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Holy Bali Matrimony
There is no truer testament to a destination’s romantic gravitas than the number of weddings held there, and on this front, Bali scores again. Although hotels and resorts offer compelling wedding packages, the best option is to rent a villa in Ubud or the Bukit, where the couple and immediate family can base, and the ceremony held outside with a view. Some couples choose to be adorned, Balinese Hindu style, with silks and headdresses and linked by an authentic Hindu priest. Others import their own ministers (pagan, Christian, or otherwise) and dress up fancy for the occasion, which typically rage deep into the starry night. Destination weddings in somewhere as remote (for Americans) as Bali, keep the guest numbers down, but offer a terrific value for intimate yet unforgettable parties. Several Bali-based event businesses can happily organize your dream wedding.
Satay is a dish eaten all over Indonesia and Malaysia, and is made often made for ceremonies in Bali. One of my favorite variations of Balinese satay is lilit, a mixture of pork, chicken or fish with lots of lemongrass, galangal, garlic, ginger, chilies and other spices as well as a good measure of coconut milk. This dish is pure Bali to me. Many restaurants make satay lilit now, but if you want the real deal head to Lebih in Karangasem to eat where the locals eat in one of the many fish warungs on the coast road just before Padang Bai.
In Bali there are fruit stands packed with weird and wonderful fruits you may not have seen ever before. So many of these are such unique tastes you've got to try them. Mangosteens, rambutans, durian, jackfruit, snakefruit, duku, wani, kelengkeng, dragonfruit and starfruit are just a few of the treats you will be able to find at most roadside stalls, depending on the time of year. Many fruits grow best in the rainy season so are abundant from around September through April. Of course everything grows year round in Bali so although there might be less, you will always be able to buy a huge variety of fruit.