Dive enthusiasts are no stranger to the place known as Raja Ampat. It deserves its name as a hidden paradise. Is Raja Ampat among your bucket list as a traveler?
It’s currently difficult to reach—which is secretly a good thing
Just getting to Raja Ampat currently took a whole day out of your trip. And that’s when you’re already in Indonesia. Bali or Jakarta, to be precise. If you’re landing at other places in Indonesia, then it may take longer or quicker, depending on where you land.
Peace, tranquil, unspoiled lands. Because of the remoteness of Raja Ampat, the place is truly the embodiment of pristine. If you’re coming to Indonesia for its white sandy beaches, then Raja Ampat is one of the best places there is, and more. But because it’s just so difficult to get there, Raja Ampat until now has not faced mass tourism. Once you get there after the lengthy journey, you’re going to feel as if the place is yours alone.
A haven for over 70% of the world’s marine life
Marine biodiversity in Raja Ampat is simply extraordinary. Dubbed as “The Crown Jewel of the Coral Triangle,” Raja Ampat is beyond rich in marine lives. Simply put, Raja Ampat’s underwater scene is the most incredible there is on earth.
It’s been discovered that around 75 percent of marine lives known to humans exist in Raja Ampat. Approximately 3,5 million ha areas are protected by the government. There are over 1,400 species of coral reef fishes in the area alone. The term paradise on earth is not an exaggeration. However, the marine life in Raja Ampat is not without threats. The threat of mass tourism is one of them. Which is why the remoteness of Raja Ampat is a good thing.
You’re going to need a permit to enter
Ouch for more extra fees. But again, like the difficulty in reaching this place, this is actually a good thing. Raja Ampat marine biodiversity is a part of priority for both Indonesian national and global conservation.
Depending on your mode of travel, it may already be included in the whole package of your tour. For instance, if you’re going by liveaboard, diving groups, and other group or private tours, then you likely won’t have to worry about this fee.
The permit is another step to deter the harm mass tourism would always bring eventually. The good news is, the money is going to be used to fund the conservation effort. Conservations in Raja Ampat is among the global as well as national priorities.
Help fund marine life conservation
If Raja Ampat is attacked by streams of mass tourism, it will eventually lose the charm that attracts people in the first place. And by then, it’s too late to reverse the damage. It’s going to take decades to restore the place if it is spoiled by human hands through mass tourism.
As mentioned previously, the funds from the entry permit is going to be used to help fund the conservation effort. So the extra fees you spent is not for naught and they’re going to go to a good place.
So are you planning a dive for the next vacation? Whether planning a solo, partner or traveling group, Bali is the perfect vacation destination. Bali offers a special attraction for diving and non-diving tourists. The reason why tourists really like Bali is the beach and sun (sunrise and sunset).
Enjoy Vacation And Be A Profesional Diver
If you are a beginner, you must take part in training activities for beginners. It takes effort, perseverance, and intention to take a beginner diving course. It is appropriate that best scuba diving in Bali for beginners should not be missed. Why? Warm weather, friendly ocean currents and good visibility, make it as the best scuba diving in Bali for beginners.
Some of the best scuba diving in Bali for beginners like Benoa offer a perfect underwater view. If your partner trip is with non-diving, Benoa is an amazing one. Enjoying the sea walker, paragliding or banana boat can make others busy while you dive.
While the other best scuba diving in Bali for beginners is on Menjangan Island. Although the distance of Menjangan Island from the area of Kuta or Seminyak is a bit far, the island offers a comfortable resort for its visitors. As a National Park area in West Bali, the beauty of the underwater and coral and reefs should not be missed. Snorkeling is one of the activities for non-divers visitors.
Scuba diving is fun but you have to understand the security side. Complying with the rules of diving is important. As long as you comply with regulations, diving will be the most interesting and memorable experience in your life.
When non-divers decide to try diving, there are many dive operators who offer training packages for beginners. Whether you decide to dive in Benoa, Menjangan or other spots training and safety are the main ones for beginner divers.
Best scuba diving in Bali for beginners is ideal for your perfect vacation. It is important for you to look for a trusted and best dive operator. Don’t be tempted by the price of a cheap training package. There are many training packages no matter you are beginner or professional. Learning diving skills is important and must be done as long as you still have an interest in diving.
