From the craziness of Singapore we jumped on a two hour flight to Bali. It’s impossible to follow other travellers on Instagram and not see amazing pictures of Bali. We had heard a lot about different parts of Bali, however we decided Ubud looked like somewhere where we could relax and enjoy a totally different culture at the same time.
Before all that we landed in Denpasar and got a taxi from the official Airport Taxi station to Ubud. For an hour and a half journey it costed us 500,000 Rupiah.
Our hotel in Ubud was fantastic! We stayed at the Y Resort, just outside the centre of Ubud. They have a free shuttle into the centre but the walk isn’t that bad. The pool is excellent, the onsite restaurant is super tasty and the rooms were spacious and clean.
Our first day in Ubud was just going to be a relaxing wander about and get our bearings kind of day. Oh how wrong we were. On our way into town to exchange some money we met Terry. After getting to know each other he offered to take us on a tour around Ubud, and we are so glad that we did! We mentioned that we needed to exchange some money and he took us to the best one in town that had a no commission policy and off we went!
First stop was the Tegalalang Rice Terraces. It was stunning, I have never seen anything like them before. Terry gave us an hour to walk around on our own and waited at the entrance for us. It was like standing on top of a big, beautifully tiered cake, a very green cake… Anyway, although it was quite busy, if you go right to the back there are less tourists and more locals working in the rice paddys.
After that we headed to a Hindu temple close by. Just the drive in between places was fascinating as we saw how people really live outside of the city. This day in particular was a special day of prayer for the people who follow the Hindu religion. That being around 80% of the population of Bali. So we saw lots of people in the traditional Balinese Hinduism dress, walking to prayer and carrying their offerings.
When we arrived at the Hindu temple, there were around 5 or 6 shops selling gorgeous sari’s, as you need to wear one to enter the temple. Now, you can just borrow some from the temple, but I am fascinated when it comes to a selection of printed clothing. So Terry lead us into one of the shops and we picked our favourite, was shown how to wear it and headed into the temple. Suited and booted.
We then proceeded onto a tea and coffee plantation called Uma Pakel. Firstly we were shown the Luwak’s who help them to make Luwak coffee. To be honest I was a bit confused and thought they were just pets or animals to attract tourists. Then I realised that they used the Luwak’s droppings as the coffee. This unique process makes it one of the most expensive types of coffee in the world. I thought it was quite bitter, I will stick to my caramel latte’s. The plantation itself was lovely, impressive views and even a famous ‘Bali Swing’.
We then headed back into town, Terry was amazing at answering any random questions we had along the way and was very polite. We got to see all these places in a nice air conditioned car with a wonderful guide for only $20AUD! Absolute bargain!
Here is his website : http://www.ubudterytour.com
Where to eat in Ubud.
Next to the Monkey Forest is the Tropical View Cafe. We were walking past just as their happy hour started and that certainly lured us in. As you have to walk up stairs to the seating area we were unaware of the view that greeted us. We only had a couple of cocktails but the food did look and smell amazing. Being next to the monkey forest we were overlooked by a monkey at one point which was funny.
Now when looking for somewhere to eat the key word is ‘Warung’. If the restaurant has ‘Warung’ in the name then it’s a family owned business, usually cheaper than other restaurants, but always tasty. After completing the Campuhan Ridge Walk and working up an appetite we went for dinner at Murni’s Warung.
When ordering I have to admit I was leaning towards more Western dishes, our waitress had different ideas for us though. I ordered the Satay Chicken and Spring Rolls to start, however she suggested the Lumpia rolls (bigger spring rolls with more filling) along with the chicken satay. Both dishes were fantastic and full of flavour! For mains, I ordered the Fried Chilli Chicken but I was swiftly persuaded to get Murni’s Tutu Ayam. A local chicken dish which had been slow cooked for 8 hours with Balinese spices. Jack got Murni’s Fish in Taucho Sauce, which is their award winning dish. The food was just divine so we couldn’t miss out on dessert. Jack had apple pie and I had the caramel cake. Basically if you go here, just tell the waitress to pick whatever she wants to give you. Murni knows best.
Are you wanting a big, cheap, delicious pizza? Of course you are. Warung Città Ovest, is the place to be if you’re craving the carbs. We noticed this pizza place because of how busy it was when walking by one night, although having already eaten, we made it our mission to eat here at some point. I dived into a olive, mushroom and garlic pizza and Jack had parma ham, blue cheese, artichoke and chilli. We are both big fans of a thin crust so these were perfect for us. Città Ovest is a cosy place with only a few tables, we went at around 3pm and managed to get a comfy seat overlooking the road – people watching paradise. Plus, the icy cold Bintang beers go down a treat!
I would recommend staying at the hotel we stayed at because the road you walk along into Bali has loads of highly rated Warung’s to choose from, which are cheaper than the ones in the centre. We had the pleasure of eating in Warung Mendez, we both ordered the Nasi Goreng. The fried rice dish came in a beautiful wooden bowl, the prawn crackers are perfect for scooping up the rice and eating it that way as well. The food ranges from around 30,000 to 90,000, which means you can definitely get a filling, flavourful meal for under $10AUD!
Ubud was such an amazing place, we really didn’t want to leave. There are still so many places to eat and we really want to climb Mount Batur too! We shall be back Ubud, suksma!
P.s Local beer Bintang is always as cheap as (if not cheaper) than soft drinks. So if in doubt, always order a bloody cold Bintang.