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  • Rebecca Marshall

Bali - Ubud

Must sees:

>>> The monkey Forest

>>> Yoga Barn

>>> Traditional Balinese Dance

>>> Pomegranate Cafe

>>> Mount Batur hike for sunrise

>>> Taksu Spa & beauty - for massage

Must Pack:

>>> Mozzie Repellant

>>> Face wipes (It is extremely humid at certain times of year)

>>> Sweat resistent sun screen

>>> Comfortable trainers for Mount Batur hike

Ubud. The city hidden amongst jungle. The thick humidity in the air hits you on arrival - there is luscious greenery of tall palms, vegetation and rice paddies surrounding this lively but tranquil place. Rural yet bustling, there is a wellness vibe about it.

Hire a Mo-Ped to get around, they are cheap and a lot of accommodation hire them out to you which makes things easy. I stayed at Secret Hideaway Guest House when I was in Ubud which is perfect for couples or small groups to stay at. It is run by a traditional Balinese family and the Mother - Ibu - is so welcoming and refers to herself as ‘your bali mum’ on arrival! She also is an incredible cook - makes ridiculously good banana pancakes for breakfast, and cooks a mean slow cooked spicy chicken in banana leaves for you if you ask! The guest house is a great location to the town, is quiet and peaceful, and gives you an insight to what it is like staying with a local family. You will need a torch if coming back late at night as the narrow pathway to the house is not well lit.

It stands by its name and does feel a bit like a ‘secret hideaway’ as you look out your bedroom window to thick green jungle and a drop into a valley. I highly recommend insect repellant for mosquitoes in Ubud!

The early start for Mount Batur sunrise hike is totally worth it. It is an active volcano and the view from the summit is pretty spectacular! You will be sharing the view with many other people, but its a great way to escape the hustle of town and an active way to begin a day in Ubud. Most guest houses and hotels will book it for you, a guide will come pick you up from your accommodation usually and take you there and designate you a guide. Layer up, as in the middle of the night it can be somewhat cool, but you will be sure to strip off the warmer it gets as you heat up from exercise and as the sun rises. Its a funny experience as you go up in the pitch black not seeing much, then when you reach the top the sun begins to rise with beautiful amber and pink skies. On the route down you realise where you were walking and are greeted by curious monkeys!

So…The Monkey Forest. The mossy trees and jungle jane look of the place is awesome, if you're like me and is a be fearful of the ‘un-predictableness’ of monkeys then just respect their personal space. They will be cheeky and grab bottles or things that are hanging off your bag, so best to keep everything tucked away and zipped up! Walked around the forest is beautiful though - and almost Avatar - dream like, and is a lovely way to spend a chilled morning or afternoon.

When I was there a women had her soft toy for her child stolen off of her by one of the more confident monkeys, and it was hilarious watching this monkey up a tree bit by bit decapitating and dismembering the toy and chucking the stuffing at her from a height. They really have no remorse and I think just find it amusing when they ‘get one over’ on us humans!

If you're into your Yoga - The Yoga Barn in town is a really peaceful place, is pretty famous and well known for its yoga with heaps of different classes for different levels of yogi. Classes get booked up fast so get there early to get a decent spot.

There is a traditional balinese fire dance on Friday and Monday evenings in town, and you will most likely see it advertised on posters around. It really is worth seeing, as it is a performance that used to only be for the king but is now shown to tourists and is a great little insight into their culture. Again your guest house / hotel can usually book this for you if you don't get tickets yourself by a tout.

Pomegranate cafe - what a dreamy find! This is worth the scooter ride / walk through the rice paddies as its a stunning elevated cafe in the middle of all the ride paddies. The views are beautiful and its awesome to sit with a pot of tea or smoothie and watch the the world go by and the locals tending to their fields. Below is a photograph from that very cafe of me doing just this.

If you're into your massages and beauty treatments - I can recommend Taksu Spa and Beauty as a deluxe place. If you’re looking for more cheap and cheerful massages - there are heaps of little beauty places doing reasonable priced massages - I can’t tell you what type of ‘oil’ it is they use though as some of them I came out smelling like a deep fat fryer…

#bali #ubud #travel #travelbali

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