There are many dive spots that you can explore throughout the world. When you find a passion for diving, then you will be able to explore the other underwater. If you are serious about diving, then don’t miss the best scuba diving in Bali for beginners. It doesn’t need an expensive budget to become a diver.
Bhutan is a small kingdom that is largely untouched by the outside world. To this day, it is one of the most beautiful and the most pristine regions in the world. Technology such as television and internet did not enter the nation until 1999. It is one of the most isolated nations in the world. As a result, not many people knew of Bhutan’s existence until quite recently when the Bhutan monarchs decided to seek United Nations membership. These days, Bhutan is increasingly becoming more and more popular for tourists. Yet, it manages to keep themselves pristine.
Bhutan is a small place tucked away in the Himalayas
The remoteness of Bhutan is a part of the reason why Bhutan is untouched—and not just seemingly. Bhutan is secluded in all sense of the word. And this has allowed the nation to survive in isolation. But it does not stop there.
Bhutanese people seemed to isolate themselves from the rest of the world for much of their existence. The Bhutanese people practice Buddhism. And many of the Bhutanese lands are areas of spiritual practices. Places of meditation and other religious routines are in abundance in Bhutan. This is one of the reasons why Bhutan is a very peaceful place.
Bhutan is never colonized in its history
The Kingdom of Bhutan is one of the very few Asian nations that has never been colonized in history. Part of it again, thanks to the geographical nature of Bhutan. The natural fortresses surrounding Bhutan help Bhutan’s defenses and maintain its sovereignty throughout centuries. Thanks to this, now we can enjoy Bhutan in its all unspoiled beauty.
A strong sense of tradition
Bhutanese culture is so enduring during the centuries that the nation has existed. This, again, is largely thanks to the protection offered by the Bhutanese geography itself. When people say it’s a hidden gem, it is a hidden gem. Bhutan is tucked away between the Tibetan Chinese area as well as India. While being in a landlocked country is generally viewed as a disadvantage to the outside world, in Bhutan’s case, it has largely protected it from the outside influence.
The concept of Gross National Happiness
Gross Domestic Product is not the only thing and in fact, not the dominant aspect the Bhutanese are focused on. The idea of Gross National Happiness was conceived by Jigme Singye Wangchuk, Bhutanese king who reigned since 1974. Although this concept is in nature, ultimately difficult to define, to measure, and to see evidence from, the idea is a novel one. And it’s one of the most attractive aspects of the Bhutanese culture. Naturally, the very idea attracts tourists as International appreciation comes.
There are no traffic lights in Bhutan
Bhutan is the only place in the world where this is the case. So how is the traffic regulated? By humans, of course! It’s been noted the time and again that Thimpu is the capital of human traffic lights. Curious to experience this? Maybe it’s time for you to do further research until you decide to finally book your Bhutan experience through their authorized local tour agent.
Nothing says that Komodo liveaboard trip is reserved only for the young and adventurous. Now that you have retired and comfortable, no one can hold you from travelling and sailing the world—including the raw and remote Komodo National Park, Labuan Bajo, Flores. Here are some basic guide that would be helpful for seniors who desire to sail in this frontier.
Avoid Joining the Younger Crowds
You have passed almost entire phases of life and you know very well how energetic younger crowds can be. When you are sailing with younger adventurers, you might have conflict of interest. What you think of enjoying Komodo might include taking time absorbing one place to the fullest, having lunch by the water, and spend the day leisurely sailing across the Flores Sea and enjoying the scenery. On the other side, younger generation’s definition of exploring the Komodo would often means cramming as many destination as possible in one day, have one activities quickly followed by another, and won’t rest until the stars out. For them, true Komodo holiday would be dive, trek, eat, sleep, repeat. Often times, the fun won’t die intimate at night—time when you might preferably spend by resting without disturbance.
Unless you have frequently on long trip with young groups of travelers, we highly suggest you to take private Komodo liveaboard if you can afford it. Chartering a liveaboard gives you undisturbed privacy and flexibility that won’t be available in open trip. You are even free to change the itinerary on sudden notice should your health condition need it. And the best of it all, there are no nosy teens to irritate your leisure sailing trip.
One Day One Hike, More Beaches than Trek
When you have passed the peak of your prime health, you might want to have more relaxed adventure. On the other side, the rugged landscape of Komodo strongly suggest lost of exploration—which obviously needs a lot of physical work. To avoid putting too much strain to your body, we highly suggest you to limit hiking, snorkelling, or diving to just once per day. Take more time chilling around Komodo’s beautiful beaches, leisurely swim in the shallow water, and just enjoying the vibe from the comforts of your liveaboard.
Tell Komodo Liveaboard Crews Your Health Diet
Oh, we all know the joy of food when it comes to senior age. Especially when you have many to watch—sugars, fat, cholesterol, certain seafood (some liveaboard cook fresh clams, shrimps, and sushi), and other certain foods you need to watch. As the Komodo liveaboard crew would be the one who cook your food during the trip, give them all the details. If necessary, hand them your personal low-calories sugars to make things easier.
This seems simple—after all, this might one of the most common advice for senior citizen to liveaboard trip. Following the model of Indonesian’s wooden ‘phinisi’ schooner, your Komodo liveaboard is full of narrow gangways and steep staircases. This seemingly super-simple advice, however, turns out to be the most challenging one. Over the years, we have seen many—experienced and inexperienced—fall to victim of the staircases. It’s very important to be extra careful 24/7, particularly when you just enter the liveaboard just after dive or beach play.
Never Forget Your Meds
Just because you are on your holiday doesn’t mean you can forget your medication. Put reminder when to register the meds and consult to your doctor whether you should adjust it with the local time to keep sticking to your biological hours.
There are many fun things to do during your vacation in Bali. It is not a secret that beaches in Bali are worth travelling for. The foods are also authentic and mouth-watering. The culture is also distinctive that there are many things to learn. Bali is a complete package for memorable vacation. It has become one of the most desired travel destinations. However, Bali is also a paradise for shopping lovers. Of course, shopping is one of must things to do while venturing Bali. More importantly, Bali has abundance of natural sources for eco-friendly shopping.
Eco-friendly shopping recommendation in Bali
Buying organic products during your vacation doesn’t only benefit you but the environment as well. By buying those kinds of products you play your role to maintain our planet. Besides, it helps the economy of the locals as well. Eco-friendly shopping is one of acts you can take as responsible travelers who care about the nature and people around them. So here are some tips for eco-friendly shopping in Bali:
- If you are looking for natural remedies, you can visit Blue Stone Botanicals. This is where you can find various essential oils for natural remedies. They can help you dealing with your stress and anxiety. Essential oils are not only great as stress reliever but also as mood-booster. There are also aromatherapy rain mist containing 100% natural ingredients such as pure water, and essential oils.
- If you are looking for healthy snacks, might as well visit Bali Buda. There is a wide range of products made from organic vegetable and fruits. There are also gluten-free pastries and homemade pesto. Various dressings are also available. Peanut butter, Sambal, and even pure Bali coconut water are also available here to indulge you. You can also find organic products here such as soap, mist, essential oils, etc.
- If you need skin treatment products, you can visit Sensatia Botanicals. This is a great place to find skin products for those who have sensitive skin. The products here are available for all skin types especially the sensitive ones. You can also buy a gift card for your beloved so they can buy anything they want.
- If you are in Bali for a family trip, you can bring your kids to mini Muncher. This is where you can find healthy foods for your kids so that you don’t have to worry about their nutrition. You can find healthy, organic, nutritious baby food purees packed in BPA-free containers. There are also healthy snacks to indulge your kids such as brownies, bars, smoothies, etc.
- If you want to buy various things in one place, you can visit Healthy Choice. This is where you can find foods, beverages, beauty products, and baby foods which are 100% organic. They also have catering service which makes them different from other organic stores. Thus, you can cater fresh and healthy organic meals during your stay in Bali. This is where you don’t have to go anywhere else to find everything you need.
If you are looking for a management company specializing in providing you villa rental and a holiday villa in Bali at a high standard, you can rely on exclusive Bali villas. It is not a secret that Bali is a wonderful place to spend for holiday and any type of getaway. There are many things to enjoy during your stay in Bali including unique festivals, sacred temples, hidden beaches, mouth-watering, authentic local foods, etc. everything is available in a complete package. You can also bring anyone whether it is a family member, friends, or partners, everyone will be delightful to spend their holiday in the Island of the Gods.
