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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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Embrace the creative side of you in Balinese Dance

Photo courtesy of Nusa Dua Beach Resort

We were recently enchanted when we had a chance to visit and attend to some of the Balinese Cultural Creation centre, located in Denpasar. We were so happy to get to meet the local actors and dancers in person and participate in different workshops. Walking through the complex we could experience how beautifully green the plants were and feel the odor of their flowers. The scent of earth, water, wind, and flowers imbued our senses and mind, leaving us in romantic space. My five year-old, especially, appreciated this chance to meet this side of nature she rarely get a chance to see at home, so she couldn’t be happier. Moreover, she was having his birthday party among the trees and on grass, and then she surprised me by saying that he would want to learn to dance Balinese Dance.

I was not sure what she was talking about at first, because she kept uttering and repeating “Balinese, Balinese,and Balinese”. This occurred after she had visited a local event that performed Balinese dance however I was not sure what it was, so I looked it up online.

It turned out that Balinese is a beautiful traditional form of dance, performed by Balinese people that have been part of their religion and their culture since ancient times. I have gotten so puzzled to know first-hand what this dance was all about, especially since there was plenty chance to attend different activities,both outdoors and indoors at one’s own convenient time. This represented an ideal opportunity to keep my son occupied by artistic yet dynamic activity, all year long.

As soon as I found Balinese Cultural Creation, I was impressed they offered so many activities and cultural activities, at such affordable terms, that I immediately booked a stay, to my own and my daughter’s amusement. Once we got there I was amazed at all the activities we could take part in so we both enrolled in a class in Balinese dance. From the minute I sat down to watch the dancers I was mesmerized, wishing to teach myself these wonderful invigorating movements, while my daughter was overwhelmed by excitement and joy. On the beginning I was clumsy with moves, but my daughter caught on like a pro, since kids are like sponge easy to adopt new skill when they are young and loving it.

Photo courtesy of Four Season Jimbaran

The instructors were particularly motivating and patient with us and everyone else, applying right balance of being friendly, yet enforcing everyone to learn the dance movements and rules correctly. However, this beautiful dance was hardly our only activity -we learned how to make a kit for example from beautiful natural materials. My daughter was successful and let his kit go fly in the sky, while I have not had much luck making it. I learned about Indonesian philosophy which includes learning how to dance as each step, each movement represented some deep insight into the nature of life and universal law surrounding us. The garments, the costumes, the colors all represent a unique aspect and harmony of life. My daughter and I learned a lot; more about the dance for her, and for me about the life philosophy.

Other activities that we participated in together included batik painting a t-shirt, with a paintbrush and colored paint, while my daughter was assisting me. She was such really enjoying showing off her artistic skills for the first time in his life. With paintbrush in hand, colors by the side we were ready – Balinese Art of batik painting is attractive with bright colors among lovely designs, traditional and quite unique. Philosophy, culture, and the respect for natural order can be seen through all their art, dance, and more.

Trying out and eating Indonesian cuisine meals together was also great fun, playing games with the other kids, and learning a new culture will definitely make my daughter more versatile woman when she grows up. I highly recommend everyone bringing your children to this kind of magical place. You will never be the same again, as it would leave you feel enriched, content, and more intimate to each other. The smile on my daughter’s face was what made the trip worth it.

“Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life–learn some as well as think some and also draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.” – Robert Sharma

 

Indulge your ceramic interest at Jenggala Keramik

Bali is a most memorable destination hotspot for many international and local tourists. This is because the islands of Bali are graced with gorgeous and breathtaking scenery, bountiful cultures, delectable cuisines and cocktails in the various restaurants and bars and a place to explore and indulge in many watersports as amply availed by the various clear water beaches with fine white sands.

One of the reasons I was inspired to come over to Bali was to soak in all the knowledge I could regarding the vast Balinese culture. And as I went along visiting as many historical places as I could manage and talking to the indigenous people, it was brought to my attention to visit Jenggala where I could find and indulge in the Jenggala Keramik.

Jenggala Keramik is a ceramic warehouse where clay is given the utmost respect and treatment to create beautiful tableware and home ware pieces that many restaurants and homes all over Bali use. And as in the case of the international tourists, the exquisitely handcrafted products are a beautiful way to gift your friends and family back home or keep as souvenirs of your visit to Bali.

