Articles

Take a Break at Coffee Shops

Coffee shop provides a space for friends to unite again after a long time, or for a new business deal to crack, or for the two hearts to meet and get to know each other better. So, travellers… business people… lovers… all come aboard for a cup of coffee!

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Glamping in Bali

Glamping is the newest way to disrupt your daily routine and shift your focus back to the things that matter. It is the way of celebrating a love of individualism, the nomadic life and being sustainable. After a short trip to the nature, you are expected to be more balanced and brimming with ideas due to the change in perspective!

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Bali’s International Culinary Journey

Over the years, Bali has evolved with each wave of visitors and is now truly a first-class dining destination, where the world’s most innovative and talented chefs can be found. You can choose to enjoy numerous International dishes with its authenticity and rustic charm right in place. The brunches are served in buffet-style with free-flowing healthy and fresh juices. The lunches and dinners are consisting of complex yet flavoursome dishes that will take you through a culinary journey altogether. Whether you are looking for a fine dining venue to celebrate a special evening as a couple, or looking to revel in a friendly place with friends and family, Bali gives you umpteen options to conclude your culinary journey with a sinful delight.

Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, or so they say. In a normal busy morning, it is easy to skip breakfast and put it in the next list of priorities. But, taking just a quick few bites can really make a difference to the rest of your day. In case you don’t have time to grab something before leaving the house, there are some breakfast spots you can put on a highly consideration.

In Ubud, Petani at Alaya Resort Ubud is dedicated their breakfast to help the local hardworking farming community who cultivate the land to provide a consistent food supply. The idea is to get organic ingredients directly from the local farmers. By doing so, they believe that everyone, including the rural landowners, gets the benefits from the tourism industry. As for the diners who enjoy the food, they will get a clear understanding of where the food is coming from while at the same time get an introduction of the best dishes that the island offers.

The signature breakfast at Petani includes Homemade Granolla, Egg Frittata, Melange Platter with tea, freshly fruit juices or gourmet coffee. Also available a Continental or American breakfast, and Silhouette breakfast accompanied with freshly squeezed juice, a seasonal fruit platter, tea and coffee. Petani has its own team of trained baristas to make sure every cup of coffee is perfectly brewed using the finest grade Arabica beans from the Indonesia archipelago. As for the juices, Petani only serves the range of tropical fruit that is locally available. To maintain its freshness, all items in a special pastry basket are baked every morning.

While Petani Restaurant is focusing breakfast to treat the local community, Sands Restaurant is having Sunday Brunch with the chef. Blessed with the best view of Indian Ocean, the restaurant is hiding inside the charming ambience of the Anvaya Beach Resort. The beachfront setting of Sands features the best angle of Kuta Beach with relaxing sound of morning waves, such a perfect spot for those who come to fulfil their taste buds and look for peace of mind.

Offering a new experience for a family weekend treat, the brunch concept is a combination of international buffet-style with a mix of a delightful local taste. Your kids can enjoy an interactive cooking experience under the guidance of highly skilled chefs. Let your loved ones explore their creativity by making pizza with the chefs. As the reward, or just to leave smile on your kids, they are entitled to bring home a Junior Chef Certificate.

30 minutes’ drive from Kuta, breakfast at Anarasa Restaurant features sushi and cheese bar, bakery corner with a selection of healthy juices. Established recently, this signature restaurant at Mövenpick Resort & Spa will boost your day with a scrumptious preference of Indonesian and international specialties, coming only from the best and freshest ingredients, cooked in the live cooking stations. For family treat, children under 16 get the chance to enjoy 50% off for this buffet breakfast.

In Nusa Dua, featuring compelling blends of French and local culinary traditions, Sofitel’s Kwee Zeen is announcing its new ‘De-Light’ menu for breakfast. The concept is simple, maximum pleasure with minimum calories. The philosophy of the menu is supplying primal, powerful, nourishing, healthy food with delightful taste according to Sofitel Quiberon principles. Offering a low-calorie gastronomic adventure, you can savour the exquisite gourmet cuisine without putting aside your healthy lifestyle. The nutritionally-balanced dishes featuring clean and fresh, seasonal ingredients, which makes the small touches of opulence more indulgent. Innovative culinary techniques and an unwavering commitment to refined tastes and textures have inspired low-calorie recipes that will enchant your palate and, at the same time, energize your soul to a healthy lifestyle.

