Monday, 10 September 2012

Beautiful Bali - part 1 - the hotel

Bali smells like incense. At least, the airport near Denpasar (Ngurah Rai) does. In a modern world where everything looks the same, smells the same and has all the same features, it's fabulous to find something unique. Walking from the plane through customs, the walls are adorned, and not just with the usual HSBC adverts, but with stone and wooden carvings. 

View from the lobby of the beach
After collecting our bags we walk out to an utter chaos. There are people, bags, trolleys, taxis and drivers everywhere. Of course there is a Starbucks, but at least people are sitting outside in the sunshine instead of huddling inside in the frigid air-conditioning that seems ubiquitous in Hong Kong. Having previously looked up how much we should be paying for a taxi, we buy our journey and then get into a taxi with a friendly-looking guy. The taksi also smells of incense. 

Stone carvings on the wall of the hotel
The hotel (Holiday Inn Bali) is just a short journey from the airport. On the way we saw a few small shops, quite a few mopeds (some travelling in the opposite direction to the rest of the traffic!), and lots of people out on the streets. We drew up to the hotel and the car was searched by armed guards, who looked very friendly, but were still carrying massive guns. The lobby was like that of the hotel we stayed in in Fiji: completely open with seemingly no outer walls. We arrived in the depths of winter and apparently 28oC is about as cold as it gets in Bali. 

Part of the hotel with one of the restaurants on the left
The hotel was also beautifully decorated. The open lobby looks out onto the pool in the resort grounds and the beach a mere minute or two walk away. We had arrived just in time for sunset accompanied by the evening entertainment of a local jazz band. We quickly admired the room, dumped our bags and went downstairs for drinks and dinner looking out over the beach. 

The pool with a swim-up bar. It didn't rain - honest! 

When I wasn't reading Anna Karenina I could be found
reading the Bali Daily!

We were only in Bali for four days/three nights and the reason we chose it was because there is a direct 4-hour flight from Hong Kong and it's cooler than Hong Kong, so our aim wasn't to see much of Bali, but to have a few relaxing days. We definitely achieved that! We spent our days by the pool, we had a massage, we walked along the beach, but basically we did nothing but relax! 

Wednesday evening's entertainment was fire dancing!

Bali is extremely colourful - demonstrated by these beautiful plant pots! 


  1. Ab fab!!! Great photos too. Judging by the colour of the flowers in pots I would hazard a guess that they are bougainvillea. Btw your postcard arrived this morning. Thank you. xxx

    1. As you know I'm not very good with plants (= I know NOTHING), so I'll take your word on that!! Postcard made good time as we posted them from here a day or two after we got back.

  2. this looks / sounds / smells glorious Laura ~ I especially like your opening sentence :)

  3. Thanks Polly! I was obviously gearing up for our week 1 exercises! ;)


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