Welcome to Bali – a travel guide for spirit, body and mind

Posted by Christina Zipperlen on

It’s been a few weeks now since the quietness of our home island Bali has been replaced by a familiar, yet unfamiliar sense of busyness, as tourists, cars and motorbikes came pouring back onto our beautiful island in early March.

A chapter of silence, diving into the unknown and – in many ways – despair over the past two years is now eventually coming to an end.

We are welcoming Bali lovers, friends, newbies and guests with arms wide open, open hearts and big, bright smiles. Our island home is buzzing, creating smiles and cracking hearts open. We feel blessed and excited at ones.

Bali is pure magic

Every one who has been here before knows that Bali leaves a forever mark on every one’s soul, gifting you experiences, lessons and insights you would have never imagined before. Some might even be life changing. Bali is enchanting, wild, mind blowing, deeply touching and rich in culture and experiences.

Over the past decade this island has become home to so many of us. We have experienced this island, especially in the past two years in deep collaboration with our local community in a variety of ways.

As a warm welcome back to Bali we want to share with you our favourite things to visit and do to nurture body, mind and soul:

1. Tirta Empul

Every journey begins best with a proper purification. Titra Empul has a long history of worship and ritual and is most known for Melukat, the Balinese water purification ceremony. Balinese frequent the holy waters on a regular base to wash away what is no longer needed and bless the Gods for prosperity, safe-keeping and health. Tirta Empul is one of the most sacred sites in Bali for ritual.

2. How to make a canang

Photo by Artem Beliaikin

The art of canangs – the Balinese offerings – everyone stumbles upon on the streets of Bali is one of pure devotion, love and ritual. 

“Whosoever offers to me with devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or water, that offering of love, of the pure heart I accept” – Bhagavad-Gita.

It’s a small plate made of palm leaves filled with colourful flowers, finely sliced pandan leaves, tiny snacks/ sweets, and burned incense. The colorful flowers are placed in different directions following a specific order. To learn how to craft a canang is best done with either a local family or at a workshop and gives a wonderful insight into the Balinese tradition of offerings and spirituality.

3. Visit a local market or even fruit market

A way into the heart often involves a detour through the belly. Bali's fruit markets are a colourful marvel within the landscape of the island. Feast on tropical fruits like pomelo, durian, rambutan, snakefruit, mangosteen, passion fruit, strawberries, mangoes and pineapples. Markets are surely a nourishing and delightful experience to the body and mind.

4. Walking the ridge

The Campuhan Ridge Walk is a paved walking path, that runs through the heart of Ubud, following a mountain crest. It’s an easy point-to-point trail that takes in a range of the island’s diverse landscapes. From junge to mountain views in the distance to terraced rice paddies, as well as temples and fields, all under the auspicious eye of big brother Mount Agung.

5. Visit Bali's most important temples
Dive deep into the spiritual underbelly of Mama Bali and pay some of the most important temples to Balinese Hinduism a visit.
Besakih Mother Temple is one of Bali’s most frequented places of worship and the islands largest temple divinely placed on the slopes of Mount Agung. Tirta Ganga, Pura Lempuyang, Pura Ulun Danu Batur and Pura Uluwatu are only a few more to mention that are worth a visit. Allow yourself to be immersed into the currents that drive this island and witness worship and ritual at any time of the day.
6. Sing your heart out at a Kirtan
A Kirtan is basically a spiritual singing circle that involves ancient call-and-response chants or songs with the use of spiritual intentions or mantra. Kirtans are spiritual practices that are “a practice for cutting through the idea of separation, for connecting to our hearts and connecting to the moment through sound.” (David Newman). Kirtan is the glue that bonds hearts together, it unites communities and brings us closer to understanding that inherently we are not alone. It opens our hearts to all that is. 
A wide variety of Kirtans can be found in Ubud in particular.
We hope you enjoy this little guide around our island. May you allow Bali to crack you open to all the wonders life has in store for you.

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