5th September 2016
Bound for Bali: Marilyn & Christian
Combining their lifelong dream to see Bali with visits to other Asian cities, Marilyn Zammit Cutajar and Christian Cutajar embarked on their perfect honeymoon.
Bali had been on the mutual bucket list of Christian Cutajar, 28, and Marilyn Zammit Cutajar, 27, for a long time, so there wasn’t any squabbling over where to go on honeymoon – their hearts were set on that particular destination. “We also had the opportunity to visit Singapore and Dubai since these cities were part of a good travel package, which we booked through the Staff Travel booking agency. We spent three days in Singapore and two days in Dubai. Their city landscapes contrast the preserved natural environment of Bali, where we spent three weeks, so it was a good mix.”
The agency booked everything for the couple, who were travelling alone, including private guides and drivers, so all was perfectly planned with no stress on behalf of the travelling newlyweds. “We just followed our itinerary and getting there was really hassle-free,” Marilyn says.
The couple left for their honeymoon four days after the wedding. They travelled by themselves, staying in a number of beautiful resorts, including Bali’s Komaneka Tanggayuda Resort in Ubud, which is surrounded by forest and tropical fruit trees. “From the exceptional service to the breath-taking views, this place was surely the highlight of our honeymoon,” says Marilyn.
They savoured some of Bali’s most delicious cuisine, including the barbeques which had fresh seafood on the grill, nasi goreng (traditional fried rice) and dadar gulung, sweet pancakes typical of the region. However, the pungent flavours were sometimes a little too strong. “We tried a particular soup which was so spicy, we couldn’t even eat it.” The traffic in Bali was also something that had to be seen to be believed. “They mainly use motorbikes and nothing is surprising! You’ll see 12-year-olds driving, four persons on one motorbike, including babies – nothing is too far-fetched,” Christian says.
All the places Marilyn and Christian visited have very unique traditions which were very interesting to learn about. “One of the customs that really impressed us was the Balinese tooth filing. When a Balinese boy or girl reaches a certain age, they have to file their teeth to control evil human characteristics such as greed, lust, anger, and so on. The Balinese believe that they may be denied entrance into heaven if the teeth are not filed because they might be mistaken for a wild creature. Also, since this custom is expensive for them, the ‘ceremony’ may be delayed until enough money has been saved. A number of families may participate in a mass tooth filing in order to share costs, or it may be held simultaneously with some other costly ceremony such as a cremation or wedding.”
The newlyweds were also in Dubai for the last days of Ramadan, which was something they had never experienced before. “We were very impressed with how in such a fast-moving city, everyone still honours and respects their religious heritage. The end of Ramadan celebrations, Eid al-Fitr, were really enjoyable as well,” Marilyn enthuses.
“Although we prefer to visit new and different places, we would definitely go back. It was a great experience!” Christian says. “We experienced different cultures and food, and managed to strike a good balance between adventure and relaxation. Our honeymoon had the perfect combination and although we spent lots of time travelling, it was worth every second!”