Bali’s Fantasy Land

Finding an exclusive time to spend with our kids is not easy, but it is definitely rewarding. The fact that parents are so busy with their daily activities makes it difficult for them to know what their little ones really want during the weekend. Children are always curious about anything. Their minds are set for any challenge and adventure ahead. For that reason, as parents, we have an obligation to free our kids’ wild sense of imagination. So, the next question is, “Where should I take my kids in this weekend?”

Ideas pile up, but all kids’ centres in the southern part of the island have been checked from your list. If you are running out of an idea, why not take a momentarily break from the typical island attraction and head north to experience a fun day at Krisna Funtastic Land.

Located on Bali’s northern coast, near the famous Lovina Beach, this park is designed to entertain the visitors into the fascinating world of modern science and technology. To arrive there, you need to drive 4 hours from Denpasar. Start your daytrip in the morning is not necessary because they open daily from 4 – 10 PM. However, in case you arrive early, you can spend time visiting souvenir shop after the entrance gate or take your late lunch at the restaurants inside the complex on your way to the park.

As the newest addition to the island’s growing recreation facilities, this fantasy land consists of 16 enthralling rides to excite your child to the core. With varying levels of excitement for each ride, children of all age can enjoy it equally. From Viking boat to bumper cars, to the Dragon Coaster or the Flying Cakra, all rides are exciting and provide the same level of adrenaline rush. Please note that height limits are advisable for some rides. Star Tour is the popular one, where you can ride a vehicle on a floating rail while at the same time get a bird’s eye view of the entire park. At night-time, the lights instantly make the place to be livelier.


The entry fee to the park is IDR 10,000 for weekdays and IDR 15,000 during weekends or public holidays. You also need to purchase the tickets for the rides, ranging from IDR 10,000 to 22,000 (the fees are different on weekdays and weekends). Alternatively, you can purchase a one-time ticket to enjoy all the rides for IDR 85,000 (weekdays) or IDR 95,000 (weekends). Kids below 85 centimetres can enter all facilities for free as long as they are under the supervision of adults. Please be advised that no food or drinks are allowed inside the premises. There will be a security check at the entrance for this.

A few words of caution, parents should keep an eye on your kids at all times. The rides are dangerous while in motion and it is mandatory to keep a safe distance from them. Ensure that the seat belts are always fastened and locked in place before the rides start.

All the rides at Krisna Funtastic Land involve a lot of science and physics that you can explain a bit to your kids and give them a small understanding of the concept. Spending time doing such activities also strengthens the bond between parents and their little ones. At the end of the day, it is not all about having fun, but also making your child feel important. An extra benefit for parents is to help them destress from daily life with refreshing and energy-packed activities.

This article is also published at NOW! Bali Magazine

Bali’s Birthday Party Checklist

The most significant part of childhood is birthday parties. Whether it is ours or a friend’s, birthday parties hold the same level of importance. The excitement doubles when your kids celebrate their own birthday. Getting a year older is considered an achievement in the growing years opposed to some years later on! Birthday parties are thus the celebration of growing up, becoming more matured, intelligent and the important one in the playgroup. The parent’s excitement is no less than their kids. In the earlier days, birthday parties were all about fun and merry making. Nowadays, birthday parties have become a status quo and every couple does their best to ensure that their kid has a fabulous birthday where everyone not only has their share of fun, but in return give loads of appreciation on how well the part was organized.


The party begins with the planning stage. The budget should be decided foremost so that it can be distributed amongst all aspects of the party. It is always better to write down the guest list to be precise. The venue should be convenient for all the guests and the timings should be clearly mentioned in the invites.

If you are looking for a beachfront venue, The Pirates Bay offers a unique environment to throw kids’ parties. Build upon the friendliest white sand of Nusa Dua Beach, the place is creatively set up with wooden tree houses where your kiddos can freely climb up to the bamboo decks. Carrying “Pirate-for-a-day” concept, the kids will be directed to find the hidden treasure by solving clues, and completing challenges. The clues are presented in images or written in symbols, easy for juniors to understand. All the game properties will be provided by the venue, including Pirates Bandana, Pirates Treasure Pocket, Pirates Birthday Cap, Pirates Certificate, a guide who will assist during the Treasure Hunt Game, and even an authentic-looking pirate ship. This birthday activity will definitely leave a solid impression to your little ones.

