Over thinking the Bali Massage

I must confess, I am only fairly new to the whole massage thing in Bali. I had dabbled in manicures and facials for many years, however I just could not quite get to the point of stripping down, mostly naked in front of a total stranger, allowing him/her to rub oil ALL over my body. However, since everyone else was doing it (yep I will blame peer pressure) I thought hmmm I might be missing out on something here.
It might be due to the whole “ happy ending “ thing that I have come to associate a Bali massage with the more sensual ( read seedy) side of Bali, however I became intrigued and thought hmmmm you only live once, how bad can I it be right?
Well, my mind tends to go into overdrive sometimes and of course what is meant to be a tension releasing, time out, pampering session initially stirred my brain into a frenzy. Even just starting with the being handed paper undies? whats wrong with my own undies ? where do I put the undies when the massage is over ? do other people wear the undies? Am I weird if I don’t accept the undies ……
I would initially lay on the table and try to make sure my face is squished as comfortable as possibly into the arkward little hole, then I would notice the dribble bowl underneath which can at times be filled with pretty flowers, fragrant oil or if your are at one of the total lux places, a small screen with relaxing images ( I did notice that didn’t have any dribble on it)
Once the masseuse gets started I kind of start to ponder what they are actually doing. Are they standing on the massage bed above me to get to that angle? Are they using there elbows? Yep I must relax, this is meant to be relaxing, hmmm it does feel nice, hang on did she just touch my boob! Is she meant to touch my boob? I am sure she has touched 1000 boobs but why is she touching my boob?????
I might get really adventurous and one day actually respond when they ask “is this ok miss?” other than ” yes thank you ” in regards to gentle, medium and firm pressure. I have gathered my assertiveness skills to politely decline the paper undies these days.
Whilst my husband prefers to pay about 60 000 rupiah for his massages, he always returns saying, either he had a small gathering looking on and chatting to the masseur about what’s for dinner during his massage, or he has caught someone riffling through his pant pockets for small change a couple of times or during his massage or the masseuse was privy to a little more of his private parts than perhaps should have been on display ( I wont go into detail but I am sure you can imagine the male anatomy of which could fall out of the paper undies). These stories do make me laugh and may actually be the root cause of my Bali massage anxiety. I do prefer the mid price range where the table is at least long enough to cater for my 5’9 height ( some places have too short tables to perhaps check this out before you say you want a 1 hour massage.
These days after a beautiful massage I still ponder why I don’t leave the room looking as good as I feel. In my mind I feel toned, relaxed, beautiful and refreshed. I sometimes and perhaps shouldn’t glance in the mirror to see a creased, sleepy face with wild woman hair. In saying all this I now really enjoy a good massage and at the first hint of that massage oil scent I get the dreamy look come over my face. I have some of my favourite place to go for a massage listed in my App in the day spa section if your willing to trust my opinion. Always on the search for the perfect massage let me know your favourite places to head to when in Bali ?
20140719-113404-41644724.jpg

Traditional Markets ~ Denpasar, Bali.

The traditional markets, dotted all over the island, are always an adventure as well as a total overload on your senses including smells, tastes, sights, sounds and touch. Not for the faint hearted or slightly precious as the dried fish can be really pungent when combined with extreme heat of the day, a waft of body odour, getting lost in the guts of the 3rd floor can be a little nightmarish ( especially if your a as pale as I am) and whatever you do , DONT go to the toilet. Apart from all that some amazing bargains to be found even when they add a little foreigner tax on top, trinkets, fans, home wares, fruit, flowers, balloons, and all kinds of weird stuff, a true experience to behold.

762761763764766770772775776779780781782

Tegallalang, Ubud, Bali

228

I don’t know about you guys, but some parts of Bali truly take my breath away and this place is one of them. Located about 10 minutes out of Ubud on the road to Kintamani, with some of the best craft stalls along the way is the Tegallalang Rice Terraces. You can enjoy a meal at one of the warungs on the edge or get adventuring down into the terraces to get some of the most stunning photos, the morning light when the sun is out is just beautiful. I did get sweet talked into paying wayyy too much for some post cards but hey they were worth it :).

