Date Archives

November 2017

A Life in Ubud After Nightfall

Nightlife in Ubud is dedicated for those with the love of culture, music and fine dining experience. Well-known for its relaxing ambience, quiet environment and traditional atmosphere, this upland destination has several corners to see besides rice terraces, cultural places and temples. Most of the bars are sophisticated and laid-back, showing sports action or hosting live music for casual gatherings until around midnight, while not many late-night clubbing scenes available for the nightcrawlers. With wining, dining and soothing music being accessible, below are some evening hotspots to prove that there is still a life in Ubud after nightfall.

Ayung Valley Restaurant

Some of Ubud’s fine dining experiences are located outside the central. Kubu in the Kedewatan Village brings up a tropical breeze and intimate space of private cocoons overlooking the Ayung River. Open until 11 PM every day, you can feast a fine Mediterranean-European cuisine prepared with the freshest premium produce. Around the neighbourhood, Ayung Valley Restaurant sits majestically in such an unspoiled terrain sweeping vistas of the Ayung River. Popular among nature enthusiasts, this venue at The Royal Pita Maha will surely delight your eyes on superb dining, a perfect chance to relieve yourself from the stress.


Further up, Alila Ubud’s Plantation Restaurant is serving authentic Balinese cuisine and farm-to-table Western tasting menus with lush rainforest views from every corner of the table. You can also chill at the valley’s edge of The Cabana Lounge. Serving cocktails until 11 PM, this venue attracts those who are in need of a tranquil break. Driving 30 minutes to the east, Cascades at Viceory Ubud offers jaw-dropping views of Petanu River valley and high-quality dinner experience, marking it as one of the world’s most beautiful restaurants.


The Bridges

In the centre, Rondji Restaurant offers mix selection of Balinese and Spanish dishes. Hidden inside the Blanco Museum, this place will allow you to have an elegant dining experience with scenic views of the Campuhan River valley. Just next to it, Bridges is a casual fine dining restaurant surrounding with the calmest sound of the river flow. Apart from romantic dining experiences, you can also chill yourself with wines and cocktails at DIVINE wine and cocktail bar while enjoying live music every Wednesday and Friday. On Wednesday, cocktail lovers can go up close and personal to watch the bartenders performing their magic skills right before your eyes. By all means ask them to share the method in creating the best cocktails. While Friday, the Bridges’ sommelier proposes five wines to taste and you can get a chance to go further to expand your wine knowledge by joining the one-hour interactive wine tasting masterclass session.


Driving 15 minutes down south of the central Ubud, Petani Restaurant at Alaya Resort Ubud is a street-front restaurant with vintage and contemporary elements in the interior. Live music performance is available almost every night of the week with a legendary double-neck guitar, Balawan, takes to the stage with his magic fingers every Friday. 5 minutes’ walk down the road, The View at Plataran Ubud Hotel & Spa allows you to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. The ambience brings a sense of tranquillity and peace, as if it is designed to make you feel an integral part of the nature while you dine.


Golden Monkey

Ubud’s nightlife activities are centralised in the central. After spending an hour enjoying cultural performances at Ubud Palace, you can walk around to discover some places cool down. LaRamona is a hipster spot around the corner. Offering a new style and atmosphere in Ubud, this place is a funky space that musically inspired and flavourfully rich. Next to it, Golden Monkey serves a large selection of classic Cantonese favourites. You can discover Chinese ornaments are all over the place, creating an authentic vibe of a Chinese restaurant.



CP Lounge

Lively ambience can be found along Jalan Monkey Forest. If you ask any cab driver in Ubud to direct you to the best music spot, they will most likely direct you to XL Shisha Lounge. The vibe is a bit of Middle Eastern with a comfortable lounge style setting. With a small dance floor, the music plays a certain charm to move your feet until 2 AM. About 5 minutes’ walk down the road, CP Lounge is the only place in Ubud where you can dance until the wee hours of the morning. Featuring a spacious open-air lounge, jam sessions under the stars start from 9 PM and DJs continue the party at the dance floor inside until 4 AM. Further down, Laughing Buddha Bar is a small bur but very popular for drawing crowds of soulful live Jazz music lovers. Other genres also feature Latin, blues and freestyle acoustic among other performances. To entertain the nightcrawlers, the kitchen is open until 1 AM every day serving Asian & Mediterranean menu.

This article is also published at NOW! Bali Magazine

Healing Retreat – Heal your mind, body and soul

Photo Courtesy of Motion Fitness

Every once in a while, it is essential for us to rejuvenate our mind and body in order to restore and level up the energy and vitality. Making time in your busy life to go on a healing retreat is one of the finest gifts you can treat to yourself, as it will give you a chance to pause and look at life from a new perspective, while at the same time balancing your authentic self with the nature. In some cases, it unlocks answers to the questions that you just may not take the time to ask. It is wise to give yourself some much-needed slack and put the calm back into your life. Healthy surroundings with a wide range of holistic therapies are recommended to renew yourself and restore your well-being.

Photo Courtesy of Yoga Barn

Healing holiday boosts your mind and body from the core. Healing is a very personal process often aided by a combination of therapies from natural and holistic to active and energetic. The benefits of a healing retreat are numerous. Apart from a healthy weight loss, you are bound to be filled up with high energy levels, supported with a boosted immune system, flaunt a radiant complexion and achieve a sense of deep accomplishment. Taking a retreat is a nurturing “time-out” just for you, a time to rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit, to reconnect with your authentic self and with nature, to get solitude and spend time “being” rather than “doing.” Take some time out of your hectic schedule, cut yourself some much-needed slack and put the calm back into your life with the various healing retreat therapies.

