Ubud is in many ways Bali’s cultural heart. It’s also home to good restaurants, cafes and streets of shops, many selling goods from the region’s artisans. I wanted for our Bali adventure to start with a few days of peace and quiet. After saying this, Ubud seemed like the perfect place.
The area around Ubud is surrounded by lush jungle and rice paddies, and these create an impression of greenness which can be quite startlingly beautiful. Me and my husband chose to stay at Alila Ubud, a hillside retreat that sits on the edge of the Ayung River valley.
If you stay in central Ubud you will not need any trasportation unless you are unable or unwilling to use your legs. You can easily explore the town in one day. Since we were staying outside Ubud, 15 minutes away, we used the hotel shuttle whenever possible. Taxis are also available when you lose track of time and end up losing the shuttle. Just be mindful that the taxi drivers will try to make the most of it, since you are a tourist! So better to ask your hotel about the maximum amount a taxi will charge you, and negotiate with your taxi driver keeping in mind that price.
The food in Bali is one of my favorite in the entire world. You will find everything from delicious tropical fruits, raw produce and traditional cuisine. I couldn’t stop myself from eating all the coconut ice cream and nasi goreng!
For our activities in Ubud we chose to climb Mount Batur for sunrise, hunt down some waterfalls, and enjoy some well deserved massages. Monkey Forest was on our list, but when we were wandering around Ubud, and reached the entrace of it we saw some monkeys attacking some girls that were walking by with some bags. I immediately remembered when a monkey hissed at me in Thaliand, and decided that this view of Monkey Forest was enough for me 🙂
Climbing a volcano was something that I always wanted to tick off my Bucket List. Our adventure climbing the 1717m peak begun with a 2:30 alarm and a 3:00 departure. We arranged with a driver to pick us up from our hotel, take care of the guide for the trek, and hunt down some waterfalls after that. We arrived at our starting point, received our flashlights and started our climb. About half way through the ascent, the road splits into two tracks: one harder but shorter and the other one longer but easier. Me and Valentin both looked at each other and chose the harder route. BIG MISTAKE! This is what I was thinking right after, but after one hour our effort was paid off.
When you get to the top you will find plenty of benches to rest. Here, locals serve coffee, tea, banana sandwiches and boiled eggs. After 1-2 hours admiring the most stunning transition of oranges reds and pinks until the sun was up, we descended back down to the base (we chose the easier track now).
After our trek we headed to some waterfalls, searched for the infamous Bali swing, and end the day with a soothing Balinese massage. For the massage I recommend making an appointment before as it gets quite busy. We chose Jaen’s Spa and it was such an awesome experience!
The next day I spent it relaxing at the resort, walking around, and in the late afternoon went to Central Ubud for dinner and a stroll in Ubud Market. Ladies be prepared! There were so many gorgeous handmade bags. I just had such a difficult time holding myself from buying them all! :))
Clearly, there are still so many things to see that I missed. This, together with that great vibe that Ubud gives you, is why Ubud remains a place that I need to revisit!
Have you been to Bali? What did you think? Where did you visit? I’d love to know! 🙂
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