Ubud (map) with its 30.000 inhabitants lies in the heart of Bali, surrounded by rice fields and beautiful nature. It is a perfect location for several excursions and is therefore pretty touristic and modern. The community is very active with a lot of organisations and clubs. Transportation in Ubud is also different than in other cities on Bali. Hotels and the representatives of Ubud pay the police in order to stop them checking on tourists driving scooters. It is therefore easy and safe to rent a scooter in Ubud. Furthermore, you will hardly find any normal taxis and uber is forbidden, so you need to find drivers on the road or with the help of tourist information stalls. There are many shops, restaurants, tourist information and a huge market right on the main road; Jalan Raya Ubud. Most of the streets south of the main road are crowded with people and very European-looking cafés, restaurants, shops and much more. It is worth walking around the different streets, getting an impression of the city and exploring new restaurants. We can recommend ‘kafé bunute’ for cocktails during the happy hour (you can drink the ice as they import it). The restaurant ‘biahbiah’ is great for small, tapas-like, indonesian dishes which are delicious. Try to come early as it is always full and in the end of the evening they won’t have all the dishes anymore. We walked pass the vegan KISMET restaurant which looked amazing but we haven’t tried it, so maybe you will 🙂
We stayed at the Airbnb “Villa Bungsil Gading” which is a 20 minute walk north of the main road. The few apartments with a pool and small garden are located directly in the rice fields and it might be a bit difficult to find in the beginning but we loved the surrounding and the whole complex. We were very happy with the staff and the breakfast and could even give them our laundry (we payed 95.000 IDR for 4,9kg) which they brought back the next day. There is the possibility to take a longer way down to the main road which leads you through rice terraces where you will see traditional houses, amazing nature and all kinds of animals and farmers working. We rented a scooter at the Airbnb for 50.000 IDR for the day. In the beginning you will need some time to adjust to the chaotic and crazy traffic, but we always felt save and loved exploring the surrounding by scooter as you are closer to theoriginal, Balinese life. You will find many small stalls that sell petrol in water or vodka bottles and the average price for one bottle is 12.000 IDR. We started around 9:30 in the morning and drove to the Tegenungan waterfall which takes about half an hour. It is best to start early so you can enjoy the waterfall and go swimming before everyone else will arrive. You can park there for free but need to pay an entrance fee of 10.000 IDR per person. We really liked the waterfall and would always go there again.
The next day we had booked a tour up to Mount Batur. It’s 250.000-300.000 IDR per person and takes about 8 hours. We were a group of five people which was important for us, as we didn’t want to go there with a huge bus. We got picked up at 2:00 am. at our Airbnb, had a small breakfast at 3:30 and then started our tour with a guide who also gave us some torches. The whole trail was very crowded, but our group was pretty fit and without any breaks we made it up the volcano (which is 1.000 meter difference in altitude) in one and a half hours. You should at least be a bit trained so you can make it up the volcano for the sunrise, many other groups were too slow and didn’t make it to the top on time. We were pretty exhausted but watched the spectacular sunrise with great astonishment. Don’t forget to take a pullover and an extra top/tshirt with you as it is really cold and you will definitely be sweaty. When the sun was up we headed downwards, stopping by the active crater and some wild monkeys. You will take a different, longer way going back with a great view over the lake and you will pass tomato, onion and chili plantations. Even though there were many people doing the same tour, we really liked it and would highly recommend it to everyone!
Ubud is one of the main tourist attractions on Bali. It is a totally unique city with a very modern lifestyle. Ubud is the place where you will find European cafés, international shops, outstanding initiatives, cultural and natural tours and a great surrounding. Just leave the beaten paths of the masses of tourists and explore amazing Ubud.