Lunch

Please understand that working long hours without food is as the same as having no energy to function properly. Skipping this meal will only lead to the falls of work efficiency. Some say that lunch should be the heavier meal compared to dinner, and some say vice versa. Whatever you finally decide, you need a lunchbreak during work. Well… everyone does. It can be for the sake of the body or simply just for refreshing.

Offering jaw-dropping views of a tropical valley, Cascades Restaurant at Viceroy Ubud put a high standard for a luxury Ubud’s lunchbreak. The scenery over the Petanu River Valley is truly wondrous, making it as one of the world’s most beautiful restaurants. Carrying a vision to always keep up quality to the highest level, the restaurant has become one of the most essential fine dining establishment in Ubud. On the menu, the creative hands of its culinary team are highly dedicated in developing the uniqueness of the food. The menu has a modern European base with a bit of Asian twists involving influences from Japanese, Thai and Indonesia cuisine.

Driving to the east, Standing Stones treats you with a unique semi-alfresco dining experience of fresh home-style cooking in the middle of an ensemble of towering megalithic stones, viewing the exotic black sands of the eastern Bali’s coastline. Remains unseen inside The Royal Purnama Art Suites and Villas, you can savour the delights on the menu presented rich in taste and flavour at the restaurant’s infinity pool, focusing on Indonesian cuisine, as well as Asian and Continental, wrapped it up using Western cooking methods. As for the food ingredients, the restaurant keeps it fresh from their own backyard garden.

Down in the south, there has been a real explosion of top quality boutique restaurants, and all of them are in competition to be the best in the region. They offer a great range of cuisine in terms of region and sophistication, from Western to Eastern, fast food style, right through to contemporary Indonesian cuisine. Some of the restaurants feature unique locations with awe-inspiring views and artistic interiors.

Let’s start with the one that receive so many spotlights from the eyes of the world, including recognitions from the international foodies. Potato Head Beach Club is without a doubt remains to be one of the most happening hotspots in the busiest street of Seminyak. This place is a ‘must-do’ on any visitor’s itinerary. Famous for its ‘old teak wood window shutters’ trademark, the club is perfect for chilling and partying on its lawn beachfront. However, apart from the lively crowds that gather over the central lawn or around the main pool, you can go to Kaum on the first floor of the club to have a fancy lunch. Catering the authentic flavours of Indonesia, be amazed of the unusual local ingredients that will serve right before your eyes.

Slightly different but quite similar with Kaum that brings the taste of Indonesian to the table, Starfish Bloo at W Bali is presenting Slipper Lobster Rujak for lunch. It is the seas finest paired with the archipelago’s exotic Rujak seasoning, topped with tamarind, jicama, and pineapple for a tropical taste. Best to enjoy it by the beachfront on a bean bag or dreamy daybed, facing to the calmest waves on a coast of Seminyak Beach. Since the raining season has gone by now, you can embrace the gentle ocean breeze tinkling your face as your hand starts digging The Lobster Rujak for your palate.

Moving on from Indonesian delights, The Butchers Club Steakhouse offers high quality steaks prepared in a variety way. Steaks for lunch do sound yummy for your tummy, indeed! This is a casual restaurant with high quality taste. The entryway is marked by a butchery working on his steaks, seafood and charcuterie. The reason being, this area is multifunction as a full retail butcher’s shop that sells branded sausages, steaks, chickens, fish and homemade condiments. In the restaurant, the décor of the dining room is industrial-chic theme with repurposed items, steel tables and vintage chairs. As for the lunch menu, you can start up with Kale Caesar and go for BBQ chicken with side dish grill corn for the main.

Travelling around 30 minutes to Jimbaran, lunch at Sundara is reflecting Jimbaran’s heritage as a hundred-years-old fishing village. Meaning ‘beautiful’ in Sanskrit word, this restaurant is one of the most exclusive dining destinations in the area with the panoramic view of the exotic curve of Jimbaran Bay coastline. This area is very famous for its nightly ritual of fresh seafood dinners with coconut husk BBQs along the beach. If you are here for lunch, you may want to order Grilled King Prawns completed with Balinese spice, papaya salad, peanuts and nuac cham dressing.

