Island Escape: Emirates’ New Route Connects Dubai to the Tropical Allure of Bali
Island Escape: Emirates' New Route Connects Dubai to the Tropical Allure of Bali - Bali Beckons with Swaying Palm Trees and Pristine Beaches
With its lush greenery, swaying coconut palms, and startlingly white sand, it's no wonder Bali is known as the Island of the Gods. This Indonesian paradise boasts some of the world's most idyllic beaches, where the cares of everyday life melt away to the gentle lapping of crystal clear waters.
The crescent-shaped Nusa Dua is postcard perfection, with calm, reef-protected waters ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Surrounded by luxury resorts, this is a great spot to relax in the shade of a palm-thatched hut with a tropical cocktail in hand. Further south lies Padang Padang, its dramatic rocky outcrops and hidden cove making it one of Bali's most Instagrammed beaches. Surfers flock here to ride barrels along the powerful reef break.
On the east coast, Sanur delights with its chilled-out vibe. Swaying palms line the soft golden sand, families splash about in the shallows, and colorfully painted fishing boats bob just offshore. Follow the coastal path north to escape the crowds. The further you go, the more secluded the tiny sandy coves become.
For quintessential tropical beauty, head north to Lovina. Fringed with coconut groves, its long stretch of dark volcanic sand slopes gently intoazaarre sea. Early mornings are the best time to spot dolphins frolicking just offshore. Or watch the sunset paint the sky in brilliant oranges and pinks – the perfect end to a day in paradise.
Getting back to nature is easy on Bali, especially at Virgin Beach, where the only footprints in the sand will be your own. Accessible only via a jungle trek or boat ride, this hidden cove has remained untouched despite Bali's booming tourist industry. Laze on the powdery white sand fringed by vine-cloaked limestone cliffs. The beach lives up to its name.
What else is in this post?
- Island Escape: Emirates' New Route Connects Dubai to the Tropical Allure of Bali - Bali Beckons with Swaying Palm Trees and Pristine Beaches
- Island Escape: Emirates' New Route Connects Dubai to the Tropical Allure of Bali - Immerse Yourself in Bali's Vibrant Culture and Hindu Traditions
- Island Escape: Emirates' New Route Connects Dubai to the Tropical Allure of Bali - Savor Balinese Cuisine from Local Warungs to 5-Star Resorts
- Island Escape: Emirates' New Route Connects Dubai to the Tropical Allure of Bali - Marvel at Bali's Dramatic Volcanoes, Rice Paddies and Ocean Vistas
- Island Escape: Emirates' New Route Connects Dubai to the Tropical Allure of Bali - Dive and Snorkel with Sea Turtles in Bali's Underwater Playground
- Island Escape: Emirates' New Route Connects Dubai to the Tropical Allure of Bali - Pamper Yourself at Bali's Luxurious Cliffside Spas and Yoga Retreats
- Island Escape: Emirates' New Route Connects Dubai to the Tropical Allure of Bali - Shop for Local Handicrafts at Ubud's Bustling Artisan Markets
- Island Escape: Emirates' New Route Connects Dubai to the Tropical Allure of Bali - Fly in Style with Emirates' Award-Winning Service and Amenities
Island Escape: Emirates' New Route Connects Dubai to the Tropical Allure of Bali - Immerse Yourself in Bali's Vibrant Culture and Hindu Traditions
Bali's culture is profoundly shaped by Hinduism, giving the island a spiritual heartbeat you can feel almost everywhere you go. Intricately carved temples dot the landscape, with dainty offerings laid at their entrances. These small woven baskets contain petals, rice, and incense – daily gifts acknowledging the presence of the gods and goddesses.
The majority of Balinese identify as Hindu, though their take mixes animist and Buddhist traditions. Nowhere is this vibrant fusion of faiths clearer than in one of the many colorful religious festivals celebrated across the island each year.
Locals don elaborate masks and costumes to perform time-honored dances passed down through generations. The hypnotic legong features pre-pubescent girls, their expressive hand gestures narrating mythical tales. Barong is an irreverent spectacle where a mythical beast chases village troublemakers in chaotic mock battles.
Galungan is one of Bali's most important festivals, when the ancestral spirits return to earth. Villages come alive with women preparing food for elaborate ceremonies while men erect decorative bamboo poles called penjor – the inviting perches for visiting souls.
Experience the soul of Bali at a Hindu temple like Uluwatu’s cliffside Pura Luhur. Watch priests make offerings as you witness prayers against a backdrop of crashing waves. The rock sculptures at Goa Gajah tell visually captivating tales of spiritual journeys.
