Dive into new Bali ex­pe­ri­ence

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Travel - By TYLER BROWN

IF 'glamp­ing' is glam­orous camp­ing then we need a new term for the next level of rough­ing it in style.

The newly opened Men­jan­gan Dy­nasty Re­sort, Beach Camp and Dive Cen­tre has been dubbed Bali's af­ford­able ver­sion of the Mal­dives.

It's like Bali's lit­tle se­cret; sit­u­ated in the rel­a­tively un­touched north­west of the is­land, about four hours (de­pend­ing on traf­fic) from the crazi­ness of Kuta.

Ad­mit­tedly, board­ing my Tig­erair flight from Perth, I be­gan to won­der if this was the right way to kick off my few days of in­dul­gence.

But the bud­get air­line gen­uinely sur­prised me with their ser­vice and the fact it has the low­est can­cel­la­tion rate of all ma­jor Aus­tralian do­mes­tic air­lines.

Af­ter a fairly smooth trans­fer from Den­pasar, we were greeted with a much-needed re­fresh­ing cold towel and a wel­come drink.

Walk­ing through the re­sort, past the sa­faristyle tented rooms and vil­las, it be­came clear this was more than just glamp­ing.

Flown in from South Africa, the heavy can­vas tents play with your senses, with the light and sounds of na­ture just out­side but the lux­ury of an air­con­di­tioned suite with all the ho­tel trim­mings on the in­side.

What I liked most were the lit­tle de­tails: the bed­side drift­wood and sea­grass lanterns that looked like they be­longed on an old-fash­ioned street, the pic­nic hamper used to house the toi­letries, a wicker wardrobe and rus­tic stor­age bas­kets. And just to re­mind you you're def­i­nitely not camp­ing: a mini­bar en­cased in a wooden chest.

Sit­u­ated on 16ha of beach­side land, the re­sort pre­dom­i­nantly caters for out­door en­thu­si­asts.

Op­er­at­ing the Pasir Pu­tih Dive Cen­tre, Bali Hai Div­ing Ad­ven­tures of­fers guided scuba div­ing and snorkelling around Men­jan­gan Is­land.

Just a 20-minute boat ride from the re­sort and I was im­mersed in what could eas­ily be mis­taken for a scene from Find­ing Nemo, with more species of co­ral than I could count, fish that re­sem­bled trum­pets and elec­tric-blue starfish.

There is also the op­tion of kayak­ing, ca­noe­ing and stand-up pad­dle board­ing.

But if re­lax­ing and pam­per­ing is more your idea of a Bali get­away, you can in­dulge in a mas­sage or bath over­look­ing the wa­ter in a pri­vate spa pod, sit back with a cock­tail at Pasir Pu­tih Beach Club and Bar while watch­ing the deer (yes, deer) gal­li­vant­ing on the shore, or laze by the in­fin­ity pool, where you can even en­joy a float­ing break­fast.

Day trips are also on of­fer, with the At­las Pearls farm and Hat­ten Wines – the only vine­yard in Bali to use lo­cal grapes – not far away.

This bou­tique re­treat was def­i­nitely a new ex­pe­ri­ence for this Bali-lover and one I hope to have again soon.

The writer was a guest of Tig­erair, Bali Dy­nasty Re­sort and Men­jan­gan Dy­nasty Re­sort, Beach Camp and Dive Cen­tre.

Next week we travel to Bangkok and visit a 100-plus-year-old mar­ket run by a stall­holder who has worked there since World War II.

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