Another alternative to go for lunch is Tamarind Restaurant in ITDC Nusa Dua. With all encompassing perspectives of the Lombok Straits and the Indian Ocean, this signature restaurant of Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa permits you to appreciate a world class stretch of white sandy shoreline in a rich setting outlined in impeccable concordance with nature. It additionally offers a delightful mix of culinary joys and wellbeing cognizance to guarantee the prosperity of their guests. The place has a provincial vibe and you will get an impression that you are about to eat in a tent-like shelter, to some degree exceptionally ‘back-to-nature-ish’. Go to sit upstairs to enjoy the ocean view while having lunch. Going through the menu, there is something for everyone, from light crisp and heavenly plates of mixed greens to new grilled fish and delectable side dishes. You can try Lamb Souvlaky Brochette, consists of Greek marinated lamb loin, tomatoes, onion, tzatziki sauce, served with mixed salad and French fries. Or go for something solid like 250g Australian Beef Tenderloin. Either way, both dishes are a pure bliss that one can’t resist!

Dinner

Dinnertime provides a rare opportunity for one to gather with family and light talks about the day. It builds a strong family bond that the young ones can lean on for the rest of their lives. Therefore, whether you take your family out for dinner in a modern, super expensive restaurant, in a humble eatery at the side of the road, or in a recommended restaurant consisting of complex yet flavoursome dishes that will take you through a culinary journey altogether, what’s important is the people sitting next or around you. However, the dishes served on the table before you are where the magic and mystery lies. It is what triggers a long, good quality table talk.

If you are fancy for steak or any kind of meat for dinner, the list is endless. However, if you are around Jimbaran or Pecatu, you can swing by at Banyan Tree Resort in Ungasan. Its fine-dine restaurant, Ju-Ma-Na, offers the best angle of Indian Ocean and the possibility to forget all the stress of the day. Nestled on the cliff, you will get the sensation of dining on the giant ark while floating over the ocean. The evening is indeed the best time to dine, when the lighting in the restaurant blends together with the lights from the boats below the oceanwide. Truly magical! Either you finally decide to sit inside or outside the restaurant, you will have the perfect angle of the ocean. And while embracing the moment, you may want to have a plate of Grilled Kobe Beef. This signature dish of Ju-Ma-Na offers the finest beef quality in the market, Kobe Beef. It comes from Wagyu cows that have been massaged with sake-fed grain fodder and given one beer a day. This makes the beef tender, tangy and wonderfully marbled. It is served with pumpkin ginger puree, spring vegetables, potato croquette and winter truffle jus.

Travel down from Ungasan to Jimbaran, Ayana’s newest restaurant Dava Steak & Seafood Restaurant brings Bali’s seafood grill and steak house experience to a new chapter of satisfaction. Taking full advantage by overlooking Jimbaran’s sunset coast, you are bound to sit and relax while the culinary team work their magic in the kitchen. Waiting for the main served on the table, you can try Yellow Fin Tuna Tartar. Very fresh from the Indian Ocean by Jimbaran’s famous fishermen, this dish is accompanied by local avocado, crispy shallots and a soy citrus dressing. The Grill Menu section features satisfying culinary works of art such as the grain-fed, 200-day aged Stockyard Gold Striploin, a perfectly marbled Stockyard Silver Label Wagyu Tenderloin, Australian Lamb Chops, and Canadian Lobster. Each dish may be complemented by an extensive selection of side dishes including Truffle Mash Potato, Double Baked Cheese Potato, Creamy Spinach with Parmesan and Tempura Onion Rings.

Still in Jimbaran, Balique is to be considered as a cosy and homey restaurant for tourists. The interior mix of French and African style blends perfectly with the location of the restaurant among the outstanding world-class resorts and villas. Looking humble under its whirring fan-open style roof with high-ceilinged open space, you can feast your eyes to the antiques and artefacts sourced from around the Indonesian archipelago. As for the dinner menu, you can ask for Rijstafel to get the local taste.

And if you happen to be in around Legian, you can have this Rijstafel menu in Poppies Restaurant. In case you are not familiar with this type of food, it is a truly magnificent feast that comes in small tasty portions of Indonesian delights from all around the archipelago. Historical-wise, this was the colonial Dutch way to sample the best food of Indonesia. In Poppies Restaurant, this dish comes with a selection of satay, including Sate Lilit, more than enough soup options you can think of, and, of course, with some spicy elements in it.

In Seminyak, precisely on Jalan Raya Petitenget, Jemme Restaurant has prepared special meats for Wednesdays and Sundays. The Roast Beef is served with Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, creamy cauliflower cheese, green peas and baby carrots, sautéed green beans and roast almond, roast beetroot and cabbage, crunchy creamy leeks with bacon and horseradish sauce. If you are a fan of pork, you can try the Roast Pork, consists of crackling, roast potatoes, creamy cauliflower cheese, green peas and baby carrots, sautéed green beans and roast almond, roast beetroot and cabbage, crunchy creamy leeks with bacon and apple sauce. This delectable Wednesday & Sunday Roasts have a reputation on the island, and therefore an advanced booking is advised on these days.

