Experience the real Bali. Experience Ubud!

Monkey Forest
Monkey Forest

In Bali, we have spent 9 days…someone will say that it’s not enough to understand Balinese culture for such a short stay, but our trip wasn’t at all about beaches and surfing. In fact, we weren’t there for swimming or sunbathing, for me sightseeing and interaction with locals was the main reason to go there in the first place 🙂
As most of the people coming to the “Island of Gods”, we arrived in Bali through Denpasar airport. The journey started in Kuta, where we have spent 4 days then moved to Seminyak for another 4 days and escaped from the crowd and tried to find the peace and the Balinese spirit in Ubud.
I know that in the next years we will go back there, and therefore I wanted to experience a bit of everything and choose some places where to return and places that can be easily skipped.

Seminyak and Kuta are two main cities that most of the tourists go and that’s why here you can easily find luxurious and expensive resorts and restaurants. The streets are crowded, maybe less during the hottest time of the day, but be ready to see many people walking and looking for things to buy or things to sell!

Street around Ubud
Street around Ubud

I will come back with a more detailed post about these two cities in Bali, but I want to stop and talk more about Ubud. Ubud – a city that, at the moment, is surrounded by rice fields. Is not that quiet there as it’s used to be before, but still less crowded and visitors can see more of the traditional Bali than in Kuta or Seminyak.

Where we stopped?

Whenever you come here make sure to have something booked in advance! Especially if you’re traveling during some national holidays or summer time, which is the dry season in Indonesia and holiday time for many people around the world!

When looking for an accommodation in Ubud, the first criterion was to be out of the beaten path, so that we ended up in a place that is very quiet, where you can easily see the millions of stars glazing down to Earth and the romantic singers – crickets – that will make that late afternoon tea a moment to remember when you’re back home.

When going to a such a place, you have the chance to meet the real Balinese people, share your stories with them and they will share their stories with you. Have a drink and talk about everything, because as any human being, we are curious about one or another nation, culture or place we’re going to 🙂

I will recommend Omah Apik from outside Ubud, I was told that currently they have another guest house in the city, so don’t get confused 🙂
You can find the address of it below: Jl. Kenyem Bulan, Banjar Pande, Desa Pejeng, Ubud, Bali

The owner and the administrator were so nice and welcoming! They even called a local cook to prepare for us some simple dinner that turned out to be one of the best foods I had in Indonesia! The price? 4 maybe 5 euro for it!

What to see in Ubud?

In Ubud you have so many things to see and enjoy. If you can wake up early in the morning, at about 6am, then you can see locals praying at their family temples and bringing with them some flowers, cookies, incense sticks and sometime coins – all this beautifully arranged in a small bamboo wicker basket/plate that is placed at the entrance of their shop, restaurant, hotel etc

Among the places that we’ve visited some that I liked the most are:

Monkey Forest – be careful with your belongings!!! Small items MUST be inside your bags! If you have food or drinks with you, most likely the monkeys will sniff it and will do their best to take those things from you! Sunglasses, sparkling items and flip-flops are some of the items that should not be on you. Put these things in your bags or better in your car (if you travel around in a car).

Monkey forest - Ubud
Monkey forest – Ubud

Uluwatu Temple – an AMAZING place! Perfect for sunrise and sunset pictures 😉 Here are monkeys curious about your stuff too, so be careful!

Mountain and Lake Batur – for sunrise and a tour on the lake

Enjoying the moment
Enjoying the moment

Pura Tanah Lot – a very nice temple and surroundings

Tegallantang Rice Terrace – one of the nicest rice terraces in Bali at about 15 minutes from the center of Ubudin. Here and in many other rice fields you’ll see small temples of the Goddess of Rice, Dewi Sri, one of the main deities worshiped on the island.

Drinking Kopi Luwak –  the most expensive coffee in the world. At one of the many cafes in the area, you’ll learn how this coffee is processed. Also, you’ll see the cacao fruit! Being a chocolate lover and going to a place that smelled cacao was like being in heaven!

Ubud Art Market – Pasar Seni – a perfect place to buy some souvenirs or just to walk around

The Elephant Cave  – Goa Gojah

Walking around in Uluwatu
Walking around in Uluwatu

NOTES:

  • Don’t forget to use insect repellent and sunscreen!!!!
  • If you want to be more adventurous, rent a scooter but you must always use a helmet and have on you your international driving license! Otherwise, you can rent a car with or without a driver
  • Know what is the best time to go
  • What are the risks
  • Take all the immunization you need (and for that you need to consult your family doctor or the doctor that is responsible for your area)
  • To save money choose the moments right before the high season or immediately after
  • BARGAIN there where is possible 😉 and
  • Keep ALWAYS an eye on your expenditures…..sometimes you won’t realize how fast your money are spent for things that you simply don’t need.

Travel safe and wise!

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