Unfortunately, we were planning to spend only 4 days in Bali. Bali’s anti-advertising (tourist, messy, etc.) by many friends, unfortunately, brought it down to it. From that moment on, we realized that the tourist might not mean something which we do not like at all. It was also clear that people prefer very different things when traveling and beauty is in the eyes of the viewer. Anyway, we fell in love with Ubud instantly! We were very fond of the city and the people living there. It may be a touristy place, but we were not disturbed by tourists. We were rather pleasantly surprised that it was very convenient for tourists there. Compared to Lombok Island, Bali is much easier to get around and reach beautiful sights. It may not be necessary to drive a 10 km gravel road on the scooter, etc. The service level in Bali was also very good and we really felt very home there.
Our hotel was extraordinary again. It was like entering the temple. Our room was set in a beautiful garden surrounded by various statues, plants, and birdcages. The host of the hotel was also very hospitable and helpful, and our breakfast was just delicious.
Once again, we rented a scooter to discover the nearby attractions. There are numerous temples in and around Ubud. So, we have chosen the most beautiful ones. The first stop was the Pura Gunung Kawi Temple dating back to the 11th century. The main attraction here is high cliff-cut pillars. It is a funeral monument dedicated to former kings and their families. The temple is surrounded by extensive rice terraces. For us, it all seemed to be from another world. Paradise amid the jungle.
In Ubud, we wanted to visit the Temple of Pura Dalem when it was unfortunately closed because of the rain. But we could walk in the courtyard area of the Saraswati temple in the middle of lotus flower pools. It is a Hindu temple dedicated to Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom and art. Unfortunately, some of the temple areas are occupied by restaurants and there is also a Starbucks. The most well-known place to visit was the Ubud Palace or Puri Saren Agung. This is Bali’s historic royal residence, where the royal family still lives.
In the evenings, a traditional Bali dance performance is presented to tourists. There are other temples where you can watch the show, but we particularly went to see it at the Ubud Palace. The performance itself was quite long. Kaija liked the performance very much. Jaanus did not understand some parts of the performance hence he did not enjoy that much. Anyway, it was a fairly morbid performance but interesting and entertaining.
The city of Ubud is also well-known for its market, which sells handicrafts, arts, and souvenirs. We spent some time there, partly to protect ourselves from the rain, but also because Kaija wanted to shop 🙂
Perhaps the most famous attraction near Ubud is the rice terraces of Tegalalang. It is an enormously large piece of land that stretches along the river valley. It’s a pretty big tourist magnet. Swings hang in different places to swing over the rice fields and take a nice picture. However, we decided not to swing and instead walked deeper into the rice terraces to escape the masses. We finally managed it quite well. In order to get a real idea of Tagalalang, we recommend that you take a bit longer walk there and not be limited to 20 minutes of swinging and picture taking in the main places there.
For the last day, we decided to discover some of the surrounding waterfalls. The Lithuanian couple we met at Kuta suggested we definitely go to waterfall of (Wisata Air Terjun) Kanto Lampo. We hit the road as early as possible in the morning to avoid the masses. At first, it seemed quite complicated to get to the waterfall because we had to go to through the brownish river water to get there. We were not sure why the water is brown and was afraid we might catch some parasites or something. Fortunately, we probably didn’t pick up any. We were able to enjoy a refreshing cold shower of the waterfall. Every time we go to the waterfalls we get the idea that it must be now the most beautiful fall we’ve seen … until we visit the next one.
We also visited Tegenungan waterfall, which is much larger than the previous one. But because there was no opportunity to swim, we didn’t get very close, because we would have to wake up and down the stairs again under the hot sun. We enjoyed it from a distance with the cocktail and it was also kind of nice.
We may not be able to tell you exactly why we really liked it in Ubud. But we certainly know that we want to go back there.
Next day we had a couple of hours’ flight to Singapore waiting us.