10 Must Do Things In Ubud

If you make your way to Ubud then you have already won the travel jackpot! Here is a list of 10 must do things while you’re in this bohemian paradise.

1. Wander around the Tegalalang Rice Terraces:

Rent a scooter and putter your way up a fairly straight road for about 30 minutes to get to the oh so famous Tegalalang Rice Terraces. Grab a coconut at one of the cafes with a view and take it all in. Then, when you’re ready you can start your hike up and down the terraces! Keep a few coins or smalls notes handy – along your walk locals will haggle you for change and not let you pass until you pay them!

2. Dodge monkeys in the beautifulSacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary:

This forest is home to not only beautiful scared temples but is also an ecological sanctuary for hundreds of little scheming long-tailed Balinese macaques! Put your sunglasses in your bag as to protect them from these little thieves and make your way through this dense jungle park. Don’t forget to look up, many of the trees in this jungle are over 600 years old!

3. Mellow out at The Yoga Barn:

Sign up to take an open air class in a studio at The Yoga Barn, I bet you’ll want to sign up for more though – good thing they offer deals when buying multiple classes! You can pick and choose what type of yoga you want to do and when, they have classes all day. Afterwards head to their café for vegan organic meals and delicious fruit bowls!

4. Explore the Ulun Danu Beratan Temple:

Hire a taxi to take you up to this majestic temple for an afternoon; the low clouds make this mountain lake the perfect spot to cool off. Rent a paddle boat and get up close to the temple located in the water. Don’t b-line straight for it though, the vibrant exterior walls before the temple are breathtaking!

*photo taken from AsiaWebDirect *photo taken from AsiaWebDirect

5. Learn how to make your own jewelry at Studio Perak:

Around Ubud there are a couple different locations of retail shops where you will find unique, good quality silver jewelry with a bohemian flare. Many different styles at a reasonable price point are available and even better yet, you can take a class and make your own!

6. Hike Mt. Batur for Sunrise:

Almost anywhere around Ubud you can find kiosks that are able to help sign you up for this hike. You’ll get picked up in the wee hours of the night, around 2AM and drive up to the base of Mt. Batur. Some packages will offer an awkward 3AM breakfast stop and others will give you bread and an egg at the top of the mountain, either way best to pack a granola bar! When you arrive you will get divided into hiking groups and paired with a guide. By then it will be around 4AM, this is when you will start your two hour hike to the summit. There are limited flashlights so if you have one, bring it! All of this will be worth it though when you reach the top just in time for sunrise. Note – at the top it is ashy and rocky, be sure to wear good shoes!

7. Make a scrumptious Balinese meal with the Paon Bali Cooking Class:

One of my favorite things that I did in Ubud was taking the Paon Bali Cooking Class. It was an absolute blast, and the food was exceptional. For around 26 USD, you make a staggering 10 different authentic Balinese dishes, all mouth watering and unique.

The family run business, is operated out of their gorgeous home, and everything was exceptional, from the hotel pick up to the final dish, it all went smoothly. They teach you a little bit about the rice harvest, along with different elements of Balinese culture. You and the other participants work as a team to build a glorious family style dinner and receive a cookbook at the completion. Of the cooking classes I have done in Asia this was hands down the best!

8. Treat your self to a facial and lunch among the rice patties:

Ditch the crowded tourist filled streets and trade them in for serene rejuvenation. Only a ten minute walk away from the heart of the city and you are in lush expanse of jungle and rice patties. Most of the path is walking only so leave your scooter at home!

Take a leisurely stroll and observe the little shops and cafes. About 30 minutes later you will find yourself at Cantika Spa. A quaint outdoor studio surrounded by vibrant foliage that specializes in all natural treatments. For around 30 dollars you can get a wonderful organic facial accompanied by a shoulder and head massage.

Afterwards, keep meandering through the fields until you get to Sari Organic, the view is just as good as the food. Cool off with a coconut and some top-notch raw vegan delicacies.

9. Stroll through Ubuds’ colorful markets:

Spend a morning perusing the shops in Ubuds Traditional Art Market. There are hundreds of little stalls selling artisan hand crafted goods, bargaining is essential as mostly everything does not have a set price. Along with the Art Market there are a myriad of different shopping streets in Ubud. You could easily just spend a day getting lost exploring them!

10. Observe traditional prayer at Tirta Empul (Holy Water Spring):

This beautifully complex temple was built around 960 AD and is a Balinese cultural heritage site. It is the center piece for various different spiritual stories and myths. The grounds are made up of three different chambers or courtyards, one being the outer gardens, then another being the inner pools and lastly the meeting hall.