Not far from Jemme, Frestro offers the premium international cuisine, crafted with passion, presented in high-quality style with the island’s spirit. While Jemme serves roast beef or pork, this artisan gourmet cuisine restaurant has Roasted free range half chicken that comes with Mizuna, confit vegetables and rosemary juice. Opening until late hour, you can have a great time with good food and drinks.

A bit of walking effort to Jalan Batu Beliq will take you to Hog Wild with Chef Bruno. The inconsistency in using the brand name doesn’t change the fact that it is still dubbed as the best ribs in Bali. Legendary with its rack of barbecued pork spare ribs, or known as ‘Wicked Ribs’, this is a street-style smoky barbecue eatery. So, wipe away the image of a typical chic and stylish Seminyak restaurant. Chef Bruno is a magician when he is working on a slab of ribs. The succulent rib meat smoothly falls off right to the bone, covered in an additively sticky BBQ sauce with enough amount of burning on the outside to give the ribs a delightful smoky flavour.

If you want to have all kind of meet in one plate, you can consider Romeos Bar & Grillery for dinner. Situated in one of Legian’s hippest boutique hotels, this restaurant offers a-top-quality-gastronomic-cuisine experience with dynamic street-front views. Adding more culinary value to the tourists in Legian, this is one of the hotspots to meet up or unwind while enjoying a plate full of meat. A combination of Ribs eye, Pork Ribs, Sausage, Chicken Wings and Lamb Chop comes in a single plate with tasty sauces and side dishes. As their philosophy, Romeos serves with hearty fare and never lets anyone leave hungry! They are, indeed!

Enough with the meat! Now, seafood lovers can have a serious dinner treat in The Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa. Among many restaurants inside the property, Sanje Beach Front Restaurant stands out as the best one for a fancy dinner. Featuring ocean views in the glamorous spot of Seminyak Beach, you can go for an elegant sunset by the pool before dinnertime. Lay cosy on the lounge chairs and get yourself excited to watch live performance DJ tries to build up a cool vibe to the place. Serving grilled seafood, fresh from the great Indian Ocean to your table, and a large selection of light Mediterranean Cuisine, as well as a multiple course meal, Sanje will please any appetite and make one breezy afternoon notable.

Still around Seminyak, Alila Seminyak’s restaurant offers bistro-style setting of communal tables fronted by ocean views. The dinner setting takes place in the open kitchen, featuring an Asian Noodle Bar and a Grill & Rotisserie, presenting adventures into authentic and favourite flavours to anyone. The Chef’s Table introduces a new 5-course culinary journey through a unique Western gastronomic experience deliciously paired with a selection of creative cocktails. You can expect the freshest seasonal ingredients and local produce combined with perfectly complementing cocktails to create a distinctive and memorable experience.

Going the same line with Alila Seminyak that introduces its new culinary journey, The Restaurant at The Legian Bali is proudly presented the ‘Discovery Menu’. This dinner menu is a collection of the Executive Chef, Luke Macleod’s signature dishes, pared down to its quintessential elements in the pursuit of balancing simplicity and complexity using the fresh and local ingredients. You are about to be pampered with a six-course degustation menu accompanied by Wine Spectator’s award winning list. The dining place is spacious, opens out onto a poolside terrace and facing to the shimmering Indian Ocean.

Now, moving on to Sanur. This area has long been known for its beautiful sunrise, white sandy beach and iconic rock jetty along the shore. But not many know that the beachfront is also sparked with some of the most exquisite dining options in Bali. Nestled conveniently at Segara Village beachfront, Byrdhouse Beach Club is the first beach club in Sanur, providing diversified selection of international cuisine and vivid cocktails. With a semi-al fresco dining venue, the beach club orchestrates three different kitchens with distinguished dining area and menu specialties

In Ubud, Kubu brings you a fine Mediterranean-European cuisine in a tropical breeze and intimate space of private cocoons overlooking the Ayung river. One of Kubu’s highlight is their Tuna Crudo served with burrata pugliese, smoked lettuce and tomato essence. The Executive Chef, Maurizio Bombini, created this excellent dish to remind him of his hometown Apulia, in Italy. The main ingredients are the Yellow Fin tuna & Burrata cheese – one of Italy’s greatest cheeses but made in Bali by an Italian cheese maker, which remains as his preferred fresh cheese up to this day. This dish is also known as Italian Sashimi. The tuna is served raw, or ‘crudo’ in Italian, and it is seasoned with some orange essence. The burrata is served just as is, giving a slight acidity to the tuna. The sweet taste comes from the onion confit and tomato, and a slight bitter touch from the smoked lettuce. Tuna Crudo is best to serve as a fresh dish, light and easy. It is a perfect selection for the hot/humid weather of Bali, while at the same time keeping the Mediterranean flavour as the main concept of the dish.

