Follow the Reader 2007: The rest of the world, from Bali to Scottish Highlands - Tourism Indonesia


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Follow the Reader 2007: The rest of the world, from Bali to Scottish Highlands

Hotel, cooking school flavor trip to Bali

I am an admitted lover of Bali, having visited that beautiful island now three times, and am planning to return next July. There is so much richness and depth in a culture where immersion in the life of spirit seems to be most everyone's daily experience; where natural beauty and the beauty of the human soul are everywhere; where the food is fascinating, healthy and very accessible to Western palates; and where locals warmly welcome visitors.

The Okawati Hotel in Ubud is centrally located, very friendly and comfortable. It has 19 bungalows and suites with private baths and balconies. The property includes a pool, a yoga house and a restaurant. Oka Wati herself is a gracious, delightful woman.

Standard rooms are $30, suites $45-$55, family room $60; extra bed is $10.

Contact: Okawati Hotel. Monkey Forest Road, Ubud 80571, Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia. 011-62-361-973386,

I also recommend the cooking class at BumbuBali restaurant in Ubud, across from the Puri Saren Palace. The half-day class included a morning trip to the market, a comprehensive cookbook and demonstrations of five different recipes with a knowledgeable and entertaining chef. The five-recipe class is 110,000 rupiahs (about $12 US) per person; seven-recipe classes, which include a vegetarian option, cost 150,000 rupiahs ($16).

Contact: BumbuBali, Jalan Suweta #1, Ubud, Bali. 011-62-361-974-217,




Bali trip highlights: Cottages, experts

While in Bali recently, I stayed at Puri Lumbung Cottages in the island's northern highlands.

The cottages are in Munduk village, where incredible hiking and stunning views are right outside your door. The fragrance of clove and cinnamon trees, coffee and cocoa bushes, the stunning waterfalls and the turquoise flash of the Javanese kingfisher make our daily hike seem like poetry.

The traditional hardwood cottages include a bathroom, upstairs bedroom and balcony; deluxe family cottages have twice the space and include a living room, two bathrooms and a fireplace as well, while villas include two bedrooms and a kitchenette.

The traditional cottages are $67 a night for a single, $75 for a double, $95 for families. Deluxe family cottages and villas are $151-$299.

Homestay rates are available for $18 for a single, $24 double; with lunch or dinner included, they're $25 for a single, $37 double.

Contact: Puri Lumbung, Munduk Village Banjar District 81152, Buleleng Regency, Bali, Indonesia. 011-62-362-92810, 011-62-81-238-368-91,

My guides for everything in Bali were Judy Slattum and Made Surya of Danu Enterprises. Slattum is a former Cabrillo College professor and authority on Balinese masks; her husband, Surya, is a Balinese artist and expert on traditional Balinese healing.

They have information, access to and a love for all aspects of the island's life that make traveling with them so much more than a tourist experience. They can tailor a trip to your personal interests, including a new volunteer vacation with a nonprofit that works with disabled Balinese and abilities.

Contact: Danu Enterprises, P.O. Box 156, Capitola, CA 95010. (888) 476-0543,



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