Ubud

Ubud is the ultimate day trippers dream – waterfalls, temples, lush-green rice terraces and encounters with local monkeys, all make for a memorable day in the town of Ubud, Bali. An hours drive from Seminyak, depending on traffic, Ubud is a buzzing town with plenty to see and experience.

We had arranged our own private driver for the day, unlimited hours and wherever we wanted to go for 600,000 IDR for 2 people. These services can be arranged from your hotel or through any local tour operator.

Batuan Temple was our first stop on way to Ubud. Our early departure meant we were able to enjoy the grounds of this beautiful temple without any other tourists. Entrance costs 20,000 IDR to enter plus some tips for a sarong.

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Our next stop was the Goa Gajah Elephant Temple. Hindu relics here dating as far back as the 11th century greet you upon entrance, along with bathing pools and fountains. The temple is open from 8am to 4pm, but I recommend going early to beat the heat. Remember, ladies are not allowed to enter during menstruation. Entrance will set you back 10,000 IDR and 25,000 IDR for a sarong outside the temple. Again, an early visit was worth it to explore the temple relatively undisturbed.

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It was then time for a cool down at the refreshing Tegenungan Waterfalls. A picturesque waterfall in scenic surrounds, to access the waterfall you must walk down some pretty steep steps on the way down and back up again. The water is fast flowing so definitely take caution, especially if you plan on scaling the waterfall to the top. Entrance is 15,000 IDR to enter and another 10,000 IDR to enter the upper part of the waterfall. There is a sheeted off area to change into swimmers for a small donation.

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Next was a quick visit to the Monkey Forest Temple. The temple grounds sit in a rich green forest, with monkeys greeting you as soon as you enter. The monkeys are very use to human interaction and can be particularly friendly when it comes to checking bags and pockets for food. 40,000 IDR to enter and 10,000 to 20,000 IDR to purchase bananas for the monkeys.

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It was then on to the famous Tegalang Rice Terraces for lunch and to explore. After a quick and delicious Indonesia lunch at one of the local cafes near the terraces, it was into the terraces to have a closer look. Some local children selling postcards guided us through the terraces and the best route. Lush green rice fields go as far as the eye can see. At the top a local woman was selling cold drinks and coconuts, which make for a welcome relief from the steamy mid day weather.

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Our last stop was to taste the most expensive coffee in the world – Luwak coffee. Processed from the Luwak (a sort of possum), the Luwak’s are fed the coffee beans and the beans, once passed, are roasted again for a stronger flavour. We were then given a sample of a dozen different flavoured teas and coffee’s made by the Plantation. The products offered can be purchased from the Plantations shop, prices varying on size and product.

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What a massive day in Ubud! A definite must for those looking to escape the tourist overload of Kuta, Ubud is a cultural and sensory overload of the better kind! Tune in for Part II on Bali – Gili T Island.

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