In Bali, a meeting with Ketut Liyer– the loveable medicine man brought to fame in Eat, Pray, Love– might be seen as destiny. Following its success as a best-selling book, the 2010 film adaptation rocked the film industry: the story of one woman on a year-long self-discovery trip to Asia and Indonesia enchanted the hearts and thrilled the minds of millions across the world.
Although much of the movie was filmed in the town of Ubud in southern Bali, travellers can see even more expansive landscapes and feel the same spirituality in Bali’s only jungle, south of Mount Batukaru. Immersed in Bali’s vast and vivid green jungle lies Sarinbuana Lodge- an innovative, award winning Eco-Lodge. Here, travellers can do all three things- eat, pray and love- without leaving the island.
The five treehouse bungalows, with environmentally-friendly furniture and unique décor, attract an array of people: nature lovers, bird watchers, food lovers, gardeners, permaculture enthusiasts, honeymooners and families. The merging of two contrasting landscapes complements one another. The jungle and the bedroom become one, making the lodge all the more special
Pulling back the curtains each morning, travellers are immersed within the jungle and in direct contact with all its inhabitants. Unusual noises may be common to hear and until one sees the bug, bird or animal responsible for the noise, imaginations may come out to play. This is the real beauty of Bali; although the landscape in the jungle is impressive enough, it is the sound, smell and taste which intensify the panoramic sight.
Sarinbuana Eco-Lodge is sustainable in both its exterior and interior. Take for instance, the Treehouse Bungalow. This bungalow, which sleeps a family of up to five, is characterised by its subtle and innovative sustainable features. Duvet covers, sheets and pillowcases are made from recycled bamboo, bathrooms are supplied with natural cleaning products and natural mineral water is provided (from the streams in the mountains) to drink at all times.
Eat. Food in Sarinbuana is focused on authentic Balinese flavours prepared by local women, with local produce. Each meal is an infusion of tastes and flavours. Favourites include banana stem, cacao, snake fruit, cassava leaves and freshly-ground coffee. With the Balinese chefs picking the produce from local gardens, often within 30 minutes of cooking travellers may enjoy an organic meal, simultaneously supporting the local people and the economy of surrounding villages in the jungle.
Pray. Situated in the jungle, travellers have a huge choice of activities to participate in, starting with yoga and meditation classes to prepare you for the day. Sarinbuana Eco-Lodge employs only local people (to enhance local economy and improve qualities of living), so it means that travellers can learn about the history of the vast rainforest. Travellers will hear both ancient ancestors’ tales and get an insight into new projects that are taking place in today’s world, such as local schools which run projects to plant new trees every month.
Love. Balinese people may be described as friendly, spiritual and generally very kind. The local Balinese who live up in the jungle are exactly this and they demonstrate so much love to one another. They live in small villages amongst the tall trees and long grasses, with their houses, land and gardens all built relatively closely. As the majority of Balinese are of the Hindu faith, ceremonies and temple offerings to their Gods are practiced daily. Fruit, flowers and burning incense are beautifully placed and decorated inside a small basket, which is left at the foot of the temples and the many shrines.
This exclusive Eco-Lodge at the bottom of Mt Batukaru, immersed in a jungle so green and fruitful, aims to be self-sufficient, innovative and idyllic. It encompasses all aspects of Bali’s beauty into an area of serenity and calm. In the words of Ketut Liyer: “happiness is smiling with face and smiling with mind”. With beautiful landscapes, culture and people coming together to form Sarinbuana Eco-Lodge, travellers can smile with their minds all day, every day.
How might Sarinbuana Eco-Lodge example offer other parts of the world ideas to support their local communities?