Sunset from Ayana Hotel, near Jimbaran, on the way down to the Rock Bar
I just got back yesterday from a quick trip over the weekend to Bali. After almost 8 months to the grindstone with almost no weekends off I decided that my staff needed a break. The good thing about having a small work force is I can pamper them a little bit more. We pulled in some favors to get a decent hotel where we got upgraded to suites and of course with AirAsia the flight tickets were cheaper than 2 jugs of beer at Zeta bar.
Since this was a staff trip and some of them brought their families I decided to keep it as free and easy as possible. We just had one official meeting over breakfast and an official dinner at the chic Kudeta in Seminyak. The rest was free and easy but I said the company would sponsor anyone who wanted to have lunch with me at the famous Bebek Bengil (Dirty Duck) restaurant in Ubud (about an hour plus from Nusa Dua where we stayed) and also happy hours at the very cool Rock Bar at the Ayana hotel.
First time i left my hiking boots and Camel Bak home. This trip was just to make sure my staff had a good time. I may not be able to pay them well but I'll sure as hell will feed them and get them drunk in style.
Rice fields next to Bebek Bengil restaurant in Ubud
Bali is everything that Malaysia wants to be and can't. Bali can't even be considered to be a country of South East Asia. This is the playground for the rich and tanned. Where the homes of millionaires perch on cliff top overlooking oceans. The designer villas lay snuggled among oceans of green rice fields and the opulent hotels open their doors to those wielding cards in platinum and black.
Bali is a staunch Hindu enclave in the largest muslim nation in the world. The people are blessed with artistic talents which they translate to their everyday lives. Even the most humblest of Balinese homes are quaint and beautiful with statues, paintings, and lush plants growing from the entrance to the inner sanctums of their living space.
In Malaysia - we WANT to be chic. We THINK that our batik is cool. We WISH the shitty mass produced wooden carvings will be bought by blind tourists. We WISH that more foreigners will flock to Malaysia to make it their second home.
We've lost our soul. Malaysia can be as much as Bali is. We have the beaches, the endless padi fields, the mountains, the inner friendliness/chincai Asian mentality. But we've lost our soul. What we do now is for the sake of money. The eternal chase for richness that sacrifices a bit of a better future of quality for all, with every little move towards a larger bank account.
Anyway, back to the trip.
One of the many restaurants at the Ayana hotel
The Ayana hotel is gorgeous. It is filled with all manner of pools and infinity pools on a cliff side over looking the Indian Ocean. Restaurants pepper the grounds amid lush greenery. We head there for my own selfish reason to have an ice cold Bintang beer from the Rock Bar while watching the sun set beneath a calm ocean.
The super cool Rock Bar at the Ayana Hotel
The Rock Bar is the coolest chill out bar that I've been to. Perched on rocks just above crashing waves with an ocean spread out in front of you is the best way to end a long day. The service is excellent and the beers expensive. It is worth it.
Kudeta in Seminyak.
The Kudeta dinner is of course lovely because of the ambience in this party place for beautiful people. Picture lean tanned bodies sipping wine and beers, lounging on deck chairs as waves crash on the shore nearby. Music from Ibiza plays over the green lawn and quite chatter mingles with the wind and the dancing of leaves from the coconut trees. Bloody expensive but good for a special occasion.
Bali Art and Design.
Wood carvings at Melia Benoa Hotel in Nusa Dua
Hindu deity (Vishnu) stone carving
Business center chill out area at the Melia Benoa hotel.
This trip opened up my eyes. Bali is great for honeymoons and romantic dates. I'm in that mood now. Need to find some silly girl who can put up with my shit. Any takers out there? Bali calls again and the next time I'm not going solo.