best of the rest: Bali

UPON reflection my fondest memories of Bali relate to its appeal to the senses – smells and sounds in particular.  Just open yourself up to absorbing all that’s around you and you’ll be dazzled by gold and yellow shrines, chants escaping temples, chimes playing and incense burning.

And if there is any place that is conducive to sitting back and taking stock then it’s Bali, with its hypnotic laid back and humble atmosphere. There is no rush. Things will be done when they’re done, leave when they leave, be served when they’re served.

In return, your time is rewarded by beauty that is to be found in all, the people and their environment. It’s a welcome contrast to life in London (or any Western culture for that matter, in which speed and structure is revered). It may require an adjustment in attitude, but it is a change that you easily learn to love.

Pura Goa Lawah (Bat Cave Temple) - the Balinese believe that bats are guardians of the soul after death

Tirtagangga - water palace

Babi Guling - Bali's traditional dish utilising all parts of suckling pig (here we have: roast pork, rice, sambal, crackling cracker, crispy liver, crispy pig skin, crispy intestine, pork satay with shredded coconut and chilli, a side of spring onions, green beans, coconut, lemongrass and chilli, and finally a banana stalk soup cooked with marrow bone, chilli and lemongrass.)

surprisingly named tailors whose pop culture reference was totally lost on my fellow foreign travel companions

remote ancient village in the hills

Bakso - traditional broth containing shredded cabbage, glass noodles, caramelised shallots, chicken balls and tofu, with a hint of star anise.


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