Mutia Adisoma

Correspondent

  • Bali, Indonesia, Asia

Mutia Adisoma is a correspondent who lives in Bali and covers the island for Forbes Travel Guide. She is constantly on the lookout for what’s new — from hotel openings to visiting international chefs to the hottest spa treatments. Born in the U.S., she worked in Japan and Philadelphia before making her way back to Asia to become editor at a Bali travel and lifestyle magazine. When Adisoma isn’t sampling the latest eight-course degustation menu, you’ll find her sipping coconut water at a roadside stall or taking in one of Bali’s awe-inducing sunsets.

  • On July 2, 2014
    Kaley Johannesson is now following Mutia Adisoma
  • On April 8, 2014
    Emil Stancu is now following Mutia Adisoma
  • On June 30, 2013
    Mutia Adisoma answered the question: Mutia Adisoma

    Where are the best bars in Bali?

    The best bars in Bali can be found in Seminyak, centered around Petitenget Street. Ku De Ta has been serving up delicious food and cocktails for over a decade and attracts a well-dressed crowd. WooBar at the W Resort & Spa Bali also has great cocktails and weekly events, not to mention a number of international DJs that always seem to be popping by for a “Sunset Session” or to play a weekend gig. Mantra, owned by local surfer Tipi Jabrik, is just across the road from the W Bali and has a chilled out atmosphere great for drinks and conversation. However, on nights when a live band is playing, expect Mantra to turn into a “standing party” as the bar is sure to be packed. Hu’u, which is right down the road, also attracts the kind of crowd that is ready to dance and international DJs often make appearances here.

    Some other options in the Seminyak area that are not on Petitenget Street are Mama San and Motel Mexicola. Mama San is part of the Sarong Group and has delicious Asian food as well as an intriguing cocktail menu. The second floor is a great place to hang out and drink but can pick up quite a bit during “Kitchen Sessions,” an event where DJs come out to get guests on their feet. Motel Mexicola is a very recent addition to the Seminyak area, and although the drink menu isn’t quite as extensive as the places previously mentioned, it offers a laid-back atmosphere in a colorful, Day of the Dead inspired space and strong margaritas to enjoy while you chat away with your group.

    If you’re in the Jimbaran area, head to either Sundara at the Four Seasons Resort Bali Jimbaran or Rock Bar at the Ayana Resort & Spa. Sundara has an extensive menu of absolutely delicious cocktails, all crafted by mixologist Javier Des Las Muelas of DRY MARTINI in Barcelona. As for Rock Bar, you won’t find a view quite as breathtaking as the one offered there. If you are even further south in the Uluwatu area, try Finn’s Beach Club at Semara Resort & Spa. This is another place to enjoy stunning views of turquoise sea as you sip on cocktails and enjoy the tropical air.
  • On June 26, 2013
    Mutia Adisoma answered the question: Mutia Adisoma

    What is nightlife like in Bali?

    The nightlife in Bali used to be centered around Kuta and Legian but nowadays the area that people flock to for dinner, drinks and dancing is Seminyak. Seminyak attracts quite a beautiful and trendy crowd, with cocktails that are carefully crafted by the island’s best mixologists, served up by skillful bartenders, and can go for up to $17 a glass. The bars in Seminyak are on the fancier side and some places even enforce dress codes (no beer branded clothing or flip-flops, for example). Most places have live music or DJs that take the stage from around 10 PM. As for those looking for a more laid-back experience and don’t mind a boozy, rowdier crowd, Kuta and Legian still have bars and clubs that tower up to five stories high where the drinks are cheap and the music blasts loudly. Bars in Bali generally close around 2 AM, but some clubs in Kuta stay open as late as 4 AM.
  • On June 26, 2013
    Mutia Adisoma answered the question: Mutia Adisoma

    What is the one must-do activity in Bali?

    The thing that makes Bali different from other island destinations in the world is definitely its culture. Balinese Hinduism has so much influence on the local culture, which is strong and enduring despite all the development and change happening around the island. It would be a shame not to witness a traditional ceremony while here – from full moon ceremonies to funerals, the intricate customs and the traditional garments worn during ceremonies are amazing and eye-opening and might even become some of the most memorable things about your trip.

