Bali Bliss Minus the Kuta-Bustle

By Laura Percy

Looking for a unique Balinese escape these Summer holidays? Well if your main aim is to get a little R&R and recharge after a blink-of-the-eye 2010, (where on earth has it gone?) then new tourist hot spot Candidasa, located in the Eastern part of Bali, should be at the top of your travel wish list.

Approximately a 90-minute drive from Bali’s International airport, arriving in tranquil Candidasa is a pleasant surprise from the overrun tourist hubs of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak. Much like the Kuta of 30 years ago, Candidasa is without hawkers, constant squawk’s of “massage, massage”, motorbikes are few and far between and there’s not a market in site selling Bintang singlet’s and oversized wooden parts of the male anatomy. And that’s exactly as tourists to this destination like it – secluded!

The colours of a Balinese wedding will blow you away

Don’t expect to find the bars and nightclubs of the Kuta district in Candidasa, the pace of life is much slower, allowing visitors to quickly connect with and feel part of the local village scene. Throw in some sun, sea, ocean breezes, feast for the appetite and Candidasa is the perfect place to unwind.

Candidasa is much more relaxing than Kuta

Good food is plentiful in Candidasa with fine dining at the resorts as well as excellent food to be had at one of the many restaurants lining the main street. There’s even a hot dog shop “for an Aussie burger and a cold beer.”

Accommodation in Candidasa ranges from basic backpackers to boutique hotels and larger 5 star resorts. On this trip, my travel companion and I have chosen to stay at the recently refurbished Rama Candidasa Resort & Spa and it does not disappoint. Surrounded by rice fields, rolling mountains and the ocean, Rama Candidasa Resort and Spa offers a haven of peace and tranquility, setting the scene for relaxation and perhaps a spot of romance.

If romance is on the agenda, the gorgeous white mosquito nets surrounding the beds, private beachfront for romantic strolls on the beach, couples spa treatments on offer at the resorts own Rama Spa and candle lit dinners at the Garpu restaurant perched above the sea is sure to set the scene. And if that doesn’t, try the restaurant’s specialty, Sexy Prawn!

Absolute tranquility

The resort consists of 72 air-conditioned bungalows and main wings that have been furnished and decorated with contemporary Balinese décor, a well-maintained tropical garden landscape and a cozy poolside. There’s also a Zen garden for a spot of Yoga, a library for some holiday reading material and fun free daily activities such as hi-tea gossip, where guests can enjoy Balinese pastries and a good gossip session.

If you’re after a truly mind, body and soul experience, you won’t be disappointed with the Rama Spa which offers treatments in open air treatment rooms.

Apart from losing yourself in a good book, overindulging on the delicious cuisine and laying sunny side up, there are plenty of activities to do in Candidasa that will help work off those extra holiday kilos! There are water sports on offer, such as snorkelling, diving, and fishing, to more adventure seeking activities such as trekking, hiking and a visit to the nearby Balinese Tenganan village.

So cute!

And while serenity is Candidasa’s biggest draw card, a little word of advice, go cashed up, as the nearest ATM is a 20-minute drive away!

On the journey back to Bali International Airport, the sound of the rolling waves and peaceful ambience that goes hand-in-hand with a stay in Candidasa is replaced by hordes of motorbikes zipping along in the traffic, honking horns and yes, those markets selling the extra large wooden parts of the male anatomy. If only we could daydream a little longer…

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