Bali, Indonesia: A Toast to The Good Life

Asia, Blog

Experiencing the Balinese Hindu-Buddhist culture and customs has impacted my life in so many positives ways. Bali’s simplest lifestyle and their care for nature have opened my eyes to love my surroundings more than I already do. As humans, we need to love our surroundings and planet, live life through pure love, and communicate with one another for a constructive conversation that will allow us to grow. At times it is hard for others to understand a culture and religion that is not their own – but if we stray away from thinking what religion is better we learn and accept that a good life can be found in any religion as long as it brings happiness, good health, and love.

ea4d36_6269156a00a04bc5a26f304cf73b3008~mv2

Through this trip, I learned to take my life one day at a time, to take a deep breath and just love the skin I am in and love my personality.

The temples we visited allowed me to do just that and if you are someone hoping to build your connection with yourself through self, love the Balinese Hindu-Buddhist culture will help you meditate and love everything about what makes you, you.
First, you need to love and have care for others, their religion, and customs. Sometimes people assume admiring another religion will stray them away from their own religion, however, the truth is if your connection with your God is large no one can take anything about your religion way from you — but you can see and explore the similarities and visualize how in history we are all the same. Secondly, and most importantly make sure you want to learn, if you lack the care of learning then you will not experience what the culture of any place you visit is. So with that being said here is How The Goa Gajah and Gunung Kawi Temple impacted my life and soul.

Our Stay in Bali Natya Ubud
Bali is an Indonesian Island known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches, and coral reefs. The island is home to religious sites such as Cliffside Uluwatu Temple. To the south, the beachside city of Kuta has lively bars, while Seminyak, Sanur, and Nusa Dua are popular resort towns. The island is also known for its yoga and meditation retreats.

Location: Southeast AsiaLanguage: IndonesianReligion: Balinese HinduismCurrency: RupiahWeather: 80-90FElectrical Outlet: In Bali the electrical outlet is similar to ones used in Europe.

The Goa Gajah Temple

I walked into the Goa Gajah Temple and instantly felt an unexplainable presence. Small, but spiritual the smell of incense, its mystery, and carvings provided an emotional and spiritual feeling that I wouldn’t know how to explain. The carvings in the Goa Gajah were astonishing and breathtaking! Also known as the Elephant Cave the Goa Gajah Temple was built in the ninth century as a sanctuary and place of worship. The Goa Gajah was also the home of mediation and inner connection with yourself and your mind, no wonder it was a great inner reflective experience!

ea4d36_3cab2b4c2a444adba9b77d39eba62cc1~mv2

From a distance you can see the temple, its stones and the smell of relaxation, yes you can actually smell it. As you breathe the green leaves around the temple as well as the incense and burning offerings, it inspires you to relax and take your days one day at a time. The Goa Gajah allowed me to connect with my mind and nature.

Gunung Kawi Temple

ea4d36_7b117a2e25fd4459a886c96f876b6142~mv2

The Canang Sari is an offering with meaningful colors that represent the offer of peace. Balinese women are known to prepare the Canang Sari with love for the Balinese Gods. At the Gunung Kawi Temple, we spotted a man preparing the Canang Sari. The smell was amazing and the craft was art. Built in the eleventh century the Gunung Kawi Temple is the home of many temples in one. Three hundred steps down lies a temple alongside the Pakerisan River.

I really enjoyed walking through the Gunung Kawi Temple primary because it felt as if I were walking through a garden, like those that are full of life. When I travel I reflect on many things; my past, my father, people, friends who come and go and I do this because it is reflective to my soul and allows me to grow. The Gunung Kawi temple allowed me to connect with the inner soul, I learned that everyone has a battle to fight, one that others are not to blame for. My trip to Bali was at a perfect timing in my life — it allowed me to reflect on myself and revisit my soul and my personality.

Our Top 4 Favorites Things to Do in Bali

ea4d36_0276f44f0efa43aeacb88971b79c9dcc~mv2# 1 The Monkey ForestThe Monkey Forest is near the city of Ubud. It is the sanctuary of the Balinese Monkey and for me the scariest tour in Bali lol. It will be a scary experience especially when the monkeys are chasing you for food or your belongings but the experiences were memorable. Will not do it again!

