicycle, taking in the breathtaking views of the terraces and watch the locals harvest while enjoying a picnic.
The Gitgit waterfalls are beautiful. Feel your breath get taken away as you swim under the 35m high waterfall, try to withstand the pressure and the freezing cold water pummeling down on you… It’s a fun challenge.
Finally, explore Bali’s longest river, the Ayung, which runs for 75km through the country – take a mild white water rafting trip and you will be delighted with many different visual sights from nature to hotels and locals washing their clothes. Great for all the family. Your driver takes you on a tour of the river, pointing out the birds that are singing those beautiful tunes while steering the raft through the rapids. And they definitely earn their money on the way back up by carrying the raft on their head to take it back to the start, about 600 steps up!
Ubud has a stunning and unique landscape with so much to do: the rolling green hills, singing wildlife, natural phenomenon and nearby beaches offer every visitor something new to do or to see. The locals are friendly and welcoming and will do anything to make your stay more enjoyable and encourage you to come back to their beautiful home. Their stories and outlook on life will make you rethink your perception of the world and re-evaluate your life.
Visit in April, May or September for the best weather and explore the rest of Bali while you are in the country, including the capital Denpasar, the Gili islands and Lombok, and the unmissable Uluwatu.