Bali is full of hidden gems all over the island! I tried writing a blog post about ALL my favorite things throughout Bali but it was turning into a novel so thought I would break it up by destinations within Bali. Today’s edition is all about… UBUD!!
Ubud is truly one of the most magical places. Spending time in Ubud is when I truly fell in love with this spectacular island. There are endless adventures to be had here but I want to tell you about a few of my favorite activities and restaurants (if you follow my Instagram you know that I LOVE food!)
Hiking Mt. Batur at Sunrise
There are two active volcanoes in Bali - one is Mt. Agung (the one that erupted recently) and the other is Mt. Batur (the one you can hike). You should book your Mt. Batur sunrise trekking adventure in advance (we usually use a company called Bali Sunrise Trekking) and they will come pick you up at your hotel/villa around 2:30am -3:00am. They will drive you to the base of the mountain where you will meet your guide, get your flashlight and have a cup of coffee before embarking on your journey. You start hiking around 4am in the pitch black. It is a rigorous hike up the mountain but also incredibly magical. A few hours later you will reach the top of the mountain just in time to watch the sunrise. You can order a coffee or hot chocolate at the top of the mountain and sip on your warm beverage as you take in the breathtaking views. The guides also bring eggs and bread for a light breakfast and will literally cook your eggs in the volcanic steam at the top of the mountain. On the hike down, ask your guide to stop by to visit with the monkeys. There are tons of them that live on the mountain. You can also book a hot springs trip that is close by the volcano to enjoy after your hike. All in all, the experience is unforgettable and highly recommended!
Pro tip: It is freezing at the top of the mountain so make sure to layer and bring a warm jacket!
River rafting down the Ayung river is straight out of the jungle book. You will get picked up by whatever tour guide you book through (just google Ubud River Rafting and find a company with good deals) and they will take you to the base of the river. You hike down into the canyon for a while before getting into your raft. You spend the next few hours floating down the river which is nothing short of majestic. You see waterfalls, lush jungle, raft through rapids (it’s not too intense - don’t worry) and embrace all the beauty that Ubud has to offer. This is a must when in Ubud!
The Monkey Forest is located in the heart of Ubud and absolutely worth a visit! It can be a bit touristy but is still a blast and something I would highly recommend seeing while you are there. There are literally thousands of monkeys in this forest running around and playing with each other.
Pro tip: The monkeys can be a bit aggressive so make sure to read the “rules” when you arrive. Also, buy bananas there and have the monkeys hop up on your shoulder or head!
The Ubud markets are a lot of fun to shop for yourself or loved ones. Artisans line the streets to sell you everything from elephant pants, to home goods to penis bottle openers (this is not a joke). I would pair this with a trip to the Monkey Forest as you can walk to the markets from the Monkey Forest. The market is tucked away on a street in the middle of town. They are located on Jalan Raya Ubud street. If you just walk around Ubud and ask anyone where you can find the markets they will point you in the right direction. You will know you are in the right place if you see vendors lined up all through the street.
Pro tip: Make sure to bargain! When you ask a vendor how much something is always counter with HALF that price and you will usually meet somewhere in the middle. For example: the vendor might tell you that something is 200,000 rupiah ($15 US dollars). You would then say, “No, no too expense! I will give you 100,000 rupiah ($7.50 US)." This may go back and forth for a minute but you usually meet somewhere in the middle and settle on 150,000 rupiah ($11 US dollars). Happy shopping!
Tegallalang Rice Terraces
Bali is famous for their rice fields and Tegallalang is a perfect place to check them out! Walk around the rice terraces and experience a true sense of Balinese culture.
Pro tip: I would highly recommend waking up early to go there at sunrise to avoid heat and tourists!
Getting massages is one of my all-time favorite things and even more fun in Bali because they are so inexpensive! You can get a massage anywhere from $7 US dollars to $15 US dollars depending on the place.
Pro tip: One of my favorite spas is Jaens Spa (https://jaensspa.com/). Make sure to email them in advance for a reservation because they book up quickly!
Sayan House takes the cake as my favorite restaurant in Bali. It is a Latin/Japanese fusion restaurant (think guacamole rolls - photo below) and some of the most delicious and creative food I have ever had! The cocktails are also out of this world. You will sit on a terrace overlooking the river and jungle. Couldn’t recommend this place more!
- If you are vegan/vegetarian, ask for their vegetarian menu. They have a completely separate menu they will offer you and everything is amazing.
- Sayan House is located right by the Four Seasons Ubud so it can be fun to go to the Four Season first for a drink and then Sayan House for dinner.
This is an upscale vegetarian Mexican food restaurant and it is AMAZING! Their margaritas are my favorite in Ubud. There is live music every night and great vibes.
Pro tip: They are only open for dinner for so plan accordingly. And make sure to try the stuffed mushrooms, they are incredible!
This is my favorite casual café in Ubud. It is located in the center of town so a good place to stop by and eat if you go to the monkey forest or are in town shopping.
They grow all their own vegetables on site so needless to say everything is fresh and delicious. Great place!
This is a hole in the wall type of place with the best ribs in town. (I have a lot of vegetarian recommendations on here so thought I would throw this on the list for any meat lovers!)
Other vegan/vegetarian restaurants that are highly recommended: The Elephant, The Alchemist, Moksa.
Ok, that wraps up my all-time favorites in Ubud!! Keep your eyes peeled for the next blog post on my Canggu favorites!