Uganda – The Pearl of Africa

Uganda is a landlocked country with a diverse landscape that encompasses the immense Lake Victoria and spreads all the way to Mt. Ruwenzori.  It is one of the few countries in Africa and by extension in the world with a wide range of wildlife to admire, most of which are rare species. But what really is it that makes the Pearl of Africa eccentric?

If Uganda is your destination, be ready to experience real adventure. Starting with the cool environment itself, going to the wildlife and other natural features, and flowering it all with Uganda’s cuisine. Many people have always wished they had planned to stay longer, while others planning for revisits. Some of the highlights of the country include the endangered tree-climbing lions and mountain gorillas. Other activities to enjoy are rafting on Lake Victoria, the source of the great Nile River, adventure in the mystical villages that are hidden in the mist and volcanoes among others. The question is, “what are the best places to visit in Uganda?”

Top Places to Visit near Kampala/Entebbe

Being the capital city of Uganda, it is most likely that your first landing in Uganda will be in Kampala if not Entebbe. Kampala has very interesting neighborhoods which include the Mabamba Swamp that is well decked with shoebill storks among other water birds. There is also the wildlife-rich Mabira Rainforest, Lake Mburo as well as Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and the Ssezibwa Falls, just to mention but a few. You will surely not lack something to admire adventure, do or experience in Kampala and its surroundings.

The Tree Climbing Lions & Chimpanzees

On the western side of Uganda lies Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda’s most visited game reserved. The intricate wildlife found in the game is a reason for its popularity with the tree climbing lions attracting the highest number of visitors. These are lions that are very rare in other countries but quite many in this park. Meanwhile, Chimpanzees are other rare species in the world and for those who want to have an experience with them; Kibale National park is the place to go.

Gorillas in the Mist

It seems that Uganda is a home to primates as can be seen from how abundant endangered primate species are all over the country. Other than the chimpanzees, endangered mountain gorillas can be seen in the country. With a rough estimate of about 700 mountain gorillas remaining in the world, they can only be found in Uganda, DR Congo, and Rwanda. A visit to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park or the more popular Bwindi Impenetrable National Park will give you an ecstatic experience with the mountain gorillas. Almost half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas are found in Bwindi.

Rafting

Jinja is a town anyone would consider the “armpits” of Uganda due to its vast industries and other economic activities that have made this side of the Pearl of Africa to be a buzz. It is also well-known for the river Nile. The town is the source of the Nile River as this is where Lake Victoria lets its water out into the Nile. If you want to enjoy the best and first-class rafting, then you can’t fail to go to Jinja. With the Nile being verified here as one of the top 5 rivers, you will be offered with the best water rafting experiences indeed.

The Switzerland of Africa

Journey southwest from Kampala to a little town called Kisoro to experience some beautiful landscapes which include lakes, cultivated terraces, bamboo forests, a tropical rainforest, hills, and mountains. The most important thing you need when touring Uganda is an open mind as the country has very bad roads. You should, therefore, expect to be taken through shortcuts.

Ugandan Cuisine

There can never be a fan without food. As someone said that there is no love sincerity that supersedes the love for food, Uganda is an eating country. I say that Uganda is an eating country because of how readily available food is. In comparison with most countries where snacks are hawked in public transport vehicles, in Uganda, “five-course” meals are served.

The cuisine consists of modern as well as traditional dishes and cooking styles as well as practices. The cuisine features Asian, Arab and English influences thus variant in complexities ranging from the very basic roasted banana all the way to starchy filler in a sauce of meat or legumes. Since Uganda is a multi-tribe country, you expect a wide range of staples throughout the country with the main dish being the banana stew locally known as Matoke. Others are yams, arrow roots, vegetables, potatoes, tropical fruits, chicken and fresh fish.

