Bali is a healing place. With a plethora of health-centric restaurants, natural healers, yoga studios and wellness retreats, it's an island many head to recharge, rejuvenate and realign themselves. Vive la Eat, Pray, Love!
I’ve wanted to explore this side of Bali for a wee while, and so finally booked a short mid-winter break to the Indonesian island with my mother and sister (girls trip, caa-ute).
We started our adventure exploring Seminyak for a few days; before making our base the coastal village of Canggu at a women’s-only retreat, which was very much a sanctuary.
The smell of incense, morning chanting and balmy air would constantly remind us where we were – beautiful Bali.
Built into our week-long stay at the retreat (we chose Escape Haven) was a daily yoga programme. While there were options for surf or fitness themes, I wanted to slow everything down this trip; which yoga fit the brief.
We intimately explored the discipline over the week, with discussions on the mind-body connection and history of yoga, as well as twice-daily practises.
I was pretty blissed out by the end, but relaxation was inescapable. Alongside yoga there were daily spa treatments and plenty of chill time. The endless pampering was ridiculously dreamy (albeit completely indulgent).
Make sure to swing by the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud to get up close and personal with these cute littles fellas.
There were three areas we explored in Bali, each with a totally different vibe:
Canngu. A laid-back bohemian surf town, where serenity rules and the food’s great. Lots of busy spots to explore, mixed with quiet cozy nooks. Rice fields for days, but plenty of development happening. Undeniably cool.
Ubud. Jungle vibes. An artsy spot and a cultural hub of Bali. No beach, but it makes up in rice fields and temples. If you’re interested in local culture this town will feed your soul over the others. Bad traffic.
Seminyak. Fancy restaurants, wellness spas, beach clubs, and (spendy) boutiques galore. Bustling and more touristy. Popular with party goers, and the seemingly ‘glamorous’ sister of towns. Nice coffee.
Alongside traditional balinese cuisine, the island offers an endless supply of cafes catering towards a health conscious audience. It’s a land of smoothie bowls and tropical fruit – but so much more.
Dishes are cleverly crafted, innovative, tasty, and, oh my, beautifully presented. If the food was personified it’d be cheery, fun and happy.
Hot spots like Seminyak, Ubud and Canggu have plenty of options on offer. Below were some favourites under the healthy foodie cuisine umbrella:
It’s hard not to get recharged in a place like Bali – the vibes are chilled, the food is fresh, and relaxation’s actively encouraged.
Highlights were the food and new found love and appreciation for yoga – I’ve come back and made a conscious effort to regularly show up on my mat.
Given the nature of our stay, being very much a girl’s trip to a retreat, we didn’t venture out too far – next time I’d love to explore Bali deeper, go off the beaten track, learn more about the culture and enjoy more authentic Indonesian cuisine. There’s much more then meets the eye to Bali!