Ubud has to be on any Bali itinerary, there is a lot to do and is very different from the rest of the island. Unusual (Weekly Photo Challenge). My husband and I spent only 2 days in Ubud, it was not enough but we made the most of it. Here’s a complete guide for a short trip to Ubud from getting around, where to stay, things to do, where to eat and budgeting.
GETTING THERE AND AROUND
A cab from the airport/ Kuta takes 1.5 hours and should cost around 400K. Its better to buy a sim card in town since its half the price, we got 10 GB (data only) for 200K and comfortably lasted 6 days (between 2 of us). The exchange rate in town is much better too, try one of the authorized money exchanges like PT Dhirgayu or Central Kuta, they have branches in Ubud. As of July 2017 the average rate was IDR 13200 to 1 USD.
Depending on how centrally located your hotel/ villa is, hire a scooter or walk around if you prefer. Cars and taxis are the safest but the traffic is terrible, the worst I’ve ever seen, even though I live in Mumbai.
*Scooters can be hired for 50K a day (you will need to bargain), its cheaper than other parts of Bali. You can fill fuel for 10K a liter from every shop on the street or get a slightly better price at gas stations. If you rent a scooter- click photos of existing dents and scratches, also note down the number because it can be hard to spot amidst many similar looking ones. Always wear a helmet, not to escape cops but for your safety, the roads are hilly and the turns can be challenging. It is important to know how to ride one, in my opinion Ubud is not the place to try it for the first time.
One of the most beautiful and different experiences of my life was my stay at Ubud. We booked the leaf at Le Sabot through Airbnb. It was an open bamboo hut suspended over a pond, you have to see it to believe it. The place had an infinity pool overlooking ducks playing around in the rice fields. Have a look….
If you have time, drive through the Tegalalang area you will pass by chili and banana plantations, local villages and temples. In my opinion it is much better than making just a stop at a popular spot which is flooded with tourists. We drove through the area on our return from the Tukad Cepung Waterfall, more on that in a bit.
We skipped the monkey forest because honestly we see a lot of them in India. We initially planned to go to Beji Guwang hidden canyon but since it was raining, we were warned about it being unsafe. We then decided to drive 30 kms to Tukad Cepung Waterfall which ended up being one of the highlights of our trip. Firstly the scooter ride through Ubud was beautiful, when we reached there were hardly 15 tourists in the area so it was like our own private waterfall, key is to get there early. To get to the falls you need to pay a small donation of 10K per person before walking down massive steps, think lunges, then walk through a mucky path and squat through rocks to finally reach a beautiful canyon that leads you to the waterfall. It was a proper work out and totally worth it!
Ubud market is a must, we went to a few around Bali and I have to say that this was the best one. It had a lot more variety and was cheaper compared to the rest of Bali. Bargain for sure, I remember buying shorts and the lady quoted 100K, I got it down to 20K. In most cases its best to just start bargaining at 1/4th the price and then reach a figure that works for both. We were not too keen on touring temples but it was nice to pass by some at the market.
You can’t go to Ubud and miss out on a spa treatment. There are many and available at very low prices. We did the mandi lulur (Balinese massage with green tea scrub and blossom bath) at Bali Botinica Day Spa, it was magical. It only set us back 480K for 2.5 hours including hotel pick up and drop. Book in advance to reserve a nice room specially if you’re going as a couple.
EAT AND DRINK
Get a taste of the local cuisine, take a walk/ ride to Sari Organik and Cafe Pomegranate. The path takes you through multiple rice fields and the cafes are located amidst them so the view is breathtaking. The walk is uphill and long while the scooter ride is bumpy, but you wont regret it.
Try the fruit coffee and veg nasi campur at Sari Organik
Have a cold Bintang by the rice fields at Cafe Pomegranate, they have amazing dessert too!
Go out for a romantic candle lit dinner. Bridges is beautiful and they have great veg options too, book in advance for a nice spot by the edge. Pacha Mama is a new place which has a good bar scene with Mexican food and live music. I’m sure there’s many more but these are ones we visited. We had La Luna and a few more places on the monkey forest road on our list but couldn’t make it.
Whether you’re vegan or not, be sure to check out few vegan cafes in Ubud. Alchemy has amazingly thin and crispy vegan pizzas and nachos, yumm! They also sell a bunch of organic stuff, I bought some locally made bamboo straws which are used by many cafes in the area.
We skipped the Luwak coffee experience after reading about how they treat the cats. However we couldn’t leave Ubud without trying Bali coffee. We went to Seniman, a well known coffee place in town that brews their own coffee, it was delicious. We even stocked up some of their brew to take back home.
* We would spend an average of 200K at cafes for 2 food items and a couple of drinks and approximately 600K at fine dines. This is considering that we are vegetarians and have a small appetite. A Bintang at the store costs around 25K and a pack of Marlboro with a lighter is around 35K.
* It rained on both the days that we were in Ubud even though July was supposed to be the driest month, we were dissapointed at first but ended up loving it. The colour of the fields and forest just popped and it could not have been more beautiful.
Please feel free to send in more suggestions on short trips to Ubud.
*All photographs are taken by and belong to the user: outofhersuitcase, please do not copy, reuse or edit these images without permission
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