An interesting unique dish commonly found in the Northern Uganda is vegetable stew in sesame or peanut sauce. This is taken with Kuon (Ugali-in Swahili), which is a carefully prepared bread-like food from maize, millet, sorghum or/and cassava flour. In Uganda, there are 101 ways of cooking bananas so come prepared to taste something unique you had never imagined you would ever taste.

Conclusion

There is a reason why Uganda was called the Pearl of Africa during its independence. The country is rich in resources and culture. In fact, the entire Africa has been condensed in this tiny east African country. It is very unlikely that there is something in Africa which misses in Uganda. This should be your next destination.

Best Dubai Vacation

“People don’t take Trips. Trips take People”. That is exactly what this desert city does to you. If you can think of a desert which has transformed itself marvellously and effortlessly into a place the world could never have dreamt of, it has to be Dubai. At first, Dubai appears like a vast expanse of desert broken only by huge hills. A second later you scramble to readjust your vision, as a glass and steel metropolis unfolds itself like a shimmering mirage in the Arabian Desert. For most of us the UAE is synonymous to Dubai, the sci-fi-esque city of iconic skyscrapers, palm-shaped islands, city-sized malls, indoor ski slopes and palatial beach resorts. An ideal place to vacation with your family as it provides all types of entertainment you are seeking.  The city remains architecturally and geographically unparalleled. Modernity and antiquity collide into this vibrant city. This is the best Dubai vacation.

If you are planning to spend a few days in Dubai be ready to visit a lot of places. Get your itinerary straight so that you can have a planned and hassle-free sight-seeing experience. The first day in Dubai, make sure to go for the Desert Safari. It will be the best part of this trip as it includes the best of Dubai. From dune bashing in the deserts to camel rides, trying out Arabian clothes, sipping on Arabic coffee, devouring Arabic dates, enjoying the famous Shisha (flavoured hookah), the night ends with a lip-smacking buffet dinner, a mind-blowing Jambura dance and a scintillating belly dance performance.

The next morning you can visit the Dubai’s landmark building, Burj Khalifa, which is at 829.8 meters and the tallest building in the world. For most visitors, a trip to the observation deck on the 124th floor here is a must-do while in the city. The views across the city skyline from this bird’s-eye perspective are just overwhelming. The 360-degree views out across the skyscrapers to the desert on one side and the ocean on the other. You could go either at sunrise or sunset to witness the various avatars of Dubai city while in light or in darkness with lights glittering the city all over. You should also visit the Burj Al-Arab, the world’s tallest hotel, standing 321 meters high on its own artificial island on the Dubai coastline. For those without unlimited credit, you can opt for dinner at the underwater Al-Mahara restaurant, which allows you to view sea life while you eat delicious Californian food.

For the remaining vacation days, it is best recommended to enrol into a hop on hop off bus tour like City Sightseeing, Big Bus and many local bus services. This way you get to see a lot of places without paying for cabs. Start your day by visiting the famous Jumeirah Mosque which is the most beautiful mosques in Dubai and a fine example of Islamic architecture. This stone structure is built in the medieval Fatimid tradition. A program consists of tours, lectures, Arabic classes, and cultural meals to extend better understanding of Muslim faith.

Plan a day to visit places like The Dubai Mall which is the city’s premier mall and provides entry to the Burj Khalifa as well as the Dubai Aquarium. The Dubai Aquarium houses 140 species of sea life in the huge suspended tank on the ground floor of the Dubai Mall. You can walk through the aquarium tunnels.at the Underwater Zoo. Different activities help you get a closer look at the sea life. Glass bottom boat tours are particularly popular. Cage snorkelling and shark diving activities are also on offer. There is also an ice-skating rink, gaming zone and cinema complex. But the main attraction here is The Dancing Dubai Fountain Show. It is a synchronized water movement that is brilliantly choreographed to a wonderful musical soundtrack and goes 500 feet above.

For history fanatics, the Dubai Fort is a must-watch. The fort’s walls are built out of traditional coral-blocks and held together with lime and the courtyard is home to several traditional boats and a palm-leaf house with an Emirati wind-tower.

Walk down the narrow lanes of Bastakia (Old Dubai), highly reminiscent of a bygone, and much slower, age in Dubai’s history. Bastakia occupies the eastern portion of Bur Dubai along the creek, and the coral and limestone buildings here, many with walls topped with wind-towers, have been excellently preserved. The Dubai’s architectural, cultural, and maritime heritage is showcased at the Heritage and Diving Village, with displays related to pearl diving and dhow building, two of old Dubai’s historic economic mainstays. Dubai Creek separates the city into two towns with Deira to the north and Bur Dubai to the south. Boat tours and ship cruises on the creek gives a spectacular waterline view of Dubai.

