Ancient Indonesian legend has it that the Gods created the realm of the heavens-sky- for themselves, the earth for animals and the ocean for fishes. For men they chose an earthly paradise. Pulling a fish out of the bowels of the sea, they held it to the light, its tail forming a peninsula, gills- water of lakes and the backbone a string of mountains stretching across the length an the breadth of the island.
Thus created ~Bali- which also means offering was given to man. The island has won an unearthly reputation as `heaven’ and `Eden’ ever since.
Bali resonates with stunning natural beauty that permeates the very fabric of life and aesthetic on the island. Reflecting variously in the islander’s expression of beauty in art architecture, dance music and even the everyday rituals of life.
It has long captured the imaginations of travelers from all over the world. Overcome by the fecund landscape and all pervasive expression of beauty, Playwright and composer Noel Coward in his witty style complained to friend Charlie Chaplin in verse:
As I was saying this morning to Charlie,
There's far too much music in Bali.
And though as a place it is entrancing
There's also, I thought too much dancing.
It seems that each Balinese native
From the womb to tomb is creative.
And though the results are quite clever,
There's too much creative endeavor!
Private plunge pool facing the Indian Ocean in our villa
River facing plunge pool of a neighbouring villa.
The island's famous beauty has attracted hordes of settlers, designers, artists and people from all fabric of life further enriching the cultural tapestry . Moreover it attracts tourist by the droves from all over the globe.
The room *
Dining Area of the Villa
Posting a few images of charming stone villas we stayed in during a recent trip to the island haven.Built in the local Balinese style, the thatched Villas are open-sided pavilions, each with its own stunning view. The villas are furnished with traditional bamboo and colonial furniture.
Cheerful Indonesian fabrics and artifacts are an important part of the decor.
Despite their deceptively simple indigenous appearance the villas come kitted with all conceivable creature comforts, offering visitors an idealized experience in tropical living albeit in open pavilions and under thatched roofs. The outdoor stone and bamboo shower areas and quaint private plunge pools only complete the very pretty picture.
Outdoor seating in the open pavilion.
In the 1960s vacation houses first started being built on the island. In the late 1980’s the Amandari hotel opened near Ubud, setting a new standard for boutique hotels. By now the island is transformed. While the Balinese struggle to retain their traditional values, the island is increasingly colonized by tourism.
Staying in the pristine carefully beautified and structured environment of the island today it is hard not to ponder over the real impact tourism has had on the island.
As vehement critics of how tourism has invaded the local culture and ecology write Bali off as a paradise lost already, it will do well for us as tourists anywhere to be mindful of the footprints we leave in the process of visiting and enjoying new places.
Tips for green travel:
At your Hotel
- Reuse bed linen and towels etc
- Keep showers, short
- Use reusable dishes and cutlery only
- Pack wisely and reuse plastic bags if you’ve carried any
- Do not litter. Carry a small bag for your garbage.
- Find out about your hotel’s recycling program and dispose your waste accordingly. If the Hotel does not have a recycling program, consider carrying all recyclable waste such as empty plastic and glass bottles back home with you.
- Minimize use of Air-conditioning and other electrical amenities in your room.
* The room picture courtesy, https://baliwww.com