    Depending on where your accommodations are located and how much time you have, it might be difficult to catch a special ceremony. If this is the case then definitely try to catch a Balinese dance performance because the costumes and dance movements are absolutely enchanting. Ubud has many daily dance performances, but another area to consider is Uluwatu for its electrifying Kecak dance at sunset. In an open-air amphitheater, about one hundred bare-chested men will gather in a circle to chant and shout with animated hand movements as dancers perform the famous story of Ramayana in the center of the circle. This is an experience not to be missed!
  • On June 26, 2013
    Mutia Adisoma answered the question: Mutia Adisoma

    What are the best kids activities in Bali?

    Bali is very kid-friendly, and you will find an abundance of fun activities to do with your children while you are here. Waterbom Bali in Kuta is a family favorite where you could easily spend an entire day. You will find pools, numerous water slides (some are gigantic), lounge chairs, shady areas and the newest addition called The Shack, where you can grab a cocktail or have a quick massage while your kids go up and down the slides squealing with delight. The Tanjung Benoa area in southern Bali is another good option for water activities. From glass-bottom boat rides to jet skiing to parasailing, there are plenty of ways to spend hours having fun in the sun.

    The Bali Zoo, Bali Bird Park and Bali Elephant Safari Park are great places to go for animal lovers. The Bali Safari & Marine Park is also a nice option – it has a program called “Night Safari” where you can ride in specially designed vehicles and feed the wild beasts roaming around the park. A visit to the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud is another favorite. The forest is peaceful and beautiful and the monkeys roam freely. They generally won’t bother you unless you tempt them with bananas or wave around shiny objects, but always beware of your belongings!

    As for activities for teenagers, try rafting down the Ayung River or try a beginner’s surf class at Kuta Beach. Odesseys Surf School just had their 10th anniversary and they are a trusted place to go for surf classes. If it happens to rain during your visit to Bali, you can take part in indoor activities such as Balinese dance class or gamelan music class (traditional Indonesian percussion).

    As for parents who are craving some “me time” for a massage or some shopping without the little ones, you might consider dropping them off for a couple hours at your resort’s play center. Most hotels and resorts have very good kid’s programs, so rest assured that they will have plenty of supervised activities to take part in while you allow yourself a little bit of time to indulge in paradise.
  • On June 26, 2013
    Mutia Adisoma answered the question: Mutia Adisoma

    What are the best kids activities in Bali?

    Bali is very kid-friendly, and you will find an abundance of fun activities to do with your children while you are here. Waterbom Bali in Kuta is a family favorite where you could easily spend an entire day. You will find pools, numerous water slides (some are gigantic), lounge chairs, shady areas and the newest addition called The Shack, where you can grab a cocktail or have a quick massage while your kids go up and down the slides squealing with delight. The Tanjung Benoa area in southern Bali is another good option for water activities. From glass-bottom boat rides to jet skiing to parasailing, there are plenty of ways to spend hours having fun in the sun.

    The Bali Zoo, Bali Bird Park and Bali Elephant Safari Park are great places to go for animal lovers. The Bali Safari & Marine Park is also a nice option – it has a program called “Night Safari” where you can ride in specially designed vehicles and feed the wild beasts roaming around the park. A visit to the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud is another favorite. The forest is peaceful and beautiful and the monkeys roam freely. They generally won’t bother you unless you tempt them with bananas or wave around shiny objects, but always beware of your belongings!

    As for activities for teenagers, try rafting down the Ayung River or try a beginner’s surf class at Kuta Beach. Odesseys Surf School just had their 10th anniversary and they are a trusted place to go for surf classes. If it happens to rain during your visit to Bali, you can take part in indoor activities such as Balinese dance class or gamelan music class (traditional Indonesian percussion).

    As for parents who are craving some “me time” for a massage or some shopping without the little ones, you might consider dropping them off for a couple hours at your resort’s play center. Most hotels and resorts have very good kid’s programs, so rest assured that they will have plenty of supervised activities to take part in while you allow yourself a little bit of time to indulge in paradise.
  • On June 26, 2013
    Mutia Adisoma answered the question: Mutia Adisoma

    What are some things to know before visiting Bali?

