Trekking To The Top Of The World

With our wanderlust  wings clipped lately, many of us are itching for the moment when we’re able to satisfy our desire for travel. Though currently limited to channel surfing and onscreen adventures, many are already turning their Bali Dreaming into planning mode to be ready to roll once restrictions are finally lifted.

Having been confined to #stayhome it’s little wonder that many of us are seeking an outdoors holiday and what better way to witness the wonders of Bali than with a guided sunrise hike up Mt Batur.

Staying in Ubud will mean a not such an early start as if you were staying in the southern tourist areas but you will still need to set that alarm because pick up is around 2.30am. If you are not an early riser fear not as there  is still time to sneak in a little snooze in the car as the transport from Bisma Cottages to the start is around an hour.

The Mt Batur sunrise climb is often the highlights of their Bali holiday. The moderate, 1717m climb is more than doable for anyone with a medium fitness (and no fear of heights) with your 1.5 hours of hiking rewarded with an awesome vantage point to witness the first light of day while munching on a well-earned brekkie of bananas and a fresh boiled egg sandwich cooked via volcanic steam from the mountain herself! Simply sit back and relax with a hot cuppa and your camera ready as this is sure to be one of the most memorable sunrises you will ever see!

There are several reputable local tour companies offering guided treks to Mt Batur and the team at Bisma Cottages is happy to recommend one and arrange tour bookings. Basic tours start from around US$45 per person and include air-conditioned hotel transfers, English speaking guide, flashlights, mineral water, Geopark entrance fees and a small breakfast. You can also expand your Mt Batur trek to include a trip to the hot springs near the volcano to ease aching legs and limbs, post climb!

Treks run pretty much every day but it’s advisable to opt for dry season dates from April through to September for more chance of a cloud free sunrise and safer climb. Wet season weather can cause parts of the track to become slippery, especially on the downward trek so wear appropriate footwear so you can be sure to make it to the summit.

Whilst regarded as a safe excursion for all ages, there are a few things to know before you go:

  • Set your alarm but get some sleep before you climb. You’ll need the energy!
  • Be sure to book a guide who will take you to the summit
  • Wear layered clothing. You will be hot during the climb but the mountain air is pretty frosty at the top so bring a jacket or a blanket.
  • Wear walking shoes/runners with a decent grip!
  • Be sure to have enough battery on your phone or camera so you don’t miss one of Bali’s best photo ops!
  • Listen to your guide to get some great info about Mt Batur and the surrounding areas. Some of these guys have been trekking here for 25 years so they know A LOT!
  • Be cautious on the downward trek. There can be areas of loose rock which can be slippery.
  • Bring a little extra cash with you. Tipping is optional but if you’ve enjoyed the experience, show your appreciation with a small gratuity.
  • Prepare to be on top of the world!

Visit for full details about their Family Package, Rooms, Rates, Tours and More.

Jalan Bisma No. 35, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Ph: +62 815 5701 849
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Choosing Mountains Over Mayhem – Ubud For Families

Bali holidays need not be all beach clubs, Bintangs and battling crowds. While popular tourist areas in the south continue to draw the party crowd and beach lovers, many visitors are now seeking a more real and relaxed Bali experience.

About an hour’s drive from the international airport and into cooler climates, Ubud has become a firm favourite for families and xenophiles who are after an alternative to beaches and noisy bars. Originally famed for being the island’s artisan’s hub, there’s much more to Ubud than galleries and workshops with its impressive list of sights, activities and experiences for every age group.

Outdoorsy types will love the many walking trails that crisscross Ubud area such as Campuhan Ridge offering stunning views of rice fields, river valleys with quaint open-air cafes that beckon for stops along the way! A short drive from Ubud town centre affords views of one of the world’s most iconic rice terraces along with adrenalin fueled attractions such as swings to propel you up and over the valley below! Many of Bali’s most picturesque waterfalls are located close to Ubud along with many other culturally significant sites and temples.

