If you’ve ever wanted to go on a hot air balloon ride in Bali, the wait is over. Tanah Gajah, a Resort by Hadiprana, is the first on the island to offer visitors a chance to soar in the skies above Bali’s famed rice paddies.
The Story :
No matter if you’re an in-house guest or not, visitors can enjoy the opportunity to step into a wicker basket and take to the blue skies for a first of its kind experience in Bali. Giving you a perspective of the island – and Ubud, in particular – like never before, the 23-metre colourful balloon rises 50 metres above ground and floats at the end of a tether for five to seven minutes.
Per government law in Bali, nothing can float above the temples that stretch across the island. This is why the balloon is tethered to the ground.
There are multiple flights scheduled at three times each day – at dawn, in the late afternoon, and just after moonrise.
The Hospitality :
A certified pilot joins you in the basket and there are more than enough staff on hand to prepare the balloon (preparatory bursts of fire), secure the tethered ropes, ensure a smooth lift-off, and a light landing.
Riders can choose a morning or afternoon package that includes breakfast or afternoon tea, or a dinner package. There’s also an ultimate experience that offers a five-course dinner post-ride on a private platform in the middle of the paddies.
Hovering above Ubud’s iconic rice fields, you can also see the entire 5-ha estate of Tanah Gajah. Taking my ride at dawn, the morning mists rising above the land added a hypnotic and obscure layer to my views that was mesmerising. Up there, it’s 360-degrees of endless green and glory.
Another place on the island that I thought would be worth having a hot air balloon experience was somewhere along the coast, but the unpredictable winds would probably make that impossible.
For Your Consideration :
On a cloudy day, you can barely make out Mount Agung and Mount Batur in the far distance. But this is out of anyone’s control and entirely dependent on luck.
The Noteworthy :
The views of the rice fields are breathtaking and the serenity in the sky is something else. It’s fascinating how the sounds you hear on the ground fall away so swiftly just a short way up.
The Summary :
It was my first time in a hot air balloon and though the experience was short, it was sweet. There’s just nothing like floating in the air in a basket.
Safety conscious and courteous.
Where : Tanah Gajah (A Member of the Leading Hotels of the world),
Tengkulak Kaja, Jl. Raya Goa Gajah,
Kemenuh, Sukawati, Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Phone : +62 361 975685
Note: The critic was invited by the hotel. But opinions are her own.