Thursday, May 7, 2015

CANDIDASA, BALI: OF WELLNESS, DIVING AND HERITAGE TOUR


I stood still in one corner while I gazed at the rock formations in the middle of the vast ocean and happily took photos of it.  After a few seconds, I found myself partially drenched in water brought by the splash of the waves that breaks through the seawalls.  That was how huge and strong the currents are on one summer season at Candidasa, Bali.

The town of Candidasa in Bali is not known for beaches during high tide evident by the concrete breakwaters that run parallel to the shores.

I am no confident swimmer nor a diver.  So what shall I do in Candidasa?




Our first destination in Candidasa is part of the Rama chain of hotels in Bali – the Rama Candidasa.  The high ceiling reception area of minimalist design has a narrow pathway to a sculpture of Rama and Sita, main characters of the Hindu epic love story.  Then we were ushered to the Zen Harmony Diving where Ms. Jelena, the general manager and dive instructor is waiting for us.




In partnership with Rama Candidasa, Zen Harmony Diving allows guests to experience the unique program that integrates diving with the core principles of yoga to keep one calm underwater, improve air consumption and create a meditative state of mind and make one buoyant.



Yoga and Diving shall be done simultaneously in this activity.  I stayed for the yoga sessions while Carla and other Indonesian friends prepare.  I acknowledge the usefulness of yoga for personal wellness and fitness but I’m just not a person who finds interest in such.  Thus, I have to move on while my friends enjoy the dive session.

Photo by: Carla of Blissfulguro
Initially, I wanted to try the intro dive session but looking at the waves, I have to back out.  This might be another reason for me to get back to Bali and hoping I gain enough confidence underwater in the near future. 

Zen Dive Bali
PADI 5 Dive Resort S-22049
JL Sengkidu Candidasa 80871
Karangasan, Bali, Indonesia
Mobile: +62 81 339 592040
Office: +62 363 41411
Email: touch@zendivebali.com

Bali Aga at Tenganan


Leaving the Zen Dive Resort, we were told that Rama Candidasa offers a cycling tour to a traditional Balinese village.  With the scorching heat of the sun not to mention the high saddle and long seat post of the bicycle, ditch the bicycle tour and travel to the village on an air-conditioned shuttle van.  





A stone wall encompasses the entire village.  Souvenir shops greeted us as we alight.  A minimal entrance fee is likewise required.  As we enter the village, it looks like a huge commercial place and the houses aligned served as shops.  All stone houses are exactly alike.  Varied art crafts, merchandise, textile and weaved fabrics are for sale.






The village is named Tenganan with occupants named Bali Agta – original Balinese.  Maintaining exclusivity, there are certain rules to be followed by the residents.  Only those born in the village can stay in the village and be members of the community.  Anyone who marries outside the village has to leave.  And this is the protocol.

Each side of the natural stone pathways stands a typical Balinese house accessed by a flight of steps leading to a courtyard with bedroom and kitchen adjoining one from another but of different structures, not within a single structure like any other typical house.  We were fortunate to have been given the opportunity to enter one typical Balinese house.  Each house maintains their own shrine believed to be the residence of ancestor spirits when they visit their descendants. 






While visitors roam around the vicinity, some local residents continue their daily routine.  It was a feeling as if you entered a living diorama.











The main attraction of the village is the 70-foot long Bali Agung, where village elders converge for administrative matters.  At the far-end of the village, we saw a Western foreigner and a local child playing table tennis.  I was really eager to play but might disrupt their momentum.  And so we ended the tour.







Rama Candidasa Dive & Spa Resort



The outdoor swimming pool of Rama Candidasa provided the landscape visually stored on my mind of what Bali is.  The towering coconut trees, huge mythical sculptures and the view of the sea while on the pool defined what a tropical paradise is for me.  It was truly relaxing after an hour exposure from the sun making me sweat profusely and the continuous walking inside the village premises.






We waited for those who did the yoga diving before our lunch was served at the hotel’s restaurant which has a good vantage of the sea as we breathe fresh air.




We were joined by the hotel’s chef as he explains and names the dishes being served to us. 








And of course, we ordered arak, the traditional Balinese drinks.  This is how to end the tour at Candidasa – the quiet part of Bali.


RAMA CANDIDASA DIVE & SPA RESORT
JL Raya Sengkidu, Karangasem –
Bali, Indonesia
Phone: +62 363 41974



2 comments :

  1. Recently, the islands have come to the special attention of the Thai Royal Family which further assures protection of this national treasure. On our Khao Lak liveaboards cruise

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's really awesome to the yoga diving before your lunch was served at the hotel’s restaurant. Thanks for sharing this info with us.

    ReplyDelete

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