Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
Monkey Sanctuary, Ubud – I wasn’t too sure of visiting this place but I must recommend it as one of the top places to visit in Ubud. I sure was surprised with how friendly the monkeys are there! As is their nature, on spotting bananas they will definitely come to you, or even climb on you but best part is when they even pose for selfies. Make sure your valuables are inside a bag though, they had snatched my Rayban Sunglasses and the Coconut coffee I got from Kopi Luwak. Not just bananas, those monkeys are fond of everything you carry. But if you fight back, you can get your stuff, as I did. Quite an adventure!
2am to 9am Trek to Mt Batur, an active volcano. Our driver Kadek organized a trek for us , where he drove us early in the morning from the resort to the base campus. Here he introduced us to Made our 17/18 year old guide for the day. Made and his elder sister were fun to trek with. He told us fun stories and ensured that we were safe throughout. Brilliant job Made! We trekked for about 3 hours to the top of Mt Batur, could have been done faster but the terrain was rocky where we had to juggle climbing on fours and our flash lights. Once at the top, Made set up our picnic spot with an amazing view of Lake batur the largest of 4 lakes in Bali, Mts. and Kitamani region. The best part for me was watching the crater steam.
After starting the day at Goa Gajah in Ubud, Bali, we started for our next destination – the Tirta Empul Temple or the Holy Spring Temple as it is often referred as. Built in 962 AD over a natural spring, this temple is dedicated to Lord Indra, the Hindu God of rain. Agni, Varuna and Indra were ancient gods in India who somehow lost their position to Vishnu and Shiva when the civilization flipped a page in its long course of history. It was in fact the only temple of Indra which we had ever seen.
Its one of the most favourite tourist destination. It has a magnificent view of the Mount Batur, which is still an active volcano and serene calm lake batur flowing down the lane. The temperature here is at least 15 degree less than the temperature of bali. We were fortunate to witness a mesmerizing sight of both rain and sun at the same time during our visit. You may just choose a restaurant with a view of Kintamani to sip a coffee or get high over a few bottles of local Lemon flavored "Bintang" beer.Although we didn’t go ahead for a trek, but for those who love to do it, can actually trek over mount Batur. It is a 2 hour trek to see the sunrise, and the rays creating those sprinkle of diamond dust look on the lake.
Pura Ulun Danu Beratan
Our next destination was Pura Ulun Danu Beratan. Indonesians, in general, are very religious and in spite of accepting new world rules still have kept their old world tradition. The balance between the two could be experienced in every aspect of the Balinese life. This temple has an entry fee of 35000 IDR and only accepts cash. One word of caution regarding the Forex. That is the only thing not great about this place, you will see lots of forex agents on roadside advertising an exchange rate much higher than banks.
"So this is the place I should have been for the last two months", was my first thought as I wound my way through a sexily curved hill. Padang Bai is a small, annexed fishing village with a little bay, a secret white sand beach (that's the beach's actual name) a few warungs and guest houses and some deep emerald hills directly behind. Despite its' fishy orientation there's a freshness there that is missing in South Bali. It's the lack of bike fumes and rubbish. Most people pass through on their way to get their rocks off on Gilli-T. Big mistake, this place gets my vibe.
Tirta Empul Temple
This is a Hindu temple in the centre of Bali. It is famous as its holy water can wash away sins. To participate in this ritual, you first need to buy a ticket, then proceed further into the temple. Keep going, just follow the crowd, and you will come to a series of open air rock pools where you can immerse yourself to whatever degree you feel is required, to wash away your sins. I merely dipped my hand into the water. This temple is popular, with both locals and visitors, it is always busy. Take care when walking on the rock, it is slippery. There is a happy feel to the place. Much laughter and good cheer.
Bali is definitely more than a mere place; it's a tropical state of mind. A bare mention of its name invokes images of limitless blue waters with the shining sun, accentuating the backdrop. The cleaner than thou beaches have plenty of surfers, divers, local musicians and dancers whose idea of a perfect day is to just chill and make merry. Isn’t that precisely what a honeymoon couple wishes for? Locals are extremely welcoming to Indians because the city is replete with Indians and Hindu temples and hence they understand what we like or not pretty well. There are dramatic volcanoes and temples on mountain edges. There are lavish resorts and endless calm beaches. There is plenty of room to go wet and wild.What a couple must do while here: Have dinner inside a cave at Samabe Resort. Take a helicopter ride with Air Bali.Recommended duration & average expenditure: 5 days will cost approximately Rs. 1.2 lakh.You can book great resorts and hotels at reasonable prices right away if Bali is where you wish to celebrate your honeymoon. Read more on Bali here.
