Bali beyond the beaches

Bali beyond the beaches.

We are going to Bali next week and although this is my seventh time I’ve been there I’m looking forward to discovering somewhere new. We are going to the island of Nusa Lembongan, which is a half-hour boat trip away from Sanur. There is so much more to Bali than Seminyak or Legian (which I’ve never actually been to). A couple of years ago I wrote an article for Voyeur Magazine (Virgin airlines inflight mag) about exactly that. Here’s the story…

With over two million tourists every year it’s not surprising that Bali that gets a lot of press, although recently it seems to be mostly about pushy touts and drunken yobbos. But travel away from the main towns and tacky souvenir shops and you’ll not only discover the authentic Bali, you’ll wonder where all those touts and tourists are.

The road out of Ubud is one big shopping strip selling huge stone carvings, woodcarvings, mosaics, brightly coloured paintings, ceramics, clothes and every other tourist trinket you could possibly think of – or, in some cases, hadn’t thought of. I was on a brand-new scooter that I’d hired in Ubud and heading north on a three-day jaunt through the mountains and volcanoes, and around the northern lakes, including Lake Batur and Lake Bratan. If you’re not game enough to jump on a scooter (although this isn’t Kuta and the traffic isn’t nowhere near as chaotic or scary), you can hire a car, or even hire a car and driver if you want to sit back, relax and take it all in. Read more