This cool, arty and cultured town about an hour north drive from the airport is a definite go-to location if you’re in Bali.
Backpackers galore, scouts everywhere and restaurants and alternative cafes on every corner. I knew I was going to like it there. Although busier and more crowded than say Barcelona Las Ramblas, this small town has something for everyone. It’s even got a palace you can visit! This is home to one of Bali’s many Royal Families and it pretty much in the centre of the town. A great photo opportunity if you’re walking past.
In the short time we were in Ubud we managed to fit a lot in. We visited the Monkey Forest which was awesome! You pay to get in (no more than a cup of coffee though) and wander around a forest nothing like anything in the UK. Where monkeys are free to roam around. In fact, you’re on their territory so play by their rules and avoid eye contact with them! This is the golden rule when it comes to interacting with monkeys. They see eye contact as intimidation and will attack anyone who meets their eyes.
We ventured into the forest for a good two hours and saw a beautiful waterfall, many many monkeys and such beautiful sights. In the forest, there’s a part where they sell bananas for the monkeys, you stand tall with your arms out and the monkeys run up to you, up your body and sit on your shoulders or head. This is definitely a unique experience, one I’m glad I did!
I mean, I’m not a fan of coffee anyway. Love the smell, hate the taste. We had heard rumours about Luwak Coffee (or civet coffee) which, we heard, is made from monkey poop! In reality, it’s not too far off. It’s coffee which includes part-digested coffee cherries eaten and pooped out by a civet. I didn’t try it but my friend did and she became a little obsessed with it for the rest of her stay. But I did buy some and tried to get my family to try it when I returned home but there were no takers. It may be more of those “you have to be there” things.
Dinner and drinks
The night we spent in Ubud was one I’ll never forget. With me were three other volunteers from the PMGY programme, Ginny, Scottish Carrie and Johnathon (dubbed Jaya by the kids we taught) from California. Johnathon, being 18 and not legal to drink in his home country, wanted to do the weekend properly. Oh and we also picked up an Austrian guy whose name has slipped my mind (but there is a picture of him on this post so if it’s you, contact me with your name!)
We had a lovely Indonesian dinner together in a local restaurant and after a couple of 2 for 1 cocktails (all cocktails seem to be 2 for 1 in Bali WHOOP!), we headed to a shish bar.
In this bar, we shished, drank and made new friends from the UK. Our new friends seemed to not to be travelling on a shoe-string and were ordering bottles of Moet champagne steadily. So naturally, we made friends with them and drank their champagne. Not bad!
We just spent the night talking, laughing, singing to the live band, drinking and having a great time.
Check out what else I to up to in Bali here.