“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 was also fortunate enough to spend time in Seminyak as well and wanted to share my itinerary to the perfect week in Ubud and Seminyak.
The town of Ubud, in the uplands of Bali, Indonesia, is known for its rain-forest 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 main streets. There’s so many great activities you can take part in including meditation, yoga, cooking as well as traditional Balinese dancing and shows.
I arrived late in the night, so I essentially checked into my hotel and went straight to bed. I’d chosen to stay at the Bali Spirit Hotel and Spa, away from the busy streets of Ubud among the trees in the peace and quiet. I had a beautiful, private room and enjoyed a an included filling breakfast each morning.
From the hotel, it’s an easy walk into the center of Ubud (though a hot and humid one at that!) if I cut through the Monkey Forest. The Monkey Forest is popular for visitors, so there will be quite a few people wandering around feeding the cheeky little monkeys. However, it is mostly a peaceful place to visit and you could easily spend time here getting lost in the greenery.
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 fresh, wholesome and delicious. I would recommend it to anyone visiting Ubud.
Ubud Palace and Lotus Temple
In the afternoon I wandered into the stunning Ubud Palace & Lotus Temple. After visiting, I decided to come back and enjoy dinner at Cafe Lotus that evening. The Lotus Temple is beautifully lit at night and they perform Balinese dances right in-front of the temple 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 per person (twin share), you can be taken to a few different places in a private air-conditioned vehicle. For me, the 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 my 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, photographers, hikers and other travelers. These lush cliffs are able to be walked on 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 my driver drop me back here for a satisfying lunch. I experienced 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 I head back to the hotel to relax by the pool and enjoy the afternoon. For dinner, I made my way across the road from my hotel to a quaint vegan restaurant, Sage. This was a lucky find, and the food was incredible! I 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 my trip to Bali was most definitely the sunrise trek up Mt. Batur. I was up at 3:00AM and the driver and local guide were waiting for me just outside the hotel to take me to the starting point. We geared up and started walking, gradually making our way up. The guide had packed a little breakfast pack, so I was able to enjoy a light ‘brekky’ when I reached the top before the sun had started to come up. Watching the sunrise from Mt. Batur was absolutely breathtaking and I recommend it to anyone travelling to Bali.
To see my full recap of my trek, check out my post here
For more Ubud inspo, check out these 25 experiences on CrazyTourist!
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 breathtaking and it has an abundance of great bars and restaurants to aid in enjoying 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 I returned from the Mt. Batur trek (and a quick tea plantation visit/toilet break) I packed my bags as my transfer was due to pick me up and take me to my private pool Villa in Seminyak. I stayed at Tony’s Villas for another 3 nights and I had both a positive and relaxing experience here.
I had been recommended a restaurant to have dinner the first night, but they were fully booked when I went to see if I could stop by later in the evening. Instead, I wandered through Seminyak village and night markets and ended up enjoying some great ‘street style food’. Tonight was an early night seeing as I had been up since 3:00AM.
Tanah Lot Temple
The next couple of days in Seminyak, were a lot slower and relaxed than Ubud. I had my own private plunge pool and gorgeous villa; I wanted to make the most of it! I did venture out to Tanah Lot Temple which isn’t too far out of Seminyak. It gets very busy here and looks completely different at low tide than it does at high tide. I went in the morning because I had a dinner reservation, but I have heard the best time to go is sunset.
I had my driver drop us back in Seminyak Village and I looked around the shops. The recently established Seminyak Village shopping precinct was lovely and I 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. Best to get here well before sunset, get a good spot by the water and enjoy a cocktail or two as the sun starts to go down.
I managed to get a table at Sarong on my second night in Seminyak. A friend recommended dinner here and it was incredible! It isn’t cheap. Be prepared to pay similar to what you would back home, but I can assure you will not be disappointed. The food is sensational and the service is unbeatable.
Ulun Danu Temple Day Tour
A day tour is a great way to see more in a shorter time period; particularly if it’s an hour or more out of Seminyak and hiring a drive for the day may be more expensive. I mainly wanted to check out the Ulun Danu Temple, but I also had a dip in a Salt Spring and a visit to Git Git Waterfall. Lunch was included at a quaint resort by the water and the food was delightful!
I spotted Ginger Moon as I was 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. I was ecstatic with my decision; the food and the service were both incredible. It’s reasonably priced and I was introduced to Bali Cider here. I wish I had of known about it sooner, but I made up for it by packing my suitcase with bottles to take home with me!
Massages & Pampering
If you have a late night flight, ask your hotel whether you can pay half a day, so you can check out at 6:00PM rather than the regular 10:00AM – this way you have the day to lounge around, get a massage, manicure, whatever your heart desires and you can come and go from your room as you please until check-out time, but only paying half of what you would normally for a full nights stay.
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!
I had an early dinner at Sea Circus before heading off the the airport. It’s a really cool looking space. I loved everything about it. I wish I had more time to relax and enjoy my meal and the whole dining experience but I was due back at my hotel for my airport transfer. I mean, I didn’t even get to try the dessert menu! Next time for sure!
PHOTO BY SEA CIRCUS
Want to see more of Bali? Check out my guide to Kuta here