For families with a day of action in mind, the Ayung River is home to a number of top rated white water rafting companies or you can opt for quad biking adventures, downhill cycling tours and even a sunrise mountain climb. Ubud boasts some of Bali’s best culinary offerings from family friendly casual eateries and cosy coffee shops to fine dining from Michelin star chefs!

While there are abundant villa options for families, many of these are located on the outskirts of town and can pose a strain the purse strings. Bisma Cottages is a boutique property located within walking distance of Ubud’s must see attractions and offers family friendly accommodation at an affordable price. Despite its central location, Bisma Cottages is situated on a quiet no through road fringed by rice fields. Just five minute’s walk and guests will find themselves at Ubud’s renowned Monkey Forest with a fifteen minute stroll in the opposite direction landing them at the Ubud Royal Palace, Ubud Market or Campuhan Ridge walk. Central Ubud is ideal for pedestrians with accessible footpaths and plenty of opportunity for retail therapy!

Providing a refreshing and affordable alternative to some of the larger, less personable accommodation options, Bisma Cottages is well suited to families of all ages. Their Deluxe cottage features a queen size four poster bed and separate living area with a large day bed and ample room for another extra bed to accommodate a family of four in comfort. It’s an ideal choice for families with smaller children while Bisma’s two bedroom adjoining cottages are perfect for tweens or teens needing a little more privacy and space to themselves. The cottages frame a delightful pool area ready for RnR after a day out and about! Check out Bisma Cottages’ Family Package deal including 3 nights in a 2 bedroom cottage and FREE Ubud Highlights Full Day Tour.

Visit for full details about their Family Package, Rooms, Rates, Tours and More.



Jalan Bisma No. 35, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Ph: +62 815 5701 849
Email :
Website :

Sustainable Tourism – Time For Everyone To Take Part

Media Release: 1st February 2020

While Bali’s tourism continues to bolster the Indonesian economy, businesses on this idyllic holiday isle are developing a renewed focus toward sustainable practices to ensure their paradise does not end up buried under a pile of plastic!

With millions of visitors lobbing onto Bali’s shores annually, it’s little wonder the island’s natural resources are stretched, but thanks to the growing attention to local environmental issues and the implementation of eco-friendly operating procedures throughout an increasing number of Bali businesses, there is renewed hope for a more positive future. Those involved in agriculture and tourism across the island are achingly aware it is up to them to lead the charge, adapting to a pro environmental approach for a sustainable Bali in years to come.

In addition to internationally recognised, youth driven initiatives like Bye Bye Plastic Bags, Bali’s environmental crusaders come in numerous forms, from recycling specialists Eco Bali, to compost companies such as Urban Biologist, waste free warriors like Zero Waste and IbuBumi Bali and ‘refillutionary’ apps like RefillMyBottle to encourage water conservation and reduction of single use water bottles. But it’s not just these guys championing Bali’s environmental causes. An increasing number of tourism operators and hospitality houses are implementing eco-friendly methods into daily operations, doing their bit for a sustainable Bali.

Boutique resort Bisma Cottages in Ubud has been employing such practices for some time now. Single use plastic bottles for guest drinking water have not been offered since 2017, opting instead for hygienic, refillable glass bottles. Plastic straws have also been adiosed in favour of the metal variety. Linens are changed every three days in deference to water conservation and a reduction of detergents in natural waterways. Small, reusable bags have been locally produced and donated to the nearby warung in an effort to discourage the use of plastic bags for takeaway food. The T-shirts that form part of Bisma Cottages’ staff uniforms are actually made from a fabric comprising of 60% cotton and 40% recycled plastic! Even the decking around the pool at Bisma plays a part in this resort’s nod to eco-tourism. When it was time for it to be replaced in 2018, the owner opted to use Conwood – a pro environmental product made from a mix of recycled plastic and sawdust!

