After four days in Sanur we arrived at our final destination – Ubud, Bali. For those who haven’t been there, Ubud is a small town in central Bali surrounded by beautiful rainforest and terraced rice fields. Far from all beaches, it is even more green and tropical than Sanur. We stayed at the Kano Sari Villas which were so nice and serene with beautifully furnished, spacious rooms, lovely garden and pool area and delicious breakfast. Our villa was looking out into the rainforest and the view was amazing. The staff were very friendly and helpful, offered advice on what places to visit (or avoid) and organised a driver to help us explore. Of course, I took lots of photos of the villa and the beautiful surroundings. Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted most of these photos and the only ones I have left are a photo of the palm trees outside the villa (including a Papaya tree) and the view from our balcony.
With only four days left until the end of our holiday, we had to narrow down our list of things to do to the top must-visit places in the area. So, first we headed north of Ubud to see the famous Tegallalang Rice Terrace, probably one of the most popular and photographed spots in Bali. The view over the rice paddies was stunning, definitely a must-see.
Next, we stopped by the Pulina coffee plantation to taste one of the world’s most expensive coffees – Kopi Luwak. There we were greeted by a guide who took us around the plantation and let us try roasting and grinding the coffee. After that, we sat down to enjoy an array of delicious tea, coffee and hot chocolate drinks. The tour ended in the shop where we bought some local blends of coffee for home.
There were two temples in that area that we wanted to visit. The first one was the Empul Holy Water Temple. We didn’t participate in the purification bathing ritual, but it was interesting to see other people do it and my favourite part was watching the spring water emerging from the ground.
The second temple we went to was the Besakih Mother Temple. It is the biggest temple in Bali and definitely a beautiful one, but sadly, it has been turned into a huge rip off. We got warned, so it wasn’t much of a surprise for us and we still enjoyed seeing the temple, but overall it wasn’t the best experience. We had to pay an entrance fee, then sign a book agreeing to make a ‘donation’, which we didn’t do, as this was just a scam that we knew about, and finally we had to hire a guide to be allowed to go in. We were told we needed a guide because of a ceremony in the temple that day (which is a lie they tell every day). However, we agreed to pay a small fee and the guide took us around the different areas of the temple. It was really quite inside, probably because so many tourists get put off by the exploitation happening at the entrance. We were constantly followed by little girls trying to sell things to us and on our way out we were asked for another ‘donation’ which we refused again.
The next place we visited, and the highlight for me, was the Sacred Monkey Forest, which is home to hundreds of macaque monkeys. The forest is huge with tall trees that shield from the sun. We spent at least half a day in there watching, feeding and playing with the monkeys. Most of them were friendly and cute, but there were a few that seemed a bit more aggressive. They were very cheeky and always trying to open our bags looking for more food. It was a great experience and definitely worth a visit.
Our last adventure in Ubud was a river rafting. We got picked up in the morning and taken to the starting point of the rafting, which lasted for about two hours on the Ayung River. It was a great fun and not too challenging even for inexperienced people like us. We passed through numerous rapids and beautiful waterfalls and ended the experience with a lunch by the river.
So that was the end of our holiday in Bali. We all had a wonderful time and would recommend visiting both Sanur and Ubud. Let me know if you have any questions or comments. Thank you for reading!