A trip to exotic Bali could be the right trip to relax in the shade of a palm tree along the beach or discover the traditions of this island by visiting its heart, Ubud.
Ubud is recognized as the cultural capital of the island and is located right in the center, surrounded by rice fields and forest.
I recommend that you stay there for several days, both to enjoy the town center and its temples and to use it as a base for day trips in the vicinity.
During my trip to Bali, in Ubud I stayed 3 nights at the Bali Home 68, a residence in pure Indonesian style and with private rooms scattered in the garden, at the price of €65 total for 2 people with breakfast (the only precaution is to pay only in cash).
A few steps in the center of Ubud you can visit:
The Royal Ubud Palace where traditional Balinese dance performances are scheduled every day;
Pura Desa Ubud and Pura Taman Saraswati (temple of lotus flowers), where you can taste the Luwak coffee, typical of the island, in the nearby Cafè Lotus bar.
The forest of monkeys where I recommend you to pay close attention to eyewear, phones and hats because monkeys are used to tourists and steal anything. Here, by asking the various workers of the temple who supervise the monkeys, you can have a selfie with the monkey;
Ubud’s Market is located in front of the Royal Palace and you’ll find everything from clothes to food. I recommend you to always treat the price because traders are used to tourists and the initial price is exaggerated compared to the real price;
The rice paddy field walk called Campuhan Ridge Walk can be undertaken on foot.
Now I’ll give you all the indications to find it since I had difficulties: arriving from the Royal Palace of Ubud, take the second street on the right (after the temple Lotus Flowers) and you’ll find a street with some slabs of rock on the ground decorated and signed by different names. They told me that when the street was fixed, it was allowed to buy the slabs from anyone. Going back to us, follow the life and at a certain point you will deviate to the left to find a quick climb. You have arrived at the beginning.
From the city depart several organized tours that I recommend you to access directly to certain areas and do not waste too much time in transfers.
I chose a tour for only 185.000 IDR (12€ per person) where I visited:
Goha Gajah (50.000 IDR): below any expectation. The cave is a hole in a wall with a large sculpture in the shape of an elephant outside but inside it is a short tunnel with no air circulating. Instead, continuing towards the extreme side of the site you can descend a path of steps and waterfalls much more satisfying;
Pure Gunung Kawi (50,000 IDR) or very beautiful and challenging rock temple. To get there you have to walk a long staircase downhill and admire the landscapes of the rice fields and the forest. From this stage you will also begin to cross photographic sets that are popular with socialites;
Pura Tirta Empul (50,000 IDR) the temple where you breathe more devotion than tourism. The temple of sacred water is a place of pilgrimage as a place of healing and prayer. You can observe a precise ritual that provide floral gifts and then the immersion in the tanks with prayer during the exposure to water jets.
Lake and Batur Volcano
Where just to get to the top of the mountain in front of the volcano I paid 30,000 IDR. The view and the landscape deserves above all to see the mountain marked by lava. The volcano was covered by clouds that day and they explained to us that it is often cloudy. So if you are going to take a tour leaving at night to see the sunrise from the top of the mountain I suggest you to check the weather forecast first.
The Tegallalang rice paddies offer a picture postcard Bali landscape with a view of the valley. You can go down and walk between one paddy field and another, entering the environment and taking with you the memory of a breathtaking landscape.
Also, not included in the tour, but during a transfer I stopped at the Pura Taman Ayun Temple (in Mengwi District, 30,000 IDR). The temple is surrounded by gardens and lotus flower canals, and in the central courtyard are the multi-storey towers (called meru) dedicated to the gods and mountains of the island.
Another excursion to consider is to visit the Twin Lakes, twin lakes, and maybe do some trekking.
In the end, however, don’t forget to have a massage in Ubud, especially after a day’s walk, and you’ll notice that the city abounds with Spa.
In August the city is populated and entertained by several festivals (Ubud Jazz Festival, Street Food, etc.) and in the evening you can find the clubs full of tourists in a very welcoming atmosphere.
I took advantage of this event to throw myself headlong on all the delicacies seen during this trip that so much inspired me but cooked and sold on a scooter did not give me much confidence. Instead at this festival, everything ordered and organized I trusted them and I tried various delicacies, all accompanied by a good Bintang.
A local couple advised me to always drink a coke when you are not so sure of what you ate.
So, Call me Claire recommends you to reserve more than a few days to this beautiful destination.