Every small change is a step toward a cleaner greener Bali and it is up to local operators, residents and even tourists to play a part in sustainable tourism. With the discerning traveller in 2020 leaning more toward accommodation options that promote a ‘greener’ approach, it is in everyone’s best interests to get on board.

To experience your own slice of mountain paradise, at Bisma Cottages check out their website: or follow them on instagram @bismacottages for their latest accommodation deals and up to the minute events in the Ubud area.

Jalan Bisma No. 35, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Ph: +62 815 5701 849
Email :
Website :

The Pyramids of Ubud – a new era of sound healing.

Pyramids in Ubud. Really?  Since 2017 two pyramids are located in the village of Bentuyung only a 5 minute drive from Ubud town.

The pyramids are the idea of Peter and Lynne McIntosh an Australian couple who discovered sound healing pyramid style and believe they were guided to introduce the amazing sound healing experiences to help people discover the wonder of complete relaxation using sound, vibrations and breathing techniques. Both trained gong masters Peter and Lynne have a wealth of experience helping people achieve healing via sound therapy.

Pyramids create the most amazing energy and powers. The Pyramids Chi were specially designed and custom made of a special exterior material and beautiful wood on the inside. Each Pyramid has been given a name. There is Sun and Moon and soon a third pyramid Earth will be complete.

Your healing experience starts enroute with the drive along small windy roads, every bend taking you further away from the hustle or a 4 minute walk through the rice fields.  Upon arrival you will see a giant gong at the entrance to the breezy café that serves vegetarian delights. Insider tip – must try Vegetarian Masaman Curry.

It’s recommended to arrive earlier than the session start times (currently 11am and 3pm)  and experience the beautiful natural surroundings, read a book, chat to other visitors from around the globe, check out the gift shop or just relax.

When the gong sounds it is time for the intro session. The gong master will give information about the place, history of sound healing and the significance of experiencing a sound healing session in a pyramid.

Then its time to enter the pyramid, everyone ushers in quietly leaving shoes at the door and chooses a comfy mattress to lay for the 60 minute session. Newcomers feel inquisitive and they see the fascinating array of gongs in the central area, thinking ” Whats going to happen here ? ” Regulars are feeling relaxed looking forward to this special form of meditation.

The lights go down and the gong master helps slow down body and minds in the darkness with calming words and controlled breathing before the sounds of the gongs, drums and other instruments commence.

What happens for the next 60 minutes depends on the individual. The sound healing experience may be physical, spiritual, emotional or blissful.

Each day there are specialised classes such as Cacao Ceremonies, Tibetan Bowl Meditation, Transformation Breathwork and more. And as the evolution of the Pyramids of Chi evolves there will be even more retreats, teachings and mind body and soul experiences for your self care.

Or for next level sound healing try Acoustic Bioresonance which channels instrument vibrations  through custom-built sound healing beds with vibrational speakers resonating the sound through water mattresses deep into the body.  This is a safe and enjoyable way to experience a high state of consciousness through sound and vibration. The powerful vibrations used to clear distracting thoughts and clear blockages in the body and energy fields. This form of sound combined with vibration is said to bring a  higher state of consciousness which allows self healing and to manifest intenstions much more effectively.

Book A Sound Healing Session Here –


What is Galungan Day?

Galungan Day

Galungan Day

Galungan is an Balinese Hindu ritual based on the 210 day Balinese calendar. It is a celebration of the triumph of good (Dharma) over evil (Adharma),
You know it’s Galungan when the tall carved bamboo poles adorned with decorations, called Penjor are in front of every building in Bali. Some of the penjors are modest, with only simple decorations, others can be grandiose with lustrous ornaments. Whatever the penjor they all carry the same meaning, to thank the gods for all that’s good.

The eve of Galungan is Penampahan Galungan, animals are sacrificed as special offerings which are meant to get rid of negativity in both the bhuana agung (the environment of the individual human being) and the bhuana alit (the inner world of the individual human being); the meat is afterwards prepared and cooked for traditional Balinese dishes such as lawar, babi guling, and satay. The Balinese, especially the children, are looking forward to Penampahan Galungan as it is a typical family party day with lots of delicious dishes, similar to how some nationalities celebrate on Christmas Eve.

