When you've had enough of the rush and daily grind, sometimes the best thing to do is to put life on hold and escape to somewhere simply otherworldly.
When you're choosing where to point the proverbial compass, discerning travellers have a myriad of destinations to choose from around the world.
Sure, you could drop your bags anywhere with the beach and sunshine typical of most Asia holidays, but if you really want to find your centre and balance, perhaps a destination with some more spiritual significance is in order.
You don't need to be a believer to soak up the tranquil atmosphere of Bali, one of the myriad of islands that form the Indonesian archipelago. Renowned the world over for its natural beauty and its gracious, welcoming residents, Bali is the perfect island hideaway to get some much-needed revival. Here are two ways to find your ultimate bliss in Bali.
Immerse yourself in the temple of Tirta Empul
Save a good few hours for this unique temple, built around a natural sacred spring. Just around 30 minutes' drive from the village of Ubud where Eat, Pray, Love was filmed, Tirta Empul draws visitors from far and wide who come to experience its tranquil surrounds.
The site is estimated to have been built around 960 AD during the reign of the Warmadewa Dynasty. As you arrive at the temple complex, you'll pass through verdant tropical gardens to arrive at the purification bath.
You'll want to bring a change of clothes for this particular temple visit, as you'll be stepping down into the clear waters of Tirta Empul's sacred pool, where mountain water from the spring gushes out to douse the eagerly awaiting pilgrims.
The belief that these waters have healing powers is possibly based on the legend of a Balinese god, who drove his staff into the ground to create a purifying spring to heal his ailing troops. One thing's for certain; once you've waded through the cool water, shared with golden koi and locals quietly murmuring their blessings, all the stresses of home will be a distant memory.
Time your visit either early morning or later in the evening to best experience the full effect of the Tirta Empul away from the surge of visitors that arrive at midday.
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Take the pressure off at Jimbaran Bay
Arguably one of the most idyllic locations on Bali, Jimbaran Bay is situated on the northern side of the island, home to select luxury resorts nestled on the stunning coastline. With Travel Associates, we provide access to some of the most incredible accommodation on offer, such as the Four Seasons.
The Bali outpost of this iconic resort chain includes its very own sumptuous spa, so hours of blissful pampering is a short walk from your suite. Set in a secluded beachside garden oasis, the Healing Village Spa's selection of treatments is inspired by Balinese rituals, with local healers on site practising traditional holistic healing.
Feeling tense after your flight? A traditional Balinese massage will make short work of the knots, whether you choose the Rwa Binada, which uses stones to balance yin and yang, or Ku Nye, a therapeutic treatment to soothe the nervous system using floral compresses and acupressure points.
Once you're feeling loose-limbed, treat yourself to a facial or take advantage of the Jimbaran Traditions sessions - choose between the Balinese rejuvenating ceremony of Suara Jimbaran, or the Agni Akasa, martial arts-style breathing and stretching sequences.