THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO UBUD, BALI
Updated: Jul 28, 2018
Bali, Indonesia the land of over 20,000 temples. This area of Indonesia is a complete dream. The people are friendly, it is completely safe to come here as a woman solo just FYI, and the food is absolutely incredible. As a vegan, and as of recently, gluten free, Ubud specifically could not have been a better place to transition to my new dietary needs. Note: you will walk a lot, you will sweat a lot and honestly just bring your bathing suit with you everywhere. Ah Ubud, the home to many Eat Pray Love fans yogi-ing it up and buying every fresh fruit in sight. If you're heading to Bali, Ubud is a MUST SEE, there is so much to see and do and it is a very central location to stay at if you're also trying to do slightly larger hikes, etc.
Located in the center of Ubud is the incredible Monkey Forest, home to the Hindu temple as well and there are some great shopping markets surrounding the location as well! Entrance fee: 50,000 IDR (roughly $3.59 USD)
They are open daily from 8:30 AM to 6 PM
My recommendation to you if you are going and want to take pictures with the monkeys on you or something, just stay calm, buy some bananas (HIDE them in your bag or something until you're ready for the picture). Once you bring them out be aware that yes, monkeys will notice and some might quickly try to take it, others might slowly climb on you. Also, don't bring any valuables with you, when you're holding your phone clutch it with your life, sunglasses on your head will be stolen, sorry about it. And plastic water bottles or anything plastic for that matter will be taken, so don't take it out if you're wanting it for yourself.
There are two absolute must see infinity pools, one is Folk Pool and Gardens which is located in the downtown Ubud area, so if you're finished shopping for the day I recommend you take a break and relax in the pool either in a cabana or by the pool bar. Yes, they do have food as well (vegetarian friendly), and this is a smaller place but its known for its chill vibe and great live music at times. It's approximately $5 USD (about 75,000 IDR) to get in but I believe if you get there before 12 pm it is free if that is a concern!
Hours: 10 AM - 10 PM, Everyday Monkey Forest Road, Ubud 80571, Indonesia +62 361 9080888
The next is a little drive away from Ubud's center but trust me it is worth it! Jungle Fish is a larger infinity pool with more of a classy vibe to it, with an incredible view of the forest surrounding Ubud. It is free to get in, you just walk through the main spa center, down a flight of stairs (where there is also a restaurant open as well) and then you walk toward the bar and again you're able to choose the seating you'd like. They have several cabanas on swings, booths and fun chairs to choose from. All in all it is a must see for relaxation and to get a different perspective on the jungle around you.
Hours: 7:30 AM - 11 PM, Everyday Jl. Raya Sebali, Kelusa, Payangan, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80561, Indonesia +62 361 8989104
TEGALALANG RICE TERRACE
This is a beautiful site to see if you haven't already, it is a perfect day excursion, to hike the terraces completely around (quite the hike in the heat let me tell you) and swing on some pretty high swings to get the full view. I recommend stopping to try the famous Kopi Luwak coffee or get a fresh cut coconut to drink out of to help with the heat.
To enter the site you'll need 15,000 IDR (roughly $1 USD) per person, if you are parked somewhere it is an added 5,000 IDR (36 cents). Some will also ask for donations in order to get through some portions, so just be aware and bring some 5,000 IDR bills which is the usual donation made, if you choose more that is also acceptable however I wasn't sure exactly where the money was going so I made small ones. If you choose to make a larger donation to the farmers, you can meet them directly since many of them are on site.
Note: the swings will also cost some money if you wanted to do that, I believe it's roughly 100,000 IDR ($7-8 USD)
Address: Jalan Tegallalang, Tegallalang, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80561
TAXI VS APP Now I know the taxi industry vs. Uber/Lyft ordeal is a big thing in most countries however if you are on a budget in Bali and really don't want your transportation to be bleeding you dry I wanted to give some advice.
First, download the app Grab. Areas in Ubud, or really a lot of places in Bali overall don't have Uber because it was too scary to use around the taxi industries. Grab is the same deal you just put in your information and I believe you still have to pay cash but they might've changed it since I went. Either way you should always have IDR on you in Bali just to be safe. The prices are SO GOOD though, very reasonable and many of them are friendly. Now be aware that many of them are terrified of the taxis however so if they message you before pick up saying things like "Is it safe?" or "Are you in a less crowded area" it isn't them being creepy, its them saying is it safe for them to come, because crowded areas are in the taxis domain. You'll get asked if you want a taxi at least a thousand times, no need to be rude just politely decline and they'll love you for it.
MOPEDS Motorcycles or mopeds are the best way to travel, its true. I never did it on my own but I hopped on the back of some a few times and it is so much fun, so if you really get the chance you should definitely try it out! Just remember you don't have to drive like the locals, because they've been driving like that for years, they have the upper hand. You're a beginner and thats okay, take it slow.
PURA TIRTA EMPUL
This gorgeous temple is a must see, located close to the town of Tampaksiring, just north of Ubud. This is a very spiritual temple, known for its great stories of healing waters and Hindu kings. It's important to know you have to wear a sarong to get in, if you don't have one they always have some available to rent, and also to have your shoulders covered. There are about 30 water spouts that are said to have purifying and healing powers, you start from the far left spout and move your way over. Out of respect, culturally, my group did not use the last two spouts but again that is a personal choice. Each spout is said to help with different things, so keep that in mind if you want to have thoughts laid out before you begin. Hours: 9 AM to 5 PM, Everyday Entrance Fee: 15,000 IDR Adult 7,500 IDR for Children