At home in a village above the clouds

Last updated on January 11, 2024

Victoria and Balinese grandmother

Last week, we told you about a special place to stay in Bali’s central highlands, a village suspended in the island’s quieter days before the tourism boom. The Village Above the Clouds is one of the most peaceful places we’ve ever stayed. As we said in our last post, it’s a place where you feel like you’re a guest of the village not just the hotel, and that point was made clear when a group of sisters invited us into her home.

Girl looking at cobra, Bali

They wanted to show us their cobra!

Girl climbing tree, Bali

Ayu, a 15-year old girl with great English who we’d met at the Freedom School, was keen to gift us a flower. She showed her skills climbing a frangipani tree.

Girl preening flowers

Then the whole family got to work,

Hands sculpting frangipani

…showing us some floral tricks.

Frangipani flower

Volia! So beautiful.

Victoria and Balinese lady

One of the highlights was meeting the girls’ grandmother who radiated warmth with every gesture.

Balinese woman

We’re told she is 97.

Women in their garden, bali

At the back of the house, the family have a large garden. Ayu told us how she works there every day, helping grow the family’s produce.

Victoria with bouquet of greens

They kindly gave us some greens, adding to our natural costume.

Balinese boy with cockerel

It’s customary in Bali for men and boys to raise cockerels. They care for them lovingly, and it can be shocking to realise that the cockerels’ fate is to fight in a local match, razor blades tied to its feet. That’s one tradition we will definitely be passing on!


Our afternoon at the Freedom School and with Ayu’s family was a delightful insight into local Balinese life.

Munduk Adong Kelod

Munduk Andong Kelod is a village of only around 200 people. It welcomed us like family, and was the perfect base for our road trip around the surrounding area. If you get the chance, be sure to visit Village Above the Clouds โ€“ it’s really one of a kind.

Other posts on Bali

We spent six months living in Ubud and really loved our time there. Ubud is a magnet for everything that can be described as new age, and I threw myself into sampling all the different therapies to see what they were all about. Some were truly awful, but some made sense. You can read all about what I called the ‘Don’t Knock it Til You’ve Tried It‘ experiment here. We’ve also written about our digital nomad life in Ubud, a beach weekend in Bali’s south, and our time in the Gilis.

15 thoughts on “At home in a village above the clouds”

  1. Your photography is gorgeous. It’s nice to see some places in Bali have not been overrun by the area’s recent tourism boom.

  2. What stunning photos! Can’t wait to go to Bali again – we’re considering living there for awhile next year. Must say we’ve been inspired by your posts! It seems like the kind of place where it’s easy to live to 97 ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Beautiful photos of a beautiful encounter. Ayu’s grandmother is absolutely radiant! It looks like such a special place, and I really hope we get to visit there ourselves one day ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Thanks to Huffingtonpost i found your blog. What a friendly family! Its very rare to find such friendly people while traveling. And the Grandmum looks very healthy. And awesome photography skills you got there!

    • We’ve actually found it to be the opposite. There are lots of friendly people to be found when travelling! Pleased you enjoyed the photos and that you found the blog. Great to have you reading.


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