How Bali earned its reputation as the ultimate wellness destination

Bali – a shining gem nestled in the heart of the Indonesian Archipelago. Abundant with all the exquisite treasures nature has to offer. Blinding blue waters and mountainous regions teeming with flora, vast rice fields, and cascading waterfalls. Rich with Balinese culture and traditions, and a wealth of magnificent temples, traditional recipes, and soul-cleansing ceremonies.

Many travellers have journeyed from worldwide to find the peace in this isle of beauty. It’s the land of metamorphosis and healing. Some might even say it can completely shift a negative state of mind. This in turn leads many to yearn for the transformative healing that Bali offers. And so, along with the influx of vacationers entering Bali, comes the dazzling reputation of it as a land of both inner and outer wellness. 

THE CULTURE

There is no doubt that the Balinese culture is fascinating, and one thing that particularly piques the interest of tourists is the Balinese spas. 

There is a sort of unprecedented peace provided to vacationers upon their first visit to Balinese spas. Rooted in tradition, their spas encompass a variety of natural healing ingredients, including massages with exotic herbs and oils, warm volcanic stones placed on the chakras, and refreshing facial treatments. 

Many resorts provide traditional practices amid various locations: the luxuriant rainforest of Ubud, the scenic Rock Villas, or the lush Petanu Valley. In Bali, water is a source of cleansing and purification, so it only makes sense that the relaxing sounds one hears from the resorts are the lapping water of the Ayung River, lulling guests to sleep. Or the rustling leaves from the palm trees of the rich forest, soothing the nerves of tourists. 

THE FOOD

A wellness destination can only be deemed such if the food reflects it, and Bali does not disappoint. Experiencing the essence of this island is having its traditional foods sitting on a plate in front of you, nourishing you from within and teaching you the true meaning of wellness. A few Balinese dishes come to mind when considering wellness. 

One of them being Urab. Bali’s traditional vegetable salad served with coconut dressing rejuvenates tourists and is a vegan-friendly option. Consisting of an array of raw or steamed vegetables – spinach, bean sprouts, cabbage- Urab is a flavoursome dish, lavish with nutrients and vitamins essential for a healthy diet. 

An alternative option that contains a diverse and well-balanced combination of protein and carbohydrates, is Nasi Campur. This pillar of Balinese cuisine is served on a bed of rice with a variation of side dishes- fish, tofu, veggies- and leaves you energised and satisfied. 

The final dish, a food cherished by Balinese people, is Bubur Mengguh. This porridge is considered a comfort food to Balians and is typically served as a treat at traditional ceremonies or festivals. Nutritious and versatile, yet warm and hearty, this dish captures the soul of wellness that Bali embodies. 

With its multitude of calming spas and yoga resorts, as well as various restaurants and cafes, Bali entices tourists with its focus on inner healing and growth. Its reputation as the ultimate wellness destination is well earned; there is no other place quite like it, where the idea of inner wellness is placed on a pedestal, and respected in all aspects. It is only once we heal and nurture our wellness, that we can grow both spiritually and physically, and there is no other place more perfect than Bali to achieve that. 

Written by

  • Iba Raza

    Iba is a third year Comparative Literature student at UCL. She is passionate about reading, writing, and researching health and beauty.

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