Another activity not to be missed is their rafting! Paddling along the valley against the water current at the foot of the mountain enjoying the picturesque of mountains that passes you was such an enjoyment. We did our rafting with Alam Amazing Adventure at discounted rate through our guide! The rafting adventure will take 2.5 hours and around 16 km along the Telaga Waja river. During the raft you will pass some bamboo bridges, waterfall and have a last action jump at Bajing dam which are 4 metres high. After rafting, just walk a few minutes back to the shower and changing room facilities and buffet lunch will served at their River side Restaurant with Indonesian Food and during lunch time you will be able to see your Bali rafting adventures and choose if you would like to be burn into CD for IDR 350,000. One interesting thing about them is that, you can either choose to walk down the paddy rice field to the starting point or you can choose the flying fox route down! The whole journey was fun-filling one with our jovial river guide and to mention, all the bali guides were really friendly, you can easily strike a conversation with them be it to know more about bali or some random chats! There's schedule for the rafting too, do check out the link given for more details!Address: Perum. Mekar II Block C4 No. 4, Jl. Mekar, Bali 80221, IndonesiaIf you like to know more about their culture and traditions, it's good to visit some of the following places and experience it yourself.
Ubud mostly has shops that sell paintings, but it also has its own share of branded stores that you would find in any big city. You can't help but shop till you drop in this area and the best part is that you can always bargain! There are some intriguing cultural performances in the evenings that one cannot miss as well as traditional dance forms performed at the Ubud Palace.
Ubud is a small and lovely place to be.. One can just rent a bike or cycle or can even explore on foot. Food joints and cafes are excellent out here! We took A night at the Bali Zoo experience here where we got acquainted to a lot of Nocturnal animals, fed animals & had a delicious dinner watching the fire dance! For all the Vegetarians who feel its difficult to find Veg food abroad, Bali gives you choices ! Mama Mia Pizzas are awesome & one should try Mango Lassi along with it! Sounds like wierd combination but its Just Fab!
Ubud is 40 km from Batur and is said to be a cultural capital of Bali. Ubud enjoys cooler temperatures than the coast. It once served as the major source of medicinal herbs and the healing tradition in still deeply ingrained in the people here. If you are looking for beads, Buddha, barong and Balinese traditional carvings, silver jewelry, pearls, handmade leather bags, Batik scarves and pashminas, Jalan Raya Ubud is the place for you. You will get some of the best deals here. The culturally rich vibe of this area is waiting to entrap you. The traditional market is from 5am until 9am. Spend some time relaxing at Bali Botanical Day Spa with a range of revitalizing treats. At night retreat to Oka Wati’s Homestay which has been sheltering tourists since 1980. Once you are here, you know you are in the right place away from all the noise. Spend a quiet night here in the middle of Ubud in the rustic charm of this house.
If you have an aesthetic bent of mind, then undoubtedly, the first place for you to hit is Ubud, about an hour north of Denpasar. Ubud, Bali’s cultural heart came to prominence after Julia Roberts’ Eat, Pray, Love. This artful, creative and serene town is a treasure to be explored and the best way to get a feel of "the real Bali". Roaming around the town on foot or bicycle is like a dream come true—art and craft fill up every surface in sight all around this sleepy little hamlet. It is home to the most distinct Balinese painting style.
Taman Ayun Temple
Next day Visited Taman Ayun in early noon & later in the evening went to Tanah lot. Tourist aren't allowed to enter temples in Bali. you'll be spending around 50,000 IDR per meal in decent restaurant or Warung. Food is costlier in Kuta compared to rest of the Bali as it is major tourist hub.
Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple
2. Gunung Kawi or Rock TempleLike a fairytale in stone, the structure is a 11th century spectacle where shrines are believed to be monuments for the then deceased royal family. A guided tour of the place is sure to reveal some of the mysteries of these engravings. Distance from Ubud: 14km
Bali Bird Park
Happened to see this huge wood carving at Mas, an art village in Ubud, on my way to the Bali Bird Park. Came back to get a really good close look at the sheer ‘mindblowingness’ of it. Several heart-stopping moments of beauty in the streets of Ubud, and some with more than a touch of humour in them, such as the monkey sculpture below, outside a crafts store. Cracked me up every single time I saw it.
Along the eastern side lies the largest and holiest temple of Hindu religion in Bali: Pura Besakih. This over a thousand year’s old temple is also known as "Mother Temple of Bali". Located 1000 meters high on the slopes of the volcano Mt. Agung it is an extensive complex of 23 separate but related temples.
Kebun Raya Bali
3. Kebun Raya BaliThis botanic garden is not so far from Ulun Danu Temple. Known as Indonesia’s largest botanic garden, the area is about 389 acres. Besides used as conservation and botanical research area, the garden is also for recreation and education centre. Inside the area, a traditional balinese guesthouse is open for public. You can spend the rest of your day in the wood with wild monkeys while having a short stay at the guesthouse.
I love Bedugul. It has a pretty temple and a gorgeous huge botanical gardens that costs next to nothing to enter. You can bring a picnic or buy strawberries from the market and have a feast. i wish it was just a little closer so we could take the kids for a run around on the grass without the 90 minute car journey. Also Bedugul is at a high altitude and so a lot cooler than the main tourist areas. If you can catch it on a day when it’s not raining, it’s really quite lovely. Oh and you can hire a boat to go around the lake!
The Yoga Barn
Ubud is identical with yoga. People from all around the world come to Ubud to learn yoga, from professionals to beginners. The quiet and cozy atmosphere is the best place for doing yoga. You can do yoga while enjoying the view of green rice fields, parks, rivers and the fresh clean air. Some hotels in Ubud also provide yoga facilities.One of the most famous places in Ubud to do yoga is Yoga Barn which is located in Hanoman Road. There are various classes that you can choose while enjoying the sight of Ubud.WATCH KECAK API DANCE AT NIGHTIf you come to Ubud, make sure that you go watching the performance of Kecak api dance. Kecak dance is one of the attractions of the Gods Island. Cak.. Cak.. Cak..! That is such a distinctive sounds that come from the Kecak dancers. Kecak dance is usually done at night starting at 7 pm. The total numbers of the dancers are 50 to 70 dancers and all the dancers are males. Kecak is a Hindu sacred dance as many dancers are unconscious while dancing on stage.
Here visitors can lounge in the pool underneath, letting the thundering water splash around you. If you can climb down stairs and back up, you can easily visit the water fall in an hour. If you are gun for a trek then this one is apt for you. Its a good 20-30 minutes of trek over a patch of rough rocks, do ensure that you have your sports shoes on as its time to burn some of those extra pounds.
Mount Batur Sunrise Trekking
Yes, this is hard work ; Especially trekking at 3 AM in the morning and all I can say is , IT IS WORTH IT!. I packed like a girl with flip flops and no sports shoes and I still managed to trek in the loose volcanic sand and stones for around 1.5 hours to 2 hours. I could see people flashing their torch light at my silver shiny disco flats as they panted and overtook me. But meh, same destination. I met them all up there and saw the same sunrise they did. Raw beauty of nature intimidates me and that is what happened there. Just staring straight ahead while the sun was rising was all I needed to be at peace with myself for rest of my trip. Please pack proper shoes and a nice light jacket to face the chilly wind up there, unlike me.
Teba Sari Bali Agrotourism
2.30pm to 3.30pm Coffee tasting at the Teba Sari bali agrotourism. We finally decided to give the famous Luwak coffee a try (very strong and smoky in flavour). Tasting a cup of Luwak coffee was around 50,000IDR, however, the plantation also specializes in other flavours (Spiced chocolate coffee, mangosteen tea, vanilla coffee, etc) that are equally great for free. The plantation also has a store from where one could purchase coffee/tea.
All points of interest are placed around city center, Only Goa Gajah is placed little far about 7-8 kms from city center. Next day I hired taxi to see green village & lake Bratan. Green village is magnificent display of green architecture. It's jaw dropping architecture will make you wanna look twice at every detail. Lake bratan temple is set against beautiful backdrop of mountain and lake around. Buy souvenirs from Ubud rather than from Kuta. Prices are way cheaper and Souvenirs are authentic. Even if you are on budget try to spend a evening enjoying live music with drinks.
