Vegin’ Out on the Island of the Gods

May 28, 2015 by Elskamor
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Explore Bali’s back roads and beyond as we take in the fascinating culture, countryside and cuisines of this enchanting island paradise!


15 Vegin’ Out on the Island of the Gods

 

Dates:

  • 29 May – 11 June, 2016

Location:

Palm trees swaying gently on balmy tropical breezes, fine sandy beaches greeting azure warm waters and seas of emerald green rice terraces – this is Bali, a serene and staggeringly beautiful island in the Indonesian archipelago. Of all islands, the name Bali strikes travelers as almost mystical – and indeed, in many ways it is. Being a mostly Hindu island in the midst of the world’s largest Muslim country, Bali testifies to the vast and diverse country that is Indonesia. Our adventure here takes us from one side of the island to the other, and all the way to Java, where you’ll experience rural villages, postcard perfect beaches, pristine coral reefs rich with vividly colored marine life, local bazaars, some of the best vegan cuisine on the island, special vegan cooking classes, guests of local schools and meals with local families, festive nights with local music and dance, and the cultural heartland of Bali where the island’s unique Hindu customs and traditions are deeply rooted in the people’s everyday lives.

Types of activities offered:

  • 2 vegan cooking classes (1Balinese and 1 Javanese cooking class)
  • traditional Balinese dance workshop
  • 2 hour traditional Balinese massage
  • 90 minute traditional aroma therapy massage
  • yoga lessons
  • snorkelling trip
  • hike up and explore an active volcano
  • heritage walk in Ubud

Types of food:

Mouthwatering vegan food. 38 meals (13 breakfasts, 14 lunches, 11 dinners).

 

Activities:

  • local Balinese cultural lessons
  • daily Bahsa Indonesia language lessons
  • live traditional Balinese music and classical folk dances and performances
  • meal with local families
  • guest of local school and children’s home
  • local market exploration
  • introduction to art and music of traditional Balinese gamelan
  • visit local temples
  • participate in Hindu ceremonies
  • guests of a local school and children’s home

Price range:

2495 USD

Detailed retreat description:

Known for its mesmerizing music, distinctive architecture, absorbing art, rich cultures and deeply spiritual and very friendly people, Bali is truly a special place to those who experience it. Join us as we explore this Island of Gods – as Bali is also known, from famous sites, beaches, and temples to off-the-beaten-track locations, discover and experience Bali with us on a magical journey into the heart and soul of this beautiful and mystical island! This is Bali and beyond and we look forward to sharing the wonders of this magical island with you on our VegVoyages’ Vegin’ Out on the Island of Gods adventure!

What’s included:

All costs of activities during this veggie adventure!

What’s NOT included:

  • International airfare
  • airport departure transfer
  • visa for Indonesia
  • personal travel insurance
  • gratuities and items of personal nature

 

Daily Schedule:

DAY 1 Sanur – South Bali

Selamat Datang! Welcome to Bali – the Island of the Gods! In the morning, we’ll have our Orientation Meeting complete with tropical fruit tasting, snacks, and a delicious vegan lunch where you’ll have a chance to get to know your fellow travelers as we discuss the adventure ahead. After orientation, we’ll set out for our first introduction to traditional Balinese massage. Returning to our hotel, you’ll have time to freshen up before we learn about Balinese classical dance. As the sun sets over Sanur, we’ll enjoy a tasty vegan dinner of local island delicacies. (Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 2 Munduk – Journey into Bali’s hill country

After breakfast, we’ll journey on one of the most scenic drives on the island passing paddy fields, small villages and jungle-clad hillsides. During our travels, we’ll visit the sacred Pura Tirta Empul temple. Dating back to 926 AD, Hindus from across the country come here to bathe in its holy spring water. Leaving the temple, we’ll head up into the island’s stunning mountains stopping for views of the sacred Gunung Batur Volcano and a cup of local Java (the coffee, not the island). Making our way on the back roads of Bali, we’ll arrive in the heart of the hill country at our bungalows with stunning views! Then, we’ll hike out into the countryside to a lovely waterfall before returning for our Cultural Heritage Class where we’ll learn about the island’s rich history, customs, and traditional home architecture. As the sun sets over the paddies, we’ll enjoy a dinner of local Munduk favorites. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3 Munduk – Journey into Bali’s hill country

