Asia Travel

Bali Series: The Best of Ubud

The Best of Ubud, Bali



THE VIBE OF UBUD

Ubud was our third and final stop on our Bali honeymoon adventure! It was one of the most unique places we’ve ever visited. It is a bit more remote being more northern, so the culture SHINES through! Have you even been to Bali if you don’t visit Ubud? Seriously!! This is where the classic rice fields, swings, volcanoes, temples, and monkey forests are! YOU CAN’T SKIP UBUD!



GETTING TO UBUD

We had a driver take us from Seminyak to Ubud, making some stops along the way! There is really no other form of transit to get around. We ended up loving our driver, and using him for our entire stay in Ubud! We negotiated a good price with him, and he took us around to all of the hot spots each day! There truly is no better way to explore a new place then by having a local show you around their home!



WHERE TO STAY & FOR HOW LONG

We actually stayed in two different areas in Ubud – both were from Airbnb. We stayed a total of 4 nights – 2 nights in each Airbnb. One of the places was much more remote and actually in a rice field! This was by far the nicest place we’ve ever stayed in AND the coolest!! We couldn’t get anywhere without our driver as it would have been a far walk to the main streets, but WOW was it a relaxing getaway. It is called Bennu House Ubud. It was only $130 CDN to stay in this dream home. It is SUCH a unique and stunning place, check it out! Honestly stay here if you can. It will 100% be worth every penny. Click here to see the place. The property even has its own Instagram account if you want to check it out @Bennu House Ubud

The second place we stayed in was walking distance to almost everything in Ubud. It was actually more of a resort style Airbnb called The Shala Bali. There were multiple yoga retreats happening when we stayed, and a super cute cafe/restaurant in the centre of the rooms that served UNREAL food! You could also partake in the yoga, which we did! Click here to check out the place. It’s a bit pricier than the last one, but the location and privacy was great, as it was close enough to the main streets, but so quiet! This second place is definitely the area you want to stay in if you want to be close to the main streets! Stay near Jl. Raya Ubud street (near Lazy Cats Cafe!).

Check out some properties in Ubud below using booking.com

Booking.com



WHAT TO DO & SEE IN UBUD

1. BALI SWING

On our drive from Seminyak to Ubud, our driver stopped here for us to get out and take pictures. It’s actually considered a “Theme Park” lol! We spent about 2 hours here waiting in lines to take the classic “Bali Swing” photos. This is the most popular location for the swing photos, but we learned afterwards that you can definitely find other swings throughout Ubud that are less crowded. It was about 20 USD each to enter the park, and an extra 10 USD if you want the workers to take your photos for you (they actually airdrop them to your phone when you leave for you when you leave – so high tech haha!). The actual grounds of the place are gorgeous, you could spend half a day here if you wanted to as there are some cool areas to walk around / a restaurant. It was a cool experience, but if you don’t like waiting in line just to take a photo, we would actually suggest skipping this!



2. MAGICAL SUNRISE TREKKING TO MT. BATUR

Our Airbnb host actually booked this for us when we arrived. You can book this anywhere though – there were ENDLESS vans bringing people to the base of the mountain as it is one of the most popular things to do in Ubud! A driver picked us up at our Airbnb at 2 AM. You read that correctly – 2 in the morning. It took about an hour to drive there, and is a 2 hour hike up to the top of the mountain to make it for sunrise. Honestly, most people say this hike isn’t that bad, but we must have been out of shape because we found it quite challenging. It is all uphill and you have to remember you are summiting a volcano which is 5600 feet about sea level. We got to the top just in time for sunrise and WOW the views were EPIC. You have the view of another volcano when you reach the top. Totally worth the early wake-up call and strenuous hike. It was also almost a 2 hour hike back down; which walking downhill isn’t easy either. So approx. 5 hours in total. If you are able to, this is a MUST DO. Who else can say they hiked up an active volcano?



3. BALINESE COOKING CLASS

We also arranged this with our Airbnb! They had a woman come to the Airbnb and teach us / cook for us a traditional Balinese meal. We got to know her so well and actually added each other on Instagram and still talk to this day! This was one of our favourite memories in Bali – the food was amazing, and the conversations with the locals were even better. Getting to know and appreciate how others live, and dive into their culture is the best experience of them all.

