BETHANIE & BILLY'S Indonesia

Hey Guys, what were your most unforgettable Escape? We’ve been lucky enough to travel to a lot of amazing places together for work, so it’s difficult to narrow it down to one, but our trip to Indonesia a few years ago is definitely a contender. 

What was the purpose of your travel? We traveled together for a work project to document an artist residency program hosted on the John Hardy Compound in Mambal (jewelry) for artist Teresita Fernandez. 

With how many people did you travel? Just the two of us traveled there together and once we arrived we met Teresita, and the John Hardy team.

Could you share an unforgettable memory about the trip? The Mekepung (Bull Races)! Thousands of locals turn out to watch the the adorned bulls race in celebration of the end of the rice harvest. We also loved the traditional Balinese dancers. See Billy’s photos of both here.  

Where did you stay?  A simple but beautiful private villa on a cliff overlooking the forest just outside of Ubud.

What did (do) you most like about the trip?  It was amazing to learn about the Indonesian culture,  traditions, and artisans. We loved exploring the John Hardy compound as well!

Any hidden gems you could whisper to us? Sari Organik (rice fields), Ubud. It’s a quant outdoor restaurant nestled amongst acres of rice paddies, about a 10-15 minute walk from the main road.

Would you go back? Yes! 

Your most surprising find during the trip - There's an international grade -school just outside of Ubud called the Pelangi school. It’s set in the most magical landscape, inspiring children to learn through nature and encouraging awareness of their environment. It’s an incredible opportunity for children to learn in a more natural, holistic way. We were ready to go back to the third grade! 

Favorite restaurant(s) or food you have tried during your trip? Every day the John Hardy chef prepares a traditional Balinese lunch in their sustainable kitchen which the staff of several hundred all enjoy together. We loved the feeling of one big family meal even though we were several thousand miles from home. 

What is the must tries of the city? the beaches and hidden surf spots in Uluwatu, the John Hardy compound in Mambal, and the palaces and artisan markets in Ubud. 

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Could you list a few of your favorite finds you came back with? Amazing photos, memories and Kaftans! 

Any tips that might be useful to know before going there? If you can, try to avoid the tourist parts of Bali (no resorts!) explore the markets, palaces, and really delve into the local culture. 

Next stop you would like to visit? Thailand and Egypt!