TRAVEL: AROUND UBUD
Eve since Emma wrote her jealousy-inducing review of Alila Ubud a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been dreaming of exotic adventures in this beautiful part of the world. So when this stunning set of images from photographer and traveller Aline Lane landed in our submissions folder of course I couldn’t resist indulging in a little more inspiration. This time we’re exploring the rainy season in Bali, but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful!
Destination: Ubud, Bali
Travel Time: Around 18 hours, depending on route
Time of Year: December (rainy season)
Has anyone of you seen “Eat Pray Love”? Don’t worry, I don’t want to philosophise about the movie. But having seen it my first thought was wow – Bali. You’re a beauty! A little later than three years I’m living in Bali. Ubud is my base and I love it from the first minute – although I am not the biggest fan of humid heat!
The first time I visited I remember Lianas hanging off the trees, making me feel like I’m in the middle of the jungle. It was so much more beautiful than I remembered from the movie. Once you leave Ubud itself you’re in the middle of rice fields, accompanied by palm trees. Everything is green, lush and beautiful. The sun is shining bright, except for a few rainy days. The country and its people are in absolute peace despite the rush and craziness of traffic. The food is absolutely delicious – I am having fresh Asian dishes every day for little to nothing. Just the thought of it is mouthwatering. The cocktails have become my very best friend, drinking out of paw paw straws is my biggest pleasure and it’s making me feel like I’m a kid again! I already knew that this wouldn’t be the last time I visited Bali. It’s so, so beautiful and should be on everyone’s travel list!
After a few days relaxing and enjoying the pool in Ubud I was ready to see more of Bali so I booked a driver (about 30-40 € a day). My first stop was: Taman Ayun, Royal Water Temple, Badung near Ubud, a beautiful and calming place. After that I visited Ulun Danu Bratan – a temple in a lake. As it had been very dry at that time, the temple was not in the lake, but it was still super beautiful! I loved everything about this place, the serenity, the view, the colorful plants. Just amazing!
I also went to Goa Gajah or ‘Elephant Cave’, another pretty temple just outside of Ubud. A tip for visiting the temples is to make sure to have a sarong with you otherwise they will sell you one! Also some temples have ceremonies where you have to wear a scarf around your hips as well.
Next temple on my list is Bangli Kehen Temple. Bali’s second biggest temple. Getting out of the car and looking at the temple makes my jaw drop. It is big and it is awesome! It looks old, ancient, the figures are scary and beautiful at the same time. Once up in the temple there’s a huge tree with lianas hanging off. It makes you feel small, but also sheltered. The birds are singing around me, the air is warm, I am the only person here.
The next stop is Tampak Siring. This temple is famous for its holy springs and hundreds of people are lining up in a pool to wash themselves. The water is cold but the vibe is uplifting. There’s a ceremony in the other part of the temple with a high priest and lots of music, men sitting on the ground and banging their tin drums. The scent of incense is in the air. I get lost in the sound and forget the time and people around me.
My last temple for today is Gunung Kawi or Rocky Temple. The humid heat made it super hard for me to climb down the hundreds of stairs, but the pretty view of the temple complex made everything worthwhile! The temple is nestled in the rocks, spread across two sides of a little river, surrounded by rice fields, exotic flowers, green plan trees and my favorites again, lianas.
On the way back to Ubud we stopped at Tegallalang, the famous rice terraces. I’m exhausted from the heat of the day but still enjoying this awesome view with a cold drink in my hand. Back to Ubud. For the last few days of my trip I chose to enjoy Ubud and its surroundings. I walked through the rice fields, visiting the sauna and sipping cocktails.
My last highlight – and I mean that when I say it – was Jungle Fish. A resort in the middle of nowhere with a huge infinity pool. You can go there as a tourist as you just pay about €15 which you just have to spend there ordering food or drinks. That’s it! You can lie there all day and enjoy doing nothing!