Gunung Kawi Toko
This was the most impressive site I visited in Bali. It is a 11th-century temple complex, a series of rock-cut shrines and images, carved into a cliff face, built for a king and his wives. It is a little far from Ubud town for an easy walk, so public transport, a tour, a bus, a taxi—up to you, as we say in Asia.You start at a long walk down, on stone cut paths, lined with the usual tourist shops. Eventually, you will come to a T junction, turn left, and there are the first set of rock excavations, large openings cut into the rock. This has been referred to as a city, and it does indeed look like a very small city. Return back the way you came, cross over a small bridge, and you will have reached the shrines. These are five small structures, cut into the rock. There is holy water here as well. From here, go back a little, and you will see a small city, with building like structures also cut into the rock.
Over here the coffee processing is done in an organic way. Drying, roasting etc. is still carried out using natural tools such as pans made out of clay. You will get to try a wide range of coffee's. You may be seated overlooking the rice plantation and sip through these coffees. Out of the total range, we enjoyed Vanilla & Ginger the most.You will be enthralled to see the process of making, one of the most expensive coffee named Kopi Luwak. Its made with coffee cherries eaten and defecated by the Asian Palm Civet ( one type of cat). Although, its been promoted all across Bali, we didn't enjoy the strong bitter flavor.
It is really easy to find the location of Kecak dance performance in Ubud. You can find it in the Dalem Temple at Ubud Road or in Puri Agung Saren. In Puri Agung Saren, you can also watch Legong dance performance. Besides of them, you can also watch shadow plays and other performances while in Ubud. Make sure to prepare a ticket to watch the Kecak dance.LEARNING TO COOK BALINESE CUISINEMost of all restaurants and hotels in Ubud open cooking classes for the tourists who come. Various menus of Balinese cuisine are available for you to choose, such as satay, lawar or other Indonesian food like mixed vegetables with the peanut sauce, fried rice or yellow rice. If you want to try typical Balinese culinary classes, you can go to Paon Bali in Laplapan who have cooking classes at home. You can also go to Casa Luna restaurant which is famous for its cooking classes as it is the first restaurant that open a cooking class in Ubud. The cooking classes usually started in the morning and all the participants will be taken to a traditional market to buy and choose the ingredients that they will use to cook later.EXPLORING THE CULINARY OF UBUDWhen you come to Ubud, you have to try the local culinary. If you are interested in the typical culinary of Ubud and Bali, you should try the roast pork of Madam Oka which is located next to Ubud Temple, Ubud Bengil duck, chicken rice kedewatan Madam Mangku, or Betutu chicken at Murni restaurant.Ubud is a tourist area that has been established since before the independence of Indonesia, so various food of Indonesia and also international cuisine can be found here. You can also try Asian cuisine, European cuisine and American cuisine here such as Italian gelato, Japanese traditional cuisine, Mexican taco and burrito and French cuisine. You just have to choose a menu that fits with your taste.TRYING TRADITIONAL MEDICATION OF KETUT LIYERFor a long time, local people in Ubud has been used traditional medications using natural ingredients to cure the sick people. Spas and wellness in Ubud are growing rapidly in order to pamper the tourists who come. The traditional medication is just like a spa, using massage therapy and spiritual meditation. The Balinese people called the traditional “doctor” as Balian.Balian Ketut Liyer is a medicine man that became famous after his appearance in the novel and movie Eat, Pray, Love which do therapy with some meditation approaches. As the most Balian in Ubud is Ketut Arsana. He has given medications with massage therapy and herbal medicine for about 25 years.RAFTING ON AYUNG RIVER
After a good night's sleep, we started the next day exploring the city. There were few monuments and well built stone temples. Later we headed towards Beratan lake. It is a small lake far from the city but with a scenic view. We were driving on our own and hence could always cheat on the itinerary that we had planned. Our initial plan was to visit Ubud after the lake, however we ended up in the botanical gardens. It was all worth. The temperature in the gardens suddenly dropped and we could feel the chill. This place is a huge green patch of flora in the valley of the hills.