When you feel like you need to get some short getaway from hectic beach life in Bali, Barn n Bunk offers a healthy Balinese eco-accommodation, built by the local farmers around Gianyar area. Imagine staying in a place where everything that you have experienced, saw and paid for, will come back to the local community. By simply staying in Barn n Bunk means that you have helped local children to buy books and send them to school, provide food for the farmer’s family, and funding them to learn a better farming for the production. All in all, they also collaborate with the Balinese government to persuade the farmers not to sell their lands and even teach an effective irrigation system for their land. See? So why not doing good deeds while travelling?
It all started when I went to Bali a year ago on a Startup Weekend in Canggu, I had the opportunity to meet up with a cool lady who was also my mentor. Her name was Lily and she had this boastful energy that gives a positive aura to our team. Yes, she was 100% supported our idea, Finger Farm, and in the end, we were able to win the third spot! Yay! That is also how I got to know about her social accommodation project named Barn n Bunk. She explained her concept of working together with the locals and how it impacts the people around the village as well. That’s when I thought, “Wow! She really DOES something to help the locals!”, then I started connecting with them on social media and got intrigued when they invited me to come!
I finally got a chance couple weeks ago to visit the place and review them! It was an awesome experience, having a conscious knowledge that staying in the hostel could really help someone’s lives. And I thought that this is also my chance to spread the news and tempt you to visit them as well.
So let’s start at the beginning. The place itself was built by the local farmers along with their family in a village near Masceti Beach, Gianyar. Lily even told me a story about how she stumbled upon the owner of the land at the Masceti beach and how she was approached by a farmer to buy his land. Whilst plenty of farmers trying to sell their land, Lily gave them a concept of how they can rejuvenate their land for something that can help not only the farmers but also their families and the people on that village. The landowner, I Gusti Agung Paramartha agreed and they finally have a concept of agricultural accommodation with a sustainable living, providing a local Balinese nature for tourists while also give back to the community.
So where does it located?
This is probably the most important point to stay in one place. Location. At first glance, Masceti beach seems like a local quiet beach but turns out it is famous as a surfer spot due to the big waves. It is located near the Komune beach club and famous surfing spots in Bali. It is a big plus cos I only need to walk 5 minutes to get to the beach. As I went there in the afternoon I was quite surprised seeing there were more local people there spending their time with friends and family. Something that I rarely see in Bali.
Whilst in the morning I had the opportunity to witness a majestic sunrise that I have ever seen in Bali. Since I have heard that the sunrise on this beach, I thought I should give a try. And man, it was worthed! I woke up at 5 am to take a stroll around the beach by myself as there were not many people there. I felt like the beach only belong to me (ha!) and moreover, the sunrise was tremendously gorgeous!
How was the place?
When you first walk into the place, you’ll be greeted by a large open-air common room made out of white-painted woods. And the panoramic view from here is magnificent, you can see hectares of paddy rice field and even Mount Agung appearance. Amongst all, I felt even homier by the fact that the staff have such warm smiles, welcoming and friendly whenever you meet them around. I have spent the rest of my day and afternoon just laying down in the common room watching the view and chat with the locals here. Another surplus point is their choice of tasty food around with Indonesian and European choice. They were all so authentic and come with such a good price. Couldn’t think anything more can be better than this!
Another thing that makes it interesting is that all of the decorations here were recycle materials and handcrafted by the staff and the farmers. Talking about eco-friendly, this place surely not just about a title – they really made them all by themselves and it was all so cute and gorgeous! Lily even explained that most of the decorations were second handed stuff, given by the donations and originally crafted by the locals. Just when I thought they couldn’t even make my jaw dropped even more. Take a look at below.
Which room should I choose?
The Dormitory Room
The first thing that I like about Barn n Bunk is that you have a couple of room options based on how you’re gonna travel. They have a deluxe bungalow that fits for two people, a family size bungalow, and dormitory rooms. Yes, they have hostels! So even if you were travelling solo, you could always book a bed at an affordable price. I must say that the hall is pretty cool with cute decorations and comfy own bed (no bunk beds! Yay!). For any solo female traveller who’s never been staying in a hostel, this can be a good experience to stay in a dormitory room. I really would like to try this someday!
The Family Bungalow
This bungalow is perfect for travellers that come with the children. It has a cute living room area to hang out before you enter the bedroom. Located a bit further from the common room, it offers a secluded location as you’ll be surrounded by the ricefield. I could even imagine that this place will be a good time for a family vacation. The children can play around the rice fields, getting to know the poultry animals or just swim in the pool with a panoramic ricefield view. An amazing back-to-nature experience for kids!
The Deluxe Bungalow
On the other hand, the Deluxe Bungalow is a smaller version of the Family Bungalow that would be great for a private time for a solo traveller or for a couple. So this time, I am gonna have some more “me time” staying at this bungalow for a night. And I was quite happy with the view and location! It has always been my dream to live in a countryside near a beach. And this bungalow is just like a dream come true. Looking at the view across the rice fields and a swimming pool that just one step away. Seriously, how can you resist this kind of scenery?
As I walked into the room, I had a homey feeling seeing all white furniture across the room. Simple things that were made for a cozy stay such as two-bed lamps, a water dispenser, glasses and a small sofa to sit. The balcony also a big plus for a relaxing afternoon hangout with friends or family. Again, I was impressed with the DIY decoration across the room and thought that all of these were made by the local farmer’s family – Wow!
That night was relaxing enough as I kept hearing the sound of birds and geckos during my sleep. Some light sleeper might find it annoying but after some times, it was like a lullaby song. I felt that I become like a mountain-person without having any hiking or camping experience. I can just sleep in my comfy bed with the sound of nature! That’s the dream, right? Moreover, I finally have some downtime where I can work and set my mind up together without any street noise. Soon near midnight, I went outside to take a seat on the side of the pool, then I noticed that the lights on the common room were on and it was even more magical.
What else can I do?
Another good thing that made me really respect this place is that Barn n Bunk always has a giving-back programme for the children of the village! Since there were plenty of accidents that involve the village children got swept upon the beach while playing, Barn n Bunk offers a Swimming Lesson Programme for their customer to spare one hour of their afternoon time teaching children how to swim in their swimming pool. Imagine that you can be connected more with the children and even get a discount for your stay as well! Please contact them for more info.
Barn n Bunk also offers another volunteer programme called Teacher’s Initiative Programme for all the English teachers out there to stay in Bali to spend some of their time teaching English for the local children at a super affordable price. You just need to spare an hour every day during the stay to teach some basic English for the children. The price already includes airport transfer, breakfast and lunch, and all of the materials for teaching such as blackboard, printer etc also has been prepared. So you really just need to come and bring yourself to the programme! Check out this link for more information.
Above them all, Barn n Bunk has opened my eyes, how to make my holiday worthwhile for someone else. I had a lovely time during my stay with plenty of great talk with the locals there. It taught me about how to make big changes just by doing small things – like booking a place in here! I have always a believer that travel like a local is the best way to learn one country’s real gem. And staying in Barn n Bunk surely gives me some different perspective about Bali. It offers a great experience of living alongside with nature and Balinese culture. So why don’t we support the locals starting from now?
Check out the video below for more insights how your stay is gonna be like!
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© 2017 Writing & Images copyright of Marina Utami.