Spa at Anvaya Resort
Photo Courtesy of Anvaya Resort

The first step is to identify what aspect of yourself you would like to heal and then choose the procedure to do so. Some of the popular healing retreats are yoga, spa, raw food, cooking and surfing. While Yoga, Spa and Raw food mostly suits everyone while the cooking and surfing retreats are more hobby based. Yoga provides immense relaxation and frees you from negative energy. Spa retreats lets you indulge in luxurious treatments to relax and soothe your body. It is a total immersion experience that allows you to take a break from the stresses and habits of your daily life in order to focus on your physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing.

Regaining the balance in ourselves is the best way to reach a deeper clarity and improve productivity when we return to our daily lives. Raw food is a cleansing and detoxifying diet to nourish your body from the roots. With a vegan, organic diet all your health issues are addressed from the core. A widely-practiced healin

Photo Courtesy of ALaya Jembawan

g retreat is the Spiritual Retreat like the Meditation which helps you to find inner-peace and balance your sense of well-being by connecting you to the one and only almighty. As a result, anxiety decreases, and immunity stability profoundly increases.

Another popular retreat during vacation is the Healing Massage retreat for those who are worn-out and stressed badly. These healing massages allow you to gain clarity, get in touch with your true self and balance your chakras. All these retreats are very personal and specific therapies, attending solely to your problem. But if you are on your honeymoon or family vacation you can also choose a retreat where you can stay close to your loved ones. It can be a couple spa or massage, or a yoga or cooking class with your children.



Hello Winter From Dubai

As the cooler weather makes its way back for the autumn-winter season, Dubai’s outdoor venues come alive, offering something for everyone. Whether you prefer to stay on land or head out to sea, it’s all possible – because in Dubai, even the sky isn’t the limit.

Dubai is as well known for its stunning vistas as it is for its amazing food, shopping and outdoor adventures, and now that the weather has cooled down, why not take it all in from a different perspective? A hot air balloon ride gives you a bird’s-eye-view of the city’s beautiful landscape at a leisurely pace that allows you to truly enjoy the spectacular scenery, from the city’s skyscrapers to the desert dunes beyond – a trip everyone should take at least once in a lifetime. Many companies offer a take-home video for a souvenir so you can relive the experience in the years to come. Some even serve breakfast beforehand, which is always handy when you’re up at dawn to watch the sunrise.

The “Old Dubai” area that includes the neighbourhoods on the shores of Dubai Creek is arguably one of the most atmospheric in the city, and there’s no better time to enjoy this than when the weather cools down and you can take your time strolling through its winding streets. Begin your day at Creekside cafe down by the water, where you can munch on classic Emirati dishes with a modern twist (red velvet luqaymat, anyone?) while you watch the boats go by. Craving a little shopping? The souks in the area are a riot of colour and enticing bargains. Afterwards, hop onto a dhow for a trip down the Creek. Alternatively, if contemporary boating is more your thing, then why not fulfil another modern Dubai tradition and hire a yacht for the day? You could spend it enjoying a barbecue and sunshine with your friends while floating around Dubai Marina instead.

Dubai’s gorgeous winter weather is perfect for enjoying a picnic in one of the city’s many green spaces, such as Safa Park or Zabeel Park. Pack your own food hamper or let someone else take care of things for you, then lay out a blanket and while away the day enjoying nibbles and conversation. Alternatively, head
to Ripe Market and sample goodies from one of its many food stands before browsing the stalls of locally-created, handmade brands and wares.

While the dazzling horse racing scene in Dubai is better known, camel racing is just as worthy a race experience that’s also closely tied to the local culture. Rise before dawn, head down to the camel race tracks, and join in the excitement as throngs of loyal fans cheer on their favourite racers – some of them even watching from cars that follow the action at speed. Then, when it’s all over, there’s the opportunity to take photos with and pet the camels in a designated area.

The creations in this garden are seemingly miraculous, using flora to construct awe-inspiring pieces of floral art formed into shapes ranging from a peacock to an Emirates airplane. Whether you’re walking under the canopy of rainbow umbrellas or admiring one of the jaw-dropping installations, this place is a riot of colour, and the best part is that it’s all made with living flowers, expertly cared for and beautifully bloomed. There are more than 100 million blooming flowers here, and the Airbus A380 piece has even broken a Guinness World Record.

Catching a film outdoors makes the experience that much more theatrical and memorable. With the winter weather come pleasantly cool evenings, when a variety of venues across the city host regular movie nights, giving you the chance to watch both new and classic films under the starry night sky. You can even enjoy delicious food from top restaurants as well as fresh popcorn and other movie-favourite snacks. The whole experience doesn’t just feel like more of an occasion, it also brings out a wonderfully unifying community feel.

In a city that loves adrenaline-fuelled activities as much as it does a relaxing spa day, the option to go skydiving has become one of Dubai’s most popular “must-do” activities among both residents and tourists. During the mild winter, Skydive Dubai’s campuses reopen to offer bold fun-seekers the chance to soar over the desert dunes or the skyscrapers of Dubai Marina, with entire experience recorded for them. Don’t
worry – you’ll be accompanied by an experienced instructor, and they even offer courses for more dedicated “jumpers”. This is definitely one for the bucket list!

There’s no dearth of water parks in Dubai – and that’s a good thing, considering how much fun they can be, at almost any time of the year. During the cooler months, it’s a great way to spend the day, and there are so many to choose from that you’ll never get bored. Favourites include Wild Wadi and Aquaventure, which both offer a great range of rides, pools and fun for the whole family, while a more recent addition is Legoland Water Park. But if you’re looking for a slightly different and more physically demanding water-based experience, why not try Aqua Fun? Dubai’s first-ever water obstacle course is where you can run, jump and slide over 74 different obstacles, guaranteeing excitement and laughs for all ages.


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