Ubud was by far my favorite, it didn’t disappoint at all. It turned out to be exactly what I expected and more. I had the opportunity to explore and experience pure Balinese culture there. The Balinese people in Kuta often referred to it as the rural area, a place where I can experience what they are about. I do regret not having spent about a week there. There was so much to do in Ubud but due to time constrains, I had to pick my top 5 to do list and only do those. So I suggest that you spend a bit more time in Ubud if you are planning to visit Bali. I did 50% Kuta 50% Ubud. It should have been 25% Kuta and 75% Ubud.
I experienced a lot of first time events in Ubud. My first visit to coffee plantation and coffee tasting experience, first visit to a rice terrace, first time seeing a volcano, first time pure exposure to Hinduism culture, first time seeing a lady make a hand woven fabric and many more…
Here are some pics from my first time visiting a coffee plantation. I was at Cantik Agriculture coffee plantation
On the above picture is the lewak civet cat. I had to show this cat because it produces one of the most expensive coffee in the world. Soooo hahahaha!! this cat eats coffee beans and then poops them. Someone decided it is a brilliant idea to take the coffee beans from the faeces to make the lewak coffee. I bought some lewak coffee and gengseng (was my favorite from the tasting) coffee.
Can you see the mosquito bites on my arm in the next pic? These things had me for breakfast, lunch and supper in Kuta. I bought a repellent on my way to Ubud so did not get bites whilst there. Please please get mosquito repellent before heading to Bali? If you forget, let it be the first thing you buy as soon as you arrive.
Below is a pic of the young lady that was my guide at the coffee plantation. Her name is Putu. Such a sweetheart, she deserves a shout out.
Wait....... I am getting too excited and jumping the gun. Let me start from the beginning. I left Kuta on day 4 and made my way to Ubud. Bang Bang the driver (at this point I could call him my new friend) from Kuta drove me to Ubud. It was a ±2 hour drive from Kuta. I passed out on that journey. As he was driving into Ubud, he knew I would not want to miss anything about Ubud, so he woke me up. This is what I saw when I opened up my eyes...
It was sooooooooo beautiful, I was in awe. This picture doesn’t quite capture what I saw. We had passed the best parts by the time I remembered that I needed to take a picture.
Bang Bang dropped me off at D'Bulakan Boutique Resort Ubud. He said that he could stay with relatives in Ubud in case I needed him to drive me around during my stay there. That was a generous offer and very sweet of him but I felt a bit bad that he would have to be away from his family. So told him that it is cool, I will manage to get around.
D'Bulakan Boutique Resort Ubud is in a residential area so you can go for a walk and meet locals. I went to people's homes to hang out a bit. They spoke very little english I must say, so conversations were difficult. The service at D'Bulakan was great and rooms very spacious. There is free WI-FI on the property. I loved how intimate it was, very clean, very friendly staff. They have a spa as well. I loved it but the only downfall was the dog from next door, it barked the whole damn night. It was annoying and there is nothing the hotel can do.
Here are some pics of the place that was to be home for the next couple of days in Ubud.
Outfit of the day was predominantly from Zara. Shoes, top and bag are from Zara and jeans from Mango
I woke up early enough to catch breakfast at around 9am the following morning, in the outdoor hotel restaurant. I woke up early so I could organise a driver to take me to a few places. The hotel found me an awesome chap called Billy (God has a sense of humour I thought to myself) , what a gent. He had just turned 30 yrs so we had a long conversation about being 86 babies. English was a struggle a bit but we managed to have decent conversations. Billy was with me the whole day, he even offered to take pics when needed.
Above was my outfit of the day. The red layered jumpsuit from Zara, Puma sneakers,beaded bracelet I got in Kenya and the other bracelets I got from ladies that sell items outside Pretoria zoo. I wanted something comfy as I was planning to do a lot, light for the hot weather and still look cute.
My first excursion was the beautiful Tagalalang Rice Terrace. I have never seen anything like this so was in absolute awe.
I left for the coffee plantation as shown in pics right at the top. This was followed by the two volcanoes Mt Batur's volcano and Kintamani Volcano. I enjoyed the scenic drive to the volcanoes. I saw some weird looking fruits/veg on the way. There are lots of agricultural farms on the way so you will see a lot of ladies selling fruit and veg.
I then concluded my excursions at the Tirta Empul temple that is built around the sacred spring at Tampak Siring. For more than a thousand years, Balinese worshipers go to Tirta Empul Temple whose sacred spring is said to have been created by Indra and to have curative properties. Those who are hindu or want to explore the Hindu culture will find this excursion valuable to them, I am christian but I allowed myself to learn a few things about the hindu culture and religion. Remember in the previous post I mentioned how centred the Balinese people are? well I discovered whilst in Ubud that about 90% of them are Hindu and the rest christian and muslim. You might struggle to find a chapel to attend mass at but there are tons, I mean lots of hindu temples. As often as I saw a chapel in Rome, so will you see a hindu temple in Bali. Both Ubud and Kuta to be fair...
So I figured that their ability to be centered was linked to their culture so wanted to know more about the hindu culture.
"The Spirit within me salutes the Spirit in you" - a knowing that we are all made from the same One Divine Consciousness...
I am still gladly christian and it was nice to learn about other peoples's religions. There are definitely some things I will incorporate in my daily routine as a christian that I've learnt from the hindu people of Bali.
If you would like to experience the spring waters rituals, don't plan your trip around your period ladies. As you can see in one of the pics above, you would not be allowed to enter. I was glad that I had packed my swimsuit. I would recommend that you do the same, then change back into your undies once done. Do not worry about the sarong, they provide you with one. You do not need to pack one.
The road Billy took back to the hotel was awesome, we saw one rice terrace after the other. Beautiful stuff.
I got back to the hotel feeling soooooooo tired this day, so decided to chill by the pool area until supper time. I worked a bit on setting up this blog. I think I passed out by 20:30 that evening. I was finished.
The following day I woke up fresh and ready to head out to Ubud town. We drove through town the previous day and It looked fascinating so I dedicated this entire day to town. I did some shopping at the Ubud Market, walked around checking out sales at the boutique stores. Yikes they had beautiful furniture for so cheap. If shipping was not a mission nor tax stressful, I would have bought a few furniture items.
I met two ladies from Ubud whilst in starbucks (I needed the air con, it was crazy hot). They invited me for sunset drinks at Pomegranade. They mentioned that it was their favorite spot. I decided to head back to the hotel to change but had a slow down after changing so crashed by the pool area *hides*. I did whatsapp them to let them know that I will not make it. The pool area had a bar, I forgot to mention that earlier hehe!
I woke up very late the following day, I even missed breakfast. This was my last day there and needed to packed my bags and get ready to visit the fabric factory, jewelry factory and later rock bar. My Emirates flight was for midnight this day so wanted to end with a 'turn up' and pass out on the 9 hour flight from Bali to Dubai. From Dubai to SA it is roughly 8 hours flight.
All good things come to an end. I was driven to Ayana for rock bar once done. I have loaded up the rock bar pictures in the previous post. That was it folks! If you have any questions for me, kindly write to me and I will respond. Thank you for visiting my blog.
Can't wait till we catch up again on next blog post. Try a solo trip! Try Bali! Just live your best life...
“It seemed an advantage to be traveling alone. Our responses to the world are crucially moulded by the company we keep, for we temper our curiosity to fit in with the expectations of others...Being closely observed by a companion can also inhibit our observation of others; then, too, we may become caught up in adjusting ourselves to the companion's questions and remarks, or feel the need to make ourselves seem more normal than is good for our curiosity.” ― Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel