I made a whirlwind trip to Bali last week. The occasion: an extended family wedding, along with an opportunity to indulge in some incredibly rare R&R with my mother and twin sister. Bali, as you may recall, is where my Indonesian mother and Dutch photographer father first met. At the time he was shooting images which were later exhibited in the Smithsonian and in Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum. I've been to Bali numerous times, the first when I was six years old, but it's been over ten years since my last trip. My, how it has changed! It's now teeming with tourists and traffic but, thankfully, the island's inherent magic remains. We crammed in sightseeing, seaside frolicking and shopping in between the wedding festivities, venturing south to Uluwatu (pictured above and below) and inland to Ubud to check out the rice fields. Herewith, my adventures!
Uluwatu is near the southern tip of Bali, and its towering waves along with its sharp and shallow coral reef make a leisurely dip in the ocean pretty much impossible. But perhaps you wouldn't want to swim there anyway: legend has it the Indian Ocean sea goddess Nyai Roro Kiduyou ruthlessly rules the violent waves here, and since she favors green, wearing a green bathing suit is forbidden--lest you want to drown. Believe it or not, both my mother and my surfer husband, who is the least superstitious person I know, abide by this rule.
In case you get too hot after your stair climb up, you can always take a dip in this cliffside infinity pool. (It's wider than it appears.)
Next up, a day trip to Ubud, Bali's cultural center, where one goes to eat, pray and love. I did all of the above, along with check out the abundantly gorgeous rice fields. (My dress is by For Love & Lemons.)
Some of Bali's rice fields are thousands of years old. This one is situated in the backyard of Ubud's Chedi Club, a sprawling and serene estate, where the wedding rehearsal dinner was being staged. The grounds are breathtaking (see below).
All dressed for the party in this gleaming, feather-light Asos top and skirt, double-fisted to boot! (I'm holding my sister's wine glass while she snapped away.) Find my Givenchy sandals here.
In between all the festivities, I took some time out to shop in Sanur... (my bag is from Iomoi)
Drink from a coconut in Uluwatu.
Dine out in a bikini (and in a dress I am wearing backwards and tucked into a pair of shorts, no less!) at Cafe Batujimbar. (Truth be told, I ate lunch here three times during my visit. It's that good!)
And parade around in pom pom-trimmed shorts (made in Bali) around the pool. This is vacation, after all! (My top is by Peter Som x Kohl's.)
My twin sister Coliena and I also bonded over early morning runs on the beach, late night chats and rummaging through each other's suitcases for more clothes to wear/borrow/steal. She's wearing an Asos sequin dress, featured here, and I'm sporting a cut-out Self Portrait frock, also highlighted here.
This was the last sunset of my trip--an awe-inspiring, forever memorable sight. I'll be back one day again, Bali!