It seems every tourist in Bali will end up in Ubud at some point and I can see why, it’s got every bohemian shop a tourist can imagine, along with stunning rice paddies and views, outside this heaving town stuffed with crawling traffic. I arrived from Seminyak, a beach town with huge waves, where I spent the evenings walking the beach waiting for the sun to set.
I stayed outside of Ubud town overlooking a rice paddy field and together with friends Pascal and Stephanie we watched the local farmers and their love for kite flying. Stephanie decided she wanted to hike the Gunung Batur volcano to see the sun rise, so I went along spending the hours between three and five in the morning climbing, puffing, tripping over and giggling when we finally reached the top, only to see a white backdrop of clouds.
I spent my days visiting pretty lotus and elephant temples and experiencing Balinese massages. I finally got to shop, spending hours in the markets haggling and searching through the beautiful lace clothing, circle woven bags and print dresses.
I viewed the ‘Tegallalang Rice Paddies’ and spent an entire evening lost at night on my scooter…as in seriously lost, for over two hours in the dark… On the last night of Pascal and Stephanie’s stay in Ubud, we went for dinner in the most beautiful restaurant, Tena Sari, which sits on the water filled with carp fish surrounded by wild fields. The next day we moved into the town centre to Puri Bayu Guesthouse enjoying the hosts motherly ways.
I decided to explore the north, seeking out the seaside village of Pemuteran overlooking Menjangan Island. I stayed in Guang Mas Guesthouse, a pretty quiet homestay set against the backdrop of the mountains, and after lots of research I arranged to go snorkelling with Bali Dive Centre. The tour consisted of lunch on the boat and snorkelling in two different areas off of Menjangan Island, known as ‘the wall’ and ‘the temple’. This was my first time snorkelling so breathing through the mask was a bit tricky but I soon became addicted to the silent colourful world. I spent the next few hours chasing clown fish, lion fish, blue starfish, trigger fish, puffer fish and admiring the stunning live coral.
Next I visited ‘Reef Divers Turtle Hatchery’. For a small donation we got to learn about the turtles and see turtles of many different ages. The locals collect washed up eggs and fishermen rescue turtles caught up in fishing nets.
On our last night in this area, I climbed up the local mountain to watch the sun go down behind Menjangan Island. It was just as romantic as it sounds. I needed to get back down south so I choose Sanur, a sandy white beach that goes on for miles. While basking in the sun I was lucky enough to see a Balinese beach wedding. Strangely all the guests wore white so it was a bit tricky to pick out the bride!
I really recommend this hippy island of Indonesia as it’s brimming with Balinese culture echoed in the buildings, the dancing and the food. It really has something for everyone.
To read more about my travel experiences in Indonesia including my time spent with wild orangutans, click on the following article: