Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Join our Newsletter
Search Our Site and Blog~ Enter Destination, Activity, or anything you like.
Stay Connected


Featured Indonesia Blog on GO! Overseas


Vacation, Travel & Adventure Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Entries in hotel (5)


Bali Travel Essentials~ Singapore Visa Run

Here is another installment of our Bali Travel Essentials Series. This time we explore The Singapore Visa Run. Balifornian offers an exciting side trip to Singapore and our clients use this in a number of ways. We can help you arrange a layover on your in-bound or out-bound trip. We can also coordinate your stay and tour of Singapore between other destinations such as Thailand, Vietnam or anywhere else you might like to visit. If you plan to stay in Indonesia for a few months you will likely need to do a Visa run and the most popular destination is Singapore. It's close, convinient and offers many wonders for the traveler. Contact us today to see how we can help you get the most out of your South East Asia travel experience.

Bali Singapore travel tipsSingapore's Iconic Merlion Stands Stalwart over the CitySingapore, both a country and a city, is one of the world's most successful examples of city planning. It is perhaps the cleanest city I have ever visited. I don't think I saw a single piece of rubbish on the street and hardly a blade of grass too long. Some may mistake this for sterile, lacking in culture, or unnatural, but it is a welcomed contrast to parts of Indonesia. Lets remember just a few decades ago almost none of this was here. Now it is a thriving international hub and a great example to other countries of what thier govenrment can provide for its people.

Singapore Marina Bay Bali visaThe Infinity Pool at The Marina Bay Sands Hotel provides a spectacular view of Singapore's SkylineThis photo was taken from Ku De Ta Restarant and Club (Yes, Bali has a Ku De Ta as well, but different ownership). It is a shot of the new infinity pool at The Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino.  It is the boat shaped structure sitting atop the three towers as seen in the top photograph.

Bali wellness Singapore vacationOrchids as seen in Singapore's Botanical Gardens

Singapore is a hyper-modern city with one of the best public transport systems in the world. Despite this, the green spaces of Singapore dot the city and provide wonderful places for a walk or picnic. One of the best among them is The Botanical Gardens. It is free to the public but there is a $5 Singapore Dollar charge to enter The National Orchid Garden and it is well worth it. The cool house is a special treat and photos of the pitcher plants housed here are forthcoming in a new post.

Singapore is buzzing with entertainment, fine art and plenty of shopping. There must be more malls per capita than anywhere else on earth. If you are like me and don't care for shopping, you may find yourself in these emmense and highly styled cathedrals to capitolism just to enjoy the air conditioning, um I mean architecture.

But the big draw for us is the food, the glorious, mouthwatering, food. It seems all the great and strange foods of the world all come to Singapore to intermingle and create even tastier versions of themselves. The two not to miss items are the barbeque pork buns and the world famous chili crab. It is some of the very best stuff I have ever tasted. It's not spicy as the name may suggest but the flavor is deep, rich and complex. My mouth waters as I write this blog just thinking about them. Jumbo's Restaurant offers some of the best we had.




Singapore Bali travel tips foodThe Sun Sets on Singapore's Skyline from atop The Marina Bay Sands HotelMore posts and details about where to go and what to do in Singapore are to be featured in upcoming blog posts so join our newsletter to keep updated.

Part 2 of The Bali Travel Essentials~ Singapore Visa Run ~ The Photos has been posted HERE and keep an eye out for Part 3 Singapore Food!


Your Bali Photo of the Day ~ Glorious Rice Terraces of Bali ~ Balifornian Villas and Tours

Hello Balifornians!

Todays image was taken just outside of the old fishing village of Amed in Eastern Bali.  These days Amed is more of a scuba and snorkeling town with several good priced hotels right on the beach, some tasty restaurants and even some nightlife.  Please see our blog post on Amed for all the ins and outs and some great tips for a perfect stay and contact us with any questions.

Vibrant green rice terraces cover the beautiful landscape outside of Amed, Bali, Indonesia. Balifornian Villas and Tours. 2011We highly recommend a stop in Amed as it is a relaxing little town without the crush of tons of tourists.

Happy holidays to all our loyal readers and tour participants and come see us in Bali soon!

Salamat jalan,

Mikaku and Putu


Sanur Beach ~ A great place to stay in Bali ~ Photos

Sanur is certainly one of our favorite places to stay in Bali.  It’s close to our land so we can easily check on things in Ketewel, so we tend to spend a good amount of time in Sanur.  Despite it being one of the oldest places for expats to occupy, it has retained its charm and boasts one of the best beaches in southern Bali.  When the Dutch came to colonize Bali as far back as the late 1800’s, Sanur was their point of entry and where they called home.  Also during World War II, The Japanese used Sanur as their entry point. This being said, current day Sanur shows very few remnants of these past events and is a cozy small town with excellent restaurants, great little shops, a fun nightlife and plenty to do to keep you busy. It's a great alternative to loud and crowded Kuta and it's still close enough to the airport so its not a difficult journey.