While Pirates Bay is more about outdoor activity, you can go to Peek A Boo for indoor birthday party. With over 1,000 square metres, this venue features soft playhouse and pool with balls, creative corner, interactive toys, educational books, car rides, play kitchens and many more, definitely will make your kids’ Birthday extra special. Peek A Boo offer parents a stress-free and hassle-free party that is affordable for today’s busy parents. Please note private parties are available only from 6 PM onwards.



The next thing to get noticed in a birthday party is how well the place has been decorated. Depending on whether your kid is a boy or a girl, all the decoration, colour and ambience has to be arranged with that in mind. It can be an indoor party at home, a rented convention hall, a restaurant or an outdoor party in a garden, park or resort. In either case, make sure that a lot of birthday specific decorative are used. Lots of big, coloured balloons are quintessential. Use honeycomb balls, swirl decorations, streamers and garlands, bright lanterns, banners, tissue pompons, khoi bags and party poppers. Hand out funny cartoon blowouts or themed horned to the kids to blow incessantly and have fun.

When it comes to decorating your party space, Bali Kids Party is supremely talented and capable in designing and creating magical party spaces for all occasions. They hand-craft all the decorations themselves, making them anew for every party, creating a special, tailor-made environment which beautifully transforms a party space into a Magical Wonderland! Whether it’s an Indian theme, a Minion party, Mexican Paper Flowers or Pirate Party, the event is brought alive by the team’s clever ingenuity. Bali Kids Party can transform your home into a fairy palace, or a sky blue and ivory Frozen castle, pink and purple Tipi Village, or a horse-racing course. They use tasteful, sophisticated and beautiful colours, with an innate understanding of design and a sense of colour which perfectly matches both Western and Indonesian tastes.


Kids will love the idea of having a costume party. You can either give out a dress theme in the invites or hand them special party costumes when they come in. Wizard hats, colourful wigs, headbands, crowns/tiaras, feather boas, party sashes, ties, sunglasses, beards/moustaches, wings, eye masks are some of the accessories you can choose from. Let them keep it on throughout the party where they can enact characters. Fancy dress can never be boring for the kids. Keep lots of games lined up to keep the kids engaged and having fun. Arrange photo sessions for the kids to click photos with funny expressions and faces. Kids loved to be given attention.

Julia Costumes produce and rent wide selections costumes and accessories for kids’ parties. With more than 8,000 unit costumes in collection, they cover various themes from superheroes, fairy-tale, traditional, Halloween, animals, and characters. Some costume themes are available in tens, making it possible for large groups to wear the same theme. Since they produce most of the costumes, the exclusivity and quality of the fabric, colour and models are guaranteed.


Face Painting

Make your party magical and transform your birthday party guests into a pack of tigers, a group of fairy princesses, a cluster of space-faring astronauts, a pack of ferocious lions or a family of cheeky monkeys. Before you start face painting, make sure that the kids do not have any skin allergies or infections. You also need to make sure the face paints are presented on a clean towel and that you have a good supply of water for washing brushes and sponges between faces. Water based face paint is best applied directly onto clean, dry skin. Keep the hair away from the face with a hair band or clips. Always apply the base colour first, using a damp sponge. To achieve a deeper colour, allow the first coat to dry and then apply a second coat. You can have hours of fun sparking creativity and unleashing kids’ wildest dreams, knowing that when party time is over, a quick sweep with a wash cloth and some soap and Voilà, your little princes and princesses are back to normal, with no tears.

Almost all children love to have their faces painted, especially at parties where they can share their new identities with their friends in a heightened atmosphere. Bali Kids Party are very popular with their Face Painting services. They are always busy with guests to cater special events, such as kids’ birthday, Halloween or Full Moon Parties. They only use European, skin-safe face paint, to ensure that all children are unblemished after you wash away the artwork.

Resorts include Face Painting as one of their kids’ activities or on special events. In Anvaya Beach Resort, Face Painting is available on Mondays and Fridays at the Kids Club at 11AM, while Karma Kandara put Face Painting as part of the activities on Sunday Easter.


