We loved our short stay in Bali, a perfect mini break after 2 intense months of travelling around in Australia in a a campervan and before relocating to Bangladesh after 12 years abroad! Here are our five reasons to fall in love with Ubud. We enjoyed four memorable days here relaxing, swimming, eating, doing yoga, walking around town and seeing lots of monkeys. We arrived here late at night, got to our hotel at 2am so didn’t get to see anything in the dark. We woke up to this lovely view the next morning 🙂
Why did we choose Ubud?
To be honest, We weren’t particularly interested in beaches in Bali(for once!) as we had just enjoyed some spectacular beaches in Australia…have look here and see for yourself 🙂 Whilst we loved the wildlife and nature in our recent travels, we did lack two things – luxury and culture. Ubud is quite centrally located in Bali, only an hour and a half from airport and is renowned for being the centre for culture and the arts. We had very little planned and after driving 7000 km in Australia, Ashique planned to not leave the hotel at all! Sometimes the least planned journeys end up being the most enjoyable ones…here’s why we fell in love with Ubud and look forward to being back.
Luxury on a budget
We stayed at Green Field Hotel and restaurant and let’s just say we spent more than 60 percent of our time in Ubud in this hotel 😛 Centrally located, only a short walk to Ubud Palace, Monkey Forest and other attractions, great service, two great swimming pools and yummy cocktails…to name just a few of why we loved staying at this hotel! And the costs…wow! After 2 months of struggling to stay under $100 a day for four of us in Australia (which we barely managed having bread and cheese and staying in a campervan) it was pure joy to enjoy such luxury at the same cost as budget travel in more expensive parts of the world. I also indulged in fours of massage, facial, manicure, pedicure and spa for a bargain price of $40..heaven 🙂
The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary (Monkey Forest Ubud) is not just a tourist attractions but is also a very important part in the spiritual and economic life of the local community. The type of monkey that lives here in this forest is the Balinese long-tailed monkey, Macaca fascicularis. There are about 600 monkeys living here and are divided into five groups. You can read more about them here. The highlight of the place was of course the adorable baby monkeys, but besides the monkeys, there were beautiful temples and lovely forest walk. Much to know before going into the sanctuary – do not carry food or valuables, be prepared to have the monkeys jump all over you, one jumped onto my shoulder and played around with my dreads! Several were interested in Shama’s bright sarong and one tried to get Ashique’s wallet from his pocket.
I loved the Yoga classes here at Yoga Barn. Whilst there are several place in Ubud where you can go for Yoga classes, this place was recommended and the fact that it was located less than 1 km from where we were staying, made this the perfect choice for practicing Yoga. There are classes for all levels and various different types of Yoga. There is also a lovely vegetarian cafe and juice bar. I would love to come back here for a week sometime in the near future.
We were discussing Balinese food before we got here and couldn’t really pinpoint exactly what makes their food distinct to Bali…as in how is it different from Malaysian or Thai. We loved the Nasi Goreng and Nasi Kampur, Ashique and the kids also enjoyed several meat dishes. Besides Balinese food, there were several restaurants with international cuisine – you could have your pick of Italian, Mexican, Spanish, to name a few! There were also some lovely cafes serving delicious cocktails, very chilled atmosphere with live music. We enjoyed a few of those as well including the one below right next to our hotel.
I will be honest here, we didn’t get to do a fraction of all the different cultural activities one can enjoy here – visiting the Ubud Palace, attending the famous Balinese dance performances, enjoying the many temples all over Ubud. What we did enjoy is strolling through town, visiting local arts and handicraft shops, seeing the traditional paintings and people watching. In fact, everything we actually learnt about Balinese culture was from our taxi driver on the way to the airport. We LOVED the colourful clothes and jewellery and the affordable prices for everything. People were kind and friendly and even though Ubud is a hotspot with tourists, we didn’t feel pressured into buying anything or anyone trying to sell us the many tours that were advertised along the streets.
This wraps up our short but memorable Bali trip and the picture below of Shama in her new sarong and headband sitting outside a random shop with marigold flower decorations sums up how we feel about Ubud, Bali – LOVE 🙂