Waking up to fresh mountain air, we’ll set out to explore the surrounding paddy fields, farms and forests learning about the culture, way of life and farming methods in rural Bali – including joining a local family at their home for lunch. Back at our bungalows, we’ll have today’s Cultural Heritage Class where we’ll learn about the unique form of Hinduism practiced here including how to make the ritual offerings we see throughout the journey. In the evening, we’ll join a noted Gamelan player and his family at their home for a colorful evening of music and tasty local dishes. We’ll also learn about the Gamelan instrument: how it’s made, how it’s played, its history, and its extraordinary sound. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 4 Pemuteran – On the sandy shores of Bali

After yoga, we’ll make our way to the sacred hot springs of Air Panas Banjar where sulfuric water is fed through 8 stone-carved mythical dragon-like snakes into a 3-tiered pool. After freshening up in the hot springs, we’ll visit an auspicious temple where we’ll learn about Balinese temple architecture and participate in a Hindu blessing, before arriving at our home on the shores of the Bali Sea at the northwestern most tip of the island. Far from the crowds of South Bali, we’ll be staying in traditional bungalows near the beach at the doorstep of a beautiful coral reef. Since we’ve been having Balinese cuisine up until now, and since the chef where we stay is a great baker – prepare this evening for a taste of back home with vegan pizza, pasta, and fresh salads for dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 5 Pemuteran – On the sandy shores of Bali

In the morning, we’ll be guests of an important marine conservation project that helps to restore the fragile reefs of Bali. After learning about the project, the plight of the coral reefs and the abundance of species that rely on them, we’ll head offshore into the Bay of Pemuteran to snorkel the restored reef with those who are working so hard to preserve it. Returning to shore, we’ll meet for lunch before exploring the sleepy town and learning about local culture. As the colors of the day turn to night over the Bali Sea, we’ll be guests of a local family at their home for traditional Balinese hospitality and a delicious home-cooked dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 6 Pemuteran – On the sandy shores of Bali

Today we’ll spend our time out on boats and in the Bali Sea exploring the beautiful protected marine life rich waters around Menjangan Island. Far from the crowds of South Bali, the gorgeous coral reef gardens off this protected area are truly a sight to behold! With its excellent coral reef wall that plunges over 50 meters deep, the reef offers a stunning spectacle of hard and soft corals along with a plethora of marine life, including parrot fish, butterfly fish, snappers, trigger fish, clown fish, sweetlips, angelfish, sea turtles, and (if we’re lucky) black tip reef sharks. After exploring the underwater world, you’ll have the rest the day free to snorkel the lovely house reef near our bungalows, sunbathe, have a massage, catch up on some reading, lounge around the pool or just chill out at a local café. (Breakfast, Lunch)

DAY 7 Pemuteran – On the sandy shores of Bali

On the most northwesterly point of the island lies the picturesque Taman Nasional Bali Barat (West Bali National Park). Home to over one hundred and sixty species of birds, including the near extinct Bali Starling, and a wide variety of other wildlife from barking deer and banteng (wild buffalo), to wild boar and leopard cats, the park is a mixture of dry savannah, thick forests and mangroves. Today we’ll spend our time exploring the wilds of the national park by foot and sea taking in its beauty and learning about this vital eco-system with one of the parks foremost experts. As the sun sets over the peaks overlooking the Bali Sea, we’ll meet beachside for our last night in Pemuteran where we’ll enjoy a colorful evening of traditional music and dance, sundowners, snacks and, of course, more food! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 8 East Java – Across The Bali Strait

Catching our ferry over the Bali Strait, we’ll make our way to the island of Java where over the next two days we’ll be introduced to Javanese culture, geography and yes – tasty cuisine! Home to 60% of Indonesia’s population, much of the country’s history, politics and culture has been influenced by the island. On arrival, we’ll visit a historical Chinese temple, be guests of a local mosque, and spend time at the town’s supermarket where we’ll buy gifts for kids at a local children’s home we’ll be guests of later in our journey. Settling in at our seaside hotel, we’ll meet in the garden for tonight’s cultural culinary experience – i.e. a Javanese cooking class where we’ll learn how to make regional favorites using one of the most important cooking tools on the island – the mortar and pestle. Rolling up our sleeves, under the guidance of the chef we’ll not only learn, but also cook, tonight’s meal! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 9 East Java – The Majestic Volcano of Ijen