The star of a birthday party is the cake. All the guests should enjoy a decent slice of the cake. Cake shortage is a big no-no. The flavour has to be the favourite one of the birthday kid. The cakes can be in the shape of cartoon characters, swimming pools, jungles, castles, pirate ships, trains, butterflies and many more. The most popular flavours among kids are the simple ones like vanilla, strawberry, lemon or chocolate. The icing has to be creamy and sweet with lots of small decoration on the top of the cake, made of hard edible sugars which can be picked up and eaten separately. You can either order a huge single cake or go for the multi-tier cake, depending on your kid’s choice and the number of guests. Choose colourful, animated, musical candles or small fire crackers type candles on the cakes to make your kid feel special.

For Birthday Cakes selection, there are a few places to be highly considered. Delivering excellent cakes since 1994, Bali Bakery birthday cakes come with simple flavours of chocolate mud, vanilla or fruit cake. They may seem common, but they surely are yummy! Price starts at IDR 300,000. Still in the same location, The Harvest’s Chocolate Devils really stands out at kids’ birthday party. This most prominent cake among kiddos has a luscious garnish on top of creamy chocolate glaze, with a combination of chocolate cream and moist chocolate sponge. The cake prices are between IDR 180,000 – IDR 2,440,000, depending on the sizes.

Similar with Beecup, for a customized cake, Ixora have various flavours available, and they will run a test to make sure whether or not the flavours you choose will bland perfectly. Their standard for one-tiered cake is 4 layers, depending on number of servings or size, with the thickness of each layer is 3 cm. For requested cakes with higher layers, they will use Styrofoam to give the impression of higher layer. The price is subject to be discussed later on, depending on level of difficulty, time consumed and materials.

Birthday party is a very special occasion for a kid. Parents should make the most of their budget and throw a warm and fun-filled birthday bash. With lots of options easily available nowadays, there is absolutely no issue even if you have a tight budget. Plan well and execute it with a lot of enthusiasm. Children are forever thankful to their parents for all the birthday parties they remember from their childhood days, and these moments are always cherished by both the parents and the kids.

This article is also published at NOW! Bali Magazine

An Upbeat Experience at the Rooftop Bar of Above Eleven Bali

Located on the top floor of Movenpick Resort Spa Jimbaran, Bali, the Peruvian – Japanese Sky Bar of Above Eleven Bali is a trendy rooftop sky bar, restaurant and entertainment venue. Open daily from 4 PM to 1 AM, this newly hangout spot appeals to everyone with its distinctively delicious cuisine, stunning interiors and enthralling views from the rooftop ambience of Samasta Lifestyle Village. You might want to be there when the sky turns bright orange while enjoying some sips of delightful cocktails.

The design of the place is about the greenery theme, inspired by the urban parks and mimicking the New York’s Central Park. This basically works out as a park created in the sky and matches with the greenery theme. The matchless views over Jimbaran Bay supplement inventive cocktails and creative cuisine, making Above Eleven a great place to soak up the sunset with your near and dear ones.

Above Eleven offers an upbeat experience for everyone starting when you step into the venue. As you exit the elevator, the journey starts immediately through green pathways that lead you to the park in the sky. This dimly-lit-maze restaurant presents both indoor and outdoor seating for the guests. For a more beautiful experience, the restaurant allows you to experience the tunnel of greenery which is an extended part of this venue.

Gramercy Park is a happening part of this place with its own cocktail & spirits bar that resembles a trendy food-truck. Entice your taste buds with a wide selection of raw seafood dishes in a colourful presentation at the Raw Bar. The cuisine boasts of Nikkei cuisine which is a well-created fusion of Peruvian and Japanese food. Creative and well-presented dishes with robust flavours take your senses on a stimulating adventure.

Every night is a musical night here! Sway to live tunes of music, salsa night dancing and lively DJ’s on rotation every night with occasional entertainment lined up for the guests. Above Eleven Bali is currently the most happening and entertaining rooftop bar and restaurant on the island. Foodies should try the Tiradito Snapper dish which is Peruvian style sashimi with sprinkled red chilli, ponzu sauce, and truffle oil.