Bali Sanur beautiful girl beachThe many Gazebos dotting Sanur Beach are great spots for a picnic But as mentioned above, the biggest draw might be the clean white sand beach. It's protected by a reef making the water calm for swimming and snorkeling at high tide. And at low tide the beach can be explored for marine life.  Although many areas like Amed and Menjangan Island are far superior for snorkeling and scuba, its still a nice way to pass the hours hanging out at the beach.  There is a lovely beachfront walk that covers the length of the town’s downtown area (over 4km) and has some little cafes, which are perfect for a beachside Bintang and there are many hotels that you can pop into for a nicer bite to eat.

Bali Travel Sanur beach bestColorful catamarans line Bali's Sanur Beach

There is some surfing as well, but mainly the surfing done here is wind surfing.

Our two biggest suggestions for Sanur are The Village and The little Pond.  Little Pond is a small hotel with perhaps 15 rooms and a nice small pool.  It’s nothing fancy but the value is excellent as the rooms range from about $17-35 USD and they are clean and fairly well appointed.  If you are not looking for really cush accommodations and want to save a bit of money, this is a great place to stay.

 Best Bali Travel Sanur VacationA great way to spend a day in Sanur

On the other hand, a bit more pricey suggestion is The Village restaurant.  While I much prefer traditional Indonesian food when I am in Bali, once in a while its worth it to try something else.  The Village is one of these places.  I lived in Italy and this modern eatery in Sanur is perhaps one of the top 10 Italian meals I have had outside of Italy.  The design of the restaurant is modern and stylish and the wine cellar is one of the best in the area.  The volcano pizza is one of the most bizarre looking entrees you can imagine but its really not quite as tasty as some of the other dishes.  It is certainly a head turner and a fun option but I would suggest the pasta dishes.

Bali travel tips sanur best tour

I do also want to mention Warung Pregina as it is also an excellent option as it serves delicious traditional Balinese food.  The crispy duck is fantastic and the value is hard to beat.

Sanur is a great place to spend a few days.  While it is heavily touristed and you will be annoyed by hawkers and the inexplicable practice of each and every taxi passing by honking at you, its still a nice place to stay and enjoy the beach and it’s turquoise waters, good food and minimal but fun nightlife.


Ubud wins travelers' top choices for ideal place to visit

 The cultural and artistic heart of Bali, Ubud, has earned its place atop several recent award lists. Ubud was listed as one of Asia’s top spa destinations. Ubud was also chosen as one of the Top 25 Destinations in Asia in TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards 2011. Ubud placed 17th in the list and outranked Seoul in South Korea, Varanasi in India, Hoi Nam in Vietnam, Taipei in Taiwan, Baguio in the Philippines, Lijiang in China, and Pattaya in Thailand.

 Ubud is the ideal place for famed Balinese massage, acupressure, reflexology, yoga, and aromatherapy to name a few.  The yoga community had grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years and rivals spots in the US and Europe.  The Yoga Barn is a great example of a quality yoga center and boasts a great community, cafe and learning center.

Kecak Dance, Ubud, Bali

Ubud is about 45 minutes to an hour northeast of Bali’s airport and close to the center of the island.  While it is not the postcard beach location that comes to mind for most people when they think of the paradise island of Bali but this speaks to the draw of the art, dance, culture and amazing food that is found in this growing group of small towns.  One can still find rice fields and the Bali of old around Ubud, it is reaching a critical mass as its popularity has skyrocketed in recent years.  It is still one of our favorite spots and we considered it our second home.  

In this year's TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards, almost 700 places were recognized in the 9th year of the competition, and award categories included Best Romance, Best Luxury, and Best Bargain, and many more.

Other Indonesian winners of TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice 2011 included the Samaya Bali Villas at Seminyak for Travelers’ Top 25 Choice Hotels in the World for its Fantastic Service and Fantastic Villa. Additionally, the wonderful small island of Gili Trawangan in-between Bali and Lombok, came in 7th among Asia’s Top 10 Beaches.

Bali and Indonesia continue to win awards for their amazing beaches, spas, culture and much much more.  Contact Balifornian Yours today to see how we can help you get the very most out of your upcoming vacation to the island paradise.


Ultimate Romance on the Island of the Gods

- By Raquel Baldelomar

Before I woke, a breeze sprinkled frangipani blossoms onto the still surface of my villa's private plunge pool. I stepped onto the terrace just as the sun was rising in Bali and entered the serene water with a statue of a Hindu god watching over me.

I arrived in Bali curious about the island's spirituality and healing powers and I'm already becoming a believer. For me, this sensual island is love at first sight.

Our first stop on an exploration of Bali is the Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay, located on a cliff top along the island's southern coast. Here 147 thatched-roof villas exude romance. Bali is all about villas: the privacy, the lush gardens, and spur-of-the moment intimacy. If you can tear yourself away from the heavenly villas, there is also a long, white-sand beach and a spa offering authentic Balinese treatments.