Before sunrise, we’ll begin our hike up Ijen. For those who have climbed this impressive crater – the words stunning, spectacular, amazing and awesome come to mind – and once you make the trek to the top of this active volcano through a beautiful forest reserve, you’ll understand why. With a 200 meter deep turquoise blue acidic-lake at its center and sulphur clouds billowing around its moonscape scenery – Ijen is truly a surreal sight to behold! After enjoying the views from the top, we’ll head back for lunch where you’ll be introduced to the regional dessert classic – Cendol! After resting up from our hike, we’ll enjoy local favorites for dinner along with a colorful Javanese music and dance program. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 10 West Bali – Villages Along The Indian Ocean

While in Bali we’ve learned about the island’s majority Hindu population and their culture, so over the next two days we’ll take time to learn about the other cultures that make up the rich tapestry of the island. This afternoon, we’ll visit two small villages that are home to Bali’s relatively tiny Catholic and Protestant communities where even in their places of worship a heavy Balinese influence is seen in their unique fusion architecture. As guests of the local communities, we’ll learn about their history and culture and join the kids from a nearby children’s home for a tasty vegan meal. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 11 Ubud – Bali’s Cultural Heartland

Since Bali is one of 17,000 plus islands that make up the largest Muslim country in the world, this morning we’ll be guests of a local Muslim school where we’ll learn about Islam in Bali and the importance it plays in Indonesian culture and way of life. The students here have a special cultural program they’ll be sharing, along with giving us a tour of their campus. After lunch at the Madrasah, we’ll depart for the cultural capital of the island – Ubud!  Arriving at our beautiful Balinese garden cottages set amongst rice paddies and green gardens, you’ll have time to freshening up, relax on your balcony or take a dip in the relaxing pool. Later, we’ll settle down for dinner and an evening of hypnotic Balinese music and dance. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 12 Ubud – Bali’s Cultural Heartland

It’s all about Ubud and its surroundings today as we’ll set up by foot exploring the historical city of Ubud. First stop if the popular  Monkey Forest, a jungle sanctuary that is home to sacred temples and a plethora of wild monkeys. After lunch at a local cafe, we’ll unwind with a traditional Balinese massage and herbal treatment! Back at our cottages, you’ll have the evening free to explore Ubud on your own. (Breakfast, Lunch)

DAY 13 Ubud – Bali’s Cultural Heartland

After breakfast on your verandah overlooking the paddy fields, we’ll begin today’s cultural culinary experience at a local family’s home where we’ll learn to prepare a delicious full course vegan Balinese meal. Our first stop will be at the market where we’ll learn about the local market scene before heading to the kitchen. Finishing in the afternoon, you’ll have time free to get in any last minute souvenir shopping before we meet at sunset for a colorful evening of snacks, refreshing drinks and delicious dinner! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 14 Back to South Bali

We head back to South Bali today, along the way visiting Tanah Lot – one of the island’s most sacred and most photographed temples. Our adventure ends after lunch on arrival in Sanur at our hotel. Terima kasih banyak, banyak (thank you very much)! (Breakfast, Lunch)

Amenities and accomodation:

13 nights accommodations (1 night at a resort in the seaside town of Sanur, 2 nights in traditional cottages in Bali’s beautiful hill country, 4 nights in traditional Balinese beachside bungalows overlooking the Bali sea, 2 nights at a seaside resort on the island of Java overlooking the Bali Strait, 1 night at a local inn on Bali’s far less visited west coast, and 3 nights in Balinese garden cottages overlooking the rice paddies of Ubud)

Travel arrangements

  • Start at 10:00 AM. Ends at 2:30 PM
  • Airport arrival pick up
  • Airport pick up is provided only if you arrive a day or two earlier than the tour date. If you would be arriving three days or more early, please arrange  your own airport pick up.

About the teachers or hosts:

Long time vegetarians/vegans and avid travelers with almost twenty years experience living, working and organizing trips within Asia and unique “off-the-beaten-track” vegan adventures.




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