Blissful Bali - Unfolding Ubud
The series 'Blissful Bali', is an attempt to cover our 3 different experiences of the Island of the Gods. So let's shift gears to our second destination - Ubud!
In our last article, we took you on a journey of the chic & cosmopolitan southern end of Bali - Seminyak.
As you read this today, we promise to transport you to the heart of Bali. A town that reminds you of Rudyard Kiplings Jungle Book, where you wake up to lush green rice terraces, tropical forests and age old temples & monuments, telling you the ancient tale of Bali. This is the land of Ubud.
How can you reach Ubud?
Ubud is about 30 km away from Seminyak and it will take about 45-60 mins to reach the town. We recommend taking a taxi, that is the most convenient and affordable way to commute between Seminyak and Ubud. We left Seminyak at around 10 AM in the morning after a hearty breakfast at Kim Soo and easily reached Ubud in about 45 mins.
Pro Tip: Streets of Bali are filled with Taxi drivers who will be willing to take you to Ubud at an affordable rate. The best way is to negotiate prices with them or speak to a known who may know a driver. If you ask your hotel to book you a taxi, chances are you might end up paying a steep price.
How many days are sufficient for Ubud?
Oh, if you ask us, you can never get enough of Ubud. :)
With such an awe-inspiring heritage, beautiful architecture, post card perfect skies and fresh local produce all around you, Ubud has a plethora of attractions to offer. We recommend dedicating at least 3-4 days to explore the land of Ubud.
If you have managed to get in more, you are the luckiest!
Travel Hack: With such ample greener, be prepared to deal with insects and mosquitoes. Ensure you carry a mosquito repellent with you always. The best option is to carry a spray bottle that you can apply all over yourself before you head out to explore the town.
Where can you Stay in Ubud
Hotels, Villas, Airbnbs or rented apartments, any accommodation you choose in Ubud, brings you a little closer to mother nature. If you are staying in Ubud for about 4-5 days, we suggest booking an www.airbnb.com. They are always super cozy, mostly located in and around the gorgeous paddy fields and feel a lot like home. Ubud is also known to have some of the most spectacular bamboo tree houses that give you a whole new perspective of living in the jungle.
If you're someone who is looking for a little opulence, check out the bookings.com for good deals on luxury resorts.
We stayed at the House Pino 1 Story Airbnb in Ubud.
House Pino is perfectly located close to the city center yet seems to be tucked in a quiet lane, away from the hustle bustle of the local market and cafes.
It could be a little tricky to find but Shoka, the host is very friendly and will help you or your cab driver to locate the same. As you walk into the house, you can feel that it has been decorated with such love and thoughtfulness. From the all white theme across the house to the little artifacts in each corner, House Pino brings in the warmth, Ubud stands for. :)
Pro Tip: This Airbnb is super close to Taco Casa, a Mexican food chain serving some of the most scrumptious Tex-Mex cuisine. We literally had a meal each day here till we stayed in Ubud.
To book this Airbnb for your holiday, you can visit here: https://www.airbnb.co.in/rooms/17594629source_impression_id=p3_1569072782_Ak6uT0F3DwA%2FNwYr
A bucketful of Experiences
While simply just living in the purity of this town is an experience in itself but we have still listed down 6 experiences you must indulge in, when in Ubud.
1. Visit the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
The home to Macaques, the Balinese long tailed monkeys, the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Padangtegal, is an ancient wonder of Ubud and deserves a visit if you're in and around Ubud.
The forest dates back to the 14th century and houses more than 700 Macaques. As you walk around the dense forest, you will also spot some ancient temples, around 100 species of trees, beautiful sculptures and many tales surrounding it.
You may read many articles on the internet that talk about the monkeys attacking the tourists but we urge you to go for yourself and experience the forest. The officials always carefully brief on the guidelines to follow so you can have an enrich-full and safe experience.
Some useful information to help you plan your trip to the ancient forest: 1. The forest is open daily from 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM.
2. Ensure you don't carry any paper bags, hats, sun glasses or any other items loosely in your hand while in the forest. Chances are the mischievous monkeys may take it away.
