I started off my trip to Bali with a 3 night stay at Villa Surya, located in Amalpura on the eastern side of Bali. My friend’s parents built this place last year and were kind enough to offer it up to us in between rentals. After about 2 hours in the car from the airport, Made, the villa driver, pulled off the main road and started down a narrow, unpaved, and bumpy path. I was unsure of where we were going but as we arrived at the house, I knew I was in paradise.
The beautiful white villa was built in a traditional Balinese way that allows for the cool breezes from the sea to blow through the house and also provides beautiful views of neighboring rice fields and the ocean. Grace, the cook and caretaker of the house, brought me a coconut and welcomed me to Bali.
For the next few days I lived a life of luxury. Each day I woke up to a view of palm trees, the sea, and a rising sun. And after a month of monsoons in Korea, that last one was the key of all of my happiness. I would then go downstairs, plop myself into a lounge chair next to the pool and drink my morning coffee while reading and soaking up some rays. Once everyone awoke we would indulge ourselves in a big breakfast. I should preface all further food related discussion in this post by saying how much of a fantastic cook Grace is. Truly magnificent. In the morning she offered up the Bali tourist favorite of banana pancakes and also more traditional Indonesian fare like nasi goreng, or fried rice, topped with an egg. After lingering over the food I eventually made my way to the open air bathroom for a shower. Open air bathrooms are popular in Bali and I now know that you’ve never really experienced bathing until you’ve done under an open sky with a view of palm trees.
The villa’s location makes it a perfect jumping off point for days trips around East Bali. In addition to some of the trips we made to other cities (posts about those will soon follow, do not worry) much enjoyment can be found from wandering around near the villa. There are few, if any, tourists in this area which makes it a fantastic place to get a glimpse of real Balinese life. A small stream very near to the house serves as a communal bathing area and the Balinese children were always especially happy to see us, shouting “Hello!” at every chance they had. In about a five minute walk we could reach a beautiful black sand beach that was nearly deserted making it a perfect place to sunbathe and swim.
After a day of exploring in the hot sun it was nice to return to the villa for a quick jump in the pool and another delicious home cooked meal. My favorite dinners prepared by Grace were nasi campur and mie goreng. Nasi campur is a traditional Indonesian dish and means mixed rice. The Balinese version of the dish included a variety of curried vegetables and meats, fried tofu, crispy bean curd with peanuts, a prawn cracker, and obviously, steamed rice topped with crispy fried garlic and onion. The distinct flavor of Bali was tasted throughout and like all the dishes prepared here, tasted incredibly fresh due to the use of only local and seasonal ingredients. Mie goreng, meaning fried noodles, is an incredibly popular dish eaten at all times of the day, all around the Indonesian archipelago. Yellow noodles are tossed with onion, garlic, fresh vegetables and chicken, until they are lightly crisp.
After washing down dinner with a couple of Bali’s finest beer, Bintang, we would watch the sun set over the rice fields and listen as the geckos, frogs and other nighttime creatures started to sing their songs. Every day at the villa was somewhat different, but they were all peaceful and accompanied by great food and a stunning setting.
For more information about Villa Surya, please visit their website.
Disclaimer: Although I stayed at Villa Surya for a discounted rate, I was not asked for nor paid for my opinion. All views are my own.