Maya Resort Spa
Located in Ubud, Maya resort spa is spread across 10 hectares of tropical landscape. The luxury spa aims to capture the spirit of a traditional Balinese village. The spa offers fitness and yoga as well as an extensive list of treatments.
Four seasons - Sacred River Spa
The Sacred River Spa is immersed in lush jungle greenery within the Ayung River valley. Not only does the spa offer a variety of treatments but also holistic and rejuvenating experiences and ceremonies.
Permata Ayung Private Estate - The Bamboo Spa & Wellness Center
Designed by a famous bamboo architect, this private spa faces the river and offers a range of wellness and beauty treatments. The spa includes steam rooms, spa pools, natural stone pools and showers.
Komankeka at Bisma - Wana Jiwa Spa
This spa offers a mix between ancient Balinese techniques and western treatments, within the lush tropical surroundings. Guests experience the feeling of the forest rejuvenating their mind, body and soul.
The tranquil setting will provide a lasting sense of wellness through holistic healing and nurturing treatments. Located on the edge of a volcanic beach, amid rice fields and under the view of Mt Batukaru, this spa provides the perfect setting.
Perched on the cliff side in an isolated location, this spa offers a combination of Asian and European approaches. The traditional Balinese style of the spa allows for total relaxation and perfect harmony.
Bali is a food paradise for vegetarians with a variety of dedicated vegetarian and vegan eateries. Many traditional dishes are vegetarian and there is an abundance of locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables. Seminyak, Kerobokan and Canggu are popular spots for vegetarian meals however Ubud is the best due to its wellness and healthy lifestyle ethos.
This small vegan restaurant in Ubud provides a sleek and homely interior and serves up small plates, salads, bowls and deserts. Sage offers a mix of international flavors and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
2. Earth cafe and market
The Earth Cafe and Market serves gourmet vegetarian food and has locations in Ubud, Seminyak and Sanur. Each cafe is tastefully decorated with a lively atmosphere welcoming tourists and locals.
Alchemy is located in Ubud and is a unique blend of cafe, salad bar and organic foods shop. Everything served is raw and vegan at an affordable price. Attached to the cafe is also a holistic clinic offering a variety of treatments.
4. The Elephant Restaurant & Bar
Located in the beautiful surroundings of Ubud, The Elephant Restaurant and Bar offers foods such as salads, cakes and bread as well as traditional Indonesian dishes. The restaurant provides exceptional value for money as well as service with incredible views of the flowing river and rice fields.
5. Divine Earth Cafe
This raw and vegan fine dining restaurant is situated in Seminyak. Divine Earth Cafe offers a creative menu from lasagna to pizza as well as a wide variety of deserts. The cafe also specializes cold pressed juices and gluten free options. In addition to this, a yoga studio and cinema is also attached to the cafe.
6. Zulu Vegetarian Paradise
Zulu Vegetarian Paradise offers international vegan cuisine and is a longstanding vegetarian cafe in Bali. Food is made with fresh organic products to suit the seasonal menu and cooked using traditional methods. The cafe also has an organic shop attached to purchase some of the best produce available.
Balinese cuisine is packed with vibrant flavors and is closely linked with the community's way of life. Cooking schools are widely available throughout the island and offer a variety of classes. Classes include learning how to prepare food to cooking traditional dishes as well as food shopping at the local markets. Classes provide a valuable insight into traditional and modern Balinese cooking techniques.
Ancient temples are scattered throughout the highlands and coast of Bali and have become the island's most iconic landmarks. The temples feature age old architecture set against picturesque backdrops. Popular temples include Besakih, Goa Gajah and Tanah Lot. Temples are best visited during anniversaries and festivals, however remember that proper attire must be worn.
Everywhere in Bali holistic healing services are offered, known as Bali Usada. Traditional Balinese healers will use natural remedies, massage and energy healing to get results. The holistic and alternative healing is a large part of Balinese culture and can be a life changing experience for some visitors.
