Bali

Loving Ubud – Part 2

After breakfast on day 2 (Bali part 1) in Bali, we met the friendly manager of Grandma’s Plus Airport Hotel who were as excited as we were about our vacation in Bali! Expressing our love for the service and food at the hotel, we bid farewell and were on our way (by Uber) to Ubud. The hotel manager was pro-Uber – thankfully.

Beji Ubud Resort

Approximately 2 hours later and after passing numerous paddy fields that looked a lot like home in Sri Lanka, we reached our next hotel – Beji Ubud Resort. MY OH MY. I was speechless. The resort was surrounded by jungle and the insects were so loud, even at 1 in the afternoon! The resort had 5 breath-taking swimming pools, one of which was an infinity pool that overlooked a rugged mountain and river.

Our room was close to a smaller pool and had large open door/window as the entrance. The room was massive and comfortable. The spacious bathroom had a tub and a separate shower area.

Riding Bikes in Bali

Hungry for adventure, we rented a scooter from the reception; trust me, it’s the ONLY way to truly experience Ubud and were on our way – after my partner convinced me that we weren’t going to die by his riding skills. We rode in search of adventure; me, clinging for my dear life while trying to navigate with Google Maps and him, trying to understand road rules, right turns and everything else about riding a scooter in a foreign country – without a license!

Riding without a license in Bali is completely do-able, so long as you adhere to road rules and wear a helmet, and aren’t riding in swim wear. Police tend to stop “touristy” tourists, i.e. those purely in swim wear while riding around town.

Bali Swing

Our first mission was set – we were en-route to the famous Bali Swing. Slightly overpriced, it cost 45 USD for a round on all swings plus lunch. You know those perfect Instagram shots in Bali, where a girl in a flowing dress and perfect hair looks absolutely flawless and stunning while on a swing? Yeah, that wasn’t me. I was in shorts and a crop top, my hair was too short and too frizzed from the humidity to be anything but flowing! Damn you, tropical weather!

Are the Bali Swings Worth It?

Hell yeah. We took some pretty cute pictures together – you’ve got to have patience though. Tons of Insta-stars waiting in line for that perfect shot. After we were done with the rides, we were too tired to properly pose for a picture, we did a half-arsed job and got back on our scooter headed to the hotel.

With the evening spent in the pool for some much-needed rest, our first day was drawing to an end in Ubud.

Sacred Monkey Forest

The second day in Ubud kicked off early, after a hearty breakfast of 2 plates of Mie Goreng, satays and fried bananas,  we headed to the iconic Ubud Monkey Forest to meet my partner’s relatives. Ha Ha. Those monkeys are creepy af. There’s a scary list of rules before you enter in, i.e. don’t make eye contact, don’t scream and panic if one jumps on to you. I mean, WHAT?! In which world, was someone expected to remain calm and collected when a wild animal starts attacking or crawling all over you?!

I felt like I was heading into a death trap, but with my personal monkey guard by my side, we headed into the forest. The monkeys were pretty much well behaved, we didn’t make eye contact, and followed crowds so that we weren’t the targets for ambush and murder.

What not to do inside the Monkey Forest

  • Don’t bring food, unless you have a death wish.
  • Don’t bring water, unless you have a death wish.
  • Don’t make eye contact, unless you have a death wish.
  • Don’t tease or bother them, because, they’re wild animals, duh. Have some respect.
  • Don’t use the flash on your camera, seriously. It’ll make the monkeys blind and dizzy. Have some respect.
  • Don’t carry plastic bags, unless you want to be attacked.

About 2 hours of walking and avoiding every other foolish tourist with food in their hands, we safely made it out of the Monkey Forest, and headed to town. We stumbled upon the crowded, bustling Art Market. What a perfect place for shopping! Streets cluttered with everything – from wooden penises and souvenirs to clothes and crafts! We did our shopping and found a small, cute pizzeria for dinner, before heading back to the hotel with beer and wine.

We devoured the pizza and decided we needed more adventure for the day. So we googled the nearest waterfall, packed our clothes and hopped back on the bike in search of this mysterious waterfall.

Waterfalls in Ubud

Tegenungan Waterfall looked nothing short of magical in everyone’s Instagram pictures and on Google itself. But, the gracious Gods of Bali decided to truly give us the adventure we were looking for.

On the way, it started to rain. Not drizzle mind you, but a torrential downpour, with zero visibility.

It must be stated that, on our first day in Bali, I bought two raincoats from Miniso in Discovery Shopping Mall. AND THEY CAME TO GOOD USE IN UBUD. Approximately 2 hours of navigating, buying an Absolut bottle of diesel for the bike, being slammed against my partner’s back thanks to his excellent braking skills, almost dropping his Iphone while trying to take those cute paddy field-bike selfies, we made it to the waterfall, despite the downpour. The road to the entrance was flooded, but we managed to buy tickets and made our way down a flight of stairs before we found a brown, gushing waterfall.

Tegenungan waterfall was brown and muddy and nothing like what we hoped for. Then again, it was raining and it roared so loud it was deafening! On good days though, you can bathe in the pool at the base of the waterfall.

It was an adventure that we both cherish and love ’til this day about our holiday.We ended the day with a cold beer and Nasi Goreng for dinner.

The next day we were meant to head back to Kuta, but our love for Ubud was strong, so we extended our stay and checked in to Bliss Ubud Bungalow and Spa.

Bliss Ubud Bungalow and Spa

Ubud Bungalow and Spa was my least favourite hotel thus far, not because it was bad. The service and food were great; but there was 3 ginormous geckos (lizards…could be crocodiles) in our room. Again, understandably, it’s located on a paddy field, where these insects thrive. The breakfast at Bliss Ubud was spectacular; Mie Goreng, fried corn, tropical fruits and fresh fruit juice!

We spent the day in the pool, dined at local restaurants and strolled through the Art Market again, and endured our first lover’s spat in a foreign country. Yikes! Not the favourite part of our holiday, but we got over it and continued with our vacation.

Tip- The vendors at the Art Market really expect you to bargain. I felt a bit uncomfortable at first, but my partner managed to snag some cool deals. You can usually bargain for half the initial price.

Our last morning in Ubud, we walked along the Campuhan Ridge Walk, which is pretty scenic. Walk here in the morning, as it can get quite hot in the afternoon and there’s not much shade around either.

Rating – 7/10

Rating – 9/10. The banana fritters are heavenly. The infinity pool is to die for.

Rating – 6/10. I’m not a fan of monkeys attacking me.

Rating – 7/10. Breakfast was amaze-balls. Tropical fruits and Mie Goreng were the best.

Rating – 8/10. The waterfall was majestic even though it bellowed angrily. I can only imagine how it looks when there’s no rain!

Yours truly,

Imperfect Traveller

Author

gillienair91@gmail.com

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