Do you feel happy, scared or excited when you see the temple statue above?
Happy, Excited, or Scared.
Pick one and don’t forget it. You’ll find out later.
This isn’t rocket science, I believe in you.
Man do I suck.
I would love to blame my lack of posting on the case of Bali Belly that had my dying, but that only lasted a total of 24 hours (even though it seemed like at least 80 hours).
But since that only lasted a day, and it’s been over a week…I will have to blame my inconsistency and procrastination on me just simply trying to enjoy my last week in Bali.
I know terrible excuse, almost as bad as the that whole dog ate my homework one. (Oh how I wish my sweet Bambi was here to eat my homework.)
Instead of coming up with more excuses, I am here to make up for it by giving you the complete run down of Ubud. (Finally.)
So here it is. Prepare yourself.
We started our trip off in Ubud staying at a place called Zen Ubud. It has to be one of the craziest places we have stayed at yet. It had an infinity pool overlooking the jungle along with two bedrooms and you guessed it..another amazing outdoor shower. We took a quick hike to a tiny waterfall one of the days spent here and came back to Monkeys raiding our villa. I couldn’t even pretend to be mad. They were the cutest little balls of fur (even if my sunglasses were taken hostage.)
What I really loved about this place was that it felt like we were completely by ourselves in the middle of a jungle, when in reality we were only a quick ten-minute scooter ride through rice fields to the local Ubud market (yes, the famous one that Julia Roberts walks through oh-so casually).
Oh Julia Robert’s I get it. I totally get the love for the place. I do, I do, I do.
I get the whole Eat, Pray, Love movement and I totally understand wanting to visit and experience Ubud but I feel like people come to Bali to only experience Ubud when there is so much more around it (trust me I have spent the last two months proving it).
Don’t get me wrong the Ubud market was filled with culture (along with being elbow to elbow with other tourists.)
It is definitely a place worth visiting, but please know that the same things sold here can easily be found in other villages for half (if not a third) of the price you will pay in Ubud.
Ubud was extremely busy. Covered in tourist fanny packs and the scent of sunscreen and cigarettes following us around no matter where we went. We stopped to eat at a little place and for the first time in two months we were told there would be a twenty-minute wait. Talk about a buzz kill. I feel like people come thinking that Ubud is the shit when really it is just becoming shit. Sorry but it’s the truth.
It is sad to see how a simple book has transformed a cultural place into money-making madness. If you are plan on visiting Bali just to visit Ubud, keep in mind there are many different areas with half the amount of people, and half the price close by.
The best part of Ubud was the Balinese cooking class and ATV tour we did with Wayan Tours. Wayan picked us up from Zen and took his time driving us to his village, stopping and explaining things that I had wondered since arriving to Bali. I learned more from him in our quick car ride than I have the last two months.
Speaking of which; do you remember which one you picked?
Happy, Scared, or Excited. (If you don’t…well just close your eyes point to one and go with it.)
They have those temple statues outside of almost every temple in Bali (incase you didn’t know… that is A LOT of temples) and how you perceive the statue is how you also perceive your life.
When Wayan asked me, my answer was “Uhhhh…a little of both…scared and happy.”
I would say that is pretty damn accurate.
Anyways, I thought it was pretty cool.
The Balinese cooking class was pretty damn awesome as well. I got to mix up some traditional food while learning about the traditional spices and seeing the other local market in the village next to Ubud. (I also got to laugh at Stephen wearing his cute little Balinese cooking attire.)
If you are interested in taking a cooking class or riding ATVs while staying in Ubud definitely go through Wayan Tours. There are so many tourist agencies charging way too much, and I can honestly say he took his time really teaching us about the culture and it was definitely worth it.
From Zen Ubud we grabbed some quick food from a little place and then went even further into the jungle and stayed at a place called Hillside Eden. This is when it hit. No not more monkeys…
I am talking about *cue horror music* Bali Belly!!!
Honestly I was thankful that I had Bali Belly and not Dengue (sickness from mosquitos). If it were Dengue I would have had to head to the hospital and this week would’ve been a whole lot different. Thankfully it was only a day bug and after some ginger tea, fever medicine, and lots of rest and fluids (along with a hot hot bubble bath) I was feeling much better.
The staff at Hillside Eden blew me away. They were quick to help out and cooked some of the yummiest food I have ever eaten. The stars were BREATH TAKING.
It has been a little bit (months) since I have really sat under the stars and zoomed out of life and all of its bull shit. It is humbling to sit and realize how small I really am. IT IS CRAZY.
Stars and sunrises; both things I had a chance to see every day/night while in the United States, but only appreciated them once I took a chance to actually appreciate them. CRAZY.
So Ubud in a nutshell:
If you are REALLY wanting to visit Ubud, by all means do it, but also venture out and check out the other areas and markets. You’ll thank me later, I promise.
It is a beautiful place and you can still see glimpses of how it used to be but it’s important to venture outside of Ubud and head to other places like Sanur.
Speaking of Sanur, that is where we will be ending our Bali trip.
*INSERT A MILLION SAD FACES HERE*
I will be posting another post wrapping up (a lil cheat sheet of Bali) all of the areas.
(Hopefully I can get that one out way quicker than this one, no more excuses, I promise.)
And while you wait…don’t forget….