This was my first trip to Bali, Indonesia and we had so much on our agenda that we wanted to accomplish. I really think Ubud is the perfect spot to explore a different culture, photograph beautiful nature, eat lavishly on a budget, get pampered, feel reconnected with yourself and your surroundings and LOVE so many different animals. Leaving only 3 days for Ubud in our South East Asia trip was not enough but I really do think we made the most out of it. Here is my list of things you must check out when you finally make it to Ubud!
Where to stay: We really wanted to splurge for this leg of the trip so we stayed at the Ubud VIllage Resort which was amazing. To put it in perspective: it was peak season (first week of January) and the resort was approximately $160 USD per night. It was our own villa overlooking the garden, including a private pool, 2 showers, 1 bath, delicious breakfast, tea with snacks in the afternoon and it was straight up luxury. However, you can get accommodation for as little as $15 USD! That's what makes Bali so freaking special. I reccomend checking out Airbnb optons as a start!
5 Things To Do When Visiting Ubud
1. Sunrise at the Tegallalang Rice Terraces
It took us about 25 minutes via motorbike to get to Tegallalang from the Ubud Village Resort. I recommend going at sunrise when it's still not scorching hot or overcrowded. Prepare to get MUDDY as you make your way through the paddies. There is no admission fee (at least when you get there early) - but you should be throwing some cash to the rice workers. No worries, they'll ask for a donation.
2. Hang with monkeys at Ubud's Monkey Forest
I always had a fascination with monkeys and here they roam freely - besides trying to steal everything from you! With a short 10 min motorbike ride from our hotel, this place served as a perfect introduction to Ubud. Approx $4 USD admission fee.
* Do not come to the park with valuable belongings. The monkeys will try to open zippers on purses/backpacks!
3. Take a day trip to Lempuyang Temple
Ah, the famous Instragammable temple. It is about a 2.5 hour ride from the center of Ubud. We hired a private driver and paid approx 800,000 IDR, roughly $60. Booking a day tour would have been more affordable but we were really short on time. You will be required to wear a Sarong (my colorful wrap). You must also have your shoulders covered at all times. (Please excuse my behaviour above - that was the only time I took my sweater off!!)
* Best time to go is at sunrise. We came at sunset & missed the epic view of the temple with Mount Agung. Next time!
4. Stay cool at Tibumana Waterfall
With no beaches in Ubud, waterfalls just feel like paradise. Yes, you can swim in there...or pose on rocks. Small admission fee.
5. Get cuddled by elephants at Mason Elephant Park
We were lucky to work with Boris privately at the beautiful Mason Elephant Park. This place has a great reputation. Each elephant has their own trainer - creating an evident, beautiful connection. The lodges themselves are gorgeous, too! A MUST in Ubud.
Things I wish I knew before going to Ubud
- Do not get massages at your hotel/resort because you will overpay! It's clear that you're able to bargain whatever price you're originally given at any place in town.
- Bring a light raincoat. It rains sporadically and viciously at times - usually in the afternoon.
- Google Maps saves your life, especially when commuting via motorbike (which is the best way to commute).
see you in Bali.