Exclusive vacation arranged by Exclusive Bali Villas
To be able to enjoy an exclusive vacation, you don’t have to sweat about it. Exclusive Bali villas will provide you with everything you need to experience the best vacation ever in Bali. You just need to contact the staff via email or phone call to make a reservation of a luxurious villa for your stay in Bali. Here are what exclusive Bali villas offer:
- Every villa you book, especially the top one, will have a supervisor to take care of any requirements you might have. Thus, you can ask for up to date advice on everything about your vacation including recommended restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and many other things. Therefore, you won’t run out of ideas of what to do during your stay in Bali.
- The villa you book contains all the facilities you need for a comfortable and luxurious vacation during your stay. The kitchen is fully equipped and has a modern and compact design. However, you don’t have to prepare the meals since the in-house staff will do it for you during your stay. There are also buffets and snacks to enjoy. Cook service is available in all villas managed by exclusive Bali Villas including Villa Dewata, Villa Aqua, and Villa Samudra Raya. To enjoy cook service, there won’t be a charge involved.
- The team will also arrange your English speaking massage therapist as well as tour driver and baby sitter if you need. You can notice the staff about these requirements four hours prior to the arrangement can be made. However, keep in mind that cancellation will be charged. With this, you will enjoy a luxurious vacation with the best service. You can bring your families, friends, or partner to make the most of your holiday in Bali.
- There are special offers you can receive if you book exclusive Bali Villas. Current special offers include Early Bird Promo, Last Minute Promo, etc. Each special offer is available for a certain period of stay. Thus, check out the offers now to see which one of them that suitable with your reservation.
- Before booking the service, make sure to read the terms and conditions to avoid misunderstanding. You can check them on the official website. The terms include information about check-in and check-out time, minimum stay requirements, payment, cancellation, refunding, and additional charges. If you agree with all the terms and condition, you just need to make a call and make a reservation.
Bali is one of the most favorite place to go when it comes to vacation. This island of Gods has everything you need for memorable vacation. Natural beauty, sweet people, deep culture, and foods are amazing. That’s why it is like a must to visit Bali from wherever you are at least once in your life to truly experience the real vacation. Aside from the culture and amazing places to visit, Bali also has delicious, authentic local dishes you should try. Travelling without trying the local foods is not complete. Foods are part of the local culture that you cannot only enjoy but learn about.
Foods you shouldn’t skip when visiting Bali
Enjoying local dishes is one of the perks of having s vacation. In Bali, there are many food stalls, simple diners, as well as high-end restaurant where you can enjoy various local dishes. If you are visiting Bli for the first time, food should be on your to-do list. Here are recommended authentic Balinese foods you wouldn’t regret trying:
- Betutu is one of the most iconic Balinese dishes. It consists of a whole duck or chicken stuffed with traditional spices. It is usually wrapped in banana leaves and enveloped tight in banana trunk bark before it is buried or baked in a coal fire. It can take 6 to 7 hours before ready to serve. The texture of Betutu is juicy and rich with flavor. It is easy to separate the meat from the bone after being cooked for so long. It is often served with rice and Sambal Matah.
- Jimbaran seafood
When you visit Bali, you must not skip Jimbaran as from your itinerary. This is one of the most favorite places to go because here you can enjoy the best seafood. Jimbaran seafood has been famous amongst tourist in Bali. There are many cafes and restaurant around Jimbaran Bay which serve grilled fresh caught seafood. They range from crabs, shrimps, clams, calamari, lobsters, and wide variety of fish. Every café usually has secret recipe of barbeque sauce and condiments in a form of Sambal Seafood Jimbaran Style.
- Babi Guling is another authentic local dish from Bali. However, it is not for Muslim travelers. Thus, make sure to ask what you are going to eat in Bali beforehand. This is a dish conceited of spit-roast pig stuffed with mixes of rice and vegetables. It is then slowly rolled over a coal fire. That’s why the name ‘guling’ means to roll. The meat is tender and juicy along with crispy skins. You can find dish dishes in almost every restaurant in Bali.
