Hoping To Get the Shangri-La Touch in Bali….
17 December 2015
Bali is my ultimate vacation spot. I am a frequent visitor to Bali. Bali is kind of second home to me. The surroundings, culture and Balinese themselves inspires and influences me so much that I sometimes thinks that I was actually born in Bali. It is kind of having this Deja-vu, the feeling of being here centuries ago. I frequented Bali for countless times that sometimes I forgot that my hometown is actually in Kota Kinabalu. Some of my friends said that I have become the victim of a supernatural spell as if something deep inside me pushes me again and again, to keep visiting Bali. No, you are wrong if you think that I have found my other half in Bali. Instead, I actually have found my own ‘oasis of serenity’ here, in Bali. Bali is my nirvana.
I prefer to be alone here when I visit Bali. I will only spend some good time with local friends like once in every 3-4 days. I rather being alone, away from any distraction, enjoying the beautiful landscape and re think of the meaning and purposes of my life. Whenever I come to Bali, I have to keep persuading myself to rent a room in house owns by locals, kos-kosan as the local named it. I need a place for a long term stay, sometimes up to 2 months. Unfortunately, the noises around really put me off the writing mood and takes away my creativity. Yes, I am a writer, a freelance writer. I need a place that is so calm and peaceful. It is mandatory for my work. In my previous article for Inner Circle, I mentioned about my recent membership in Golden Circle.
The Shangri-La brand is part of my soul now. I want to start my 2016, with a journey to any Shangri-La. I want to re visit the memories that I had during my stay at Shangri-La’s Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Kota Kinabalu, back in the late 1990’s. When I actually drafted this article, I suddenly realized that there is no Shangri-La here, in Bali. So, the next visit to Bali, I will have to opt for the kos-kosan or simply get myself landed in another brand. My next scheduled trip to Bali is in January 2016. Oh no! How unlucky I am. Wait...Or are Balinese as a whole that is actually unlucky because there is no Shangri-La brand existed on their soil? I am not sure which is which.
James Hilton in Lost Horizon described Shangri-La as a mystical, harmonious valley, gently guided from a lamasery, enclosed in the western end of the Kunlun Mountains. Shangri-La has become synonymous with any earthly paradise, and particularly a mythical Himalayan utopia – a permanently happy land, isolated from the outside world. Honestly, I do feel that sense of Shangri-La each time I am in Bali. I felt the same when I frequented the brand 18 years ago. I got that sense of aura when my foot stepped on the very first meter of the main entrances. This is not my imagination neither a false alarmed of being trap in luxuries. It is nearer to the state of reality. It is the human touch that counts, not as in robotic manners.
But again, I must keep reminding myself that there is no property by the name of Shangri-La in Bali. I have to accept the fact that in Indonesia, my dream Shangri-La can be found only in Surabaya and Jakarta. What is the main objective of this particular article? It is not about winning that 2 nights in a suite. It is about hoping that my voice and thought, from an ordinary member, a humble writer, being heard by the Shangri-La group. Being heard about what? About my hope that one day I will be able to get that magic touch by the brand right here in Bali, my second home. Yes, I am hoping to get that Shangri-La touch in Bali….may I, please?