The Best of Ubud, Bali



4. UBUD ART MARKET

This was a cool area to walk around in! Endless streets with locals selling their handmade products. You can find everything here! 100% negotiate/barter with them. They know instantly that you are tourists and will take advantage of that and charge much more than the product is worth. We found some neat souvenirs here to take home!



5. TEGALALANG RICE TERRACE

I’m sure you’ve seen a picture of this place somewhere online before! This is one of the largest and most famous rice farms in Bali! It truly is amazing to see how rice is really grown on the hills. It was SO beautiful! Highly recommend checking this place out as it is nothing like anything you’ve seen before!

The Best of Ubud, Bali



6. SACRED MONKEY FOREST SANCTUARY

Even though monkeys are pretty much everywhere in Bali, we LOVED this place. We love animals so much, and to see them treated well here made us happy. Monkeys are pretty aggressive though. You shouldn’t be going up too close to them as they are known for stealing anything on your body! They stole Shawn’s sunglasses and jumped on his backpack and took our water bottle right out of the pocket and ran away with it, AND started drinking from it LOL! However, they are the cutest things, and it was awesome to see how they interact and live with one another – and yes, I’m telling you not to touch them because they are known to bite, but in the picture below I am touching a baby monkey and was the happiest person in the world LOL.

The Best of Ubud, Bali - Monkey Forest



7. TEGENUNGAN WATERFALL

This was a really nice spot to check out! There are many stairs to get down to the waterfall but once you’re down there you can go for a swim! It is a very large and pretty waterfall! We spent about 3 hours here!

The Best of Ubud, Bali




TIRTA EMPUL TEMPLE TAMPAKSIRING – BALI HOLY SPRING WATER TEMPLE

This is a Hindu Balinese water temple, famous for its holy spring waters. This is where people go for ritual purification. People line up to bathe themselves under each water spout. The water in the pools is believed to have magical healing powers and the Balinese go here to purify themselves. You must put your head under each of the 30 spouts. You are given the garments to wear with a donation. To say this was a unique experience is an understatement. We just love learning about other cultures so much, it was amazing to experience this!


BONUS: VISIT A SCHOOL!

Our driver Putu (who we became friends with over the 4 days of him driving us around) was best friends with a teacher. Since I (Steph) am a teacher, I asked if we could go visit his school. Putu took us about an hour away from the main town of Ubud and we actually got to teach English to a Grade 4, 5, and 6 class. Like, my DREAM come true. Teachers make less than 100 USD a month in Bali and many children do not even get to attend school as you have to pay each month for school. So the children we saw were actually considered to be ‘wealthy.’ Heartbreaking, but this is the case for most developing/third world countries. Overall, this will be one of our favourite memories that we will cherish forever!

The Best of Ubud, Bali - School Visit
The Best of Ubud, Bali - School Visit


Like we said above, the easiest way to get around and see all of these places is to book a driver for the day. We hit up as many spots as we could within the 5 days we were there and it was MAX 20USD per day. Even lower. If you are looking for a driver, PLEASE reach out to Putu! He was the kindest human, speaks English so well, and really could use the support as he just had a baby when we visited! He’s so deserving! You can contact him through his Instagram account @pjbaliexperience



WHERE TO EAT IN UBUD

DUMBO – Such a chic place! Went for delicious cocktails & apps

TRY KOPI LUWAK COFFEE – Anywhere! Most “expensive” coffee in the world! Yes, it is actually made from the animals poop! We brought some to take home, it was tasty!

LAZY CATS CAFE – Our favourite restaurant, we ate here twice! LOVED it!

THE SEEDS OF LIFE VEGAN RESTAURANT – Adorable space and such good food! You eat traditionally on a pillow on the floor.

THE ELEPHANT – Cutest vegetarian restaurant with great food!

