Our annual trips to the Island of the Gods combine business with pleasure – buying expeditions mixed with plenty of food and relaxation, particularly around the beach zones.
Of course the never-ending growth and booming tourist markets bring increasing pressure on infrastructures like roading and waste management.
But things are on the improve in many areas, starting with the airport where the removal of the visa payment for Kiwis and better baggage handling and customs formalities has speeded up the arrival process.
The growth of the main tourist hub is both alarming and exciting. Kuta’s spread into Legian has now seen those tentacles envelope Seminyak and Canguu.
Out on the famous surf zone that is the Bukit Peninsula, it’s also booming and you don’t need to be able to ride the waves to have a good time.
Similarly the flow of yogies into Ubud continues to bring upgrades in terms of activities and healthy eating.
There are more people, of course, but there’s more shopping and more bars and restaurants, all put together with the sort of style we have come to expect from Bali.
It’s an Asian-European fusion, a melting pot of architecture, flavours and sensations, all delivered with the incomparable friendliness of the locals.
If you’re a newbie or a regular, the choices are seemingly endless. Here are a few goodies that we have come to enjoy over the past few trips Clear Cafe in Ubud, Cafe Organic in both Seminyak and Canggu. Mera Puti in Seminyak, (need to book for that one).
We’ve also noticed a steady growth in the manufacturing areas as more and more of the world taps into the clever craftsmanship of the Balinese.
They are putting together new season fashions before they even hit the northern hemipshere.
On the furniture and homewares front, they continue to rejuvenate some stunning antiques from the hidden gems of Indonesia’s amazing past while they also come up with state-of-the-art contemporary designs.
Topping up our containers with furniture is one of the fun parts of our missions to Bali – a little chance for some self-indulging while also looking to bring some unique pieces to our own customers.