We heard many stories before heading to Bali. Most consisted of taking advantage of the extremely cheap alcohol which later leads to drunken antics and parties. Although we also like to indulge ourselves we were looking for something other than this typical Bali experience. Our hearts were set on discovering Balinese culture, whether it be through food, music or art. Ubud happened to be in our perspective, the perfect cultural hub.
Bali Diary Day One: Ubud Walk About + Temple Tour
Bright and early we started our adventure.
A popular trekking spot among both tourist and locals. October is the most humid time of year in bali, so in order to avoid dying from heat exhaustion we set off around 7:30am. The track is easily accessible, free and only a 15-minute walk from where we were staying. At the starting point we were greeted by an incredible Balinese temple, a lovely way to start the trek. As we progressed up the path we were relieved that we made an early move as the heat was slowly creeping up. Less than 10 minutes passed when we were faced by endless beauty. Luscious greenery stretched out around us. It was such a tranquil moment, I remember thinking to myself of how glad I was to be there. The track is only 2km and not a difficult climb. If you participate in this trek and find yourself stuck in the midday heat, do not worry as there are a few cafes selling refreshing cold coconuts, and many Instagram-able stops along the way. My favourite:
As if the walk was not enough for us we made our way to the next port of call by foot.
The Sacred Monkey Forest. It took about half an hour, not including out stop at the black pearl for brunch. The entrance fee is 50,000 IDR which is roughly $5 Australian. You can stay as long as you like between their opening times of 8:30am – 6pm. From the moment you enter the gates the grounds are flooded with mischievous primates. You can purchase supplies to feed them as long as you do not touch them. They are free to touch you however. We consider ourselves as lucky as we both had a monkey climb onto our shoulders. One even tried to scrummage through my backpack. Fortunately, there were no valuables insight. This is a must do experience in Ubud, but make sure you have you bags securely closed and nothing easily accessible – even your sunnies.
By 1pm we had already accomplished what we had in mind so decided to get our first ‘bintang’ Balinese beer. From the bar we found a taxi and tour company which customised a five hour tour for both of us for a bargain of 400,000 IDR – roughly $40/ $20pp.
He took us to and around Pura Taman Ayun temple. Its name translates to “Beautiful Garden” which indeed it is. The temple itself is surrounded first by a moat then a gorgeous sacred garden. It is no surprise that many people come here to worship every morning.
Next we stopped off at a coffee plantation.
This is where the world’s most expensive coffee a.k.a Luwak coffee is made and sold. For more information in Luwak coffee read my post on the world’s most expensive ‘crap’ coffee (pun intended.)
After reenergising it was time for:
Sunset Tour at Tanah Lot.
The drive took about 40 minutes from the coffee shop stop. But we arrived with plenty of time up our sleeves. Before entering the temple we wandered around the markets set up outside. Although we did not buy anything we enjoyed the colourful items on display. The temple itself is beautiful. It sits amongst the crashing beach waves on the Western side of the island. There were many tourists there to also watch the sunset. So we grabbed ourselves a table at the cliff-front restaurant with a great view overlooking the temple. We enjoyed our new-found-love of bintang as the sun submerged itself into the sea.
All in all a perfect way to start our new adventure.