The intricate traditional architecture will captivate you, just as much as the crystal blue Catfish filled pools, with pebble covered bottoms. Observe the purifying rituals that are completed by the locals, and as tempting as it may be, remember – bathing in the springs are only for people of Hindu faith.

*Dress respectfully, if you do wear shorts there are sarongs that are available for you to put on*

Bali Destination Guide

So. If you are reading this and have any tiny desire to travel to Bali, here is some advice…BOOK THE TICKET!

I didn’t quite know what to expect, I mean I knew people honeymooned there (?) and I knew that the last thing I wanted was wander around a lovers paradise solo, but what I found instead was so much more than that.

Every place I visited was distinctly different from one another and gorgeous. From surfing in Kuta to devouring raw vegan meals in Ubud, Bali has something for everyone – beach bums to Yogis and everyone in between. Two weeks is barely enough time to explore this amazing island, but in two weeks you can definitely do a lot!

I spent the first week with one of my best girl friends going to Kuta, Uluwatu, Gilli Trawangan, and Ubud and the second week solo traveling exploring Ubud further and Nusa Lembongan – to say I am in love with Bali is an understatement.

Here is my proposed itinerary if you have two weeks in Bali:

Days 1-3: Kuta

Surf, party and lounge on the beaches of Kuta. We spent around 3 days in Kuta which I thought was enough, there are plenty of bars, shops and beaches to occupy your time. I took a surfing lesson from one of the many groups of Indonesian guys offering them on the beach, it was around 7USD.

The beaches in Kuta were rather littered with trash, but the sunsets were THE best I have ever seen! We stayed at “Funky Monkey Hostel” which was a great location, the staff were friendly and the rooms were clean! There, I met some really cool people, it was definitely a “party” hostel, music until the wee hours of the morning was the norm.

During one of these days you MUST take a day trip to Uluwatu,

This was one of my favorite days. Check out the little surfer shops that are perched on the cliff along with the Temple over looking the ocean. Don’t forget to get a Nalu Bowl at Single Fin to power up, then explore the beaches!

Alternatively head up to Seminyak or Changgu their mix of crunchy/yogi/lux vibes will not disappoint.

Days 3-6: Gili Islands

Next, travel to the Gili Islands! It takes about 2 hours to get there by ferry, after an hour drive to the pier – make sure you get a seat near a window or the back of the boat it gets HOT!! When you arrive you are greeted by quaint small streets and many horse drawn taxis which are deceptively cute but if you take a closer look, you can see how sick and mistreated the horses are. It’s a small island even if you have luggage I urge you to bypass them and just walk to your accommodation!

Gili Trawangan has an abundance of different activities to choose from. Shop, dive, snorkel, lounge or all of the above! There are little stands selling snorkeling tours which we signed up for – witnessed the clearest water and largest coral formations! There are a million cute beach bars to grab a drink or a fresh coconut but you can also rent a bicycle and ride around the island to the other side where you can watch the sunset on dreamy white sand beaches.

Days 6-11: Ubud, Ubud, Ubud!!

Ubud is an absolute must on a tour of Bali, this is where I started my solo journey! About an hour inland from the coast you meander your way up windy lush roads and arrive in the green, vegan mecca of Indonesia. The foodie in me was in heaven – I’m not going to lie, I spent a good amount of money on some of the best vegan food I’ve ever had. From smoothie bowls, and fresh juices to big salads and raw soups they had it all. I spent my days doing yoga at The Yoga Barn, in the mornings an open air yoga studio surrounded by lush jungle and adventuring in the afternoons. I originally started with a booking of 2 days but extended it to the better part of a week because I couldn’t get enough! I would have happily spent another week just there doing more exploring of rice terraces, coffee plantations, temples, and waterfalls.

Days 11-14: Nusa Lembongan

Only a quick little ferry ride away from the coast are the three Nusa Islands, after some research I was still bewildered as to which to pick for my short visit! Ultimately I decided on Lembongan and I am so happy I did. The island is very small, so finding your way around is very easy. I stayed at a guesthouse and rented a motor bike as to explore easier. Every bit of this island will leave you speechless, from its turquoise waters and large crashing waves to its quiet bays and mangrove forests. The whole island feels like a beautiful secret, and if you ask the locals they’d like to keep it that way!

Happy travels!

Kelsey xx