    1. Research your areas before you travel to Bali. Don’t book a hotel in Kuta if you’re looking for a secluded hideaway (Kuta is generally where backpackers and budget travelers stay) and don’t expect to find rice fields or raw food cafes if you stay in Seminyak (this area is best for shopping and sunset cocktails by the beach). Bali is not as tiny as some people imagine it to be and it can take a good amount of time to get from one area to another, especially during the high season when the roads are packed. Have a general idea of the places you want to go to and the things you want to see while you’re here before arranging accommodation.

    2. ATM machines, grocery stores and pharmacies can be found in abundance in most tourist areas, so don’t worry too much when you’re packing. If you forget something essential, it shouldn’t be too hard to find in Bali. But if you’re staying somewhere a bit off the beaten path, it’s best to ask the hotel staff and they will surely do their best to get you what you need.

    3. If you’re looking for a subway or buses to hop on and off of, you won’t find them here. In Bali the best way to get around is by car, by motorbike or by taxi. Renting a car and finding a knowledgeable driver to take you around for the day is very easy to arrange. As for the adventurous traveler, renting a motorbike and weaving in and out of traffic like the locals is also an option. Taxis are abundant but make sure the driver turns on the meter, as some will try to negotiate their own price. Try to hail a Blue Bird cab when possible – they are more reliable than some of the other companies.

    4. Lastly, knowing a little bit of the local language has its benefits (as is the case when visiting any non-English speaking country). Try to learn some basic words in Balinese and/or Indonesian and don’t feel self-conscious about butchering the pronunciation. You’re sure to get a better bargain or at the very least an amused smile!
  • On May 31, 2013
    Mutia Adisoma answered the question: Mutia Adisoma

    What are the best beaches in Bali?

    A trip to Bali would not be complete without a visit to the beach. Kuta Beach is a popular destination for families and groups – it’s a busy beach with white sand for laying out in the sun and manageable waves for first-time surfers. There are a good number of locals selling everything from bracelets to ice cream, or offering their services for a quick massage of foot pumicing on the beach. This can be either convenient or irritating depending on the kind of day you are trying to have, so if you are not interested in what is being offered, the trick is to be friendly but firm!

    Canggu Beach is located not too far from the Seminyak area and boasts black sand and waves fit for intermediate and expert surfers. There is a restaurant that overlooks the sea and a handful of shops that are set a little further back from the beach, but not much more than that. Petitenget Beach in Seminyak is an amazing place to be at sunset. Take a stroll on the beach as the sun sinks into the horizon and watch the sky become filled with vibrant orange, red and purple hues.

    Heading south past the airport, you will find beaches such as Pandawa Beach in Ungasan and Padang-Padang Beach in Uluwatu. In these areas, the sand is white and the sea is a gorgeous turquoise color. Getting to Padang-Padang Beach requires descending down a hundred or so stairs between boulders – if you think this is challenging you will soon think differently when a surfer passes you barefoot in the narrow pathway with a surfboard in tow, eagerly heading to the sea to tackle the massive waves. If you don't mind paying to get to some fantastic beaches in the same area, try Finn's Beach Club at Semara Resort or Nammos Beach Club at Karma Kandara Resort – their stunning beaches are quiet and clean and great for a leisurely day outdoors with your family.
  • On May 31, 2013
    Mutia Adisoma answered the question: Mutia Adisoma

    What are the best clothing boutiques in Bali?

    The best clothing boutiques in Bali can be found in the Seminyak area along Raya Seminyak Road and Kayu Aya Road (also known as Laksmana or Oberoi). It is possible to walk along these two roads, but take note that the sidewalks are narrow and sometimes obstructed by debris and construction materials (Bali seems to be constantly building and renovating these days). Try not to get too distracted as you window-shop or else you might find yourself with your foot caught in a hole!

