Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of spending every single day of my holiday relaxing on the beach, surfing and sipping coconuts but sometimes, all that heat and sand just becomes too much. And I’m itching for a change of scenery. After all, it was my birthday, so I was able to plan this part of the trip. So to Ubud we went.
It’s a little hard to describe, you really need to experience the place first hand. It’s culture mixed with spiritual hipsters. Everything about this place appealed to me. There were nearby waterfalls, rice paddies and even a volcano to explore. We only set ourselves 3nights to spend in Ubud, which for me, really wasn’t long enough. At the time, I was also still recovering from being ill as I mentioned in my last blog, so that limited us.
I want to talk a little about food. When we first started our trip in Bali, it was difficult trying to figure out the local cuisine as so many restaurants and cafes were rather westernised. We had yummy fish tacos and amazing burgers, but that’s not local, not at all. I mean, we discovered the Nasi Goreng and the Mie Goreng, which were delicious but kind of got a little boring. This all changed when we made it to Ubud, the selection of Balinese dishes were incredible.
A couple of activities in which I enjoyed most during my time in Ubud were visiting the famous Monkey Temple and chasing waterfalls.
Monkeys are not for everyone, there’s a reason we created the term ‘monkey business’. Those creatures are so cheeky, naughty and un predictable. Extremely clever too as we know. I can not stress enough about how cautious everyone needs to be about being around them. I, myself, have been jumped on scratched and nipped by one. Neither the less, non of these experiences have put me off, but it has kept me on my toes when it comes to encounters with wild monkeys.
Not only were these mischievous creatures allowed to roam freely within the temple but were free to come and go as they pleased. When walking around the streets of Ubud, especially during the morning hours, you will definitely come across one of these along your path.
Upon entering the temple, you can buy banana’s to feed the monkeys. We had to hide them in our bags to avoid them being taken in one go. Any sign of banana’s and you’re all of a sudden the most popular person there to them.
Moving onto chasing waterfalls. There are a few waterfalls situated close to Ubud. Once again, our choice of transport was to hire out a mopped. But as I’ve mentioned in my previous blog, transport were never an issue as taxi services and uber were available everywhere. Uber is a great choice as it was one of the cheapest way of getting around. That was how we did most of our longer distant commutes when moving from one place to the other.
As you can imagine, waterfalls are not always the easiest of places to get to. So be sure to be sensible and wear comfortable footwear and take plenty drinking water. It’s usually a long way down and a climb if you want to check out the top as well. It’s worth having your swimming stuff handy, it’s very likely that by the time you’ve climbed all that way down, the first thing you want to do is jump straight in.
There were so many activities that we would have loved to have done and things to see. Some recommendations were the volcano trek during sunrise, Balinese fire dancing at the old palace and the Tagalalang rice terrace.
Lastly, make sure you get a full body balinese massage. A little strange to start with when your masseuse climbs onto the massage table and put their whole weight o your back but you sure come out feeling amazing!