For the shopaholics, the Deira lies on the northern bank of Dubai Creek. Deira is most famous for its traditional souks (markets), which bustle with shoppers at all times of the day. Deira Gold Souk is world-renowned as the largest gold bazaar in the world. The Deira Spice Souk sells every imaginable spice like paprika, saffron, sumac, thyme and much more.

Take your family to the awesome Dubai beaches and amusement parks. Jumeirah Beach is a strip of sandy white bliss and the number one beach destination for Dubai visitors. Hotels are strung out all along its length, with this being one of the most popular places to stay for tourists. The beach has excellent facilities, with plenty of sun loungers, restaurants, and water-sport operators offering jet skiing. South of Jumeirah beach is the Kite beach. It is renowned as Dubai’s premier destination for kite surfers and is home to an array of water sports operators.

While IMG World of adventure is about Marvel cartoon characters and rides, Wild Wadi and Aquaventure waterpark at the Palm Atlantis is all about adrenaline-rushing water rides. Bollywood Parks brings the world of India’s famous movie industry alive on its rides, and Legoland Dubai provides younger visitors with a fun-packed day out on its interactive rides. So, you have a whole lot of places to give your kids the best time of their lives.

For staying in Dubai, hotel prices start from 350 AED with a breakfast menu. The tickets to waterparks, amusement parks tickets cost 300 AED approx. Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab tickets start from around 130 to 500 AED. You will find very good restaurants in Dubai but the rates are on the higher side. So, it is best advised to plan a detailed itinerary according to your budget and stick to it.

Dubai is one of the most popular destinations in the world for holidays and tours and there are millions of travellers visiting the city every year. Shopping festivals, culinary delights, loads of adventure and much more is all entitled on your Dubai vacation. Whether you are visiting with family or friends, a vacation in Dubai will make you want to travel here again. Plan your next trip to this destination and revel in the marvellous man-made wonderstruck city Dubai.

Learning Balinese Dance at Tender Age

Dance is the most beautiful form of expressing yourself. It brings out the best in you and sets you free. It is an art well-practiced and appreciated around the globe. Balinese dance is one such enticing dance form. Popular all over the world for its elegance and colourful nature, this dance form is very unique, dynamic and highly stylized. A dancer must be able to move every part of their body, from head to toe, and for that reason, Balinese dance is easy to pick up at a tender age.

Apart from its uniqueness, Balinese dance is also closely connected to religious rituals. Dances are often performed at ceremonies, typically as part of dramas, and most involve the Balinese version of the Hindu Ramayana epic. Traditional Balinese dance forms are passed on to boys and girls at a very young age, and training is often rigorous and disciplined. So, it is advisable to impart Balinese dancing coaching at a young age so that kids learn this art form with finesse and grow deeply connected with it.

There are places in Bali to get your kids enrolled for Balinese dance class. In an introduction session, normally the experienced teachers gently guide the kids to take their first Balinese dance steps. The integration of body movements, hand and facial gestures is what makes this dance so appealing to watch. The teachers also explain the meanings behind the individual postures and gestures that comprise the basics of the dance. It is a wonderful way to expand the kid’s knowledge of the Bali-Hindu culture while at the same time enjoying and having fun.

Some resorts in Bali host dance demonstration classes for kids. In Jimbaran, Ayana Resort and Spa is conducted a class in the open air viewing the ocean wide. The kids are expected to get the basics lesson of Pendet Dance. It is originally a dance of worship which was exhibited at many temples. This dance symbolises the welcoming of the gods fall into the natural world. The dance is a lot about the varied facial expressions and symbolized the purity of the soul. Fresh flowers are handed to the kids while teaching, to invoke the true devotion of the almighty. Classes are conducted for an hour every day. The timings and fees varies according to the batch size.

Still in the same location, Balinese dance workshop is also available at Ganesha Cultural Centre of Four Seasons Jimbaran every Monday and Wednesday from 3PM to 4PM. Your little ones will get traditional dance lesson almost as soon as they can walk. At first, they can observe the impressive skills of children from Jimbaran village, and if they fancy trying it, they can join in. This class is free of charge for staying guests, and a small fee will apply for public. At Ganesha Cultural Centre, your kids will get the opportunity to personally meet and learn from Bali’s talented artists, who are hand-picked and invited to share their knowledge and skills. This programme represents the evolution of Ganesha Gallery as an independent fine art gallery. This art space has been refurbished to create an inspiring place for people and artists to connect and interact.

