I recently went to Ubud for a friends birthday and ‘u bud-dah believe I loved it!’ (sorry.) Ubud was a fantastic time away; fresh food, lovely people and so many sights around that you understand why people want to come and live here. It’s away from Kuta and the party-feel (do the Shaka m8) so although it’s touristy it’s not your typical Australian southern cross tattoo, bin-tang singlet walk around with buckets of alcohol touristy.
Read below on some tips for what to do with your time in Ubud.
The Basics: How to get to Ubud
My Top Choices: What you should see
My Recommendations: Mostly, where to eat.
Where to Stay: Where I stayed or where friends stayed.
What I did: My diary entry.
Getting to Ubud.
✈ F L Y to Denpasar.
NOTE: Denpasar Airport’s real name is I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport.
Depending on where you’re flying from – It’ll vary hugely in price. Majority of Airlines from Europe will have a stopover in their connecting home country.
A good tip: Cheap flight to S.E Asia then xfer via AirAsia to get to Denpasar.
|USA||Scoot Airlines (Hawaii), Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, China Airlines.|
|AUS / ASIA||Jetstar, AirAsia, Qantas, Scoot Airlines / Vietnam Airlines, Thai Airways, Malindo Airways, NOK Airlines.|
|EUR||Singapore Airlines, Norwegian Airlines, Qatar Airways, China Airlines, Korean Airlines, Scoot Airlines.|
🚌 B U S to Ubud.
If you’re already in Bali, take a look at the below shuttles that may have depart close to your destination.
- KuraBus > 9:00, 11:00, 13:00, 14:30 | One Way: IDR 80,000 | Return: 120,000
Departs from DFS Bus Terminal,
- PermaTour > 07:00, 10:00, 12:00, 13:30, 16:30 | One Way: IDR 60,000
🚕 Taxi / Grab
If you come out of the Airport with your luggage in hand, you’ll be welcomed by some Taxi Drivers asking where you’re going. These drives are safe to take, if not with a bit of a”tourist tax.”
You should be looking at 200k – 3000k IRP depending on your bartering skills with local taxi drivers.
Bali locals don’t specifically like Grab. However, it is a cheap safe option if you wish to take it. There is a booth within the Domestic terminal.
MY TOP CHOICES
⏰ 24 hours for the terraces,
💰 Free + 150k for the swing (inc’ a water bottle.)
There is no denying that the swing itself is a tourist gimmick but it is also very fun. The rice terrace fields themselves are beautiful and free.
Note: If you take a photo of a local, often money will need to be exchanged. Some locals will walk around offering.
⏰ 24 hours.
📍 Kelusa, Payangan, Jl. Raya Campuan, Sayan, Ubud
Try to get there for the sunrise/sunset if you can.
Goa Gajah / The Elephant Cave.
⏰ 8:00 – 17:00
💰 IDR 15.000
📝 You’ll need a Sarong here. They have free rentals after you grab a ticket. If you wish to buy one yourself, locals will be selling them before the ticketed entrance.
When we went here, there was a celebration on which meant we couldn’t actually get up and close to the Elephant cave itself, however, the surroundings and everything going on was spectacular.
⏰ 9:00 – 18:00
💰 IDR 30.000
📍 Jl. Tirta, Manukaya, Tampaksiring, Kabupaten Gianyar,
📝 You’ll need a Sarong here. They have free rentals after you grab a ticket. Also, those with long hair – in certain parts you’ll need your hair tied back.
This temple is used for holy water for many places around Bali and people often come here to bathe in the waters and collect some for home.
I didn’t bathe in the waters as I didn’t feel a real connection to it, however, you’re more than welcome to. Read a blog post here on someone’s experience.
⏰ 9:00 – 18:00
📍Jl. Banjar Gagah, Tegalalang
📝 You can purchase coffee + tea at the store at the end.
We learned about a range of herbs, spices, and fruits. They show you how the coffee bean is roasted, wonderful gardens and explain numerous things. There is free tasting at the end with Luwak coffee as an exception – 50,000 IDR.
They do have some Luwaks in a cage and they advise they release them every 3 months. This isn’t something I would have liked to see, however, I guess it’s better than those places that allow you to hold them and take photos (they’re nocturnal animals.)
⏰ 8:00 am – 21:00 pm
📍Jl. Tirta Tawar No.45 | Banjar Kutuh Kaja, Ubud
Made fresh daily, everything in this restaurant is Avocado based. The whole time, I was just thinking of the vine “fre-free-sha-vaca-do.”
They source everything locally and support the farmers and community.
⏰ 8:00 am – 21:00 pm
📍Jl. Tirta Tawar No.45 | Banjar Kutuh Kaja, Ubud
Make sure you sit upstairs for a nice view overlooking the main area of Ubud.
⏰ 10:00 am – 22:30 pm
📍Jalan Wenara Wana, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571
- ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert.
“In order to give herself the time and space to find out who she really was and what she really wanted, she got rid of her belongings, quit her job, and undertook a yearlong journey around the world—all alone” – Goodreads.com
Hotel Kerobokan by Kathryn Bonella
“Welcome to Hotel Kerobokan, the ironic nickname for Kerobokan Jail, Bali’s most notorious prison, and home to a procession of the infamous and the tragic: the BALI BOMBERS, Gold Coast beautician SCHAPELLE CORBY and the BALI NINE, among many others.” ~ Goodreads.com
WHERE TO STAY
NOKA HOUSE; Artist Eco Villa
|Free breakfast: toast or noodle + fruit, egg, bacon.
Juices; 20,000 IDR.
|Each bathroom is attached to a room. Downstairs includes bath, outdoor shower, and basin. Clean.|
|3 private rooms, mosquito net, lamps, bedside table and a safe.
Each lock privately with own key.
|Free fast wifi, moderate pool, couch and lounge area, functional kitchen, bookshelf with a few books.|
|Beers in the fridge for usual price + ability to buy your own and store.|
WHAT I DID
Arriving in Ubud after a delayed flight (shout out to Jetstar, thanks Jetstar) we came into Denpasar to meet our driver wearing full winter gear from Melbourne. Bad Idea. Always change in the Airport toilets.
Spending the rest of the day having a swim in the pool and relaxing was the best option, some had come from Melbourne > Sydney to Bali and others from Amsterdam > