When Victor Cheng wanted to plan a birthday getaway for his girlfriend Sam, the sunsets in Bali immediately captured his interest. As a photographer and art director based in Hong Kong, Victor has a special intuition for creating and illuminating whimsical experiences. He often focuses his lens on the geometry of urban jungles, but Bali offered a chance to return to the natural elements. Victor and Sam spent the weekend at W Bali – Seminyak riding scooters, sipping cocktails poolside, and finding the beach during the golden hour—and luckily for us, he brought along his camera.
What brought you to W Bali?
VC: My girlfriend, Sam (@samishome) loves Bali and it was her birthday! So I thought I’d surprise her with a trip here, and staying at the W Bali was the perfect place to spend her birthday week.
How does a place like Bali inspire your photography?
VC: Bali is a little different than what I normally shoot in the city. With a lot more greens incorporated in the color tones, I usually love the golden light during sunset time. The beaches along Seminyak are amazing because the reflection is crystal clear. Almost like a mirror as the shore comes up. For a place like Bali, there are many destinations that you can go to to create those warm “summer vibes” look.
Do you take a different approach when shooting nature vs. cityscapes?
VC: When shooting nature I tend to always approach a destination with a specific time of day in mind. Since during the afternoon, the lighting might look a bit too harsh and sharp for photos. Sunrise or sunset makes everything look a whole lot better.
What part of the hotel most sparked your creativity?
VC: The entrance to the hotel, of course! The bamboo forest entrance is super photogenic, especially because of my addiction to symmetry. The hotel staff was so kind to let us borrow their signature pink scooters so we could add an element of color to the shot!
What’s the best thing you ate or drank?
VC: With it being Sam’s birthday, the hotel surprised her with a delicious chocolate cake. It was amazing.
Is this a good place to go for a couples’ getaway?
VC: If you’re into sunny weather and tanning, for sure. The beach is also right next to the hotel—great for a good walk!
What was the most fun thing you did here?
VC: For Sam, it was relaxing by the pool. For me, I was just thankful for the amazing planning the staff was able to coordinate to make this surprise a success. From the little surprises in the room to the friendliness of the staff, it was an amazing experience.
What’s something about Bali that sets it apart from other Southeast Asian destinations?
VC: There’s basically everything here and for everyone. From water sports to spa to just amazing beaches. There’s pretty much every activity you can imagine. Not to mention, the prices here are also quite reasonable in terms of eating and shopping.
What’s one thing visitors cannot miss?
VC: Don’t miss the sunset. Seriously, set an alarm or something. Plan your day around sunset time! And always head to the beach for it. Even if you’re not a photographer, just bring a towel and lay down at the beach. It’ll be worth your time, trust me.