A woman at a temple in Indonesia. Image: Visualhunt
Welcome to ASEAN, and more specifically, today, welcome to Indonesia! Bali in Southeast Asia is the island home of Indonesia’s Hindu minority. The country’s ancient architecture makes for a great day trip, but today we’re starting our adventure by traveling through the winding roads etched into the country’s beautiful natural landscape.
Day 1: A Scenic Drive
After flying into Denpasar, let’s hit the road. Rent a motorbike at the corner of Jalan Buni Sari and Pantai Kuta. With the proper license, you will get a bike and helmets. Check the tires, turn the key, and set your sights on Gitgit in the far north.
The trip is only 85 kilometers and runs about two and a half hours total, but there’s no need to rush it. Some of the best moments of your trip can be spent simply enjoying the slow curves and roadside landmarks of the Balinese nation. Heading north you will see bustling markets, brilliantly lush rice terraces, and a few monkey congregations along the way.
Rice terraces in Bali. Image: Visualhunt
You’re bound to see plenty while touring this road, but you’re bound to want to use your other senses too. Balinese eateries like Mentari Restoran sprinkle the roadside, serving dishes like mie goreng, a spicy fried noodle dish, and nasi soto ayam chicken soup. Enjoy a refreshing Tehbotol sweet tea with your lunch, a local favorite.
Riding along this northbound travel route, there are two major attractions. The first is the Ulun Danu Beratan water temple built in 1633. Reflections of misty clouds on the water lend atmosphere to the sacred grounds. The second is Aling-Aling Waterfall, which is actually 7 joined by cascading waterfalls. ASEAN is known
After spying the serenity surrounding, find a peaceful hut like the Bali tree house for an ecological and picturesque night in. This isn’t the treehouse of your adolescence – you’ll be lapping in great views and luxury for the entirety of your stay.
Day 2: Sand and Sun
With a breakfast of thick Balinese coffee and java laklak rice cakes served with palm sugar and coconut, head south again to Perencak Beach in Canggu to park your motorbike.
Surfing in Indonesia. Image: Visualhunt
Lounge in a chair or join the surfers. This is what vacation is all about: water and zero responsibility.
Traveling to Asia has never been easier. You get culture and relaxation for the perfect summer vacation. Once you’ve gotten your fill of adventure and discovery, it’s time to take some time to lay back and enjoy some time in the luxury with a short 2 hour 20-minute flight to Brunei, is it time to jet off to your next destination yet?
Nightfall in Kuala Belait in west Brunei. Image: Visualhunt
On the northern edge of an island in the South China Sea lies the well-heeled country of Brunei. With half a million residents and some of the world’s richest oil and gas deposits, Bruneians have a reputation for affluence.
Though 500 years ago, the Bruneian Empire covered most of Borneo island, the 19th century saw Brunei ceding land to imperialist expansion. Briefly occupied by Japan during WWII, Brunei gained independence in 1984 and industrialized quickly to join Singapore as one of ASEAN’s most developed countries.
If you enjoy opulence, a trip to Brunei is your ideal summer vacation. Well off the radar of budget travelers, Brunei is the place to indulge in the exceptional natural beauty of Southeast Asia while avoiding rough and tumble backpackers.
Day 1: Leisure and Luxury
Start at the luxurious Empire Hotel. This complex built into natural sea jetties boasts an award-winning golf resort, a full-service spa, pools with crystal chandeliers, restaurants galore, and outstanding 180-degree views.
Golfers should hit the links that recently impressed the Korean PGA. With difficult bunkers, the course is an enjoyable challenge. Lunch is easy at the onsite Bunker Bistro. After 18, retire to Spa Brunei and rejuvenate your body with ancient Javanese-inspired treatments. To finish off your day, just grab a cocktail and watch the sunset poolside.
Empire Hotel & Country Club pool in Pantai. Image: Visualhunt
After dinner on the hotel’s lavish rooftop, it’s time for bed. Spend the night amongst plush draperies and gilded accents and you’ll feel like royalty.
Day 2: Local Culture
Start your day with Brunei’s finest coffee. Kapra Coffee is a local roaster serving blends from Southeast Asia and other specialty regions. Before it gets hot, take a water taxi sightseeing on Brunei River. The captain will show you to a floating village. For lunch, try a local restaurant for Brunei specialties. Udang sambal serai bersantan is a spicy local dish of prawns simmered with chili in coconut milk. Add an order of nasi lemak rice and your meal is complete.
Explore Islamic architecture for the day. The Omar Ali Saifudden Mosque was built in 1958 and has a dome covered in real gold leaf.
Omar Ali Saifuddin mosque in the capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan. Image: Visualhunt
Finally, head to the night market in Gadong for a delicious meal before you go.
Gadong Night Market in downtown Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. Image: Visualhunt
With a belly full of grilled fish and rice, your trip to Brunei is complete.
Did you know that Singapore is only a 2-hour 5-minute flight from here? Are you ready for your next 48 hours in Southeast Asia?