# 2 Coffee PlantationThe Segara Windhu Coffee Plantation was amazing. Coffee lovers, this is your spot. You will be toured around the plantation and you will taste some fine Coffee and tea. It is known to be the biggest coffee plantation in Tampaksiring, Bali and have the best Luwak coffee -Balinese coffee.

ea4d36_0a082f93ba8d4c0c8bac73562d82092f~mv2

# 3 Nia UbudI found Nia Ubud on TripAdvisor. The pictures sold me! The food was amazing, my husband and I loved it! Nia Ubud is known for their authentic and traditional Balinese Cuisine a must go!

# 4 Bali SwingI’m sure you have seen many travel bloggers swinging in the air over what it seems to be the skies, trees, and oceans. What’s best of the experience is that it’s actually not all that scary. There are 12 single swings in Bali Swing so if you are scared you can start off on the smallest swing. Its 100 percent safe and you can tell your tour guide not to push you too hard if that’s a major concern for you. Lastly, get the wallets ready, it’s a bit overpriced!!!!

ea4d36_2225e4384d6c45c5bbcce105269d967f~mv2

Go to Bali with a open heart and mind!

Koh Yao Yai, Thailand: What You Need To Know!

Asia, Blog

Koh Yao Yai is an island located in the Andaman Sea and part of Thailand, it’ about 30-40 minutes away from the Phuket Marina and Airport. We choose to stay in Koh Yao Yai because the island is captivating and known for its beaches, mangroves, and villages.

Koh Yao Yai es un Sueño

Location: Andaman Sea, Thailand

Language: Thai and Arabic

Religion: While Buddhism is the prevalent religion in Thailand, in Koh Yao Yai we experienced the Muslim faith.

Currency: Thai Baht

Weather: 79-90F

Electrical Outlet: Most of Thailand uses 220V AC. The outlets are two-prong round or flat sockets. I one the multi country converter, you can shop for my converter below!

ea4d36_773207b6210849c683ed021365eb9ca8~mv2

Santhiya Koh Yao Yai

I stayed at the Santhiya Resort and Spa for 5 nights and it was breathtaking! Our room was the Ocean View Pool Villa. The rooms at Santhiya are beautiful, very affordable, and exactly as photographed on their website. All rooms contained everything needed to stay comfortably such as shampoo, conditioner, soaps, towels, lotions, etc. The resort is located on top of a small mountain top. To get around it can be pretty rough. If you would like to explore the island renting a motorcycle is an option for you. The resort also requires a lot of walking so to avoid the long walks in the resort, there are shuttle buses that run every 10 mins, at times the buses are over their capacity, so make sure to wear comfy shoes or sandals, and have the itinerary and schedule for the bus. If you need accommodation ASK! You can request a room near the resort amenities or pool, if that is not possible, enjoy the ride! It’s so relaxing!

Santhiya Koh Yao Yai and Restaurants

The property has about 12 ways of dining and 6 restaurants, all are very inexpensive and very accommodating. A language barrier did exist at times but all staff was very helpful, sweet, and caring – our favorites were the Chantara Restaurant, By the Sea Restaurant and Bar, The Titan Girl, Saaitara Restaurant and Khantok Cuisine (you will need reservations for all restaurants). We also scheduled our own private dinner on the beach which was amazing! Please note you can pay in cash for all restaurants or charge to your room. All were very inexpensive ranging between $43-60 U.S. dollars for a party of 4. Breakfast on the lower level is not free, however, at Saairara Restaurant breakfast is buffet style and free between 6 am and 10 am. We did not understand why breakfast was charged in certain locations of the resort and do feel that should change and should be entirely free. As I mentioned the resort was located on a mountain top and is very secluded, the resort, however, did provide everything we needed to stay comfortably such as shop and drug supplies.

ea4d36_5c2d16dc4c9c47ada72c159b2d1834e8~mv2

Best Places and Tours in Visit in Koh Yao Yai:

# 1 James Bond Island and Beach Tour

# 2 Koh Yao Yai ATV Tour The Koh Yao Yai ATV tour took us on a unique tour off-road winding through the countryside, jungle and rubber plantations we also visited a pristine hideaway beach known locally as Nok Ok.

# 3 Visiting a Local School and Natural Pool Cave

It’s time to plan your own Sueño!

Organization here is key! Aside from all the other goodies, you will normally take to a tropical island you want to remember to have your adventure gear such as sneakers to walk around the island, plantation, and jungle, major takeaway is to definitely have your outlet converter and ensure you are open to a new experience in Koh Yao Yai.