For me (coming from Europe) Bali always was an exotic destination reserved for honeymoons and romantic getaways however after living in Australia I have come to realise it is now a much more achievable and affordable place to travel to. We stayed in Seminyak at a place called Bali Agung which was in a good location and a reasonable price. The hotel was in a traditional Balinese style – very beautiful. I will start with this post dedicated just to Ubud as I really enjoyed our time in this area and there is quite a lot of great things to do here.
Our first stop was the Kopi Luwak coffee plantation. This coffee is the most expensive coffee in the world retailing highly across the globe. The coffee bean is chosen by the Civet cat who swallows it whole. It is then digested, excreted, polished up and served to us as a cup of delicious coffee. Don’t worry though, the lovely guys working there assured me that they clean it with sand first. The coffee is delicious but caging these wild animals is heart breaking and to be honest it is not too different to having a very sweet coffee. Your guide will give you a selection of herbal teas and flavored coffees to try. These are all free however the Kopi Luwak coffee costs a small fee and well of course you have to try it.
Next stop was the Tegalalang Rice Terrace in Ubud, which in my opinion is a must see. Having never seen anything like this it was absolutely breathtaking. I highly recommend hiring a driver for the day, it isn’t that cheap but if there is more than one of you it’s very reasonable. This is the easiest way to get around and saves a lot of time. It is best to just do a bulk trip in one day and visit a few places especially if they are farther away because doing a lot of small trips will soon add up. We used the same driver three days in a row and not only did we feel safe but we also saved money – he was very keen to lower the price for repeat business. We got to know our driver quite well and he even took us to meet his cousin in Uluwatu. He owns a small coffee shop and he graciously supplied us with coffees and good conversation which was a really nice experience.
Pictured above is myself admiring the spectacular view across the fields. How I got here is not as elegant as this image suggests.
Myself and a girl from Jakarta bonded immediately over just how unstable the footing was. We spent a good portion of the climb leaping into each others arms while her husband roared with laughter. Ladies, leave the heels at home, as my new friend discovered they are not appropriate, also don’t bother with your new Nike trainers. I managed to get to the highest point without too many mishaps, letting out a triumphant air punch I promptly fell ankle-deep into the rice. I then spent the next ten minutes desperately trying to rinse clean my white Senso sandals (obviously a traveller must have). The only consolation is that it happens to everyone and you can enjoy the mutual laughter all the way back down the hill.
The monkey forest, oh the monkey forest. I would highly recommend not buying bananas if you don’t want to be ambushed before you even hand over your RP 50.000. This trip confirmed my non-existent love affair with monkeys. Do not get me wrong I am an avid animal lover but these guys leave me in a tricky spot especially when it involves my precious kimono. After pining over this kimono for months on the internet, I was not about to hand it over to an angry customer just because all the bananas were gone. They all look so innocent until proven otherwise.
Thus concludes my trip to Ubud. I will say as a side note that I did eat at a restaurant with a view of the rice paddy’s, I cannot remember the name however a lot of the places in this area are touristy and overpriced. I am not a big foodie which feels like a crime these days as I seem to be bombarded by a mountain of food related Instagram pictures, so if you are into your grub unlike me, then make sure you research some good places to eat otherwise your driver will just take you wherever he feels like.
Tell me about your experiences in Ubud, as I would love to go back and explore this amazing place further!