- Lawar is a dish consist of mix containing chopped meat,, vegetables, grated coconut and some spices. In some areas in Bali, Lawar is prepared using fresh blood mixed with the spices and meat to strengthen the flavor. There are two types of Lawar. They are white and red. The red Lawar is the one with fresh blood mixed and white Lawar is without. You can choose the one of them or both to try.
To be honest, I wasn’t appealed by Komodo cruise when I first heard about them.
Before Komodo, the idea of travelling with boat has never been on the top of my list. I don’t really like being swayed by the waves—though it may sounds romantic for other people. While travelling awhile back in Bali, we made a short day trip to Nusa Penida which we did by small ferry boat. Crossing the strait was like a trip to hell. The boat was constantly swayed to right and left, the deck was cramped with people and stiff chairs, and the air was not circulated properly. I went to the back seat; part of the ferry just before the stern. The only part where we can sit in an open setting. Though I needed to endure splashes of salt water from the propeller (and got wet a little), at least I get fresh air to ease the nausea a little. Not a very pleasant experience, I tell you. Needless to say, I got traumatised. I even still feel the nausea when I wrote this.
But then I heard of Komodo. I keep seing fellow traveler posts beautiful birds eye view of yellowish hills with deep curved bays (which later I know as Padar Island, one of traveler’s fave in Komodo), providing a high contrast to the bright blue sea in the surrounding. As if it was a universe conspiration, my Pinterest wall and Instagram feeds were constantly flooded by charming shots of golden hills, rosy tinted beaches (another Komodo’s main destination), scaly and ferocious dragons, jagged brown hills, and loads of aquamarine ocean that were too appealing to be ignored. Amidst the horde of Komodo’s natural beauty, travelers were busy sharing their leisure time in their Komodo cruise. They seems so happy to have relaxing sunbathing in the deck, and actually enjoying the scenery. Before I know it, I was deeply hooked.
Torn Apart: to Go or Not to Go
But here was the problem. To have a trip to Komodo, I need to hop into liveaboard. And that’s not just a one-to-two hours boat trip, but a three day trip! While my heart longs for this far-flung paradise, my head kept replaying our terrible trip with ferry back in Bali. Can I stand the nausea? Will I really enjoy my time in the sea? Do I really want this trip?
Until one day, I made the decision. A decision that forever change my soul.
Finally, A Cruiser Convert
Unlike my previous trip to Nusa Penida, this time I got bae on my back. He kept reassuring me that everything will be okay, that Komodo cruise was far more enjoyable than a fast boat ferries. This time, I take seasickness tablets wit me. The next thing I know, we have booked slots for two people on Ocean Pure, one of the best Komodo cruise recommended by our friend.
My Komodo Cruise was Not That Bad
In fact, it was so good that now I’m considering a trip to Raja Ampat, Papua.
So, I was still lingering in fear up to the moment when we were just about to see our liveaboard. It was when the liveaboard really sail that I realised I was okay. I didn’t want to throw up. I didn’t feel the seasickness. Maybe that’s due to the cruise’s body that were physically bigger than the ferry. Or maybe that was due to our captain’s skills. Maybe…it was because of the amount of creature comfort available on the cruise. I even fell in love with the interior of our ship—the nautical vibe made calmed me and made everything felt exciting at the same time!
One thing I really love from the Komodo cruise is their lounges; both indoor and outdoor. The cushions were regularly cleaned, super comfortable to lie in, and actually made our leisure time enjoyable. For the first time in my sailing trip experience, I could actually enjoy watching the scenery. And oh boy, seeing rugged islands passed by without thinking about anything but admiring nature’s creation was truly a satisfying experience.
Other things I love from the liveaboard were the rooms. Here we have our private cabin where I can retreat to our comfy bed whenever the I got too nauseated or tired from the trip. Something I definitely couldn’t do back in the ferry. Overall, it was a very enjoyable voyage.
The trip itself was incredible. We got to see everything Komodo has to offer; the Komodo dragons, the Pink Beach, the fenomenal Padar Island, many wonderful dive sites, and other breathtaking places that would be my story for another day.
