Back with another Bali guide, this time for Ubud. Ubud is the zen of Bali and is known for its vast jungle scenery, ride paddies and yoga scene.
For this trip, Ubud also acted as a hub for all of the North of Bali trips. It is a great place to stay central and see Ubud itself as well as have the opportunity to take day trips to the North to see Bali’s famous waterfalls, temples, swings and much more.
Ubud is a fantastic place to visit on a Bali trip and I highly recommend it. It’s pretty much a must do if you have long enough on your trip. We stayed for 7 nights in an Airbnb and didn’t need any more than that. I recommend 3-7 nights depending on what you want to do there. We stayed for 7 nights so that we had the chance to see everything as well as the surrounding areas.
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For accommodation there aren’t many averagely affordable hotels in Ubud. It’s pretty limited in comparison to other places in Bali. Most places are home stays/hostels for the cheaper end of the budget, which aren’t too bad. It’s fine for solo travel or with friends but for couples, holiday trips or anything non-backpacking I’d say go with an Airbnb. You get your money’s worth and it is so affordable, unlike some of the average to luxury hotels. We stayed in a lovely place 10 minutes from Campuhan Ridge Walk (a big attraction in the centre of Ubud) which was super affordable, a beautiful little villa and comes with everything you need. It even includes a pool and a daily breakfast cooked by the host – winner. You can find that here.
Sign up to Airbnb here to get money off of your first stay.
I highly recommend renting a scooter for Ubud. Not only is it super cheap – it costs roughly £2-4 per day for rental and £1-1.50 for a full tank of petrol – it is the best way to get around. The centre of Ubud (near the market, Monkey Forest Sanctuary and main restaurants) can get super busy and I can imagine you could get stuck in a car or taxi for a long time. With a scooter you can weave in and out of traffic and cut time. The locals and tourist drivers are always patient and I always felt safe on the scooter. We used it for all of our trips, to go for dinner, check out Ubud’s beautiful scenery as well as the trips to the North.
So, what did we see, do, eat and recommend? Don’t worry, I got you. Everything we did and recommend is below, as well as some tips and tricks we picked up along the way.
1.Campuhan Ridge Walk – go for sunrise. Again, you miss the crowds. There’s only a few people there in comparison to 100+ in the day time.
2. Monkey Forest Sanctuary – pack away your things and don’t wear any outside accessories (sunglasses, jewellery, hats) and the cheeky monkeys will thief them.
3. Ubud Art Market – super busy but worth a visit. Don’t get enticed into the prices they offer, always barter! You’ll get a lot more for your money. I picked up 2 beautiful dresses for less than £5 each (see pictures) and jewellery there.
4. Tjampuhan Spa – a beautiful spa with a forest view. The massage followed by a rose petal bath and ginger tea was a dream come true.
Places to visit North:
I recommend getting to all of these places for sunrise. Not only is it beautiful at that time, it’s so much quieter and you avoid the busy touristy crowds. As well as that, I recommend hiring a moped for Ubud. Not only will it get you around everywhere you need to, it’ll save you a lot of money.
1.Waterfalls – Leke Leke, NungNung, Goa Rang Rang. Leke Leke was my favourite. Not only is it a beautiful morning hike, the waterfall is no peaceful with surreal surroundings.
2. Ulan Danu Temple – a Hindu water temple located on the shores of Lake Bratan. Super beautiful and worth a morning visit to see sunrise.
3. Tegallalang Rice Terraces – known as THE rice terraces in Bali. They are the biggest we saw, so beautiful and again, worth getting up for sunrise for.
4. Wanagiri Hidden Hills – a famous Instagram spot for its wooden seats and stunning views. There is an entrance fee for this but worth paying. You can’t miss the photo opportunity here if you go.
5. Handara Gates – a Hindu gate symbolising the entrance to a temple. It’s just along the road on the way to Wanagari Hidden Hill, so perfect to do in the same trip.
1.Union – a delicious hearty meal, the fresh grilled fish is fab.
2. Full Circle – minimalistic all day cafe.
3. Habitat – the best bao buns we tried in Bali.
4. Nikkei – Japanese Peruvian cuisine.
5. Kopitoko – for coffee – an iced coconut latte with a view of the busy Ubud streets.
6. Lazy Cats Cafe – the wine and tapas is fab and it’s interior is so cute. If you like good food and cat interiors, this is your place.
Local sellers will try and haggle you to pay more than you need. Always barter, you’ll soon find yourself saving your pennies.
From Ubud we headed to the Gili Islands. First stop is Gili Air via Bluewater Express. This is a great way to get to the islands of Nusa, Gili and Lombok. The boats are daily, affordable, reliable and fast. Bluewater Express offer land transport to/from the boat to your accommodation included in the price, as well as on-board complimentary water, sweets and seasickness tablets. It’s super easy to book, just enter your trip details and they sort the rest for you. Highly recommend them if you want to visit the islands on your trip. You can book your tickets here.
See you in my Gili islands post!
Follow me on Instagram for more of my travels – @meganmccoig
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