From early morning on Galungan Day whiffs of incense carry through the air. The atmosphere is buoyant, like the western Christmas day. Everybody is coming out in their formal Balinese attire to visit neighbours and relatives.

The Galungan celebration continues until Kuningan, 10 days later. Kuningan is the day that marks the end of the Galungan festive season, by the departure of the ancestors, back to their own world. The ceremony surrounding Kuningan refers to special offerings made of yellow turmeric rice. Yellow is also the colour of the god Wisnu, the protector of the Hindu trinity.

For the non Balinese on the island you will notice shops, restaurants and other businesses owned or with high numbers of Balinese staff will be closed in the lead up to Galungan Day, possibly a couple of days later and on Kuningan Day. This is because Balinese people must travel back to their original village and assist the family and local community with the preparations required.

Below are the dates for upcoming Galungan holidays
Galungan: July 24th 2019, February 19th 2020, September 16th 2020, April 14th 2021, November 10th 2021.
Kuningan: August 3rd 2019, February 29th 2020, September 26th 2020, April 24th 2021, November 20th 2021.

Restore your Balance at Bali Spirit Festival

Known as one of the largest and best yoga festivals in all of Asia, BaliSpirit Festival returns  to Ubud this 24-31 March 2019 for its 12th edition.

More than just a festival, this 8-day experience includes everything from yoga to meditation, dance, breath work, healing and authentic relating – the BaliSpirit Festival is a space of transformation, exploration, connection and community.

The Theme
This year’s theme is ‘Restore the Balance’: as world-renowned teachers share their workshops and wisdom with you to offer new paths to inner harmony, balance and collective well-being, you come back to the simplicity of soul-to-soul connections, make new friends, embrace new ideas and start to embody what balance truly means.

Freshly recharged, connected to the earth, you become part of a new reality which is creating a healthy and vibrant planet, restored and balanced!

The Experience
The festival hosts talents from all over the world to bring an alchemy of sound, healing and movement to life! Surrounded by Bali’s lush green rice fields and jungle patches, the festival venue will be at The Bali Purnati Center for the Arts, a 15-minute drive from Ubud. Here you are invited to take part in yoga classes, organic markets, musical performances, holistic healing workshops and much more with over 150 presenters taking part and guiding the way.

There is a huge range of classes, workshops and group sessions from all kinds of practices. Be it Jivamukti Yoga, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Hatha or Kundalini, or one of the more eclectic workshops such as Shamanic Flow Yoga, Laughter Yoga, Cacao Ceremonies, Sound Baths or Ecstatic Dance, rest assured that you’ll rediscover your love for moving the body in unison with others in a completely new way!

Fuelled by fresh coconut water, nutritional meals and high vibrational organic foods from the island available at the festival, this unforgettable week is going to leave you supercharged and inspired in all the good ways.

At night, a world of music awakens on the main stage with world sounds, performers, poets, dancers and singers sharing their vibes.

Melasti – Bali Islands Purification

Usually around 2 days before Nyepi is the Melasti Ceremony. During this ceremony village communities travel together from their village to closest source of holy water, to some this may be a holy spring, to others its the sea. There are hundreds of people dresses in their Balinese formal ceremony attire, walking in the procession. Some carrying umbrellas, some playing the Balinese gamelan traditional music, some carry the cask that has the villages prized articles inside. As you can imagine the ceremony causes traffic ‘ issues ‘ given that many main roads are blocked for quite a while. The aim of Melasti Ceremony is to remove impurities, of a village. At the beach, river, lake or holy spring the casks and items in which ancestral spirits reside are laid down. Here the priest will pray and chant his mantras, flicking holy water, his flower and ringing his prayer bell. Around him, worshippers join in prayer. Why the beach or holy spring? Water is a cleansing element in Balinese Hindu belief, thus, at the sea, all can be purified. Both positive and negative elements are brought here to be cleansed, as in the Balinese belief of opposing forces are equally important for balance in the world. So during Melasti Ceremony, both people and the world around them are purified, cleansed of bad thoughts, deeds and negative influences.

