Thursday, 7 February 2013


We walked around getting quotes for accommodation, many were charging 150,000IR per night with others charging up to 300,000IR per night. We came to a road called ‘Dewi Sita’ and found an alleyway just off from there offering a few home stays. By now we had been walking around for an hour or so and were both hungry, hot and a little fed up. That was until we found a room for 150,000IR per night (it wasn’t worth that much) so we bartered this down to 100,000IR per night, including breakfast.

Our home stay was called ‘Anugrah’ and the family running it were really friendly and kind. The room we stayed in was clean(ish) but looked as though it hadn’t been used for a while. This didn’t really surprise us, as during our 4 night stay we were the only guests there.

We headed out for some food and found a cheap place that served tasty local dishes, called ‘Warung Lokal’. It ended up becoming our favourite place to eat.

The Warungs in Ubud are the best value for money and this one even had free wi-fi

It would probably take me 6 months to visit every restaurant/cafĂ© in Ubud as there are so many. Most were sadly way out of our price range, with some topping Western prices. If you’re into your Vegan/Vegetarian/Raw foods then Ubud is the place for you, as almost every restaurant will cater towards these food diets.

Hilarious readers letter that we spotted in a local newspaper

As well as restaurants there are also hundreds of little art, craft, clothes and jewellery shops. I ended up leaving empty handed as many items were, in my opinion, too expensive. An example of this is as follows: A white cotton dress, with a simple embroided pattern, that was practically see-through, was retailing for £55! Another example was a small, silver, pendant necklace, priced at £35. 

I had a look around the local market but wasn’t overly impressed with the items on sale there, as it was mostly tourist tat. There is some nice jewelry around here but be a bit wary when buying silver items as some are not 100% silver as some of the sellers would have you believe.

As well as the usual touristy things to do here there are also some fantastic live bands worth watching. We looked at quite a few bars offering live music nights but were put off by the high beer prices (40,000IR for a large Bintang plus 15% tax on top of this, compared with the usual 25,000IR price). Eventually we caved in on the last night and ended up spending too much money in a reggae bar that had a very entertaining blues band playing.

When we weren’t eating and drinking tea (yes we did a lot of that here!), in quirky cafes, overlooking luscious, green rice fields, we were riding around on a moped exploring them, as well as the local villages. We would ride around for hours, turning off on various roads and not knowing where we would end up, but strangely enough we never got lost.

We visited the well talked about ‘Monkey Forest’ which is exactly as it sounds. I’m not sure I would describe it as a ‘forest’ because that to me makes it sound huge and it was actually quite small but fun to walk around.
Watch out for the cheeky/scary monkeys, given the opportunity and they will grab anything from you!

You must also visit the Tegallalang rice terrace paddies. It’s only a few miles away from Ubud on the moped and well sign posted so quite easy to locate. We had the whole place to ourselves and spent an hour or so wandering around the rice paddies before drinking coffee in one of the warungs overlooking the fields.

Another day we decided to go on a downhill bicycle day trip. We booked a company called Bali Eco Cycling through our homestay, but there are various agents throughout Ubud and other areas of Bali offering the same service, prices are negotiable.
We were picked up in the early morning and driven to the top of a mountain that should have given us breath taking views of Mount Batur. Sadly for us the low cloud meant we couldn’t see anything but we enjoyed a large breakfast of local food in the restaurant. 
We were then driven to a Balinese Plantation where we were shown the medicinal and culturally uses of local plants, the process of making coffee as well as coffee tasting and ate tropical fruits that I’ve since forgotten the names of. 

Afterwards we picked up our bikes and began an incredible journey cycling downhill through the local Balinese villages. We had various stop off points along the way, one of which we were invited into a Balinese home and learned about their way of living. Another showed us how the rice is planted and then harvested. 

Once our trip drew to an end we were taken to have some lunch. I can honestly say it was some of the nicest food that has ever passed my lips. The duck was beautifully marinated and fell apart in my mouth. We were driven back to our homestay and arrived home by around 2-3pm. I certainly learned a great deal in the few hours of this trip and recommend it as a ‘must do’ in Bali.

I really enjoyed my time in Ubud although Ian did not share my enthusiasm quite as much, probably because there wasn’t an awful lot for him to do here. I can quite easily waste hours of my time, walking around aimlessly, looking at art/crafts/jewellery and clothes, stopping off at cafes and watching the world go by. Ian, on the other hand needs to be doing stuff. By this I mean surfing, swimming or pretending that he’s Rambo, so as you can imagine, Ubud did not quite meet his standards, except for cruising around on the moped and the downhill biking.
Weather wise, we did encounter a lot of rain here, which we were both expecting but this interrupted our plans at times. Hopefully you can still appreciate the beauty of Ubud from these photos as much as I did