When it came time to deciding on where to honeymoon, we wanted to find a destination that would balance our need to recharge with our interest in exploring somewhere new together. Simply put: it had to be more than just a beach vacation.
We researched small exotic islands in the Pacific, cities in the south of Italy or France but ultimately decided on Bali. Sure, it wouldn’t be an easy place to get to but if it was, where was the adventure? Bali was Southeast Asia “light” – all that was great about that part of the world (the people, culture, climate) with none of what could be challenging (the hassle, language barrier or downpours.) Bali it was.
Both of us could take a total of two weeks from work, but factoring in travel, we would have 10 nights. Figuring out how to spend that time was difficult though. We knew we wanted some time on the beach as well as time to immerse ourselves in the island’s rich culture.
The heart of Bali’s culture happens to be in the heart of the country. Situated among verdant rice paddies, rising volcano peaks and rushing rivers, Ubud was the obvious choice of where we would base ourselves for the first five days of the trip.
When it came time to choosing where to spend our other five days, the number of beach options was daunting. There was Nusa Dua, a five star resort area developed by the government in the southern part of the island with great beaches but no local flavor. There was Seminyak, a glitzy town that the W decided to recently open in with great nightlife but not much relaxation. Then there were other islands, like Lombok with great beaches but only accessible by ferry.
Ultimately, we decided on Jimbaran Bay, historically a small fishing village south of Seminyak but an area that has recently exploded with development. Its calm waters, beautiful crescent shape beach and location – about a 30 min taxi ride to Seminyak – ultimately made us overlook the one downside, its proximity to the airport.
With that, we had the big pieces of our honeymoon figured out. We were going to Bali, spending five nights in Ubud and five nights in Jimbaran Bay. Now the fun part: where would we stay, what would we eat and how would we spend our time?