Nyepi Day – March 7th 2019

Nyepi is Bali’s  “Day of Silence” that  this year is Thursday March 7th 2019.. It is a Hindu celebration mainly in Bali. Nyepi Day is a day of silence, fasting and meditation for the Balinese. The evening prior there is a parade of Ogoh Ogoh (paper mache monsters) in every village to scare aware the evil spirits. The monsters represent all objects, people or anything that can disrupt human life. Observed from 6.a.m until 6.a.m next morning, Nyepi is silent so the bad spirits scared aware the night before edo not return. It is also a day reserved for self reflection.  The main restrictions are no lightning fire (and light must be keep low), no working, no entertainment or pleasure no traveling and for some no talking or eating at all.

The effect of these prohibitions is that Bali and its usual bustling streets are empty. There is little or no noise from TV or Radios and few sign of activity are seen even inside homes. The only people to be seen outdoors are the pecalang, traditional security who patrol the street to ensure the prohibitions are being followed. Although Nyepi is primarily a Hindu Holiday, non Hindu residents and tourists are not exempt from restrictions. Although they are free to do as they wish inside their hotel, no one is allowed on to the beaches or streets and the only airport in Bali remains closed for the entire day. The Exception granted are for emergency vehicles responding to life threatening conditions and women about give to birth.

On day after Nyepi, known as Ngembak Geni (Relighting the fire), Social activity picks up again quickly, as families and friends gather to ask forgiveness from one another, and to perform certain religious ritual together. Fires and electricity are allowed again, and cooking of food resumes.

If you are already staying in Bali on the Day of Silence, enjoy the relaxing time. Nyepi is definitely something different and original and you cannot experience it anywhere else in the world!

Lots of Fun

By Harry Mooney, Age 9 Last week my family and I went to Bisma Cottages in Ubud and had a hell of a lot of fun even though we were only there for 2 days. In Ubud you can go on this amazing tour to see Mount Batur, ride a bike through villages and rice paddies and try lots of coffee and tea. Some really good places around Bisma are Umah Pizza, Putri Spa and the Ubud Market. I loved my stay at Bisma Cottages, it was like we had the swimming pool to ourselves.


Ubud is my favourite place in all of Bali

By Jada Anver (14 years) I came to Ubud excited for the monkey forest, but little did I know, there was so much more! Bisma Cottages was beautiful and quaint, the staff were lovely, we always had the pool to ourselves and I had delicious banana pancakes every morning. But the highlight wasn’t only the hotel, It was everything surrounding it. There was the Ubud market, amazing restaurants and the Ubud Monkey Forest, all close to the hotel. There was so many shops nearby and the Ubud Market was an amazing experience . I learnt how to barter and had a chance to see the culture. We also went to heaps of amazing restaurants, I can’t pick my favourite. Whether it was eating dinner with the view of the rice paddocks and the setting sun, or having chocolate crepes at night overlooking the busy street. I loved every part of it! Ubud is NOT a place for only for relaxing, it is a place for non-stop adventure too. We went on a 24km bike ride all down hill, our tour guide stopped at spots we could experience the culture and how Balinese people live. We went inside a Balinese home, a school and a village. The monkey forest is absolutely incredible. They will climb all over you, and it was so much fun. We also went white water rafting which which was so thrilling. Overall the activities around the hotel are a must do. We had a really nice driver who is the Manager at the hotel who took us to all these places. Ubud is my favourite place in all of Bali (and I have been to Bali 18 times) this hotel is the best place to stay if you want to be near everything. I had heaps of fun and never will forget this trip to Ubud. Definitely a holiday to remember.