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Two days after their May 2012 wedding, Erin, an event planner in Washington, D.C., and Joe, a civil engineer, jetted to Indonesia. They split their time among two seaside towns, Jimbaran Bay and Nusa Dua, and the centrally located Ubud.
"We wanted an experience that would shake up our perception of the world," Erin says. "The tiny island of Bali did just that."
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Trip Length: 10 days; two nights in Jimbaran Bay; three in Ubud; and four in Nusa Dua
Airline: Cathay Pacific to Bali; Qatar Airways for return flight
Flight time: One hour from D.C. to NYC; 22 more to Ngurah Rai with a stopover in Hong Kong
First hotel stop: The Jimbaran Puri Bali where the couple was welcomed with this straw doll.
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Where to Stay
The Jimbaran Puri Bali's beachfront pool, shown here, provided a plethora of scenic swims. But the couples' favorite stay of the trip? The Chedi Club in Ubud.
"Its open-air rooms were filled with the most intricate hand- carved furniture you've ever seen," Erin said. "We also had an amazing private pool with a pillow-covered lounge area inside a wooden gazebo." Adds Joe: "A butler attends to every unit, and ours was so helpful and informative." (ghmhotels.com)
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Hitting the Water
The newlyweds braved the Ayung River, near Ubud, with Sobek Rafting, and also chartered a private sailboat in Nusa Dua. "We spent the day snorkeling off these little islands; one held a prison in the 1800s," Joe says. "There was a ton of really pretty coral, and the fish would swim right up to you. We saw maybe one other fishing boat out there the whole day." (omnitrips.com)
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Erin scored this striking silk scarf from a stand in Ubud.
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Fun in the Kitchen
"During a cooking class in Ubud, we made a super-flavorful fried rice dish called nasi goreng," Erin says. "It's topped with chicken smoked in banana leaves, an egg, and a spicy bean sauce." (payukbali.com)
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Though their trip was full of romantic rendezvousing, one night stood out of the pack for Erin: "While we were staying at the St. Regis Nusa Dua, Joe organized an intimate dinner at a nearby hotel called the Ayana," Erin said. "Our table -- sprinkled with petals and surrounded by tiki torches -- sat at the tip of a long pier extending into the Indian Ocean. We arrived as the sun was setting, and its enormity and beauty encompassed us."
Here, the pair posed before an oceanside supper at the Jimbaran Puri Bali hotel.