Try a home cooking class in Ubud to learn how to blend Balinese spices like turmeric, ginger, and galangal to flavor traditional dishes like sate lilit (grilled meat on lemongrass skewers). Many local families still maintain their own small temples, where daily offerings acknowledge the presence of deities. Respectfully observe these sacred traditions.
Bali’s unique expression of Hinduism infuses the island's creative culture. Don't miss the nightly Kecak dance near Uluwatu Temple, where a mesmerizing choir of 100 men chant and move in hypnotic unison, reenacting a spiritual tale from the Ramayana epic.
Dance also plays a key role in elaborate cremation ceremonies, guiding souls to the afterlife through carefully choreographed rituals. Witness a cremation procession firsthand for a deeply spiritual experience, but be sure to observe sensitively and respectfully.
Religion provides a rhythm for everyday life here. Take time to savor the soul of Bali by rising early and strolling village lanes to watch women placing fresh offerings around homes, shops, and temples. Observe respectfully as families visit grave sites to pay homage, welcoming spirits into earthly realms.
Island Escape: Emirates' New Route Connects Dubai to the Tropical Allure of Bali - Savor Balinese Cuisine from Local Warungs to 5-Star Resorts
Bali boasts a vibrant culinary scene that mingles Indonesian, Chinese, and Dutch influences into fragrant, flavorful dishes. From humble street-side warungs to ocean-view hotel restaurants, savoring the island’s cuisine is a highlight for many travelers.
For an authentic local experience, stop by a humble warung for classic noodle and rice dishes like nasi campur (a little bit of everything), mie goreng (wok-fried noodles), or nasi goreng (fried rice). These staples come heaped with a mix of proteins like chicken, prawns or egg, and sides ranging from crunch peanuts to sambal chili paste. Be daring and try some unique tempeh or tofu concoctions, amplified with zesty spices and herbs. Wash it down with a glass of jamu, a refreshing tonic made from turmeric and other roots that’s terrific for digestion.
No visit is complete without indulging in Indonesia’s beloved satay - succulent meat skewers with peanut dipping sauce. Chicken and beef satays are most common but try versions made from duck, pork and even turtle in seaside areas. For the adventurous eater, sample cuisine from the island’s tiny Hindu minority including spicy curries and sate lilit - minced meat grilled on lemongrass stalks.
Beyond the street food scene, restaurants at Bali’s posh beach resorts fuse local flavors with contemporary techniques and ingredients. That might mean grilled mahi mahi with red rice and mango salsa or wok-seared Nusa Penida prawns with tumeric risotto and ginger oil. Many hotels offer cooking classes - learn to blend exotic spices into fragrant curry pastes and toast coconut flakes for crunchy serundeng topping.
Don't leave without trying the island's exotic fruits like snakefruit, mangosteen, durian and salak (also called snakefruit). Stop by a local market and point to whatever strikes your fancy. Or order a platter at your hotel to sample a bunch. Pro tip: if it smells bad, it's probably durian, an acquired taste even for locals!
Wash down exotic flavors with fresh coconut water or local coffee, renowned for smoothness. Indonesia is one of the world's main producers and no trip is complete without experiencing a cup (or three!) of rich local java. Cafe-hop in hipster hub Ubud or hang with surfers at a rustic warung near the breaks.
Island Escape: Emirates' New Route Connects Dubai to the Tropical Allure of Bali - Marvel at Bali's Dramatic Volcanoes, Rice Paddies and Ocean Vistas
Beyond its idyllic beaches, Bali enthralls with a landscape that is both intensely spiritual and wildly photogenic. Punctuating the horizon, volcanoes thrust skyward like massive earthly pillars between realms. Their fertile foothills spill outward in patchworks of emerald rice terraces, while rocky outcrops perch above the dazzling Indian Ocean.
Even on a short visit, you’ll grasp how intrinsically tied Balinese culture is to the island’s unique geography. Just outside Ubud, gaze over the terraced rice fields of Tegalalang, their vivid green gradients interrupting the rolling terrain. Local farmers still tend these stepped paddies, planting and harvesting rice by hand. Meander downhill through the fields and try your hand at typical tasks like plowing or planting.
Further on, volcanic Mt Batur and its crater lake make for an unforgettable day trip. Arrange a sunrise trek and watch the skies ignite in fiery reds and oranges as you hike uphill throughinusky predawn stillness. From the lip of the crater, the scale and power of this sacred peak becomes dizzyingly apparent.
