Once famous for its foam parties, Bintang beer and beachside braiding, Bali has done some serious maturing over the years and is now internationally recognised as a health and wellness hotspot. From gold leaf facials to silent yoga retreats to raw food detox programs, the island has something for everyone.
Ubud, Bali’s spiritual hub, is the place to be for all aspiring enlightened ones. Amongst lush tropical forests and rice fields you will find countless yoga retreats, raw food cafes, Ayurvedic centres, aquatonic pools, ozone therapy classes, herbal steam saunas, spiritual counselling services and even colonic hydrotherapy clinics. If none of that is your thing you might want to check out the high-end spas in downtown Seminyak or a cooking course at one of Bali’s luxury hotels. For salty folk there are a bunch of laid-back surfer resorts that offer accommodation, meals, lessons and, most importantly, world-class waves. And for everyone else there’s the good old Balinese massage. Considered a routine staple of everyday life in Bali, the massage incorporates traditional techniques from India and China to relax pressure points, stimulate nerve endings and rejuvenate tired muscles with long mid-pressure strokes. Averaging about USD$8 for half an hour and available on the beach, you have no excuse not to make this part of your daily holiday routine.