Ubud is a town situated in the uplands of Bali, and is considered to be the cultural heart of the island. The town boasts a myriad of cafes, restaurants, museums and galleries as well as a market selling crafts, clothing and jewellery. It contained beautiful architure, tons of intricately designed barong statues and was surrounded by lush rainforest and rice paddies; I found Ubud to be absolutely beautiful.
Where did we stay?
Ellie’s mum very kindly paid for us to stay in a beautiful resort during our time in Ubud so we were resided in a gorgeous location with our own private villa and swimming pool. The resort was called Ulun Ubud Resort and Spa, and it was set up in the hills, surrounded by rainforest and rice paddies. The staff went above and beyond to cater to our every need, and free breakfast and afternoon tea was provided daily. After a month of backpacking through Thailand and staying in hostels, Ellie and I welcomed this opportunity to spend a lot of time relaxing and rejuvenating.
Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
Ubud is pretty well-known for its Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary- a nature reserve and Hindu temple complex right by the town centre. There is, as the name would suggest, a lot of monkeys here, and you can wander round watching them play and try to rob people of food. The sanctuary is really beautiful, and you can buy bananas to feed the monkeys, who will climb up onto your shoulder to eat them.
Tegalalang Rice Terraces
The Tegalalang rice terraces offer a pretty spectacular view and as they are only a half hour drive north of Ubud, we decided they would be well worth a visit. The terraces were beautiful with vivid shades of green which the camera just can’t capture…
Sunrise Hike up Mount Batur
I signed up to do a sunrise hike up a volcano called Mount Batur, which is situated in northeast Bali. This involved being picked up from the hotel at 2am and driving an hour and a half to the base of the volcano, where we were given breakfast and a quick briefing. The hike was not too challenging, but it rained very heavily on the way up and was very foggy. The fog worried me as this could mean we wouldn’t be able to see the sunrise, but we went up above the clouds so this wasn’t an issue. The sunrise was probably one of the most spectacular things I’ve ever seen.
Bali is famous for its Luwak coffee- a coffee harvested from the dung of a luwak, which is a small cat/fox like creature. Essentially, luwaks eat coffee beans and poo them out, which is then made into coffee. I’ve read that luwaks are often kept in pretty poor conditions so I was not willing to personally pay to try the luwak coffee, but we visited a plantation to see how normal coffee was grown and processed.
We were given samples of eight different teas and coffees to try, and enjoyed sitting in the beautiful location of the plantation. A guy from Australia sat with us and offered us some luwak coffee he had purchased so we ended up giving it a try- it tasted like normal, maybe slightly bitter, coffee.
Campuhan Ridge Walk
One morning, I decided to do the Campuhan Ridge Walk, which was a beautiful walk with rainforest on either side. The route is mostly along a stone path and as you walk further away from the beginning of the route, you begin to see a more rural side of Bali, with the occasional farmer and rice field. The walk took me only an hour to complete but it says online that it takes two- I’m either a fast walker or I missed out part of the route.
I really hope to return to Ubud one day as the eccentric yet chilled out vibe and beautiful surrounds of the place really drew me in. I feel as though I barely scratched the surface of this town and can’t wait to explore more.