It was only two weeks ago that we awoke one sunny morning in this exotic hideaway located on a lush tropical, privately-owned island – the Pangkor Laut Resort. We had to literally pinch ourselves to believe that we were in the paradise. Pangkor Laut. Wow. For us, this place is heavenly beautiful!
One of the not-to-be-missed highlights is the world-renowned, award-winning Spa Village. The Spa Village is rated as one of the best in the world. Be sure that you try out their spa treatments as they offer the most indulgent pamper experience ever! Here’s a glimpse of some of the highlights:
The setting at the Spa Village is just so beautiful, idyllic yet luxurious, with every corner carefully decorated with lots of greenery and water features. The surroundings makes one feels so relaxed and refreshed in an instant. This definitely helps setting the right atmosphere before the spa treatment!
While waiting at the nicely decorated lounge area, we were each served with a glass of lemongrass juice as welcome drinks.
Our spa package was an 80-minute massage treatment which gave us the choice to choose from Malay, Balinese, Swedish to Aromatherapy. We were also told to come 45 minutes earlier to enjoy their signature bath house experience, which is a complimentary before every spa treatments.
So now, let’s find out what is this whole bath house experience about!
Bath House Experience Ritual
The experience started with a soothing foot bath in a basin filled with warm, soapy water and flowers, followed by an invigorating foot pounding, a traditional practice enjoyed by the concubines of old China, which is believed to improve blood circulation.
We were then escorted to the respective bath houses (separate bath houses for female and male).
At the changing area, I was asked to remove my clothing and kept all my belongings in a locker. A brown sarong was then wrapped professionally by the assigned attendant. With my locker key safe-pinned onto my sarong throughout the whole spa experience, I was then taken to the next section to enjoy the traditional Malay ‘circulating’ bath. Ladies, if it’s the time of the month, freak not, you don’t have to miss this whole awesome thing, your attentive attendant will provide you with the necessary item – tampon.
At the Malay bath, I was asked to walk through the water curtain, take a dip in the cold water and walk to the other end of the rectangle pool. This is to resemble the traditional practice by the Malay families bathing in the rivers and by the waterfalls.Before that, I was given a coin to toss into the wishing well. To be honest, I don’t get how this relates to the Malay bath, but I guess this is some element of modernity added to spice up the whole bath experience?
Moving on was the herbal inhalation therapy. Using a combination of herbs and flowers from frangipani blossoms to citrus peel, chrysanthemum blossoms to peppermints in four steam boxes, this therapy helps to detoxify, calm, uplift and de-stress one’s mind and body. Leaned forward and inhaled deeply, not only that this opened up my senses, it also left me refreshed and calm.
Japanese bath house
I was then lead to the Japanese bath house to proceed to a Japanese-style cleansing session with “goshi-goshi” cloth, followed by a dip in the heated Rotenburu pool while sipping on a cup of warm herbal tea. After a good 10 minutes, it was time for the Shanghai scrub, which was traditionally offered exclusively to males.
In the private scrub house, the attendant gently scrubbed and exfoliated my back and washed down with warm water. Clean and fresh, I was then wrapped in a batik sarong of my choice, which I got to even bring it home!
Thereafter, I was brought to the Library – a pavilion facing the sea to enjoy a cup of calming tea. Ah, life can’t be any better than this..
The whole bath house ritual made a really wonderful experience as it helps to slow down, unwind and prepare one’s mind and body for the spa treatments. It is really an excellent transitional stage from one’s usual sense of busyness to a total stage of relaxation.
We were then ushered into a private treatment room for a Balinese massage. The well trained, highly experienced masseur of mine was really good in detecting sore points on my body. Using rolling motions, long strokes and acupressure, she kneaded and ironed out the knots in my muscles. While listening to the soothing background music, I dozed off really fast. 80 minutes passed by so quickly without us noticing.
After the massage, it is best to take a stroll in the beautiful landscape garden of the Spa Village.
Alternatively, you can also opt to laze down in the little hut facing the sea while reading some books.
Or take a swim at the infinity pool which offers a great view of the sea.
If you love the therapy oil used during your treatments, simply drop by the souvenir shop located next to the lounge area.
If you’re visiting Pangkor Laut without trying out their spa treatments in the Spa Village, it is as good as going to Paris without visiting the Eiffel Tower! Hence, pre-booking of your spa treatment is essential to avoid last minute disappointment! And of course, such fantastic experience costs pretty penny (*Ouch*)! A quick tip is pre-book the Malaysian Resident Package and you will get an 80-minute treatment at a lower price!
SEE: Taman Ayun – LUNCH: Pacung Restaurant – SEE: Bratan Lake, Bedugul -TEA: Pan Pacific Nirvana Bali Resort – SEE: Tanah Lots – DINNER: Naughty Nuri’s Warung – SHOP: Kuta
After visiting Bratan Lake, we hopped onto Mr Bagus’ Avanza and continued our journey to Tanah Lots for some shopping and sunset viewing. We reached there about 4 plus in the afternoon. Looking at the blazing hot sun, we changed our mind and decided to drop by a nearby resort – Pan Pacific Nirvana Bali Resort instead, for some relaxing moment while enjoying our tea.
Influenced by contemporary Balinese décor, the setting of the resort is idyllic.
We ordered a set of English afternoon tea set at Sunset Lounge while enjoying the spectacular coast line and the surrounding award-winning golf course. The ocean temple of Tanah Lots can also be viewed from here!
Our classic English tea set (USD 15) comprises of a pot of English tea, sandwiches with smoked salmon & cucumber, cream egg watercress, cheddar cheese & tomato; scones with double cream & strawberry jam English fruit cake, strawberry tart, lemon meringue pie and baked apple crumble.
Enough of some tranquility moments and with the sun setting soon, we proceeded with our original plan to Tanah Lots, one of the famous tourist attractions in Bali. The sea temple was built to worship the Balinese sea Gods.
As one of the most visited places of interest in Bali, Tanah Lots is an area of highly commercialised. The carefully planned path leading to the temple is full of souvenir shops. Always remember to bargain when you’re shopping in Bali!
If you fancy a romantic dinner, there are restaurants at the mainland cliff top with open-air setting.
Naughty Nuri’s Warung
We left Tanah Lots as the sunset and dropped by Naughty Nuri’s Warung for dinner. This place is famous for its pork ribs. We did not have the chance to try any other pork ribs in Bali but would definitely rate the pork ribs here very highly.
Upon entrance, we came across this colourful pig decoration which we found it to be very cute.
We order a full slab of pork ribs with some wedges to compliment with the meat. The pork ribs were bursting with favour and grilled to perfection. The meat was so tender that it can be easily pulled off from the bone while the outer layer was super tasty!
The cafe mimics a Balinese style warung which was built with wooden shack, completed with dimmed light, posters and framed photos all over the wall in the Warung. It is such a lovely place to dine in! Will definitely come here again in the future if we happened to visit Bali again!
With a full stomach, we headed down to the busy area of Kuta to explore around before we called it a day.
The Ground Zero Monument to commemorate the victims of Bali bomb tragedy happened in 2002.
SEE: Taman Ayun – LUNCH: Pacung Restaurant – SEE: Bratan Lake, Bedugul – TEA: Pan Pacific Nirvana Bali Resort – SEE: Tanah Lots – DINNER: Naughty Nuri’s Warung – SHOP: Kuta
We started our day traveling northward to visit the royal family temple of the Mengwi Empire – Pura Taman Ayun, which is also known as ‘Garden Temple in the Water’. As suggested by its name, Taman Ayun literally means ‘the temple in a beautiful garden’. The temple has been recognised by UNESCO as a world heritage site.
Upon entrance, we were greeted by a lush green landscape garden with a water fountain.
On the way to Bratan Lake, we made a pit stop at Pacung Restaurant for a quick lunch.
The restaurant served very typical Balinese buffet lunch with food spread like fried rice, satays, fried noddles, soup, white rice, fruit and desserts etc. The price was about Rp 95,000 (S$12) per person. Food was nothing to shout about but the scenic view of paddy terraces was pretty impressive.
Located at 1,200m above sea level, here we arrived at Lake Bratan, the second largest lake in Bali. With the altitude, the weather here is pretty cooling and comfortable.
At the edge of this volcanic lake sits an old temple called Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, which was built back in 1663 in honour of the Goddess of the Lake, Dewi Danu.
If Uluwatu temple is impressive because of its amazing cliff view overlooking the Indian Ocean, then the Bratan temple is stunning because it is located at the beautiful lake with Mount Bratan and Mount Catur as the backdrop. It is definitely one of the most picturesque temples in Bali!