Single and heartbroken, I first discovered Ubud 12 years ago.
I was supposed to “have a rendevous” there but being the typical commitment phobe type that he was, my trip turned solo. While it had the eat and pray aspects, the love didn’t come until much later (cue Mr Surfer).
Anyway, let bygones be just that.
The excitement hit great heights when Mr Surfer agreed that part of our Indonesia trip this year was going to include 9 nights in Bali’s art and cultural haven.
Roughly a 2 hour drive from Denpasar, Ubud is located inland and the polar opposite of the stereotypical tourist Bali with beaches and surf. Think tranquil and serene.
And while it’s been 3 weeks since we’ve been back (wah!), here are some of the highlights of our time there.
We arrived at Alam Jiwa, our hotel, late at night so when I woke up early the next morning to have a proper survey of where we were actually staying, I couldn’t believe our luck. Searching hours on tripadvisor.com for our ideal hotel certainly paid off!
Ubud is made up of various, surrounding villages, each having its own specialty in a particular craft. Alam Jiwa was a complex with approximately 10 wooden bungalows and located in Nyuh Kuning Village, known for its woodcarving.
The mornings were spent taking a quiet walk around the lush, green rice paddys followed by a swim in the pool. Then, we’d sit out on the balcony to enjoy a full breakfast of baskets of mixed bread, omelets, pancakes, fresh fruit salad, yoghurt and ginger tea.
One slight “inconvenience” was that there was no television. Really, it’s was just a first world problem. However, it did make entertaining the twinions a little harder when the heat would hit its peak at mid afternoon and it was too hot to do anything outside.
Camplung Sari Hotel:
An old family friend of ours happens to be the general manager at Camplung Sari Hotel. Why we didn’t think of staying there? I don’t know. But I’m glad we took up the invitation to hang out there for the day.
Located right next to Ubud’s famous Monkey Forest, we found ourselves with quite a few “visitors”.
One happened to run off with one of the twinions’ floaties. Well, grabbed it. Bit into it. Deflated it. THEN, ran off with it. Another couple of monkeys started randomly doing their “business” in front of all us pool siders to witness.
My husband – the man with the juvenile sense of humour – of course thought it was hilarious. Just secretly, I may have had a smirk myself…while trying to cover my children’s eyes. Ahem.
And while we’re on the topic of those little cheeky critters, Ubud’s main tourist attraction would have to be the Sacred Monkey Forest.
Serving as more of a park for where the monkeys can run loose, it’s a quick 10 minute walk from one end to the other. But it will take longer as there are at least 600 monkeys to make friends with. Most are cute but I was conscious that the boys didn’t get too close or touch them.
Regardless, it was probably the highlight for the twinions. So much so, we went back at least another three times.
The Kayma Spa:
Ubud is packed with fantastic health and beauty spas. But above all, they’re so cheap!
I picked up the pamphlet for Kayma Spa from the hotel counter and I’m so glad I did. It ended up being an out of body experience.
I booked myself in for a 5 hour treatment which included a hot/cold stone full body massage, full body exfoliation treatment, milk bath, hair treatment and scalp massage as well as a manicure and pedicure…all for under (wait for it) $100!!!
At first, I thought I was going to struggle to get through the 5 hours. I mean, that’s serious pampering.
But as soon as my body hit that massage table, the hours flew by.
As it worked out, we spent our 4th wedding anniversary in Ubud, happily splashing around the pool with the twinions.
Years earlier, my younger self dragged a shattered heart to the rooftop of the backpack bungalow. Staring at the endless starry sky, I desperately worried about my future.
And despite not finding love that time, it seems I was able to eventually return bringing along my own love – my family – with me.
Funny how life works out.
Joining Essentially Jess for IBOT