UBUD, Bali — The soft adventure options on Bali soar for the skies this week when The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah Ubud anchors a 23-metre hot air balloon in its rice paddies and opens the gate on its wicker basket for rides three times a day.
Despite the popularity of ballooning tours in the world’s most exotic locations, Bali in recent years has been bereft of balloons. The Chedi Club’s new adventure will be the only ballooning opportunity on the Island of the Gods, and the first such initiative launched by a resort.
“Bali’s got it all - beaches, temples, volcanoes, rice paddies, puppets, dancers, sacred forests - but no balloons,” said the general manager of The Chedi Club Ubud, Deasy Swandarini. “A balloon is exactly the way to see Ubud from on high.”
Each flight climbs 50 metres above the resort’s rice fields, and floats at the end of a tether while passengers drink in views of Mt. Agung in the near distance, expansive rice fields below, the forests of Ubud and the 5-hectare estate of Hendra Hadiprana, now The Chedi Club.
“You might capture the same images with a drone, but seeing it with your own eye is something else entirely,” said Swandarini.
With multiple flights scheduled at dawn, in the late afternoon/early evening and just after moonrise, each experience sets sail with a maximum of two adults and two children under 12, as well as a certified pilot, though total guest weight cannot exceed 230kg.
The flights last between five and seven minutes and cost US $150 for each morning and afternoon trip, breakfast or afternoon tea for two included. The final flight of the day includes dinner for two adults and costs US $200. The Chedi Club plans to offer the adventure between June and November.