604307254

Fold Folk ~ Kerobokan, Bali

Always on the hunt to find quality and new suggestions for you guys. When trekking out and about in around Kerobokan, I have been keeping my eye out for this place to open and Hooray!!!! it has. FOOD FOLK is located on Jl Mertandi no 82 just near the prison and is a tiny place so don’t blink or you might just miss. Serving up great, solid, fresh and tasty breakfasts, salads and pastas and good tangerine juice. Drop by or Scoot through and grab a take away coffee as they are making some quality caffeine hits. I love the modem minimalist décor and the chicken pesto pasta definitely hit the spot, YUM. 
 FF6FF9 FF14 FF15FF8

 

Bali Hindu Offerings ~ Canang Sari

Did you know the offerings you see everywhere are part of the daily Balinese Hindu rituals, are all hand made every day in their 1000’s ? Usually by the Ibu ( mothers). They can be purchased for around 10 000 Rupiah ready made, however if made from scratch a lot cheaper. We were curious to learn what they meant and the significance of all of the parts which make these beautiful offerings. While at the Denpasar markets grabbing some fruit we brought all the items needed and were taught how to make them. What I have learnt is that there are various interpretations of the meaning behind them and perhaps a little lost in translation. One theory is that they are a “Thank you symbol” for peace given to the world. The word “Canang” is originally from the Kawi Language and means “beautiful purpose”. Canang Sari has some major components which include symbolising the three major Gods in Hinduism. Shiva , Vishnu and Brahma. Canang sari are set in a tray made from palm leaf as a symbol of Ardha Candra. They are overlaid by flowers placed in a specific direction. Each direction symbolizes a Hindu God:
White-colored flowers lay in the east as a symbol of Iswara
Red-colored flowers placed in the south as a symbol of Brahma
Yellow-colored flowers placed in the west as a symbol of Mahadeva
Blue or green colored flowers put in the north as a symbol of Vishnu
A canang sari is completed by placing amount money on the top , this is said to make up the essence (the “sari”) of the offering. Incense is lit and holy water sprinkled during the prayer process.107114120143146167

Lulu Yasmine ~ My Favorite boutique.

For several years now, my favourite go to boutique for any special occasion items has been Lulu Yasmine. It must be the mix of beautiful boho chic and femininity that draws me in, matched with the quality of the clothing with the softest and most delicate silks and lace. Since the development has marched north so has Lulu Yasmin now with her elegant Flagship Store located just near the entrance of the W Retreat on Jl Petitegnet.. I have been addicted to Pinterest and found myself repeatedly pinning delicate lace tops and wanting them to match with worn cut of denims, as I wondered in due to being notoriously early for my massage next door at Amo spa, I ohhhhh and ahhhhhed as this stunning silk top caught my, eye. I tried it on and even with no make up and the sweatiest helmet hair, I instantly felt beautiful and said this is it the top I have been longing for. Armed still with some birthday money to spend, I almost skipped with glee to my next appointment. Like Lulu Yasmin on Facebook and see her new website. http://www.luluyasmine.com/
398402

 

Kayuputi Sunday Brunch ~ St Regis Resort, Nusa Dua.

I do like to day dream and I kind of imagine this place is what heaven might be like. Kayuputi at the The St. Regis Bali Resort is just perfect in every sense and I could not have asked for a better place to celebrate my 40th Birthday. This 4 time Wine Spectator Award winning fine dining restaurant offers the most wondrous brunch your mind can imagine. Every Sunday serving Asian inspired haute cuisine with an opulent yet inviting atmosphere. This sea side Brunch includes complimentary aperitif and champagne or juice in the bar from 11 – 12 noon. The actual brunch runs from 12 – 3. For 1.100 000Rup Per person and Beverage packages from 995.00 per person inclusive of champagne, world class premium wines, cocktails digestives and cigars ( it’s worth it) . Seating is limited and a reservation is a must. Approximately 20 courses of the most visually exquisite and tastebud pleasing dishes are presented at your table. You can order off of the sensational al la cart menu also. Don’t be put off if you have not heard of or can’t pronounce half of the menu, I couldn’t either, however I can reassure you it was all amazing. Pace yourself as you may just explode if you try the lot. I loved it when the manager greeted us and provided a rundown of how this brunch works, I apologised for my husband who was enjoying the “huge, pumping, swell and would join us soon” Harold commented “his loss “as the staff handed me the most delicious champagne ever and I thought to myself, this is not your average brunch buffet no no no. Harold explained we can just wave anything away that we didn’t want as it was offered at our table, however my eager gang was willing to try the lot. These angels in white (highly professional wait people) just subtly appear in front of you, with some of the courses being prepared at the table with a theatrical like visual display. The caviar, the tuna, the beef was all sublime, however my favourite part was ‘The Bounty” a coconut sorbet with dark chocolate. I was totally spoilt with a huge bunch of stunning roses and also totally embarrassed as all the staff sang to “Happy Birthday” to me. Even the toilets are stunning in this place and I did take my phone in to sneak a shot of the waterfall just for you guys. Oh and I almost forget to mention your children aged 4 and up can be safely minded in the Child Learning Centre for the duration of this experience. Start Saving now as this experience is a MUST DO if you are in Bali. http://www.kayuputirestaurant.com/sunday-brunch.
503509513140517518520523138494

