Bali is one of those tropical destinations people dream of visiting for its long stretches of beach and jungle interior, however Bali is so much more than a beach, as our product manager, Rachel Gleave, discovered on her recent trip to Bali.
I travelled down to Bali to discover new areas of the island along with new hotel openings. On my trip I visited the sites of the gorgeous Six Senses, soon to open on the southern coast, as well as the enchanting new Capella Ubud, (opening in June) a luxurious glamping experience in the outskirts of Ubud. However it was my journey through the North West that showcased an area of Bali, most people haven’t heard of or visited. The West Bali National Park (Taman National Bali Barat in Bahasa Indonesia) is the most north-westerly point of Bali. The journey there is an experience in itself, driving through an area called Belimbing – you’ll see stunning valleys terraced with rice paddies. I highly recommend including a trek through the fields and discover the local way of life.
The park itself encompasses 190 square kilometres of unspoiled bushland, wonderful for hiking and no doubt you’ll encounter the many wild deer who inhabit the park. As well as wonderful snorkelling off the shore, this is also the launch point for trips to Menjangan Island, one of Bali’s best snorkelling and dive spots. Accommodation wise – in the past two years two unique new lodges have opened their doors, offering visitors a chance to spend time in this untouched area. Menjangan Dynasty Resort offers Glamping tents with stunning views, many with their own pools. The resort has its own dive centre and two pools. Plataran Menjangan is located in the park itself with guests staying in authentic Javanese houses located within the forest or on the water’s edge, creating an original local style but with plenty of luxury touches. The resort has two restaurants, an infinity pool and spa. Two or three nights here would offer guests a different taste of Bali and add a completely different element to a trip to Bali.