    On Raya Seminyak Road you can find everything from colorful men’s shorts to handbags to swimwear. A notable store to pop into is Somewhere, which offers youthful styles for both men and women. When you walk down this road towards Seminyak, you will notice that eventually the number of clothing stores thins out and interior/home furnishings stores are more prevalent. At this point it is advisable to hail a taxi and have the driver take you to Kayu Aya Road.

    On Kayu Aya Road you’ll find many clothing boutiques and much more variety. Aside from youthful shops like Somewhere and Bamboo Blonde, you’ll find boutiques like Uluwatu Lace, which offers stunning Balinese lace pieces that are appropriate for women both young and old. Another local designer to take note of is Ni Luh Djelantik, whose shoe store sits right before Kayu Aya Road. Paul Ropp offers colorful pieces that are perfect for tropical vacations and Shakuhachi offers edgy pieces for nights out where you are looking to turn heads. You will also find a number of children’s clothing boutiques along this road.
  • On May 31, 2013
    Mutia Adisoma answered the question: Mutia Adisoma

    What are the best beaches in Bali?

    A trip to Bali would not be complete without a visit to the beach. Kuta Beach is a popular destination for families and groups – it’s a busy beach with white sand for laying out in the sun and manageable waves for first-time surfers. There are a good number of locals selling everything from bracelets to ice cream, or offering their services for a quick massage of foot pumicing on the beach. This can be either convenient or irritating depending on the kind of day you are trying to have, so if you are not interested in what is being offered, the trick is to be friendly but firm!

    Canggu Beach is located not too far from the Seminyak area and boasts black sand and waves fit for intermediate and expert surfers. There is a restaurant that overlooks the sea and a handful of shops that are set a little further back from the beach, but not much more than that. Petitenget Beach in Seminyak is an amazing place to be at sunset. Take a stroll on the beach as the sun sinks into the horizon and watch the sky become filled with vibrant orange, red and purple hues.

    Heading south past the airport, you will find beaches such as Pandawa Beach in Ungasan and Padang-Padang Beach in Uluwatu. In these areas, the sand is white and the sea is a gorgeous turquoise color. Getting to Padang-Padang Beach requires descending down a hundred or so stairs between boulders – if you think this is challenging you will soon think differently when a surfer passes you barefoot in the narrow pathway with a surfboard in tow, eagerly heading to the sea to tackle the massive waves. If you don't mind paying to get to some fantastic beaches in the same area, try Finn's Beach Club at Semara Resort or Nammos Beach Club at Karma Kandara Resort – their stunning beaches are quiet and clean and great for a leaisurely day outdoors with your family.
  • On May 31, 2013
    Mutia Adisoma answered the question: Mutia Adisoma

    What are the best water activities in Bali?

    The variety of water activities offered in Bali is extensive, with the most famous area being Tanjung Benoa. This area has been serving water sports enthusiasts for decades. Here, you can find everything from jet skiing to parasailing to banana boats (banana-shaped inflatable boats for up to five people that are pulled along by speedboats). For a bit of a slower pace, take a ride in a glass-bottom boat and watch the underwater scene transform as the boat moves from one area to the next.

    A rather recent addition is sea walking (also known as marine walking or underwater walking), where you put on headgear that is reminiscent of an astronaut’s helmet and walk along the bottom of the sea, getting up close and personal with the creatures that reside below. Aside from Tanjung Benoa, you can also find this activity in the Sanur area.

    Kayaking down the Ayung River in the Ubud area is also a fun option, and if you’re looking to dive, head to Tulamben, Amed or Padang Bai in northeast Bali. Menjangan Island, off the northwest coast of Bali, also has great diving with spectacular drop-offs and coral reefs. Snorkeling is also available in these areas.

    As for surfing, Bali is truly a surfer’s paradise. Bali’s breaks and barrels can be enjoyed by everyone from beginners to experts. Kuta Beach is the best place for beginners, while intermediate to expert surfers often head to Canggu Beach, Keramas Beach and Uluwatu. Padang-Padang Beach in Uluwatu has perhaps the most challenging surfing in Bali, with many international surf competitions held there.
  • On May 31, 2013
    Mutia Adisoma answered the question: Mutia Adisoma

    What are the best water activities in Bali?