843

Stay In touch

I find one of the cheapest ways to stay in touch, is to get your phone unlocked at home, then grab a prepaid mini sim ( or whatever your phone needs) with some data on it when you are in Bali. There are little stalls everywhere, just ask a local or the staff at your hotel or villa to assist and for around 100 000 Rup you should be covered for a heap of Facebook check ins, Instagram Uploads, and Viber calls and messages as well as texts and calls back home. Make sure your contacts have been saved to your phone ( not your sim). Too Easy ! xxxxBali Sim

St Regis Resort, Nusa Dua.

You know you are going to like a place when they greet you at the front security by name and hand you a frangipani on a stick. By now you guys will know I generally prefer small villas and my own privacy however when an opportunity comes up like this, I will say YES PLEASE. The The St. Regis Bali Resort felt like it was almost designed and created for just for me. A perfect balance of understated luxury and class, matched with the most welcoming and friendly warmth. A grand hotel which has managed to create this perfect sense of serenity yet totally embraces children. My boys were totally won over with their pack on arrival which included hats, t-shirts, baby turtles, colour pencils. We were transported in the golf buggy of course by our personal butler Agus to our 2 bedroom Lagoon villa, which is spacious, beautiful and like a very luxurious, home away from home. These villas have everything you need including oodles of complimentary items such as hats, beach bags, sparkling and still water and the most extensive bathroom amenity range you could ever imagine. As we ran around, mouths open in awe to find out way out to our private deck personal pool and day bed, we followed the deck down and the boys jumped into the huge secret salt water lagoon in the middle of the resort. This lagoon is just dreamy, to float swim, lounge, walk, explore, sun bake and play. Pool guys paddle around in their boats and as the palm trees offer you the choice of sunshine or shade. After exploring the lagoon, the pool spa, the waterfalls, the kids pool, the beach, the hammock garden, we managed to get back to the Children’s Learning Centre. This place is amazing for 4 years and up, structured activities to engage and teach the children about culture, craft music, cooking and more. Whilst kids are being well cared for you can indulge in the high quality day spa, sit on the sun lounge by the Indian Ocean and sip a baby coconut, or read a magazine in one of the day beds protected by heavenly, billowing white curtains. As the moon begins to rise, every evening you venture to the lobby area to enjoy the drumming and fire dance, it was sensational and the boys LOVED it. Its the little touches that St Regis provides like when the butler inquires would the boys like complimentary milk or hot chocolate with their cookies before bed, and to see them sipping their night time treat like it happens all the time brought huge smiles to our faces. I can not recommend this place highly enough to the luxury traveller either honeymooning, as a couple or travelling as a family. With some of the islands most highly regarded restaurants within the grounds ( more posts coming soon) you are not deprived for choice. With a range of rooms available, it is the perfect place to indulge,relax and create some wonderful memories.http://www.stregisbali.com/ DSC_0097DSC_0113DSC_0157IMG_2264IMG_2296IMG_2289IMG_2324DSC_0071

DSC_0223IMG_2121

Triette Store ~ Jl Batu Belig Bali

Triette Store is a tiny bit of shopping heaven with the prettiest home wares, jewellery and baby clothes you really need to pop on up and have a browse. I brought the cutest batik shopping bag and resin Koi candle holder and could have done some serious credit card damage. Oh but *sigh* if I only had a baby girl they have the sweetest little girl jewellery, which reminded me of when my Opa and Oma would return from Holland with the daintiest silver jewellery for me which was very similar. Whilst checking out the rest of the little gems on the best street in Bali you need to add this one to your list. It is just near Coco and Ginger, Bathe and Bambuku on Jl Batu Belig which is about 10 minutes from seminyak at the end of Petitenget turn towards the beach ( left and follow it down to the beach.
055

057

062

066

068Triette Store 1