Woodworking villages North of Ubud, are woodworking villages of Tegallaland and Jati, where generations of families are involved in the wood working and carving process from beginning to end. The intricacies of the carvings are phenomenal and range from the highly ceremonial to the phallus shaped bottle openers – a quick buck from the tourists. Each village tends to specialise in a particular theme – like animals, figures, or concepts that are more abstract. Indeed the settings of the villages in itself is worth going to, and seeing even the children carve and sand, makes you totally in awe of their gifts.
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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.
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
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.
Pura Tirta Empul
1. Pura Tirta Empul or Holy Spring Water TempleA sacred setting in the midst of the Gianyar town, this Hindu temple attracts tourists and locals for the purpose of immersion in the blessed water and prayer to the Gods. We spent half a day here learning about the history, culture and traditions practiced by the Balinese people. Distance from Ubud: 11km
Bon Nyuh Bungalows
Day 4: UbudMara river safari lodge has so much to do and see. They organized various animal shows for guests that are worth watching. It was time to say goodbye to this place move towards our last destination Ubud. On the way we went to Mt. Batur and Kintamini volcano. It has nothing great to see except having lunch near volcano. In Ubud we stayed at Bon Nyuh Bungalows. Situated right in the middle of paddy fields we had a beautiful village stay here. Bungalows were large with pool. Owner was extra caring and very friendly. He took extra efforts and took us to ubud market in his own car. Ubud market is beautifully crafted though a bit small. After our dinner we went back to our bungalow for some drinks.
We stayed at Villa Sanggingan on Jalan Sanggingan and it was fantastic. The staff is incredible. Located near the Alberto Blanco museum where we went in 2008 with Dov Fraser for the Ubud Writers Festival, this area is removed from the main tourist strip. The hotel is available on Asiarooms.com, Booking.com and Agoda.com. We stayed five nights and ate at several great warungs, including the famous N as well as Fuzion Café on Jalan Lungsiakan, which felt like dining in a rice field. I thought the décor was charming; this is one of the original hotels in the area and along with the Neka Art Museum, has been there more than twenty years. Bagus (Good) Laundry was great, too. I have to admit clean clothes, fresh from the laundry, are one of my favorite things!
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.
I arrived in Bali two days prior to my stay at the Umajati Retreat, wanting to see the island on my own terms, I decided to rent a scooter. After all, this was my very first solo travel experience. I'm so happy I opted for this mode of transportation, it felt so freeing to just drive wherever I chose to. No schedule...no worries. Just me...Bali...and my bike.The drive to the Umajati Retreat was pure magic, zigzagging through tiny backstreets, over narrow ravine bridges, and through lush paddy fields, I couldn't have painted a more scenic route. The closer I got to the retreat, the more pronounced its signature terra cotta roofs rose from a sea of greenery. Stepping onto the retreats grounds, I was equally enamored. I meandered through the coconut grove entry path, filled with spectacular blooming orchids of varieties I had never seen. Waiting to welcome me at the paths end were proprietors, Jean Howe & William Ingram (Made Pung 3rd founder). They are the kind of people you want to sit with, have some tea, talk of distant places, rich cultures, and stories of their well-traveled lives. Jean and William are apart of Umajati’s authentic soul; this wonderful environment they’ve painstakingly crafted is a true gift to experience.