We leave Jogjakarta and we leave Java Island knowing that this island deserves a trip to itself to discover lots of things. But when you only have two weeks of holiday you must choose and we have chosen Bali Island to enjoy the next 5 days. First of all, we would like to say that Bali has exceeded our expectations. We had heard lots of different opinions and some were very negative, the island is too crowded, it has lost its touch… In our opinion: Bali is beautiful, of course, it has lots of tourists but it has thousands of places to visit (we would need another trip or to live there for a while). Bali is a lot more than surf, beaches, and parties. It has a rich culture and amazing nature sites. If what you look is to be by yourself, with very few tourist, it would be better if you look for another Indonesian island. There are so many.
And after this reflection, let’s talk about the first part of our Balinese adventure. We choose Ubud as our starting point and base to visit the island. Ubud is inland around an hour and a half from Denpasar airport. Although it has a lot of tourists, it preserves the charming Balinese architecture, its temple, and its rice terraces.
We arrive at Denpasar airport in the afternoon and organize the transfer to Ubud through the hotel. There is no public transport in Bali. There is another option, take a taxi from the airport and negotiate the price or from Kuta, every travel and activity agency organize shuttle buses to Ubud.
We got to Ubud around 8 in the evening, so after leaving our luggage at the hotel, we went to the center to get some dinner. Our hotel was outside of Ubud which means fewer people and better views but also the need of transport to the town center. Many hotels offer this transfer (you can also rent a motorbike). Our first impression can’t be better. This looks very good.
Waking up and have breakfast in the room terrace admiring the rice paddies is priceless, and in Ubud, there are many hotels and very good deals. After breakfast, we rented a motorbike to move around Ubud the next three days. Make sure the bike you rent is in good condition.
And we start our day! This route is great for a day in Ubud with no need of taking a bike or organize an activity. First stop, Monkey Forest. This small and protected area is only 5 minutes by bike or 15 on foot from Ubud’s center and it hosts around 700 monkeys. An interesting visit, it allows you to wander around the forest and to see some monkeys moving freely. Avoid having food or any object sticking out your pockets because it is very possible the monkeys will take it.
Once we say goodbye to our new Balinese friends, the monkeys, we head to the center to visit Ubud Palace, the market, and Saraswati temple. All of them have free entrance and they are walking distance. At Ubud Palace, there is are Balinese dances shows almost every night for about 100,000 IDR (7 €). Although we didn’t go we believe it would be worth it. A cold coconut gave us our strength back, we head to the market to get our bargaining skills into practice and to get some presents (Christmas is coming) some cheap T-shirts and trousers.
We stop for lunch at Waroeng Bernadette (one of the best we tried). Delicious food and good price. Ideal to get back to today’s plans.
Saraswati temple, Hindu Goddess of knowledge and arts, is at Ubud’s main street, Jalan Raya Ubud, you can enter through Cafe Lotus. It is worth visit as it is quiet and peaceful. This is only our first day but Balinese architecture is leaving us speechless. Ubud is full of small temples. The best thing to do is to just wander around its streets and get ready to be surprised by any corner.
And of course, to end our first day, we treated ourselves with a Balinese massage. There are so many spas around and after an hour (or more) you are like brand new.
Transfer (private car) Denpasar – Ubud 300,000 IDR (21 €)
Hotel Ujung Ubud 270,000 IDR (19 €) per night, breakfast included
Motobike rent 60,000 IDR (4 €) per day
Monkey Temple entrance 40,000 IDR (3 €) per person
Lunch for two at Waroeng Bernadette 127,000 IDR (9 €)
1 hora Balinese massage 80,000 IDR (5’6 €) per person
*Note: The statues with long tongues are called leyak and they are supposed to be bad witches, some believe that they are the reason of illness and death.
This is our suggestion and experience to have a great day in Ubud. What would you add?
All our tour around the country in our section of Indonesia.
-If you liked it, don’t forget to Pin it!-