Not far from Jimbaran, Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa conducts Balinese dance classes every Friday from 10AM to 11AM at Lagoon Pool Bale where the highly-experienced staff teaches the kids patiently all the intricacies of Balinese dance forms, giving them a close look of Bali’s cultural and artistic tradition. The Barong dance is loved by kids where they are dressed up as dragons, monsters and other mythical creatures.

In Canggu, Hotel Tugu specialises in teaching kids the basics of Balinese dance before going into specific styles. The class is held every Sunday from 3PM to 4PM and costs IDR 100,000 per session. Local kids from the Canggu neighbourhood can join the class for free. The skilled students will have the chance to perform what they learn in the class on Bale Agung Garuda stage.

Most of the workshops will not ask the kids to bring or wear anything in particular. However, it is recommended to wear lose and comfortable clothes as the postures involve a lot of stretching and turning.  Costumes will be provided to get the real feel of Balinese dance but only after a few classes once they learn the basics. Sometimes the workshop starts with a little presentation of culture, heritage and tradition just to give an overview of the background of the dance forms.

The classes are pretty interactive, making them a fun and quick-learning process. Learning Balinese dance is a special takeaway, and the kids are bound to enjoy thoroughly. As someone rightly said, “There are shortcuts to happiness. Dancing is one of them.”

This article is also published at NOW! Bali Magazine
 

 

Romantic Cruise to Nusa Lembongan

Bali is without a doubt one of the best wedding destinations in the world. However, it is where and how to get there is the most crucial decision that will lead to either a memorable or disaster honeymoon ever. A romantic cruise honeymoon getaway to Bali’s neighboring islands can be an option. There are a number of companies in Bali offering honeymoon cruise packages leading to Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida and the Gillis Islands. As much as there is a lot to enjoy and appreciate in these islands, the main romance must always be accorded while you are on the sail.

romantic cruise to nusa lembonganIdeally, most of the cruise packages available start with a breakfast before set out for the waters. This is more so the case in luxury cruises. And of course, for the honeymooners, you can expect to go the luxury way. Inside these vessels is fine comfort and sophistication. All the amenities are luxurious, starting with the washrooms, all the way to the ambience of the catering tables. In a normal vessel, there should be some tables for different groups with the possibility of offering a provision for bigger group eating on a single table. Enjoy your romantic cruise with drinks and music that blends with the stunning sea views. And because it is your honeymoon, everything is tailor-made as your request. Special décor, custom prepared cakes, flower arrangements together with other delightful ways are provided for anyone to give their significant other a surprise of their lives. Remember that you really want to pour your heart to your loved one during this cruise. Be assured of getting the real surprise of your life.

Lembongan is a village that anyone would easily spend the whole day in, admiring and appreciating the on goings in an ideal island village. The village has so much in store for you to do and see, yet it is such a small island indeed. Doing a village tour is a must-as this, imprints in your mind the best sense of what an ideal village life looks like on tropical islands.

Catching with the peaceful and quiet early morning ceremonies of Nusa Lembongan ensures you start your day on a high note. And along the main street of the island are a number of shops with some of them selling fresh fruits and super strong coffee, which you can give it a try with your loved one as you head downwards to the seaweed farms. Seaweed farming can easily be concluded as the hardest job within the island as it is tide reliant.

So many things can be done or seen on this island. This includes diving, visiting the underground village house and sailing between the islands. You can also just enjoy the stunning beach views. If you opt for luxury packages, your day’s trip will include total access to private beach. For accommodation, staying at Hai Tide Beach Resort can be another journey to meet people to exchange stories of this beautiful island. In the evening, enjoy the best part by the poolside as you get ready to be in touch with a romantic diner in the hotel. A pool-side romantic dinner is a great option for the two of you and the experience is one worth spending some extra ducks on.

Don’t let dreams be dreams. And when it comes to expressing love, the sky is the limit. To have a luxury experience doesn’t always end up with high budget that will hurt your pocket. You can create your own luxury moment with your own style.

An important note to remember for safety and comfort purposes, when having such cruises, wear as limited jewelry as possible, wear tight tropical clothes, head wear, swimwear, and sunshade and apply sunscreen & UV protection. Also be in flip-flops or sandals for wet landing.

This article is also published at NOW! Bali Magazine