A Peaceful Family Treat at Royal Tulip Saranam Resort & Spa

Bali’s popular northern region is a home to some of the best luxury hotels on the island. This is particularly noteworthy for those with a penchant for only the best in accommodation, service quality and facilities during their stay. Unlike the typical southern attractions where beach resorts are a big hit and crowds are more, the northern portion provides accommodation which is not necessarily five-star resorts or international hotel chains but still lives up to the standard for a luxury living. The luxury accommodation here allows you to enjoy and experience the area, allowing peace of mind and pleasure from the hustle and bustle of crowded places. With lush green surroundings and harmonious setup, the luxurious Royal Tulip Saranam Resort and Spa offers a total serene and calm experience.

Located on the way to Bedugul, this 5-star hotel offers a village-like atmosphere combined with luxury accommodation. This essentially means that you can explore and enjoy the beauty associated with Bedugul while living in this 5-star sanctuary, surrounded by vast open spaces and rice fields. Royal Tulip Saranam Resort and Spa offers peace and tranquillity to its guests along with luxury living with the highest international standards of service and quality. Each of the rooms here is outfitted with plush furnishings and bedding for a sumptuous stay.

Unwind with wonderful views from the countryside while enjoying the privacy of large living rooms and bathrooms in your accommodation. Another notable feature is that all the rooms in this hotel are fully equipped with a wide range of amenities. The decoration of the room is extremely soothing thereby helping you relax during your stay here. It is also possible to choose villas with the kind of view that suits you. There are villas with the view of mountains, the large pool, or the lush rice paddies. Even the standard and deluxe rooms come with balconies with beautiful views that will make you feel rejuvenated.

This accommodation also has a big outdoor pool dedicated to families with kids, a perfect playground to relax while soaking under a cool weather. Along with the natural beauty, guests can pamper with the host of facilities inside the hotel and enjoy some delicious cuisine in the restaurants. Families can also take part in the family activities at this hotel, which includes both art and cooking classes. Along with that, there are some traditional Balinese activities like rice harvesting and offerings at water temple. Fitness conscious guests can work out at the fully equipped modern gym and outdoor running track in the valley of the hotel.

Royal Tulip Saranam Resort and Spa is also located within a close distance to a number of attractions, such as the Botanical Garden, Jatiluwih Rice Fields, Hot Springs and Ulun Danu Temple. For shopping fans, guests can visit the Bedugul Market, while Bali Treetop Adventure Park is in the neighbourhood to entertain the adventure enthusiasts. Nicely located in Bali’s Lake District, the Royal Tulip Saranam is a perfect vacation destination for families who are in desperate need a peace of mind in a peaceful environment.

The Architectural Marvels of Russia

A trip to Europe is the best thing that one can enjoy in their lifetime. With varied culture, architectural marvels, delicious food, natural wonders and much more on offer, there is nothing better than a well-planned trip to this continent. However, before you experience the architectural marvels, enjoyable food, or enjoy the culture and natural wonders, it is important to create your to-do list.

A European vacation can be overwhelming but with good planning (like setting up an itinerary, arranging proper transportation and having expectations in place), it would surely become one of the most memorable trips. Getting a tour package helps to set up a fixed plan in place, however, that is at the cost of flexibility. The usual recommendation is to plan your trip on your own to extract the maximum from your holidays. Make sure to get your documents in order so that you have the required permit to travel across Europe.

Don’t forget to establish a budget for your European trip as costs can go higher, or if not, set in order. Plan your itinerary and pick the destinations carefully. Make sure to arrange your trip to cut down on unnecessary travelling across Europe. Pick up the locations that are on your must-see list. Research cities and the sites that you want to explore, and book your transportation accordingly. Due to numerous types of accommodations and the associated costs, it is important to plan your stay as per your planned budget.

Accommodation and travel during peak seasons, like summer, will be costly. Therefore, make sure to plan and book early to get the best deals. Consider travel insurance from a proper insurance company. This helps avoid any unfortunate incidents related to flight cancellations, lost luggage, medical emergencies and similar situations during your holidays. Understand the local rules and laws of the places you plan to visit.

Okay. This time Russia is our destination. What’s there awaits? The imposing snow-capped mountains, golden coloured sandy beaches, deep lakes, numerous rivers, icy tundra and picturesque villages. Those are the perfect destination for holidays. The world’s largest country also boasts of culture, architecture, history, and some incredible works of art. With its large coastline and impressive cities with charisma and drama, there is a plenty on offer for travellers in this country.

