The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - MAR­IAN CAR­ROLL

GO: If you think you know Bali, think again. The is­land never fails to sur­prise with its lay­ers of art, cul­ture and spir­i­tu­al­ity, which over­ride the tourist­driven he­donism that of­ten turns peo­ple off. Ev­ery cliche you’ve ever heard refers to one dis­trict: Kuta. So get ex­plor­ing. Head to the moun­tains and east coast, where you’ll be fas­ci­nated by the way the Ba­li­nese con­tinue to prac­tise their unique Hindu rit­u­als even as the mod­ern world swirls around. The dis­trict of Ubud is a must. En­joy the va­ri­ety of cui­sine. Hire a guide but don’t be stingy when hag­gling. Visit in win­ter, which is the dry sea­son.

STAY: The Sayan val­ley is home to Ubud’s most iconic and ar­chi­tec­turally inspiring re­sorts. There is some­thing hyp­no­tis­ing about watch­ing and lis­ten­ing to the Ayung River roll by. Call me biased, but I have al­ways loved (even be­fore join­ing the re­sort) the John Heah-de­signed Four Sea­sons Re­sort Bali at Sayan and thought it looked like a UFO from a dis­tance, pop­ping out from the for­est. It’s perched be­tween two rivers (the UN Her­itage-listed Subak that feeds the rice fields, and the sa­cred Ayung be­low) and the river­front vil­las are the go; foursea­sons.com/sayan.

EAT: Em­brace the hip­pie vibe with lunch at Sari Or­ganic, ac­cessed via a 10-minute trek through rice fields. The views and burst­ing-with-good­ness food will have you re­trac­ing your foot­prints ev­ery day. It’s a good cure for the hang­overs you’ll get from mar­ti­nis and ribs at Naughty Nuri’s, and the guilt you’ll en­dure from over­do­ing it at Room 4 Dessert next door; room4dessert.asia.

DRINK: Did I men­tion Naughty Nuri’s? It’s an in­sti­tu­tion. There’s a good rea­son why.

SHOP: A trip out to John Hardy’s work­shop, Bambu In­dah, is a must, even if you don’t need new jew­ellery. It is a priv­i­lege to see the ar­ti­sans at work hand­craft­ing ex­quis­ite de­signs based on the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment, in their bamboo “of­fice”; bam­buin­dah.com.

OMMM: You can’t go to Ubud and not do some yoga or med­i­ta­tion. For an ex­tra bit of fun, try Laugh­ing Yoga or Danc­ing Yoga or even Si­lent Yoga at The Yoga Barn. Or the new Anti-Grav­ity Yoga at Dharma Shanti. Don’t for­get to breathe; theyo­gabarn.com

Mar­ian Car­roll has lived in Bali since 2003, work­ing as a jour­nal­ist and public re­la­tions ex­ec­u­tive. She re­cently joined Four Sea­sons Re­sorts Bali as direc­tor of PR for prop­er­ties at Jim­baran Bay and Sayan.

In­sid­ers edi­tor:

Gra­ham Er­bacher Gra­ham.Er­bacher@news.com.au

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