The clay for over thirty years that is used is the finest of its kind to create the wondrous formulas used to create and showcase their aesthetic products. Also various techniques are employed like casting and throwing on a potter’s wheel but for the most part are all handcrafted. The technique to be used depends on the intricacies of the product in question. A lot of time is given in the thought, design and quality control processes of each and every product. These ceramic Balinese inspired products are offered in a wide array of shapes and colors, in sets as well as in single pieces. A gallery with a wide inventory is right round the corner where anyone that wants to purchase a piece or two can go right ahead and do so. All of them are at affordable prices and there are discounts and promotions available making the shopping experience all worthwhile and interesting.

For the most part, my time at the Jenggala was spent participating in the ‘Make a Pot and ‘Color a Pot’ program that is provided by the Jenggala Keramik team to its visitors. And I must say that it was time well spent indeed in that well air conditioned space. It reminded me of all the fun I had making various home ware pieces out of soil with friends as I was a very little girl. The beauty of this program is that it can be enjoyed by people of all ages and sizes, as a group or as an individual. I am pretty sure that many kids preferably of three years plus get a kick out of creating something using their own hands. For the adults, I believe that aside from being a fun way to spend time with friends and family, it is a very good activity for soothing oneself and get one with nature.

Everyone is given a chance to come up with their own design idea and the staff is always there to lend a hand if needed. I love that the visitors get to test and build their creative side. You are left to your own devices and you can create a mug, a bowl, a plate and so on. These have to be fired and so will be ready after four or five days. Hence make sure that your activity is well planned for so as to get to enjoy your final ceramic pieces. Your creation can be made as beautiful as you would want for paints and glazes are provided for your use.And if anyone is interested in having a one on one class, all can be arranged. All one needs to do is ask. I have found that large parties attending these workshops and they can be as fun filled as one wants them to be. So if you want to have a birthday party or anniversary party activity, then Jenggala Keramik is the way to go. All your guests will thoroughly enjoy themselves. Payment for participation is not set but depends on the number of pieces one wants to make or paint.

However if you are also one of those people that would rather feast with your eyes rather than participate directly, it is quite alright. A viewing area is provided for you to view whatever is going on in the studios.

My love for food greatly appreciates the fact that there is a café and restaurant a few minutes’ walk from the workshop and gallery where anyone can feast on the various mouthwatering Balinese cuisines on offer. So after a hard work on your special project, it is a great place to relax and catch one’sbreath with a very good cup of coffee in hand.

All in all, a visit to the Jenggala Keramik is one that I would recommend to anyone who is looking for a fun activity in Bali that will also draw them closer to Balinese history. Just make sure to secure a booking ahead of time so as not to be inconvenienced. It is also the place to be if you are looking for a venue to keep your guests entertained for whatever occasion you might have in mind. Visit Jenggala Keramik today and witness the magic.

 

A Day to The Far East of Bali

Everyone wants to travel at one point or another to cool off from life’s routine worries and hard work. But travelling is not only about visiting from one place to another, it is more about satisfying one’s inner yearnings for taste and class. Many people assume that travelling to the far east of Bali is time consuming, which is not entirely a wrong assumption. However, it is actually doable for a day trip.

Some destinations in the east coast are just magical! They are a combination of unspoiled surroundings, remote locations, intense vistas and snuggly warm people. For adventure lovers, this is probably it; an opportunity to engage with the natural wonders. In addition to that, the presence of Balinese historical sites along the area is such a delight for those who want to go deeper into an understanding of Balinese culture. Definitely worth the time and effort!

Starting early in the morning is a must. Driving 2.5 hours from Denpasar, you will reach at Candidasa. You can make a quick stop here. Feel the tropical climate and smell the fresh morning air from the ocean, it creates an intoxicating perfume to mark the start of the day.

Driving another 30 minutes further up, you will pass by Bugbug village. Since you are here, you may want to consider visiting Bukit Asah Bugbug. If you are looking for a silent and a peaceful scene, this semi-hidden spot offers green hills with the exotic expanse of blue sea. While hearing the roar of the ocean waves, embrace the blowing cool breeze to maximize the relaxation of your solitude. Morning visit doesn’t attract many visitors, which is a perfect time to retreat from the frenetic city.