Nearby Mt Agung is the tallest and most imposing volcano on Bali. Climbing its precipitous slopes takes two days, but views from the top stretch as far as Java on clear days. Hit the trails with an experienced local guide to maximize your chances of a successful summit bid.
While Bali’s tallest volcanoes require serious effort to summit, you can take in breathtaking vistas of plumes rising from crater rims just by getting out on the water. Boat trips to Nusa Penida reveal epic coastal cliffs with waves crashing below. From various bays around Bali’s coast, Agung and Batur resemble misty painted backdrops worthy of a postcard.
Natural beauty reaches a crescendo along Bali’s north coast with sights like Gitgit Waterfall where the churning waters seem to spring right from the jungle. Punctuating lush green slopes, cascades like this feel utterly primal and refreshing. After a humid hike, you’ll welcome the chance to swim in an inviting natural pool beneath the falls.
Nothing rivals the ocean vistas along Bali’s southwest coast, however. From the lofty cliffs of Uluwatu Temple, you can sit for hours watching swells roll in, hypnotized by the panoramic views. The island’s volcanic spine protects a string of idyllic bays, like Padang Padang where you can surf and chill on the sand while gazing up at jungle covered slopes.
Island Escape: Emirates' New Route Connects Dubai to the Tropical Allure of Bali - Dive and Snorkel with Sea Turtles in Bali's Underwater Playground
Beneath the surface of Bali's turquoise waters lies an underwater playground teeming with life. Schools of tropical fish flit through coral reefs in every color of the rainbow, while giant sea turtles glide by peacefully. Getting into the water is a must for any traveler visiting the Island of Gods. The adventures available range from easy snorkeling excursions perfect for newbies, all the way to drift diving for experienced divers wanting to explore Bali's rich marine ecosystems.
If you're new to the underwater world, strap on a mask and snorkel to access Bali's magic kingdom with minimal fuss. Many local operators offer boat trips from the main beach hubs of Nusa Dua, Sanur, and Seminyak. Sit back and relax as you're whisked out to prime snorkeling sites around Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Menjangan Island. If you're lucky, graceful green sea turtles will swim right by as you float at the surface! The reefs teem with angel and butterfly fish, while lucky snorkelers sometimes spot reef sharks and even the odd manta ray.
For diving enthusiasts, Bali offers world-class options ranging from shallow reef dives to drift dives along deep dropoffs. The area around Padangbai is a favorite for encounters with giant mola mola sunfish. Tech divers explore eerie WWII shipwrecks like the USAT Liberty off Tulamben. But one iconic Bali dive remains head and shoulders above the rest: Mimpang or Turtle Point near Menjangan Island. Here divers descend to reefs swarming with sea turtles who seem unfazed by their human visitors. Watching these gentle ancient creaturesSurface for air and peer at you with their wise old eyes is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Island Escape: Emirates' New Route Connects Dubai to the Tropical Allure of Bali - Pamper Yourself at Bali's Luxurious Cliffside Spas and Yoga Retreats
After days spent exploring Bali's cultural sights, epic landscapes, and underwater treasures, there's no better way to recharge than by pampering yourself at one of the island's many luxury spas and yoga retreats. Perched dramatically on cliffsides and nestled within tropical gardens, these wellness havens beckon with open arms. Treat yourself to some much deserved rest and relaxation as you soak in unforgettable ocean vistas.
Make a beeline for cliffside havens like Karma Kandara north of Ubud, where the spa is mere steps from the infinity pool overlooking verdant jungle and distant waves. Relax utterly during a traditional Balinese massage, the therapist working deep into muscle tissue with firm palm strokes, thumbs, and elbows to increase blood flow. Emerge renewed and blissful. Follow with a coconut shell foot massage - those airport flip flops do a number on your soles! The spa's traditional thatched roofs and open-air treatment rooms maximize views and tropical immersion.
Further south in Nusa Dua, The Mulia Suite soars over the Indian Ocean waves with a spa spanning several floors. Beside wet rooms with hydrotherapy pools and steam rooms, relaxation pods on the top level let you decompress gazing out floor-to-ceiling glass walls. Signature rituals feature locally inspired ingredients like Balinese boreh, a warming body mask of ginger, turmeric, and medicinal herbs.
