Made famous by the 2010, Julia Roberts film ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, the story of Elizabeth Gilbert’s life has sent millions of middle aged women flocking to Ubud. In search of their own relaxation and hot, exotic man.
Just an hour ride from Densepar airport, This is the Bali I had imagined. A very chilled town with loads to do and see. Ubud has a population of about 30,000. Getting its name from the Balinese word ubad (medicine) as it originally was a source of importing important medicinal herbs and plants.
The food is amazing. There are so many restaurants and bars, with such a wide range of healthy foods. Don’t worry, there is pizza too. The amazing organic food and juices in Ubud made me happy along with all the amazing things to do. 3 nights quickly turned into 5 at Hostel Ubud.
Free yoga, yes that is correct FREE.There are so many places to do yoga in Ubud. I took a walk up to The Yoga Barn to see what classes they had and was told about a free community Yoga session I could try. Not being the biggest yoga fan I loved the word free. Well it was pretty good. I actually wasn’t bored and didn’t look at the clock once. It was also a good workout as well as relaxing. It made my butt hurt. Prices are roughly 120,000 RP (£6) a session and get cheaper the more you take. There are also so many Yoga retreats and courses you can do. Check out the Yoga barn website.
Playing with naughty monkeys
Ubud sacred monkey forest is a temple you can visit where wild monkeys live. The monkeys live there as they know people will feed them. I was a little worried about: A. Wild monkeys B. Rabies and C. Is this cruel.
Well firstly the wild monkeys are mainly friendly, if you do not touch them. Let them approach and touch you if they want too. The babies will come over to you and sit on your lap while they eat the food you have.
The adolescents will play with your hair and climb on your head. One even stole my water bottle out of my hand, unscrewed the top and drank it right in front of me. Another then reached for my camera. Hell No monkey, back off!
The older (grumpy) monkeys will take the food and walk off and eat it while you take pictures.
I was told by one of the workers there that there were no monkeys with Rabies there. Mmm, not sure if that is true. Maybe some other diseases. I took hand sanitiser. I asked him what to do if I got bitten and he said, and I quote ‘Straight to doctor’. Oh ok then, perfectly safe. Aggghh, so glad I have travel insurance.
The monkeys can also get away from the humans and the temple into the forest whenever they want. I think it is safe to say they are happy monkeys, and are there out of choice.
It costs 30,000 RP (£1.50) to go in the Sacred Monkey forest and £1 for a bunch of bananas. Bargain activity.
Climbing Mount Batur volcano
Climb the volcano everyone said. It is an amazing view of the sunrise they said. It will be fun they said. What they failed to mention is you have to leave the hostel at 2am. Yes you read that right, 2am in the morning! You then have to walk, oh no sorry climb for two hours. Great fun! Ridiculous. Who wants to climb up at volcano at 2am in the morning (1,717M I may add).
Oh and when I am half way up they inform me it is an active volcano. What!? Mt Batur last errupted in 2000. Agggh, why am I here!?
But yes, once up there, the view was amazing and I am glad I did it.
There are also rice padis and temples to see, markets and shops to stroll around and swimming pools to lay by. I can see why there are so many expats here. I have even found a big common area I can graze my ponies on. Mum if you can just send them over I never have to leave!