    The variety of water activities offered in Bali is extensive, with the most famous area being Tanjung Benoa. This area has been serving water sports enthusiasts for decades. Here, you can find everything from jet skiing to parasailing to banana boats (banana-shaped inflatable boats for up to five people that are pulled along by speedboats). For a bit of a slower pace, take a ride in a glass-bottom boat and watch the underwater scene transform as the boat moves from one area to the next.

    A rather recent addition is sea walking (also known as marine walking or underwater walking), where you put on headgear that is reminiscent of an astronaut’s helmet and walk along the bottom of the sea, getting up close and personal with the creatures that reside below. Aside from Tanjung Benoa, you can also find this activity in the Sanur area.

    Kayaking down the Ayung River in the Ubud area is also a fun option, and if you’re looking to dive, head to Tulamben, Amed or Padang Bai in northeast Bali. Menjangan Island, off the northwest coast of Bali, also has great diving with spectacular drop-offs and coral reefs. Snorkeling is also available in these areas.

    As for surfing, Bali is truly a surfer’s paradise. Bali’s breaks and barrels can be enjoyed by everyone from beginners to experts. Kuta Beach is the best place for beginners, while intermediate to expert surfers often head to Canggu beach, Keramas beach and Uluwatu. Padang-Padang beach in Uluwatu has perhaps the most challenging surfing in Bali, with many international surf competitions held there.
  • On May 31, 2013
    Mutia Adisoma answered the question: Mutia Adisoma

    What are the best water activities in Bali?

    The variety of water activities offered in Bali is extensive, with the most famous area being Tanjung Benoa. This area has been serving water sports enthusiasts for decades. Here, you can find everything from jet skiing to parasailing to banana boats (banana-shaped inflatable boats for up to five people that are pulled along by speedboats). For a bit of a slower pace, take a ride in a glass-bottom boat and watch the underwater scene transform as the boat moves from one area to the next.

    A rather recent addition is sea walking (also known as marine walking or underwater walking), where you put on headgear that is reminiscent of an astronaut’s helmet and walk along the bottom of the sea, getting up close and personal with the creatures that reside below. Aside from Tanjung Benoa, you can also find this activity in the Sanur area.

    Kayaking down the Ayung River in the Ubud area is also a fun option, and if you’re looking to dive, head to Tulamben, Amed or Padang Bai in northeast Bali. Menjangan Island, off the northwest coast of Bali, also has great diving with spectacular drop-offs and coral reefs. Snorkeling is also available in these areas.

    As for surfing, Bali is truly a surfer’s paradise. Bali’s breaks and barrels can be enjoyed by everyone from beginners to experts. Kuta Beach is the best place for beginners, while intermediate to expert surfers often head to Canggu beach, Keramas beach and Uluwatu. Padang-Padang beach in Uluwatu has perhaps the most challenging surfing in Bali, with many international surf competitions held there.
  • On May 30, 2013
    Mutia Adisoma answered the question: Mutia Adisoma

    What are the best seafood restaurants in Bali?

    There is no other place to enjoy seafood in Bali like Jimbaran beach! The seafood is fresh and you can choose as much prawn, squid, fish or crab as you want – all you have to do is point, have it weighed and then wait as it is grilled or fried with your choice of spices. The seafood will come with a side of white rice and vegetables; this applies to pretty much any seafood stall you walk into along the beach. During the day Jimbaran is the perfect place to watch the waves break and see airplanes fly in and out of the Ngurah Rai Airport in the distance. As late afternoon rolls around the tables are pulled onto the beach from underneath the awnings, candles are lit and visitors start coming in hoards in search of seafood dinner and front row seats to the sunset. As you watch the sun sink into the horizon, enjoy the sounds of the four-piece acoustic band making their way up and down the beach. They are able to take requests – everything from The Gypsy Kings to One Direction – and after you’ve been serenaded you can pass some cash their way (the amount is up to you). Jimbaran beach at night is quite busy, but somehow it works not only for big groups and families but also for romantic couples. Sitting underneath the stars with a belly full of delicious seafood, while sipping on coconut water or a beer and nibbling on fresh fruit for dessert, it is hard not to be in good spirits.