Friday, June 5, 2015

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Upmarket Retreat – Nusa Dua – in Bali : A Cultural and Scenic Treat

This continues from the previous two articles on our Bali trip. Please do read them before continuing at: A Cultural and Scenic Treat – Bali : Journey and Logistics and Tourist(y) Hub – Kuta – in Bali : A Cultural and Scenic Treat.



It took about an hour’s drive to reach Nusa Dua area which was completely a different locality than Kuta from face itself. Broad roads, posh villas, gated community and upmarket restaurants was what marked stark difference to the streets of Kuta. As we drove through the high rise hotels and villas we could feel what was in store for our next destination.

The Nusa Dua which means “two islands” is South Bali area named after the two peninsulas along its coast. The area was actually developed by a consortium of major hotel chains and posh villa owners who wanted to provide the rich tourists with a safe gated area to absorb the culture and beauty of the island from within a safety net of walled society and security guards. The beaches in this area are mostly occupied as private zones by various resorts, though there are few areas left for public consumption. The beaches though are sandy and clean and provide perfect ambience for quite relaxation. The entrance road is lined with rows of statues and everyone entering the zone has to pass through a security picket.

 
After about an hour and half from when we left Kuta, we were right there on the porch of Hotel Santika. This was definitely a much different hotel then our previous one. Huge lobby, bigger restaurant, more professionalism of the staff is something that was quite evident. We were taken to our room after the relevant formalities which was again decorated beautifully on request. We had some time to rest and freshen up before our next set of excursions began. 


The evening was going to be amidst animals – observing them, feeding them, handling them. As planned the driver was there in the lobby to take us to the Bali Zoo in a artfully painted car. It was indeed exciting to hold a python and a Borneo bear cat on our shoulders. We had chance to hold onto an owl on arms. Then feeding elephants was fun in itself along with the elephant show. This was followed by an animal show where various animals performed to the tunes of their handlers. We were also taken round the zoo which showcased interesting animals from across the world including our Royal Bengal Tigers. We were left to interact with deer and rabbits for some time after which we were made to settle in our tables for the dinner. But it wasn’t going to be a normal dinner. The meal was laid while a diligently choreographed sequence of fire dance was performed for the audience. The theme was again taken from the good old legend of good wins over evil. All this with the kind of jungle resting besides the stage (obviously in their pits) adding to the charm of set up. The performers happily obliged us with photographs post the performance. We returned to hotel late in night and called it a day.





Next was going to be an exciting day as it offered a lot more fun. The morning started with a light breakfast and we then went to the Nusa Dua beach. This was much cleaner beach and offered something we were looking forward to – water sports. We took aim at the banana boat rides, jet skis and para sailing. The adrenaline rush of these was more than enough to take our satisfaction from the trip to new highs. The trained professionals enthused enough confidence in us to take these rides and we really did not restrict ourselves. After some quite moments at the beach lying on sands, we returned to our hotel to get ready for our next plan. In the evening we had booked a sunset dinner on a cruise liner in the sea. We were onboard the ship by 5:30 and sailed into the ocean water. It was indeed a romantic set up far away from commotion of land, surrounded by water till far horizons. Viewing the sun set from this location was indeed a different experience. We also witnessed a cabaret performance by local dancers onboard and were then served meals and drinks. The voyage ended as the night fell above us and we ended the day which was full of adventure, excitement and solace.




Next day was at leisure and we had a late start. We had kept it for ourselves to spend time in various markets to pick souvenirs for friends and family. We spent a large part of the day at the Discovery Mall which was one of the biggest malls on the island. We spent quite a bit shopping through the day. We also visited a few other malls and street shops to absorb more of the city. We then spent the evening by the Semiyak beach before returning back to the hotel. Now, the only thing that was left out of long list of must do’s in Bali that we figured during preparatory research was a good Balinese Spa treatment. So when it is something to be done, why leave it if you can especially when the day long exertion has tired you out. We looked around for a good spa and enjoyed an hour long treatment. It was definitely a relaxing experience and the tiredness did wane away to a lot extent.





Next morning came with clouds of sadness of culmination of this great trip. It was a lazy morning which was followed up by more relaxation by the pool. A little after lunch, Anga picked us for transfer to the airport with which begun our return journey. We spent a couple of hours at the airport. To emphasize function over form, The Bali Airport in Denpasar (the Capital zone) is nothing fancy to say the least. This is not a big airport but provided all the functionalities. There are a few shops offering souvenirs and other branded goods available at most international airports. There is a modest immigration set up to support the departure formalities. And yes, most airlines (atleast the Thai) did charge the 200,000 IDR per head departure fees during the ticketing and hence we were left with extra 400,000 for shopping at the airport. After picking some more items at memories, we boarded the first leg of our flight. During our layover at Bangkok we picked all the stuff we settled on during the forward journey and boarded the final leg of our trip – flight to New Delhi.








Did you like the pictures or was there too much text? Little on knowledge or lacks the personal touch? Tempts you to visit the place or took it off your dream list? Whatever it is that you are feeling right now, do not forget to give put down in comments as your feedback and views – for or against :-)

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