Bali is scattered with yoga studios and holistic retreats offering yoga and meditation providing total relaxation and rejuvenation. Bali promotes healthy living and prides itself on being a destination of wellness. Ubud is known as the best yoga destination in Bali, where visitors can immerse themselves in the healing energies and vibrancy of Balinese culture.
Traditional Balinese Performance
Balinese dance is an ancient art form where dancers are kitted out in elaborate costumes. Dances tell stories using movement usually based on Hindu and Indonesian myths and legends. Traditional dance shows are held regularly for tourists to enjoy and are sometimes combined with a dinner.
Visiting Bali's rice fields is one of the most unique experiences the island has to offer. As well as rice being a dietary staple, rice is an important part of Balinese culture with many ceremonies and rituals based around the crop cycle of rice. Busungbiu and Jatiluwih rice terraces are the most impressive, however others around the island are also worth a visit.
One of the absolutely musts of any visit to Japan is seeing the breathtaking temples and shrines. Many you will find tucked around every corner of Kyoto, but throughout Japan there are many beautiful temples, each one special in either housing sacred objects or a place of worship. Check out the list of the some of the most stunning temples across Japan.
1. Kiyomizu-dera "Pure Water Temple"
Located on a hillside overlooking a valley and the city of Kyoto, this temple was built in honour of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, without a single nail in 778. The temple was also built around the Otowa Waterfall, and it is said that visitors who drink from the waterfall can get their wishes granted.
2. Kinkakuji Temple
Kinkakuji was originally built in 1397 as the home of a shogun, or military chief. With its gold-leaf facade and mesmerizing reflecting pool, the temple fits it's title of the Golden Pavilion. The gardens surrounding is then meant to represent an earthly paradise in contrast to the golden temple to illustrate the "harmony between heaven and earth."
3. Senso-ji Temple
Senso-ji Temple is another Temple built in honour of the goddess Kannon and dates back to 645 making it Tokyo's oldest temple. Legend has it that two brothers repeatedly tried to return a statue of the goddess to the Sumida River, but each time the statue returned the next day and a temple was built in that location. The temple is at it's most beautiful at nighttime when illumination highlights its intricate architecture.
4. Meji Jingu Shrine
Among Tokyo's bustling streets and lofty skyscrapers is one of the major tourist attractions of the city, a idyllic and serene temple located right at the heart of the city. The shrine is surrounded by lush forest of evergreen trees, blocking out the sounds of the city and creating a quiet ambiance. Meiji Jingu Shrine is also famous for its exquisite architecture as well as its collection of exhibits that are believed to be the personal belongings of Empress Shoken and Emperor Meiju.
5. Todai-ji Temple
In Nara you will find the Todai-ji Temple, the largest wooden building in the world which also houses the largest Buddha Statue in Japan. Constructed in 752 on the order of Emperor Shomu the Temple's Great Buddha Hall, houses Rushana Butsu, the "Cosmic Buddha." Many visitors also enjoy the friendly herds of deer that roam the site.
6. Sanjusangendo Temple
Formerly called Rengeoin Temple, this temple is unique for the sheer number of religious statues it contains. The Great Hall houses 1,001 "life-sized" images of the goddess Kannon. The temple name literally means "Hall with thirty three spaces between columns," describing the architecture of the long main hall of the temple.
7. Kotoku-in Temple
The Kotoku-in Temple serves as a home to the world famous Kamakura Daibutsu, a towering bronze statue of Buddha. This monumental statue is more than 40 feet in height, and dates back to the year 1252. It was originally enshrined inside a temple hall, but the building was washed away by a tsunami in 1498. This cultural icon is now a national treasure and has been proposed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
8. Kotohiragu Shire
Perched on Mount Zozu, the Kotohiragu Shrine can be a challenging temple to reach with over 700 granite steps. Yet it still draws a cluster of tourists every day, who want to experience the tranquil setting as well as take pictures of its exquisite architectural that showcases a unique blend of Buddhist and Shinto elements.
