“THE MORE THAT YOU READ, THE MORE THINGS YOU WILL KNOW. THE MORE THAT YOU LEARN, THE MORE PLACES YOU’LL GO.” – DR. SEUSS
After reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling novel Eat, Pray, Love I’ve been reminiscing on my recent time in Ubud and its incredible culture and landscape. I had 3 beautiful days in Ubud followed by another 3 incredible days in Seminyak. Check out my itinerary!
The town of Ubud, in the uplands of Bali, Indonesia, is known for its rainforest and terraced rice paddies, dotted with Hindu temples and shrines. Said to be the center for traditional Balinese crafts and dance, it is also home to incredible restaurants, cafes and streets of shops.
Ubud’s popularity continues to grow, adding on the interest created by Eat, Pray, Love – so be prepared for lots of tourists to be buzzing through the streets. There’s so many great activities you can take part in including meditation, yoga, cooking as well as traditional Balinese dancing and shows.
We arrived late in the night, so we essentially checked into our hotel and went straight to bed. We stayed at the Bali Spirit Hotel and Spa, away from the busy streets of Ubud among the trees in the peace and quiet. We had a beautiful, private room and enjoyed a filling breakfast each morning.
From our hotel, it’s an easy walk into the center of Ubud (though it is a hot and humid walk at that!) if we cut through the Monkey Forest – so we thought why not!? The Monkey Forest is fairly popular for tourists, so there will be quite a few people wandering around and feeding the cheeky little monkeys.
Sari Organik & Campuhan Ridge Walk
I’d had quite a few recommendations from people as to where to find the best vegan places in Ubud and Sari Organik was one of them. Located just off the Campuhan Ridge Walk, this gorgeous café sits in a beautiful location among rice fields not far from the center of Ubud. The food was incredible and I would recommend it to anyone visiting Ubud.
Ubud Palace and Lotus Temple
In the afternoon we wandered into the stunning Ubud Palace & Lotus Temple. We decided to come back and enjoy dinner at Cafe Lotus that evening. The Lotus Temple is beautifully lit in the evening and they also perform Balinese dance and shows there for guests to watch whilst they’re enjoying dinner.
If you’ve got a few things you want to see and experience in Ubud, it’s worth getting a driver for the day to take you around. For as little as $10 each, we were taken to a few spots we wanted to see. First was Goa Gajah or Elephant Cave, known for its stone carvings of Hindu gods, this cave may date as far back as the 9th century!
Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Next on our list was the Tegalalang Rice Terrace. When most people think of Ubud, this is usually the image they have in mind, so it is quite a popular stop for artists and other travellers. These lush cliffs are able to be walked along by visitors, but you will have to make several small coin donations at a few huts that are located at different points along the terrace. Well worth the few dollars to enjoy the incredible scenery!
Clear Café was another recommendation for incredible vegan food in the center of Ubud, so we had our driver drop us back here for a satisfying lunch. I had a life-changing raw lasagne that to this day, is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. It’s a lovely space with beautiful colours and friendly staff. Definitely add it to your list!
After lunch we head back to our hotel to relax by the pool and enjoy the afternoon. We have an early wake up tomorrow morning, so we head across the road to a quaint vegan restaurant, Sage. This was a lucky find, and the food was incredible and would definitely encourage a visit if you’re ever in this part of Ubud.
PHOTO BY SAGE
Sunrise Trek up Mt. Batur
The highlight of this trip to Bali was most definitely the sunrise trek up Mt. Batur. We were up at 3AM and had our driver waiting for us just outside the hotel to take us to the starting point. We geared up and headed up gradually. Our guide had packed us a cute little breakfast pack, so we were able to enjoy those when we reached the top before the sun had started to come up. The climb back down was a bit slippery, so if you’re interested in doing something like this, best bring proper shoes.
Check out these 25 experiences to have in Ubud on CrazyTourist for more inspo!
A stunning beach resort area at the southern end of Bali, with many luxury hotels, villas and spas, as well as high-end shopping and restaurants. The sunsets here are stunning and it has an abundance of great bars and clubs to help you enjoy them just that little bit more.
A lot of people come to Seminyak to indulge and spend lots of money, but Seminyak has so much to offer outside of the resorts and clubs. Despite being just north of Kuta, Seminyak will make you feel as if you’re on a whole other island.
After we were back from our trek, we had organised for our transfer to take us to our Villa in Seminyak. We stayed at Tony’s Villas for another 3 nights and really enjoyed our time there.
We had been recommended a restaurant to have dinner the first night, but they were fully booked when we went to see if we could stop by later in the evening. Instead, we wandered through Seminyak village and night markets and ended up enjoying some great ‘street style food’. Tonight was an early night seeing as we had been up so early!
Tanah Lot Temple
The next couple of days in Seminyak, we moved a lot slower than we did in Ubud. We had our own private plunge pool and gorgeous vtailla; we wanted to make the most of it. We did venture out to Tanah Lot Temple which isn’t too far out of Seminyak. It gets very busy there and looks completely different at low tide than it does at high tide. I have heard the best time to go is sunset, but we went in the morning.
We had our driver drop us back in Seminyak village and we looked around the shops. The recently established Seminyak Village was quite lovely and we found a gorgeous little organic café inside (it’s air-conditioned!). It’s a quaint little shopping mall with some beautiful boutique stores.
PHOTO BY SEMINYAK VILLAGE
Potato Head is one of the most popular beach clubs in Seminyak and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. The sunset here was absolutely stunning and the atmosphere is great.
A friend recommended dinner at Sarong and it was incredible! Be prepared to pay what you would back home for a great quality meal, but I can assure you will not be disappointed.
A day tour is a great way to let someone else take the reins for a day and allow you to see more in a shorter time period. We mainly wanted to check out the Ulun Danu Temple, but we also had a swim stop and a visit to Git Git Waterfall. Lunch was included at a quaint resort by the water and the food was delightful!
We spotted Ginger Moon as we were walking through Seminyak and decided to give it a go mainly because ‘Moon’ is my mothers maiden name and I had a good feeling about it. SO GLAD WE DID! The food is incredible. It’s reasonably priced and I was introduced to Bali Cider. I loved it so much I had to bring bottles back with me!
PHOTO BY GINGERMOON
Massages & Pampering
If you have a late night flight, ask your hotel/hostel whether you can pay half a day, so you can check out around 6PM rather than the regular 10AM – this way you get the day to lounge around, get a massage, manicure, whatever your heart desires and you usually only pay half the regular room rate.
Another fantastic recommendation was Sisterfields Cafe. It is a very vibrant and popular spot and I don’t believe they take bookings, so be prepared to wait for a table depending on what time of day you go. Well worth the wait though. Food is great and the service is excellent!
PHOTOS BY SISTERFIELDS
Markets & Shopping
With any left over spending money you may have, it might be worth checking out the many boutique stores and shopping malls that line the streets of Seminyak. I picked up quite a few beautiful one off pieces of jewellery that I absolutely love!
We had an early dinner at Sea Circus before heading off the the airport. A real cool looking space! Loved everything about it. Wish we had more time to relax and enjoy our meal but we were short for time. Didn’t even get to try the dessert menu! Oh well, there’s always next time.