A stay in a villa allows you to enjoy the pleasures of the outdoors privately. Our courtyard was complete with an outdoor sofa and dining room and after an indulgent 90-minute massage at the spa, returning to our outdoor shower overlooking the Indian Ocean was a transcendent experience.

At sunset, we ventured to Uluwatu Temple, one of the most spiritual places on the island. Perched 230 feet above the Indian Ocean, this temple is dedicated to the spirits of the sea. Here we learned our first lesson in local customs: knees must be covered to enter a temple. Ceremonial sarongs were given to anyone with exposed knees. We were here to see the Kecak Dance, a performance featuring fifteen men wearing only loincloths. These rituals make it is easy to see why Bali has a reputation for sensuality.

If the traditional dance at the temple doesn't send sparks flying, then a dinner at Beds on the Beach will certainly do the trick. Private beds with canopies serve as tables for a five-course dinner. Lanterns in the sand glow as the meal begins with a mini-tasting: lobster avocado maki and lemongrass prawn kebab. Flavors sizzled as much as the atmosphere, including a lobster papaya salad with pink champagne ginger sorbet. After the meal, there was no rush back to the villa as we lounged underneath the stars listening to the surf.

People in Bali believe strongly in balance, so to get the total Bali experience, we left the coast behind for the lush jungle interior where you can absorb the island's spirituality. A 45-minute drive connects the two Four Seasons properties in Bali.

We crossed a wooden bridge and a lily pond came into view. This pond sits on the roof of the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, camouflaging it into the jungle. We were welcomed by Balinese staff dressed in traditional clothing with refreshing guava drinks and cool towels.

With 42 villas and 18 suites set among five temple shrines on the sacred Ayung River, this was the first boutique property developed by Four Seasons. Our riverfront villa, surrounded by lush jungle, couldn't have been more soothing.

Bali brings together a tradition of healing with the perfect environment for a spa. Ponds brimming with lilies and courtyards filled with bougainvillea are calming before a treatment even begins. Our couple's experience was called Chakra Dhara, a treatment that works to rebalance the body's chakras, or energy points, by strategically dripping herbal oil on the body. Two therapists massage the back, hands, and feet to complete the healing treatment. Afterwards, we soaked in a bath filled with fragrant frangipani petals while sipping champagne.

The interior of Bali is full of adventure. We hired a driver to bring us to the Elephant Safari Park to satisfy my curiosity about local wildlife. Before I knew it, I was holding a baby monkey and then sitting on the back of a native Sumatra elephant. Next, our driver Nyoman brought us to see Bali's famous active volcanoes. A private picnic lunch on the edge of a cliff overlooking Mount Batur added a romantic touch to our adventurous day. These moments reminded me why so many newlyweds choose Bali as their honeymoon destination.

We enjoyed dinner at Sarong Restaurant, where the scent of the food was intoxicating from the moment we walked in. This glamorous restaurant was founded on the idea of Asian street food, reinvented. I loved the northern Thai spicy tom yum soup with shredded chicken, bamboo, dill, and coriander. Chef Will Meyrick hasn't written a cookbook yet, but when he does I will be sure to buy a copy just for this recipe.

The next day, we set out on a bike tour through the exotic Balinese landscape. We got acquainted with our guide Bagi, before our four hour ride, over an organic breakfast atop of towering Mount Agung with stunning views -- a mighty volcano revered as the seat of the gods. During our ride, we explored several of the exotic temples and observed farmers wearing cone-shaped rice hats and water buffalo in the emerald fields harvesting rice. We learned about local traditions and that ninety percent of the population in Bali are Hindu, the world's third largest religion which is also practiced in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Mauritius.

Returning to the Four Seasons Sayan, shrouded in a mountain mist, I finished the day with ginger tea and honey before a restful sleep listening to the river flowing. From the moment I left the 'Island of the Gods' I have been longing to return. It is like a love that ended too soon. With a return trip, I am sure that love will be rekindled.


WHEN TO GO: The dry season is from April to September.

Americans are eligible for a visa on arrival for a stay of up to 30 days. These cost $25 per person and your passport must be valid for at least six months after arrival.


Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia.

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.


Sarong - Drawing inspiration from the street food of Southeast Asia, Sarong is a local favorite.
Ku De Ta - This buzzing bar is the place to see and be seen for pre-dinner drinks in Seminyak.
Mozaic - French cuisine laced with Indonesian flavors.
Beds on the Beach It's all in the name.

Bali is a shoppers paradise -- Local art, handmade mosaic glass, and fine jewelry will all be mementos of your travels to Bali. For upscale shopping, check out the following shops in Seminyak:

Maru - Be tempted by jewels from Indonesia at this shop.
Paul Ropp - Unique clothing with an ethnic touch.
Quarzia - Handpainted silk separates in this shop are works of art.

Raquel Baldelomar has been a contributing writer for Luxury Travel Magazine since 2008. She provides readers with unique, insider information about destinations, hotels and travel experiences.