Stranded off the coast of East Java on an uncharted isle, I was completely lost, shipwrecked and alone. But I did what any swashbuckling - vagabonding - architect would do. I built. I took the remnants of my seafaring vessel and constructed a fantastical Far East abode. Elevated amongst centuries old banyans and swaying coconuts, I’d hoped this vantage would save me from my isolated plight!
Wake Up Quinn! … Snap out of it!
This reoccurring Crusoenian day-dream has been a defining narrative of my life. It has inspired how I design as an architect and explore as a travel blogger. Wanderlusting fables of Swiss-Family Robinson living have always seemed more appealing than soulless suburbanism. To me, there's something magical and ironically unearthly about a building that embeds itself into nature. So sleeping in a treehouse has long been a top bucket-list activity. It is also my intention to design and build one in the near future. Until then, I'll roam the earth seeking inspiration from existing tree-top structures.
Fortunately, while I save up to build my Willy Wonka meets Avatar style treehouse, I can live out my architectural fantasies through cost-effective Airbnbs. Treehouses dot the forests of many beautiful destinations, however I am drawn to those built in blissfully tropical locales. I recently visited my favorite destination, Bali, and finally experienced a treehouse stay for the first time!
I am very much a last minute, go with the flow type traveller. I plan out my must-see sites and activities, but nothing's ever concrete. For this reason, I love travelling solo. There is no pressure to alleviate someone else's concerns about a detailed itinerary. In fact, this treehouse experience was booked the night before! Finding it was total luck of the draw, or perhaps the 'Island of the Gods' designed it as fate. So you may be wondering what my experience was like? Well ... think of every cliched Western description of Bali. It was indeed magical, transformative, renewing, peaceful, and otherworldly. It was Eat Pray Love ... come to life.
This Airbnb is named the Ayu Treehouse. It is located in Tampaksiring, a town in central Bali, Gianyar Regency, Indonesia. Tampaksiring is about 28 minutes north-east of Ubud central, and is home to the stunning Gunung Kawi Temple and Tirta Empul Water Temple. Ayu is made completely out of bamboo and is nestled in a picturesque working rice field. The treehouse's living spaces are split amongst two levels. Downstairs is made up of a chill out area with beanbags and an open-air bathroom, complete with heliconias, a rain-shower, and lichen grass flooring! The upstairs bedroom has a comfy queen sized bed with mosquito netting and a balcony framing 180 degree paddy views.
There are no window enclosures in the upstairs bedroom, just thick bamboo curtains you can roll down at night. Admittedly, I was a tad ... well ... nervous. Being so open to the elements was a new experience for me. However after one night of sleep in this heavenly space, all concerns melted away. The August air was deliciously cool, I didn't even turn on the bedroom fan. I ended up keeping the bamboo blinds open at night, only using the mosquito netting to separate me from potential creepy crawlers!
I booked Ayu for two nights / three days at $36 USD per night. I regret how short my stay was. I could easily live here for months! Ayu has a direct neighbour, the Cosy Coconut Treehouse. Their close proximity means you can hear your neighbours a little, but do not let this deter you from booking. Also on the property is a shared open-air kitchen hut, breakfast is included with your stay. To book the Ayu click here, to book Cosy Coconut, click here. Check out my video tour of the property below. If you have any questions about my stay, leave a comment below!
Hi I'm Quinn, creator of Traveller's Bazaar. I'm an architectural designer on a mission to inform, inspire and help travellers like you, plan the trip(s) of a lifetime. Thanks for visiting!