Asia, Indonesia

Bali: An Explosion of Colors and Traditions

Asia Indonesia

“Once you get in Bali, you’ll not want  to go back.” This was said to me before leaving, and yes, they were right.

Finally, after years, I can make a Trip with the uppercase letter, even though the duration was not as long as I wanted. What this island left me with was a mix of emotions, which I’ll never forget. Why did I feel this way? Because Bali is an explosion of traditions, colors, smells and flavours that you will never find in Europe.

What does Bali mean to me? It is the set of thousands of temples that characterize this island, from the Tirta Gangga water mirror, to the adventurous Gunung Kawi, which remind of the Indiana Jones’s atmosphere, to the exciting and breathtaking Pura Lempuyang, the door  to the sky, to the adrenaline Monkey Forest, where from moment to moment, a monkey could break out of nowhere!

It is the blinding green of the Tegalalang rice fields, the wild vegetation you find everywhere, the small rice fields cultivated by the population between one house and another. It is the set of colors of the many flowers and plants that invade the island. First of all, the inevitable Frangipan plant, whose flower can be found everywhere, with its beautiful shape and its sweet scent.

It is the kindness and humility of the people, who with their smiles always on their faces, are available to help you with anything and everything. It is the unforgettable smell of incense you find everywhere, present in the different offerings you can find daily out of every home, on every car, rich in flowers, scents and sweets, in banana leaves baskets that women every day commit to intertwine.

It’s the exciting sunset on Jimbaran’s beach, where you can have a good meal at the end of the day, drinking a delicious Bintang in the quaint restaurants on the beach, where you just have to sink your feet in the sand and enjoy the colors of the sun reflected in the water, with various nuances.

It’s the flavour of their traditional dishes, full of spices and accompanied by rice everywhere, served in the most particular restaurants of all sort, and where you breath such a relaxing atmosphere, that when you sit at the table (or on beautiful pillows on the ground!) you will not want to get up again.

It is a surprise to note how the cost of living is so low that it allows you to enjoy the island by experiencing every activity, including the unforgettable Balinese massage, an hour of pure relaxation where the world outside the door seems to stop. It is the tradition that characterizes the life of the people, seeking to bring offers, wearing gorgeous sarongs, attending moments of prayer, dancing and singing in typical Balinese dancing.

In short, for me Bali is all this. I knew I would go to a country out of the patterns we are used to seeing in western countries, and I was looking forward to getting there. Now, I just cannot wait to go back to this treasure island.

Contributed by Cristina Azzimonti