9. Toshogu Shrine
Set in a verdant forest, the Toshogu Shrine is a lavish complex that is made up of over a dozen beautiful buildings. Here you get to feast your eyes on charming wood carvings and a collection of Buddhist and Shinto decorations.
10. Ninja Temple
Built during the Edo Period by the Maeda rulers and lords, the Myoryuji Temple is an intriguing and fascinating temple you cannot afford to miss during your trip to Japan. Although the temple is not associated with ninjas and assassins, it earned the moniker "Ninja Temple" due to its secret chambers, traps, trick doors, hidden stairways and other deceptive defenses.
Tokyo is known for it's unusual mix of historic and ultra modern but also they have a flare for the quirky and unique. Peppered across the streets of Tokyo you will find some of the most unique and unusual themed cafes & restaurants, from mega cutesy to somewhat more spooky options, check out this list of some of the most unique ones you can discover.
Kawaii Monster Cafe
This cafe is all about the 'kawaii' culture of Harajuku with girls dressed up in the most eccentric outfits you've ever seen, in a wild and colorful setting. With bright, intense colours everywhere as well as some of the dishes, there's no way anyone can be unhappy in a place as wild and fantastical as this.
Swallowtail Butler Cafe
You may of heard of the Maid Cafe's before but at this one you will find the opposite, a Butler Cafe. It's a Victorian-inspired Cafe complete with dapper butlers. Tucked away underneath a bookstore in Ikebukuro here you will receive the royal treatment but make sure to pre-reserve your seats so you won't be disappointed.
Alice in Fantasy Book
This cafe embodies the whole concept of the story, Alice in Wonderland, from the interior to the dishes and desserts, with the classic eat me tags, heart sharp plates, and flowers everywhere. A meal here will sure to feel like you have step right into the pages of the book.
One of the most popular attractions in Tokyo is the wild and wacky, sci-fi inspired, Robot Restaurant. Having a meal here is an out-of-this-world experience with live shows of crazy giant robots, beautiful girls in wild outfits and neon lights everywhere, complete with full-blown theatrics, this is the place to visit for a taste of Japan's unique pop culture.
Zauo Fishing Restaurant
This restaurant is completely unique as you literally have to fish from an indoor river for your dinner. Once you've caught your fish, or if you are lucky a lobster, you are then can hand off your meal to the chefs, say how you would like it and climb aboard one of the big wooden boats in the center to eat it.
If you are craving something more spooky for your dining experience then this haunted, prison-themed restaurant is the one. After navitaging the maze in the dark with all it’s jump scare you will find yourself in a waiting area where one person in your group will be handcuffed before being locked in your cell for 2 hours. You will also find the menu fits the theme and includes some of the wildest dishes and drinks you can think of.
This ninja-themed restaurant is exactly what you imagine with the waiters dressed up like ninjas popping out with menus and meals. The restaurant is set within a labyrinth of wooden corridors reminiscent of the interior of a primeval Japanese castle, complete with treasure chests and disintegrating bridges.
In a dark candlelit setting you will find this gothic, vampire-themed restaurant complete with menus shaped like caskets, waiters dressed like draculas, and even a coffin in the middle of the restaurant. While you sink your teeth into your vampire-themed meal soak in the eerie atmosphere of this vampire lair with it’s blood-stained floors, vampires, severed body parts, and blood-red velvet curtains
Shirohige’s Cream Puff Factory
Fans of My Neighbour Totoro will love this cozy bakery café that is specially dedicated to the Studio Ghibli animated fantasy film. Everything at that café is Totoro-themed with signs and rustic decorations to biscuits shaped like him as well as the famous cream puffs (see picture above).
Peter Rabbit Garden Café
This café would be more fitted for the English country side but it’s country-kitschy café is bound to wow you from the moment you arrive, with all their décor and food matching the Peter Rabbit theme. And if you are dining alone a plushy Peter Rabbit will be your dining companion while you nibble away on a delicious cheese bun.