i’d love to share leg #2 of our two-week trip to bali, which was in ubud! we made this location the longest stay of trip, at 5 days, and wished we had more time at the end. ubud is famous for being featured in the julia roberts movie “eat, pray, love,” which really only depicts a sliver of what this place is all about. yes, it’s spiritual, crafty and holistic, but there’s so much more depth to this magical place on earth. we didn’t go there because of the movie, but once you are there they offer tours so you can visit the places you saw in the movie if you want. we wanted to explore the nature, soak up the culture and see sights on our own terms, which is exactly what we did. ubud is nestled in such a lush and beautiful area of the county, you can spend days exploring the streets, nature, surrounding mountains, waterfalls, beaten paths, markets, etc. upon arrival we felt the hustle bustle vibe, but yet it also felt serene. contradictory, i know, but there is something unexplainable about the way ubud made me feel, it was just a fun place. there’s so much to do and see and so much going on at all times. it’s not “the city that never sleeps” because places did close down quite early many nights, but we really enjoyed visiting here and would go back. i would love to share our adventure with you through the zillions of photos we took, if you care to see:
we visited monkey forest. i’m nuts & didn’t even want to go to monkey forest! i didn’t think it would be that cool and was kind of scared they would jump on me (which they did!), but this experience is unlike any other and i ended up falling in love with the ubud monkeys. they own this park though, it’s their territory including the streets in front of the park entrance, they jump from vendor stall roof to roof and even on people if they want something you are holding/eating so beware! there are rules posted up at the entrance like “don’t panic if they jump on you,” “don’t look them directly in the eye,” “don’t bring in any plastic bags,” etc. because they are vicious, territorial and protective of their young and will snarl or snatch things from you, we saw a guys camera bag get taken up to the trees, so keep your shit strapped on. but if you follow the rules and respect them in their habitat you will be fine. we really warmed up to them and on our last day we even bought bananas specifically to feed them and get close to them – i seriously loved the monkeys!
ubud monkeys grooming each other
baby feeding on mom monkey
we filled our bellies with delicious food from bali buda
walking the streets of ubud, admiring all the gigantic trees and their roots
i found a tiny hole-in-the-wall place that served creamy coconut ice cream on steroids. they offered it with toasted shaved coconut & candied coconut pieces on top and i was in heaven. #coconutfanatic
i went there daily to get my fix & even bought a pack of the candied coconut sprinkles to bring home with me.
an offering to the gods on the streets of ubud, bali
balinese woman harvesting & sifting rice in the fields. this was amazing to watch and makes me appreciate every grain of rice that ends on up my plate now from seeing how hard it is to harvest.
the market in ubud, bali.
there are some outdoor sections & some indoor stalls and you can bargain with the vendors. the key is knowing when and how to do this & i consider myself a “master bargainer” 🙂
we got some great deals on table runners, housewares items, t-shirts, souvenirs, etc.
pups in a boutique i popped into- they were so cute & playful!
fruit stand with bananas, watermelon, coconut & pineapple
petrol for sale in liquor bottles
overload, yet this was a “normal” daily sight
night festival of people in streets wearing white and carrying umbrellas and statues.
the only thing missing from the below photo is the sound…they were playing looouuddd balinese music and people all along the street stopped to appreciate the seemingly random event.
a beautiful palm tree lined pathway
dek & i took an organized sunrise trek to the top of mt. batur, which is over 5,600 ft in elevation! we were picked up from our homestay around 2 am or so and we collected a few more people along the way & then stopped for a quick breakfast of pancakes, bananas and hot tea with other people who were doing the same trek. after a quick bite in the freezing cold (bali is hot but in the mountain areas and super early like this it can get really chilly), we then set out with flashlights and our guide. it was pitch black out and the hike itself took about an hour and was extremely steep. it was still dark out when we reached the top and we witnessed the sunrise break over the mountains in the distance. that beautiful moment is when the altitude dizziness hit me. i was fine while hiking, but once we were standing still and i could see down below i just felt queezy and had to throw up and started to feel weak.
i felt like shit here, but mustered up a smile 🙂
throwing up & lightheaded on the hike back down, which took twice as long as the hike up because we went a different route that wasn’t as steep. i had to stop a few times to breathe & take a water break, i also wrapped my shirt on my head to keep the sun out of my eyes because at this point it was hot and bright as hell.
after the trek, the guide took us to a coffee plantation where you can see coffee trees and buy the famous “kopi luwak,” which is kind of a gross concept but for some reason people love it. it’s basically an animal that consumes the coffee cherries and ferments the cherries as they pass through the intestines and then they poop it out and it’s collected, cleaned and made into coffee. pretty sick and weird, but it’s a whole thing there. we didn’t try it, but it was nice to be back on normal elevation and sit and relax for a minute, as i had shaky legs and an uneasy stomach from the hike.
coffee bean cherries right on the tree. a coffee bean is a seed of the coffee plant, it’s the pit of the red fruit or the “cherry.” most of the cherries contain two seeds, but in a case where there is only one seed it’s called a “peaberry,” and those are said to have more flavor…supposedly.
the cherry part is mushy, but the beans are hard as rocks and come out a tinted green color
dried, unroasted coffee beans, they kind of look like peanuts!
roasted coffee beans
our driver stopped for us at the famous tegallalang rice terraces since we were already in this area. it’s a very touristy spot and i was told these rice terraces are now only for “show” and they do not harvest here, but it was a beautiful sight. they went on for as far as your eye could see. we didn’t go trekking in them as we didn’t have time, but we appreciated the moment from atop.
we went white water rafting on the telaga waja river, which was hands down the coolest experience! we don’t have any photos us actually rafting (womp womp) because we were nervous to take our phones in the sketchy waterproof bags & didn’t have a gopro at the time (major sad face!), but it was so exhilarating and beautiful all along the way. it was like a scene out of fern gully, moss climbing up the walls, waterfalls spitting out at you, locals harvesting rice waving at us as we passed on the river. there were only 4 of us in the raft with a guide and it was such a fun adventure. at the end of the rafting, lunch was served overlooking the lush green hills.
lunch of noodles, veggie rice and french fry strings
back at our homestay, meruhdani, suntanning a bit before heading out for our daily massage
the pool at our homestay, meruhdani. we HIGHLY recommended this place if you are looking for somewhere to stay in ubud, it was only like $35/night & centrally located, plus the staff were so friendly & helpful!
umah pizza was down the street from where we stayed and we went there a few times because we loved it so much, this pizza was so yummy!
bikes on bikes on bikes.
we were not brave enough to rent one, but maybe if we stayed longer we would have.
we got around with taxi’s or by walking mostly.
walking to the campuhan ridge walk
loved this place
thank you for reading!
next up i will be posting about the last place we stayed in bali…seminyak!