BRIDGES BALI – Indonesian restaurant with a pretty outdoor seating area out back

WATERCRESS CAFE – Balinese restaurant

The Best of Ubud, Bali

You can’t go wrong wherever you choose! The food all over Ubud was so delicious!


OVERALL, THIS WAS ONE OF OUR FAVOURITE SPOTS IN BALI!
CHECK OUT OUR OTHER POSTS COMING UP ON:
ULUWATU
SEMINYAK

CONTACT US WITH ANY QUESTIONS, WE’D BE HAPPY TO HELP!

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The Best of Ubud, Bali
The Best of Ubud, Bali

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Meghan Emcee
    January 22, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    Ubud sounds like such an amazing experience, there are so many activities to do and each one is so unique, like teaching in a school! That’s amazing!

    • Reply
      thompsontrotters
      January 22, 2020 at 10:48 pm

      Honestly it will be a trip we will never forget!!

  • Reply
    Kay
    January 22, 2020 at 10:31 pm

    I have fallen in loveee with local cooking classes! And it’s amazing that you were able to do so much with just staying 2 nights! I’m excited to visit one day!

    • Reply
      thompsontrotters
      January 22, 2020 at 10:48 pm

      You MUST go! We stayed 4 nights total – 2 nights in each Airbnb ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Ashley
      January 25, 2020 at 12:59 pm

      What a wonderful experience to teach English while on vacation to a school. Thank you for the tips on the Airbnb. I am checking out the rice field house now and the tip on the drive ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ Great review of Ubud.

      • Reply
        thompsontrotters
        January 25, 2020 at 5:17 pm

        Thanks SO much for the read!! It truly was an amazing experience!!

  • Reply
    Lily
    January 22, 2020 at 11:44 pm

    Your photos are absolutely mesmerizing! I’m especially captivated by the outfit worn in the rice terraces photos! Wonderfully written post. I’ve been to Bali before and made Ubud my base, but seeing this makes me want to do it all over again!

    • Reply
      thompsontrotters
      January 24, 2020 at 4:38 pm

      Amazing!! It is quite the experience of a lifetime!

  • Reply
    Sharon
    January 23, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    Your photos are so beautiful! The temple spring looks inviting, and I love seeing you on that iconic swing!

    • Reply
      thompsontrotters
      January 24, 2020 at 4:38 pm

      Thank you! It really was an unforgettable trip!

  • Reply
    Tiana
    January 23, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    Wow so much amazing info and looks like you two had the best experiences! Definitely makes me want to book a ticket!

    • Reply
      thompsontrotters
      January 24, 2020 at 4:39 pm

      Thanks girl! It will definitely be a trip we will never forget!!

  • Reply
    Nicola Lavin
    January 25, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    Wow you have me immediately wanting to book flights! Ubud looks gorgeous. Is accommodation really that cheap?

    • Reply
      thompsontrotters
      January 25, 2020 at 5:17 pm

      YES! Our currency is worth much more than theirs. Definitely add this to your bucket list!!

  • Reply
    menty
    January 26, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    very nice! I’ve been to Seminyak before, but not taken the chance to Ubud and I’m always loving those traveller’s nice pic about the rice terrace!!!! Reading your post, makes me want another Bali plan again, and definitely want to sacrifice my sleep for that sunrise!

    • Reply
      thompsontrotters
      January 28, 2020 at 3:54 pm

      Yes you have to make your way back to Ubud one day!!

  • Reply
    Christine
    January 26, 2020 at 10:19 pm

    Bali is definitely on my list! I’d love to go chase some waterfalls and see the sunrise from Mount Batur. I love that you visited a school. I’ve worked in a few visits to schools in our travels because I love seeing how schools in other countries run compared to our schools.

    • Reply
      thompsontrotters
      January 28, 2020 at 3:54 pm

      Yes! It’s so unique to see how different the school systems are in each country!

  • Reply
    kelly
    January 26, 2020 at 11:50 pm

    Thanks for the nice blog about Ubud, I live in Canggu most time of the year and Ubud is one of my favorite places to go to!

    • Reply
      thompsontrotters
      January 28, 2020 at 3:55 pm

      It must be amazing living in Bali!!

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