3. Don't feed them any of your food. The jungle authorities are superbly take care of their health.
4. Don't look into their eyes or touch them. Distance is a must.
5. Most important - It's their home and we are just visitors. Don't trouble them and they will let you have a wonderful experience in the mystical jungle.
2. Get lost in the lanes and local markets
Unplanned adventures and unknown roads is why Ubud will always remain magical for us.
Start your day early and simple ride around the town and its pretty roads. You will be surprised with the intricate art you spot on temples, monuments and even local souvenir shops. In fact, each nook and corner of Ubud will make you stop, pause and capture the moment in your eyes.
You would be living under a rock if you did not know about the Bali jute bags and the insane fan following it has!
Known as the Rattan Bags, they are made by weaving palm leaves together and are so trendy and comfortable to carry. The bags come in various sizes and colors but the wooden brown color looks the best.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to bargain as much as you can because you’ll be surprised to know that these bags can be bought at really affordable and cheap rates. Also, they are the cheapest in Ubud as compared to other areas of Bali.
3. Plan an early morning ride to the Tibumana Waterfalls
Ubud in Bali, is a paradise for hidden, lesser known gorgeous waterfalls that will leave you in awe of nature and its glory.
Located secretly in one of the remote corners of Ubud, the Tibumana Waterfalls is about a 45 mins ride from the city center and is an absolutely breathtaking gem to behold. The road to Tibumana is a stunning journey in itself, as the route is covered with numerous palm trees all along the way.
The Tibumana Waterfall is not very popular among the touristy crowd and that makes it all the more special, clean and pristine. As you reach the waterfalls, there is a large parking lot where you can park your vehicle and walk towards the path that leads to the waterfall.
The trail to the waterfall is about 15 mins and on the route you will find a wide variety of trees, plants and bamboo bridges.
Also before you leave, don't forget to enjoy the sweet flavors of the Balinese Coconuts right outside the parking lot of the waterfall. :)
4. Take a stroll in the Tegallalang Rice Terraces
If you start researching about Ubud, there is not event a point percent chance that you may not come across its scenic paddy fields, lush green rice terraces and dense tropical jungles.
One such spectacular region is the Tegallalang Rice Terraces.
Also a UNESCO World Heritage site, the rice fields have a terrace shaped layout with a unique traditional Balinese irrigation system called 'Subak'. Reaching the fields is quite simple as it is just a 20 mins scooter ride North of Ubud. A few points to keep in mind during your visit:
1. The area can be slippery and muddy, so ensure you wear sneakers or sturdy shoes.
2. Weather during the day in Bali can get extremely hot and humid, so plan an early morning visit to the fields.
The Terraces are also popular among tourists for its swings & nests that are situated at strategic locations across the vast fields so you can capture some breathtaking views.
Do remember- The swing and nests are a paid activity but definitely an extraordinary nature experience we recommend.
When you are exhausted exploring the vast Tegallalang Rice Terraces, stop by at the next door Menari Cafe for local comfort food and some chilled Bintang (local beer). The cafe also has a wonderful balcony seating area from where you can view the stunning green fields while you indulge in the Indonesian delicacies.
5. Pamper yourself with a picnic at Desa Visesa Resort, Ubud
Close to the city yet in an ancient world of its own, Desa Visesa Ubud is not just an ordinary resort.
A place that lives to bring you a step closer to Ubud's style of holistic well being, Desa Visesa is luxury, wrapped in the arms of ancient traditions, abundance of nature, age old art and incredible Balinese hospitality.
From many of its health & wellness initiatives, the resort offers a unique experience to both its residents and external guests called the 'Picnic Tepi Sawah'.
What you experience is a picnic in the middle of a rice field, on a bright sunny afternoon, with sounds of birds chirping all around, a good book (of course our own) and a spread of delicious Balinese food and fresh exotic fruits by your side.
To know more about this, you can visit the offical website here: https://www.dkampoengubud.com/activities/picnic-time/
From the little seating spot in the middle of tropical settings, to the extremely warm & energetic staff that ensured we did not even have the slightest of discomfort and Balinese food that we give an 11/10, Desa Visesa was perfect dream date.
We hope our tranquil take on Ubud will help you plan a holiday to this paradise island. If you have any questions, do drop them in the comment box below and we will be happy to help. :)