Travelling can be fun but it also opens many possible things including trigger your food allergies. There is high chance that you most likely have no idea what ingredients in your food served during your trip. Those who have food allergies often choose to stay at home to stay safe. Well, travelling is an option and everyone has the right to do it or not. However, food allergies shouldn’t limit or reduce happiness coming from travelling especially if it is what you like to do. What you need to do is not stop travelling but find a way to stay safe doing it even with your food allergies as your companion.
Surviving food allergies while travelling
Many travelers who also have food allergies have proved that they can have fun during travelling and stay safe. Travelling with food allergies is not to be underestimated but it doesn’t mean you have to be so stress to think about it. Here are tips to survive from food allergies while travelling:
- Make a research before going to your destination is the right thing to do. You can use apps on your phone to help you find safe things to eat or locate restaurants serving food for people with allergies.
- Be more prepared before travelling. Some travelers may love spontaneous travel. However, it is not for travelers with food allergies. You should prepare everything you need related to your food allergies such as medication, first-aid kit, etc. Make sure to stock them in your bag before travelling so you can easily reach them in emergency.
- If you are going to travel with friends, work mates, or families, make sure they are informed about your food allergies in advance. Therefore, it can prevent from unnecessary mishaps such as bringing you foods containing things that can trigger your allergies. Informing the will not make you look weak. Instead, they can help you just in case your allergies hit you during your trip.
- Learn local language of your destination before. At least, you can learn simple words related to your food allergies such as what allergy is in the local language or what cashew in the local language is. Therefore, you can be more aware of what you are going to eat in your destination. You can also write a card saying about your food allergies in local language and show it to the server to inform the about your condition.
- It is safer to bring your own snacks if you don’t want to deal with unknown snacks during your trip. Thus, you don’t have to wander around searching for snacks if your flight is delayed. Being ignorant of things you eat will only lead you to suffer.
- It is highly advised to reach out to your airline in advance and let them informed about your food allergies. By speaking up, you can prevent from unnecessary mishaps. Airlines now are more versed in handling passengers with food allergies so you don’t hesitate to tell them about your condition.
Ubud is a popular destination in the world, even since long ago. Local traditions, music, dance, and a natural rural atmosphere give the impression of Ubud as a place of calm and peace. Travelers no longer focus solely on tourist areas such as Kuta. Many tourists choose Ubud for a relaxing and refreshing vacation. Enjoying the morning in the middle of the rice field area may never be imagined before. This is one reason why many tourists, especially foreign tourists, are so fascinated with Ubud. Ubud villas become the main choice of tourists as perfect accommodation.
Ubud villas are mostly located in the vicinity of local housing which is still surrounded by rice fields. There is no loud or frenzied music that you usually see in Kuta, Seminyak and surrounding areas. Not surprisingly, Ubud is a growing place for yoga and meditation. Deciding to look for Ubud villas is the right thing. Entering the traveler choices destination, making Ubud a hidden paradise in Bali. There are other reasons why Ubud villas are a favorite accommodation for tourists.
Ubud Villas Surrounded by Culture and Tradition
Along your journey to reach Ubud villas, you will see many cultures and traditions that are still well preserved. The building in the form of “Pelinggih” at the intersection, or in the area of the house looks unique and religious. When you walk in the area of Ubud villas in the morning, you will see local residents offering prayers and offering offerings in the form of “Canang” for ancestral spirits or the gods. The aroma of incense brings peace of mind and helps you relax your brain.
Ubud Villas, Perfect For Yoga And Meditation
Decide Ubud villas as your accommodation, making you closer to nature. The calm and peaceful atmosphere perfects your holiday by doing yoga and meditation. There are many yoga and meditation facilities available in several villas. It’s easier for you to look for Ubud villas that also have regular yoga and meditation schedules. Healing the body and mind is one reason tourists prefer villas as accommodations.
Feel the Uniqueness of a Natural Village
If your vacation destination is far from modernization, then Ubud is the right place. You can look for the Ubud villas area which is intentionally built to preserve the uniqueness of the village. It might seem like going back to ancient times, but you will feel at home for a long time. Not even a few tourists fell in love with the atmosphere and uniqueness of the village in Ubud who decided not to return to their home countries.