Nini Oosterhuis | 24 Jul 2019
Our flight with Singapore Airlines was nothing short of perfect. Traveling together with 6 small children is not a joke (I am sure parents can relate here) and the air hostesses were very accommodating.
Even though Bali is a 13-hour trip from Cape Town, the flight didn’t feel that long and time went by quite quickly. Next thing you know we’ve stepped off the plane, and the tropical warmth of Bali surrounds us.
We traveled to Bali in May and the weather was perfect! In my opinion, it wasn’t too hot and humid. It was just right. We only experienced one afternoon of rain and that itself lasted for about an hour. Be prepared though – this type of weather makes you want to swim and relax by the pool the entire day!
We stayed at the Grand Mirage Resort & Thalasso Bali in Nusa Dua. It’s a big resort with a family-focused wing. There’s plenty to do at the resort from swimming to water sports to cooking lessons. Unfortunately, during our stay, a section of the resort was under construction, but it has since been completed and looks amazing! You can book the same all-inclusive Bali holiday with our our popular packages. If you ever find yourself there you must treat yourself to a full-body massage!
Bali has plenty to do! For the most breath-taking scenery, you have to visit the Tegallalang Rice Paddies in Ubud. The rice terraces are famous for their beautiful scenes of rice paddies and their innovative irrigation system. Known as the Subak, the traditional Balinese cooperative irrigation system is said to have been passed down by a revered holy man named Rsi Markandeya in the 8th century. While you are there, you can hike through the terraces, or if you are brave enough take a giant swing over the terraces and into the sky.
We travelled from Nusa Dua to Ubud, which is approximately 28km, but the commute took about 2 hours (unless you dare and travel by scooter – there are plenty on the road, and seems to be a popular mode of transport amongst the Aussies!).
Another great activity to consider doing is going to Waterbom Bali. After all it is the #1 waterpark in Asia. This premier water park is just across the road from the Discovery Kartika Plaza and Discovery Shopping Mall in south Kuta, and has grown to feature 17 exciting slides and water games for all ages since its inception in 1993. The park covers 3.8Ha of tropical gardens and pools, as well as a complete host of dining and leisure facilities. Waterbom Bali comprises numerous choices of slides that will keep you and your family occupied for a whole day. These include easy-going pools with mini slides to large scale adrenaline-pumping rides that start from significant heights. Services and facilities are top of its class, making it a must-do highlight for families while in Bali.
The island also offers plenty of markets! You are bound to pick up a few bargains and bring back a few souvenirs. We visited the Kuta Art Market. It is a small beachside bazaar-like complex where Bali souvenirs, arts, and handicraft items are sold. The compact marketplace is easily located at the end of the Jalan Bakungsari one-way thoroughfare, adjacent to the Kuta Sidewalk and just before Jalan Kartika Plaza Street. Here, visitors who stroll along the street as well as from the sands of Kuta Beach will come across the market. Bargaining skills will play an important role in your shopping here. When bargaining at the Kuta Art Market, rule of thumb is to act polite and friendly with shopkeepers as it is sort of a game, and you can make new friends from these ‘soft battles’. Make sure you check the quantity and quality of each of your items before paying the negotiated price.
We also felt a bit daring and decided the one day to go and try Kopi Luwak.
It is the process used to produce kopi luwak coffee that has cemented it as one of the most special and exotic coffees in the world. When produced ethically, the best coffee beans are partially digested by civets. This process changes the structure of the proteins in the beans, which are then collected and processed into coffee, resulting in a less acidic and smoother drinking experience. Majority of these coffee houses also offer tea tastings, which was rather delicious. I brought back some Mangosteen Peel tea.
If you feel like island-hopping, then take a Bali Hai Reef Cruise. This catamaran cruises to Lembongan Island where it moors alongside the purpose-built pontoon, which is packed with activities! The cruise offers a live band and buffet experience. Once docked at the pontoon you can experience Lembongan Island’s exotic marine life and colourful corals, snorkel in the beautiful Lembongan Bay or try scuba-diving! The pontoon also offers unlimited banana boat rides, a cultural tour of Lembongan Island and an exciting 35-meter waterslide into the ocean.
Long lasting memories that our family will cherish forever were made in Bali and the island has crept right into our hearts. Bali is a great affordable holiday destination for South Africans and families. It’s a place I would recommend you visit.