I am sure most of us have heard about Bali – “the land of the Gods” that locates in southeast Asia.
Imagine you stepping out of the plane onto the soil of The land of Gods, smelling the mystic scent of the offerings made by Balinese Hindus, and feeling the blazing sunlight pouring on your hair, shoulders, and face.
Imagine you wandering a bit further on the streets of Balinese islands, seeing statues of Hindu Gods every few hundred meters, and the Balinese ladies walking peacefully with a giant basket of tropical fruits on their heads. Remember to be careful not to step on the little offerings for the Gods wrapped inside coconut leaves placed everywhere on the roads, storefronts, shrines or in front of locals’ houses.
Imagine the smell of Nasi Goreng from dozens of local warungs (eateries) would hit you, and the welcoming smiles of local kids would amaze you. There would be chickens walking side by side with pedestrians, stray dogs wagging their tails looking at you with irresistible lovely eyes, and stray cats sunbathing lazily on the sand.
Now along the ocean, your body would be wrapped in the gentle breeze, and your feet would sink in the softest sand on earth. The water is sparkling turquoise, and then turns orange pink during the mesmerizing sunsets.
Every time I think about Bali, I picture these beautiful scenes with exact feelings and emotions, being thankful for the precious time I spent there doing my Level 1 Yoga teacher training (YTT). In this blog, I wish to share my practical experiences staying in Bali during the 23 days of my 200 hours YTT and growing my affection for this wondrous land.
Handstand while waiting for a delish Balinese Black Coffee
I did my Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga teacher training with All Yoga Training School in February 2018. The yoga shala located on Nusa Lembongan, which means “Lembongan Island” in Balinese. Nusa Lembongan, together with Nusa Penida and Nusa Ceningan, creates trio islands in southeast Bali, that is famous for its magnificent oceanic beauty and attracts divers and tourists from all around the globe.
From Denpasar international airport of Bali, it takes a 30-minute taxi drive to get to Sanur, a part of mainland Bali. From Sanur, a short 40-minute fast boat journey will take you to Lembongan island.
There are a great variety of fast ferry companies available. It’s recommended to book a two-way ticket, preferably online on their official website or at the office ahead of time to schedule pickup/ drop-off time and place.
Some names of the companies that you should check out are Arthamas (which has their office right next to our Yoga shala) and D’camel.
Mesmerizing sunset view from the yoga shala in Lembongan
Lembongan island welcome many tourists on a daily basis and has a broad range of accommodation options for all kinds of budget. From sea-front resorts to dorm rooms, everyone should find something suitable for his or her pocket.
During my YTT, I stayed at Surya Homestay in a 4-bed-dorm room, which cost me only IDR 90,000 a night, which is super duper cheap! The only downside is that it’s about 900 meters away from the yoga shala. However, I got to stay with my classmates from the training, which made the whole experience much more enjoyable. On top of that, the walk to our shala was easy. You know, nothing could beat a smiling local and a playful dog accompanying you on the way to class.
Some other budget options that are closer to the beach are Nyuh Gading Homestay or Krisna Homestay.
With a bit higher budget, you might want to consider Pondok Banura Lembongan, Locomotive Hotel or Pondok Jengala.
All of these options have their website, and you can do a little research and decide what suits you best.
Tight budget: Surya Homestay (on booking.com):
$7/ night/ bed in dormitory
Nyuh Gading Homestay
$12/ night/ bed in dormitory
$30/ night/ Ocean view room
Krisna Homestay. (on booking.com)
$11/ night/ bed in dormitory
$25/ night/ Garden view room
Pondok Banura Lembongan
As said, Lembongan welcomes many tourists on a daily basis, no wonder the island has an intensive variety of food choice. From local to western food, to a diverse range of options for meat eaters and vegetarians. Some of my favorite places are Eco Deli, a coffee shop with good vibes and the best Caramel Latte. Ginger Jamu locates right in front of the ocean. Pondok Banura Warung, a local warung that serves incredible Nasi Campur. Tiger Lillys features fantastic vegetarian wraps. Lemongrass Bar and Restaurant with an excellent menu of both local and western food – bonus live music every week. And so many more!
The price at local warungs are always lower, ranging from 3 to 5 USD for a dish. Of course, expect to pay more in an international style eatery.
Best Caramel Latte from Eco Deli
Food: from $3-5
A small local Bintang beer: around $1
A Caramel Latte: around $1,5
So you will have three day-offs in your YTT, which fall on Saturdays. Many would go for water-sport activities as Lembongan is famous for its diving and surfing environment. You can easily book, from your homestay or hotel, a day-trip by boat to some renowned diving and snorkeling spots such as Manta Bay, Crystal Bay, Toyapakeh Wall, Gamat Bay, Ceningan point or Mangrove point. These trips provide you with transportation, diving or snorkeling equipment, guide, and some may even include a quick lunch.
Last February when I went on my snorkeling trip, it cost me only around 200,000 Rupiah, which was less than $15. Such a deal for a beautiful experience exploring Lembongan marine life, isn’t it?
If you are into Cliff Jumping, check out Blue Lagoon, Dream Beach or Mahana cliff jumping point. Mahana also features a hidden, usually overlooked beautiful beach, which is as well an excellent surfing spot. However, the strong current here might make it challenging for beginner surfers.
I would also definitely recommend visiting a few must-go places such as the Devil’s Tears, where you can observe how powerful nature can be; Mangrove Forest, to experience the beautiful change of environment from oceanic to foresty; and of course, Kelingking Beach featuring magnificent cliffs in T-Rex shape. To get to this breathtaking hidden gem, you will have to hike up and down the cliff – not an easy-peasy hike, but it would all be worth it!
Alternatively, if for you, day-offs must be very relaxing, check out a few excellent spa and massage places on the island. They offer a wide range of massage styles such as Balinese, Thai, Aroma, Whole body, and so much more. Kemilau and Kayana spa are my most favorite places.
Yoga posing before a hike down to Kelingking Beach
The hidden beach in Mahana Cliff Jumping Point
Snorkeling, Diving, Cliff Jumping, Surfing, Hiking
My favourite spots to visit:
Manta Bay, Crystal Bay, Dream Beach, Mahana cliff jumping point,
Mangrove Forest, Devil’s Tears, Kelingking Beach
Kemilau Spa & Wellness
Lembongan is a tropical area, so be mindful when you pack. I always pack with me an umbrella or a raincoat, environment-friendly sun-protecting products, insect-repellent products, and maybe some soothing spray or cream for after-sun use or to cure insect-bites.
It’s better to carry cash with you than using a card, as most of the stores or restaurants prefer paying in cash. Moreover, there are available currency-exchanging-places all over the island.
And last but not least, be positive and make the best of your training-stay! Enjoy every moment of the training, stay in the present, learn a lot, and love much more. Your YTT will undoubtedly be one of the most memorable experiences in your life! 🙂