Moving on from your solitary moment, the next stop is the neatly crafted garden of Tirtagangga Water Palace. Quite well known for its holy water and religious ceremonies, this location consists of three separate complexes each having its own set of ponds and attractive sculptures which simply add to the beauty of the overall water garden. As you enter the place, the first thing that comes into view is a long row of sculptures of guardian figures. You will also notice the neatly placed polygonal stepping stones to tour the area over the ponds and pools. Pools in the complex have designs from the olden days and created with natural materials like sandstone. There are a lot of stories behind the creation of this garden.

 

Another historical site nearby is Ujung Water Palace. Located at Tumbu village, a short distance from Tirtagangga, Ujung Water Palace was basically the resting and entertainment place for the Kings of Karangasem and their guests. On similar lines like Tirtagangga, this place has a beautiful park with huge fish ponds surrounding the heritage buildings. From the highest level of this palace, you can have an enchanting view of the sea line and hills with absolute greenery. It also displays the beauty of Mount Agung and nearby green terraced rice fields.

 

Driving another 30 minutes to the north, slightly after lunchtime, you will arrive at Amed Beach. Almost 90 percent of the population in Amed relies on fishing, which explain the traditional fishing boats line the beach area. Apart from fishing, hospitable people can also be spotted selling salt, trinkets, and other items to support their families and the community. Unlike in the southern coast, the local people of Amed are genuinely warm and friendly to visitors. With the large number of tourists flocking to this part of the island each year, this village has transformed from quiet fishing village and is currently on verge of change. Amed village has now become backpacker’s area near the coast with ease of access to Jemeluk Bay, which is the next stop.

Jemeluk Bay is only a short drive up from Amed Beach. Be prepared for a bumpy road! However, the view is breath-taking. One of the first beautiful glimpses of the Jemeluk Bay is from the sunset point. Along with the scenic view of Amed Beach coastline, it is easy not to capture Mount Agung of your sight. Several options for lodging have come up in this area along with new restaurants and shops popping up, making it a much sought-after tourism destination.

With easy access, Tulamben Beach is located 30 minutes’ drive from Amed village. Overlooking the Lombok strait, the sea water in this beach is calm and clear with gradations of bluish green colour. Rich in marine bio life with a thousand-year-old shipwreck and coral gardens, Tulamben is an all-year diving destination for the diving enthusiasts. A perfect place for underwater photography. With the overall surge in tourism, the small village of Tulamben is developing.

Not far from the beach, Paibon Tulamben Temple is just around the corner. This temple signifies and highlights the Balinese Hindu culture and religion. Like many other temples on the island, Paibon Tulamben Temple signifies the honour shown to the Sea Gods. The temple complex has multiple temples in it and each one is visible from the next one forming a chain. This was built as early as the 16th century during the Majapahit era to offer spiritual protection to the people living in the area.

There you have it! A one-day trip to the eastern part of Bali doesn’t seem impossible to do. Of course, there are still tons of places and hidden spots need to be discovered. However, the list mentioned above suits for either tourists who have limited visiting time and scheduled plans or local people who need to get away from the chaotic southern part over the weekend.

This article is also published at NOW! Bali Magazine

Embracing Life at The Gillis

Life offers stupendous opportunities to everyone to explore and to dig out the real meaning of life as well as to comprehend the intricate and obscure working of nature. As for as I am concerned, the opportunity has been bestowed to me in the form of travelling as it allows me to accumulate the unknown and to complete what is missing.

So, there I was, visiting the Gili Islands. Starting with the most famous one, Gili Trawangan tenders to unveil the uniqueness and different colors of joy in the form of music, parties, excursions and other amazements. Being Human, variety is the necessity of the life, and sometimes we need to enthuse ourselves with the excitements of dance and parties. Pubs, beaches and clubs in the island furnish these desires to its pinnacle and then there is no needing felt to go elsewhere. Gili Trawangan is the place to exert all extra energies. The local pub, Tîr na Nôg, though doesn’t render enormous options but its fresh juices are one of the best in the island. Blue Marlin Café not only excels at rendering the indigenous drinks and food but also provides elegant foreign drinks and food as well. However, too much party and drinking sometimes make the environment unbearable as well and thus compels me to seek out placid and smooth spot.

