My Dragonfly Experience in Bali

Bali has long been on my travel destination list. In January of 2019 I finally made the journey. Bali is an island and province of Indonesia. The island of Bali is home to the majority of the Hindu population of Indonesia, with about 84% of the population being Hindu. Bali is a popular destination for travellers looking for tranquility, beaches and yoga. However, I think most people will be surprised by the hustle and bustle of the main city of Denpasar and the crazy busy atmosphere. Of course once you are off the beaten path you will find tranquility, beaches and yoga, but I loved the friendly people, the shopping and the beautiful moss covered temples.

I flew in to the main city of Denpasar, and was immediately hit by the hot, humid air when we stepped off the plane.

View over Bali Denpasar

View over Bali Denpasar

For the first half of my trip I was spending almost a week in Ubud. (I'll tell you about the second half of my trip in another post!) I had arranged pick up at the airport through my hotel, (I am past figuring out buses and public transport after a flight) and was whisked away to the wonderful town of Ubud. Located inland about 30 miles from the airport, Ubud is the cultural centre of Bali. Ubud is a shoppers paradise, so of course I loved it. I was on the hunt for scarves and sarongs, but all of the handicrafts, jewelry, and artwork are incredible.

As is my preference I stayed at a hotel outside of the busy town centre.

The Kayon Hotel

The Kayon statue

The Kayon is owned by Balinese and is very much a luxurious Balinese hotel with wonderful hospitality, a great jungle location and one of the most amazing spa massages I have ever experienced.

The paths are lined with flowers

The hotel paths are lined with flowers

Door way to spa

Door way to spa

Walkway to spa

Walkway to spa

The food was incredible, the staff called us by name every time we set foot in the restaurant, you felt special when you were there.

Breakfast view at the Kayon

This was our view from our breakfast table.

How many hotels have you stayed at where the general manager, the guest services manager and a few other staff see you to your car, thank you with a small gift for good luck and wave goodbye as you leave! Such an amazing place.

Lobby at The Kayon Ubud, Bali

The view from the restaurant looking back up to the hotel lobby.

But really what you want to know about is the scarves right? My first stop was the market in Ubud.

Market Wood Carving

Market Wood Carving

Market Scarves

Market Scarves

Market Sarongs

Market Sarongs

Carved Owls at the Market

Carved Owls at the Market

Market Flip Flops

Market Flip Flops

Market Carving

Market Carving

The market is jam packed with goods and in front every other booth is a burning offering to the gods for luck, giving the market an overwhelming smell of incense. That I did not like I am afraid, but the choice of goods was amazing! I had to pull myself away from the jewelry vendors to start my scarf search. I had lots of fun choosing the sarongs and negotiating with the lovely ladies at the market.

Burning Offering to the Gods

Burning Offering to the Gods

Bargaining is always a part of the market experience and something I am still working on improving. I want to be nice but I also don’t want to get taken advantage of either. A smile and eye contact goes a long way, as does keeping in mind that the vendors are making a living and a dollar or two makes more difference to their lives than to mine.

The favourite scarves I brought home from Bali are definitely the cotton Batik. I came upon the shop one day and fell in love with the beautiful, indigo blue scarves. Handmade locally in the traditional Balinese way. Hearing the store owner, Kadek talk about what it means to keep the traditions alive, what it means to the local economy and the villages. I love it when I find scarves with a story.

Fabulous Patterns on the Batik Scarves

Fabulous Patterns on the Batik Scarves

Ikat Batik Store Owner

Ikat Batik Store Owner

Batik Dress

Batik Dress

Batik Table Runner

Batik Table Runner at Ikat Batik

After shopping the village I was always a hot mess, Bali is hot and humid. My routine was to go back to the hotel for a lovely swim in the gorgeous pool overlooking the jungle. The pool was an infinity pool, complete with statues and little fountains. It was heavenly.

Infinity Pool at The Kayon

Enjoying the jungle view

One day I was languishing in the cool water and I pulled myself up to glance over the edge of the pool and down in to the jungle (I was always looking for monkeys), imagine my surprise when a huge cloud of dragonflies rose up and filled the air right there in front of me!! It was like a scene from a Julia Roberts movie. I took it as a sign that I was in the right place at the moment, that I was where I was meant to be, doing what I was meant to be doing. I can't wait to start planning the Wanderlust Scarves Travel adventure to Bali! Sign up for my newsletter to be sure to be in the loop for all my upcoming adventures.

Enjoy a few more photos from my Bali trip.

Hand Weaving Demo

Hand Weaving Demo

Pretty Carved Wall with Offerings

Burning offerings are a common site in Bali. This wall caught my eye.

Temple

Right on the main street of Ubud. Perfect photo op!

Temple in Ubud, Bali

Temple in Ubud, Bali

Temple in Ubud, Bali

This was right next door to Starbucks! How gorgeous is that!?

Tegalalang Rice Paddies

Tegalalang Rice Paddies. They took my breath away.

Summer Palace Meeting Room

Summer Palace Meeting Room

Summer Palace Ceiling

Summer Palace Ceiling

Mossy Wall at The Kayon

This was the wall in our hotel hallway! So pretty!

Main Street of Ubud

A gaggle of school girls on the main street of Ubud Bali

A Pretty Carving at The Kayon

Always a pretty view at the hotel

Hand Carved Ducks

A common sight in Ubud. This was in a shop along the Campuhan Walk.

Campuhan Walk

Campuhan Walk

Batik Demo

Batik Demo

Monkey in Monkey Forest Ubud, Bali

I was a little freaked out by all the monkeys in Monkey Forest!

2 Comments

  1. Eleanor

    It sounds amazing! I hope I can go there some day.

    Reply
    • Heidi McLaren

      I hope so too! Stay tuned for an upcoming Wanderlust Scarves Travel adventure to Bali.

      Reply

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