Moscow, one of the main cities has an extensive history of fabulous art and culture. Many major historical places for tourism is located in this mega-metropolis. Red Square, for example, one of the largest and famous squares in the country is located here. This place has a hypnotic pull on visitors to the city. In the past, the Red square used to be a big marketplace with traders from all over the world descending here. Post the Revolution, Red square continued to remain as one of the most important locations in Moscow. All major roads in the city lead to this spacious place surrounded by attractions, such as Lenin’s Mausoleum, GUM Mall, St Basil’s Cathedral, The Armoury Chamber and Kremlin.

St. Basil’s Cathedral was constructed by Ivan “The Terrible” in the mid-16th century to honour his military conquest. This Cathedral looms majestically close to Kremlin and is one of the centrepieces of the Red Square. This building is witness to countless historical and political events in Russia’s history. The Cathedral has a 156-foot central nave surrounded by nine small separate chapels, four of which are raised such that their position displays the location between heaven and earth.

The Armoury Chamber in the Kremlin Museum showcases valuable gold, silverware, ceremonial arms and armours, as well as artefacts that peak into 12th to 17th century. Another major attraction is The Moscow Kremlin. This fortified complex near the Red Square serves as the official residence for the President of Russia. The complex is majestic and overlooks the Moskva River to the south. The Moscow Kremlin is one of the best-known Russian citadels with the Grand Kremlin Palace located inside it.

Lenin’s Mausoleum also famously known as Lenin’s Tomb is situated in the centre of Moscow near the Red Square. This granite structure monument is the resting place of the famous Soviet leader, Vladimir Lenin. His preserved body kept here is on public display since shortly after his death.

For shopping enthusiasts, the Red Square has the GUM and TSUM malls. These are the most over-the-top shopping destinations in Moscow with a wide variety of things on sale.

While you are in Russia, for sure you want to swing by at St. Petersburg’s. This city boasts of culture and heritage with palaces, museums, winding canals and broad avenues. St. Petersburg’s history is filled with numerous architectural and artistic treasures, making it one of the most visited cities in Russia. Often referred to as the Museum city and cultural capital of the country, this place has close to 100 museums showcasing the Russian history of literature, art, theatre and music.

One of the famous attractions, The Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, was constructed at the same location where Emperor Alexander II was assassinated. The summer and Winter Palaces located in this city were the official residences of the Russian Monarchs. These attractive buildings have a lot of history associated with them.

Another major tourist attraction is the Hermitage Museum that has an impressive collection of paintings. This museum of art and culture is the second largest in the world and is home to the largest collections of paintings in the world with six historic buildings containing these collections.

Well, that’s all folks! I’ll see you on the next trip!

Hong Kong’s Light Show

Two spectacular light shows over Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour — the new version of the internationally acclaimed nightly multi-media light show A Symphony of Light and the winter version of the Hong Kong Pulse Light Show — unveiled on 1st December 2017. The two world-class shows, best viewed from the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, will brighten up Hong Kong’s Christmas with dynamic lighting effects and the illusion of an icy atmosphere at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

The new version of A Symphony of Lights features dynamic rays of light sent out in rhythm from 40 buildings and locations on both sides of the Victoria Harbour. The new show incorporates a variety of exciting lighting effects such as coloured searchlights, lasers, and all-new beam lights sent out like a special fan-shaped lighting effect from the roof of the Central Government Offices and the Revenue Tower. Ten LED panels on a number of harbourside buildings are for the first time joining the multi-media show, displaying images and messages to encourage audience participation.

The show is complemented by music from Asia’s leading classical orchestra the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, providing visitors with a thrilling and unforgettable sound-and-light experience. The 10-minute show begins at 8pm every evening.

Immediately after A Symphony of Lights, the winter version of Hong Kong Pulse Light Show begins at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Spectators can view it from the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza. The 3D projection show begins with a snowstorm which covers the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in snow and ice and blows away the numbers on the Clock Tower, stopping time just before Christmas arrives.

An ingenious dragon then sets out to find the missing numbers which are scattered across Hong Kong landmarks. The dragon eventually finds them and restarts time to save Christmas. During the show, the piazza is decorated with snowing effect along with glowing LED balls and a giant crystal ball. The 8-minute performance runs from 1st to 28th December 2017.

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.


Zeno Indonesia

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