Onto the next leg of the trip we were moving onto Ubud, more in the main land of Bali rather than along the coast. I had booked to stay in an AirBNB and the owner arranged a driver to come and collect us from Seminyak. The drive over took around an hour and 15 minutes and we arrived at the villa just before 11am.
The photos online did not do the place justice AT ALL and I couldn’t believe we had this entire place just for ourselves for just £60 a night!!
As the place is off the road side, we were taken down on little scooters by the owner and the staff who would run you up and down to the main road at anytime you wish. He also gave us a little mobile phone so that whenever we needed him for anything at all day or night, we could contact him with ease. The place was a perfect piece of paradise, ideal for completely unwinding on holiday.
Quickly unpacking a few things and changing we had arranged for the driver to help us explore Ubud a little more. Our first stop of the day was to the Tengenungan Waterfall. Entrance to the waterfall was 15,000 IDR to help with the conservation and impacts of tourism on the area and we walked down many many steps to reach the bottom.
The waterfall is really impressive, and there were lots of people chilling out around the area, children playing in the water and people posing for some interesting photographs on all the sculptures and signs around the area.
From the bottom you could walk all the way up right to the very top of the waterfall and also bathe in the warm waters up there. There was even one guy floating around on a rubber ring!
After walking all the way down one side and up the other, it was time to venture back to the car. Which can I add is EXHAUSTING, both me and my sister could really feel the burn in our thighs as we walked up the never ending steep steps.
Ready for some lunch, my friend Kitty had recommended a place called Cafe which served up all sorts of healthy food which she said was to die for. My sister ordered Pad Thai and myself a green stir fry with chicken and red rice and coffees to give us a little energy boost for the rest of the day after our early start.
Feeling content after some delicious food, and for so cheap as well (£12 for two large coffees, two waters and two mains) we made our way in the rain to the sacred monkey forest.
Ubud Monkey Forest, also known as the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal, is one of Ubud’s most popular attractions; a natural forest sanctuary that is home to a horde of grey long tailed macaques. The site is well preserved thanks to a community based management program.
The forest is also conveniently positioned near Ubud Town Centre, and within easy walking distance from guesthouses and resorts along the main roads of Jalan Hanoman and the namesake Jalan Monkey Forest. Besides watching playful monkeys in their natural habitat, swinging through canopies, lazing along pathways or feeding on bananas, the site offers cool walks along paved pathways through a leafy nutmeg forest. Beautiful ancient temples with guardian statues covered in moss also feature throughout the forest.
We bought a big bunch of little bananas to feed the monkeys and wandered on through the forest. It was such a big place, and its surroundings reminded me of Tarzan and how I felt it would be, to be in the film. Huge vines hung from the trees and because of the recent down pour, everything was covered in rain drops and a little mist was in the air and gave it a real mysterious atmosphere. Like anything could just be around any corner.
The monkeys were wandering around aimlessly and were also a little frightening at times! Deciding it was feeding time, my sister took a banana out of her bag and held it out for one of the smaller monkeys just lounging in a tree. What we didn’t expect was the monkey to just completely throw itself at her and stay clung to her arm the entire time whilst eating said banana. It was quite a scary ordeal!
Feeling a little apprehensive we walked around a little longer trying to find some smaller monkeys to feed, when we came across this cute pairing!
I thought if the little boy can do it, then so can I and I plucked up the courage to pull a banana out of my bag.
Ready for a quiet evening lounging by the pool, we made our way back to the villa tired after our first day in Ubud.
The next morning Nano (the owner of the villa) brought us our breakfast for Al Fresco dining by the pool. The food was lovely and we were very content and ready for our second day of exploration to the rice fields!
Tegallalang Rice Terraces in Ubud is famous for its beautiful scenes of rice paddies involving the subak (a traditional Balinese cooperative irrigation system), which according to history, was passed down by a revered holy man named Rsi Markandeya in the eighth century. Tegallalang forms the three most splendid terraced landscapes in Ubud’s shared region, with the others being in the villages of Pejeng and Campuhan. The Tegallalang rice terraces alone offers a scenic outlook that spreads down before you and away to the rice paddies on the slopes across the valley.
We walked around and around, up and down the paddies, in and out of the different little tile paths and all the way across to the other side. It was pretty humid in the warm heat making for thirsty work and of course I had to stop for my favourite coconut water to cool down in the summer sun.
Entrance to the rice terraces was 15,000 IDR however on two separate occasions we were stopped again to make a small donation before being allowed to proceed further up. Again this goes towards the conservation of the area due to the impacts of tourism and additional management of the footpaths to avoid spoiling the rice.
Going back towards the centre of Ubud we wanted to explore the markets before stopping for some lunch. We said goodbye to our driver and scoured the market for some goods before stopping at a place called Habitat for lunch. The food here was amazing, and I seriously recommend anyone visiting Ubud to stop off here for lunch. What’s slightly annoying is that I didn’t take a photo of what we ate, but I had BBQ chicken Pad Thai and my sister the Thai BBQ chicken curry. The food was delicious and we shared some nachos to begin with and if I was staying here longer, I would have visited multiple times for food.
We then made our way back to the villa for a relaxing evening, before another early start for our last day in Ubud.
For our final day it was more of a relaxing one as we went to spend the day at Jungle Fish. Jungle Fish is a “no beach beach club” as its situated right in the middle of a jungle! With a glorious infinity pool, with an equally glorious back drop we spent the day topping up our tans for some quality relaxation time.
Entrance to Jungle Fish was 150,000 IDR and we grabbed two beds in the sunshine and ordered two chocolate milkshakes as we put on our sun cream. The weather was a little cloudy and every so often the shade would come over as we sat under a cloud, but despite this it was a beautiful and very hot day. What was nice was they had little waterproof pillows around the edge of the pool so you could sunbathe in the shallow waters yet also stay cool.
It is a little pricier here than other places in Ubud but I think it is totally worth it for the views, the service and the food here. We arrived just before 10am when it opened and by 10:30 every single bed was taken, and it seemed that this was a “quiet” day.
After an incredibly tranquil day of not doing very much at all, we made our way back to the villa one final time to pack before another early start for the next stop of our trip: Gili Trawangan.
Ubud is such a beautiful place with so so much to do, I could have easily spent 5-7 nights here seeing every corner of the area. I will most definitely be heading back here on a layover to go white water rafting!
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