Gili Meno is the place that alleviates that commotion and ruffle of daily life by providing calm and sedating surroundings. Here the environment is tranquil and nature can be felt more lucidly. As smaller in size and having lower tourists’ density, the place offers me a unique opportunity to completely revive my inner soul with sense of ultimate content. The beautiful beaches incite people to have a walk over it. While walking on these charming beaches, it seems that the nature is uttering its melody through the composition of winds with waves striking the shores. The sun setting scene at the white beach of Gili Meno hazes my brain confusing the scenery with that of the heavens. The aroma of the atmosphere in the evening seems to uttering some untold romantic story. Sasak Café and Ya Ya Warung are two of my favourite dining resorts. In the evening, I grazed upon that lonely bunch of trees. The scenery reminded me of the words of Robert Frost, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.”

When it comes to Gili Air, the island offers an exquisite blend of traditional values with the beautification carried out by craftsman of science and technology. It is composed of modern resorts with most up to date technologies and at the same time provides the opportunity of seeing natural bounties in its full exposure. Being an epicurean person, it gives me great delight to get taste of several types of food. Bel Air Resort gives the yummy food. Its pasta is one of my favorite dish. The island not only suffices the need of having delicious and luscious food but also comes in hand by providing one of the world’s most sorts after snorkeling spots. For me, it’s not simply the island; it is completely a novel world exhibiting the experiences that can’t be narrated by simple words.

Authentic Cuban food at Cubana Restaurant & Bar

Located 5 minutes’ walk from Batu Bolong Beach, Cubana Restaurant & Bar brings a smell of Cuban cigar to the island. Blending between sexy Latin American and the tropical vibe of Bali, this new arrival in Canggu area will treat your taste bud with authentic Cuban food.

Cubana Restaurant & Bar offers an authentic Cuban dining experience with neatly done décor and food flavours that will make you fall in love instantly with Cuba. Bringing the smell of Cuban cigar to the island, this Aston Canggu Beach Resort’s outlet offers an excellent spot to enjoy your Cuban delicacies and drink while resting yourself after a long day at the Batu Bolong Beach.

Thatched roof, colourful interiors and the inputs of tropical vibes makes the ambience of the restaurant catchy and comforting. Along with a variety of enjoyable food selections like soups, meat, salads, sandwiches, and deserts, the restaurant also offers an excellent outdoor ambience that will look sexy on your Instagram. Guests can make themselves comfortable either in the air-conditioned seating indoors or relax in the comfortable outdoor courtyard. For active smokers, Cigars are on offer as well.

The menu highlights the authentic Cuban dishes on offer, and each of the items has its original easy-to-order Cuban name with the description for the food is available in the menu. With a wide range of Cuban Ensalads, Sandwhiches, Carne, and De sopas, the menu also includes a wide range of Cuban food along with empanadas, nachos, soft tacos, burritos, and mix of soft shell tacos.

Meat lovers can try the Mojo Lechon Asado, a dish comprising of tender pork nicely seasoned in Cuban flavours and served along with black beans and yellow rice. Seafood lovers may want to taste the Seafood Paella Risotto El Cubano, a Cuban mixed seafood dish cooked in the style of Italian risotto. Worry not for Pasta lovers as they can have the Spaghetti with Meatballs ala Cubano, a classic Italian dish prepared in Cuban style with the flavours from the country on offer. Cubana Restaurant & Bar also offers an excellent Ham and Cheese sandwich. The ham and roasted pork are nicely layered with Swiss cheese. The El Cubano is grilled to perfection and offered with side dishes such as Cuban homemade pickles. To end your Cuban culinary journey, a nice mix of Cuban deserts are offering Torrejas and Churros. The Torrejas is the Cuban style French toast served with Pina colada and has spiced pineapple in it. A range of cocktails that includes Margaritas and Mojitos can also be your grand finale selection to finish your meal.

It is the uniqueness of Cuban experience that stands out for the restaurant. Therefore, if you are looking for authentic Cuban cuisines, then look no further and step into Cubana Restaurant & Bar at Aston Canggu Beach Resort of Bali.

 

Phnom Penh – Pear of the Asia

Phnom Penh didn’t start life as a main defrayal until behind the Angkor time in which Angkor Wat plus the nearby cities grown to fame. King Ponhea Yat in the mid of 15th century escaped a Siamese attack in Angkor and established in a piece of what is nowadays Phnom Penh, ascertaining a palace.

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