Next up on The Bali Diaries is the place where we stayed for the longest, Ubud, the home of spiritual, beautiful, and wonderful people.
As soon as we arrived at our homestay in Ubud, I knew this was going to be a place that I would love. A 40-minute drive from Sanur, we found ourselves surrounded by jungle, temples and rice fields. We had booked a little homestay called Pondok Prapen, which was a 10-minute walk from the main Ubud road. It was the sweetest little place run by a gorgeous family – they seriously couldn’t do enough for you, constantly asking if we were okay and what we had planned for the day. They brought us breakfast on the terrace every morning and the grounds were just stunning – so authentically Balinese.
Our first day was spent wandering and exploring the streets of Central Ubud. It is the home to so many cool places and clearly draws in many free spirit folk, as Vegan and Vegetarian places are extremely plentiful. Everywhere is super relaxed and chilled, there was plenty of times we just sat and watched the world go by with a Bintang beer in hand. Everybody we passed had a friendly place and greeted you a polite hello, and just, argh, it was incredible.
One of the places I knew we had to visit whilst in Ubud was Jungle Fish. When I first had seen photographs I just knew I wouldn’t be able to resist. Just a 15-minute taxi ride from Central Ubud, it is the most amazing no-beach-beach-club. It’s a little pricier for drinks and food, but for the experience, it’s so worth it and when put into GBP, it was only £30 for four drinks and some food. As you walk down the steps you are greeted by an infinity pool with the most wonderful view of the jungle, it really is breathtaking. Whilst there we simply chilled, swam, drank and celebrated our engagement with cocktails – it was perfect.
Another place to definitely visit whilst in Ubud is the Monkey Forest. For a small £3 entry, you can explore the beautiful Forest whilst hundreds of monkeys free roam around you. They are super friendly (unless provoked obviously) and just jump around and play with each other, it was amazing to see them up close. It’s not an enclosed compound, the monkeys can go where they like and outside of it, but it seems as if they get bloody well fed so I can see why there were so many!
We had booked a day excursion on Expedia before going out to Bali. We had booked a super fun day doing White Water Rafting and the Elephant Park. After getting picked up, we headed off up to the Ayung River to meet our team of brave adventurers. We had an amazing two-hour rafting trip. It wasn’t as crazy as rafting in Ecuador, but the views were amazing and we saw some great sights along the way – definitely worth doing if you haven’t rafted before! After a buffet lunch, we made our way to the Elephant Park, which is a sanctuary for Indian Elephants. It was amazing to see them so up close, they were super friendly and fun, I could have spent hours playing with them. We did go on an Elephant Ride and to be honest, I regret it, which may be weird to hear. Elephants aren’t meant to be rode and I would never do it again.
The markets are also a great place to check out in Ubud, you can grab some great bargains there, I got the cutest playsuit for about £2.50 – buzzing! You can also attend some great traditional Balinese dances that are on every night in various places around 7:30pm. There are also food places galore! Have a look on Trip Advisor for the best spots to visit.
I absolutely loved my time in Ubud and would recommend everybody visiting Bali to definitely spend a few days there! I could go back there in a heartbeat.