For the ultimate wellness experience, spend a few days at an all-inclusive yoga retreat like The Yoga Barn in Ubud or Radiantly Alive in tropical Candidasa. Begin each morning with breathing practices and sun salutations overlooking rice fields or the shore. Refine your technique with personalized guidance in classes tailored for all levels. Many retreats offer massage, private healers, and nutritious raw food to complement your practice. You'll leave feeling lighter and deeply restored.
Island Escape: Emirates' New Route Connects Dubai to the Tropical Allure of Bali - Shop for Local Handicrafts at Ubud's Bustling Artisan Markets
As the artistic heart of Bali, Ubud and its surrounding villages are filled with talented artisans crafting everything from paintings and woodcarvings to textiles, jewelry, and homewares. Visiting the bustling local markets provides a wonderful opportunity to shop for quality handicrafts while soaking up the energy and interacting with friendly vendors. Two of the most popular artisan markets are the expansive Ubud Art Market and the roadside Sukawati Art Market.
The Ubud Art Market sits right downtown, its two stories stuffed with stalls selling virtually every type of Balinese handicraft imaginable. The ground floor offers a fascinating array of local offerings from handwoven baskets and ceremonial masks to delicately carved wood home decorations. Upstairs you'll uncover a boutique stuffed with racks of colorful Batik textiles and tables piled high with bracelets, pendants, and hair decorations crafted by local artisans.
Wandering these densely packed market stalls, the timeless craft of handmade goods comes alive through the many interactions with smiling vendors eager to share their talents. Strike up a conversation as you browse vibrant sarongs, learning about the intricate dying and weaving process that produces the patterns. Haggle gently over the price of a detailed wood carving, admiring the artisan's skill in coaxing life from a block of teak.
Just down the road in Sukawati lies another market stretched along both sides of the main village road. With its informal displays spilling onto the pavement, Sukawati offers a more authentic local shopping experience. Browse paintings by up and coming artists, chat with women hand-making coconut shell offerings, and admire the work of woodcarvers chipping away at their latest creations.
The bargaining here is friendly but more aggressive - vendors initiate by quoting sky-high "foreigner prices," expecting you to counteroffer something fair. Maintain humor and patience, settling on a price that seems reasonable to both parties. You might pay a dollar or two more than a local, but that's the joy of directly supporting these talented craftspeople.
Island Escape: Emirates' New Route Connects Dubai to the Tropical Allure of Bali - Fly in Style with Emirates' Award-Winning Service and Amenities
After exploring the cultural and natural highlights of this Balinese paradise, the final stretch home on Emirates' new Dubai to Bali route lets you fly in true style. Emirates is renowned for its award-winning inflight service, with luxurious amenities even in Economy Class.
Settle into plush leather seats in a calming color palette of soft creams and browns. There's a generous 32-34 inch seat pitch, so you can stretch out those legs after all the walking around temples and rice paddies. Emirates was one of the first airlines to provide seatback entertainment screens for every passenger. Their ice inflight entertainment system includes over 4,000 channels of on-demand movies, TV shows, music, audiobooks and more. Noise-canceling headphones make it easy to immerse yourself, while neighboring passengers can snooze undisturbed.
Emirates ups the ante for dining, partnering with renowned chefs to design gourmet inflight meals. Even in Economy Class, dishes like poached prawns with lime zest and lemongrass risotto bring a taste of first class. Complimentary drinks include wine, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages. And self-serve snack bars mid-cabin offer nibbles like chips, chocolate and sandwiches for peckish flyers.
On longer overnight flights, thoughtfulness touches like free toothbrush/toothpaste kits, socks and eye masks make settling in for sleep easier. For added comfort and privacy, Emirates offers a select number of Snooze Seats on board that recline into fully flat beds at the touch of a button.
While ice, dining and sleep amenities keep you entertained and refreshed, Emirates crew provide the heart and hospitality. Attendants glide down the aisles with unflappable grace and charm. They portray genuine pride in their acclaimed service, conveying the feeling that no request is too big or small. You get the sense nothing delights them more than delivering an exceptional inflight experience.
Travelers consistently rank Emirates among the world's top airlines thanks to this combination of premium service, dining and entertainment. On TripAdvisor, happy flyers praise the "fantastic service from start to finish," with many sharing they "felt like royalty." Seat comfort, amenity kits and meal choices earn particular acclaim.
By launching the new Dubai-Bali route, Emirates now connects this Indonesian paradise to a global network spanning North America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Flyers can enjoy Bali's tropical magic then make a seamless one-stop connection through ultra-modern Dubai International Airport.