Where To Stay & What To Do In Northern Bali

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Bali offers some of the most breathtaking natural beauty we’ve ever seen.  We just returned from there and our heads are still spinning from all the stunning sights.  Read on for highlights of the Northern Bali region.  (We’re going to have to break this trip up into multiple posts because there is just that much goodness.  Plus we packed in so much traveling ALL over the country!)  You’ll want to bookmark this site and hit all these spots in order to not miss a thing

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WHERE TO STAY:

Amongst the rolling hills, lush countryside, and plantations you’ll find lots of options but we loved Munduk Moding Plantation.  And not to tout how right we were but it was voted best Eco-Luxury resort in Indonesia in 2016 by the World Luxury Hotels Association!  And that incredible pool was voted one of the best 10 Infinity pools in the world in 2014.  Can you see why?

I wanted to take a million photos here hoping to capture and steal some of that beauty as my take-home souvenir.  The sunsets and sunrises are remarkable being that you are so high up in the clouds.  You won’t even believe your eyes as you look out into the mountains and walk the edge of this pool.  You’ll feel a million miles away from home here and so close to heaven.  It is truly awe-inspiring and meditative.

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What a treat it was to live (albeit briefly) amidst the Balinese jungle and on a coffee plantation in the clouds.  It was SUCH a special hideaway.  It had that exotic appeal with their traditional architecture along with luxurious touches like flower buds scattered through our high-end suite.

And I was happy to find that the resort offered so many family-friendly activities (like kite making and flying, Balinese dance and costume making, bamboo weaving, towel artistry etc.)  Plus in the evening, there are children’s TV shows and movies followed by a fire pit and marshmallow roasting.  Who knows, you might even get some quiet time to yourself with all these activities to keep the kids occupied!

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The food on-site was a yummy mix of local favorites mixed in with more familiar options which pleased the whole family.

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And the complimentary tours around the grounds allowed guests to bird watch, stroll through the coffee plantation and gardens and learn all about the making of coffee.  I can’t go a day without coffee so I was fascinated!

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It was so fun!   There was also a highly rated spa on the resort’s premises but we were too busy exploring the area to have time to sit around getting massaged haha!

WHAT TO DO/SEE AROUND MUNDKUK:

We couldn’t resist hiking through a natural waterfall (there are several in the area).  If you do this, we recommend hiring a local guide (they can be found at the entrance of the waterfalls) for super cheap. Trust me, you’ll have more fun if you can let someone else do the navigating.  Note stairs are sometimes steep and slippery when wet.  I would not recommend this for kids 5 and under since the trek is at least 20 minutes each way unless your child really likes the stairmaster.

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Also, a must – stop near the hotel is Wanagiri, an Instagram-able swing lookout with breathtaking views  of the Twin Lakes.

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If in the area, you must also stop by Ulun Danu Bratan Water Temple in Tabanan.  Here you can take a memorable swan ride through the lake to enjoy the mountainside’s picturesque views!
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And then visit the many surrounding gates and temples on premise!
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Along the way, you’ll want to stop and stare at the beautiful rice plantations and maybe check out the millions of monkeys roaming the mountainside.  There is so much natural beauty to see along the way!
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Based on this recap, what would you most like to do or see while in the Munduk Northern Bali region?  Stay tuned for more Bali highlights (focusing on other regions) coming soon!  And let me know what else you’d like to hear more about!
Thanks to Munduk Moding Plantation for hosting us!  We had the most memorable time with you!

Koziar’s Christmas Village What To Know Before You Go

Nothing puts me in the Christmas spirit more than walking through a winter wonderland.  I just love holiday decor, Christmas music and all the sparkly lights so seeing a Christmas village is always high on my holiday bucket list.  So how could I not see what Display World Magazine has dubbed, the “best outdoor Christmas Display IN THE WORLD.”  I know… what an amazing title, huh?  Here’s the initial view of Koziar’s Christmas Village that you get upon driving up.

Our jaws dropped!  It was so extensive, so elaborate, so mind-blowing that even our car full of jaded New Yorkers were impressed!

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What a happy place it was!

So the story goes that what originally started as a decorated house and dairy farm soon became a sensation when Mr. Koziar’s Christmas display grew year-by-year into a massive holiday spectacle.  Now you can see everything from a giant train display to a lit-up lake!  There were so many delightful sights along the trail including this supersized Santa!

Every turn showcased such a charming display of nostalgic Christmas tales, characters and scenes.

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Cute costumed characters greeted us, and as we winded down each trail we enjoyed a game of “I Spy” with fun – to -find items like the Snoopy cast, a land of santas, Grinch storybook pages, more!  Check out this adorable, vintage tea party scene found when we peeked into a playhouse!  Who else loved Raggedy Ann and Andy as a child?

raggedy ann and andy, dolls, tea party, koziar's christmas villageSome criticized online that the displays were dated.  But I kind of enjoyed the old-world charm of seeing classic characters line the paths and feeling like I was going back in time to a magical and charming Christmas world.  It helped that we went in November when the Christmas crowds had not yet come out in full force of course.

About a 2.5 hour drive from downtown, Manhattan, this destination was totally worth it!  But know before you go.

Here are our top tips for your next trip to Koziar’s Christmas Village:

BRING

  • cash! The cash line is 3 x faster than the regular line.  And trust me, you want to minimize your time waiting around in the cold outdoors
  • warm weather accessories.  Do NOT forget that scarf, mittens, hat and/or earmuffs.  Consider bringing an extra blanket especially if you have kids with strollers.  There are few indoor stops along the way, many of which have lines to get in so bundle up to really be able to enjoy the night out.
  • tissues.  We saw many people sniffling without access to tissues.  Bring your own.

KNOW

  • There’s one main bathroom near the entrance and porta potties scattered throughout.  Go before you go..
  • It will take you around 1-1.5hours to get through the place depending on how long you take at each shop along the way, how many photos you stop to take etc.
  • Avoid Saturdays because I hear the traffic into the place alone could take you up to 45 minutes per mile.
  • Get there before it opens to avoid wasting time in lines.
  • Thanksgiving thru January 1st:
    Mon. – Fri. 6 – 9 pm | Sat. 5 – 9:30 pm | Sun. 5 – 9 pm
    Open EVERY night to Jan. 1st
  • You can take a picture with Santa here..just have to find him in one of the miniature houses.
  • BUY the cookie!  OMG these chocolate chip cookies (which are warmed up for you) are SO good and only a dollar I think?
  • 3 & Under – FREE |  4 to 10 – $10.00
    11 to 64 – $12.00 | Seniors (65+) – $11.00 and guess what… Parking is FREE.  I know… you NY-ers just fainted on me…
  • To navigate the parking lot and remember where you left your car, drop a pin on your phone or text someone in your party directions
  • If you are using a camera, know which settings to use during the night.
  • Work out a plan if a member of your party becomes separated.
  • 782 Christmas Village RdBernville, PA 19506-8810 (It’s near Lancaster PA where we toured through and sightsaw the next day)

Have you been to a Christmas village before? If so, where and would you recommend it?

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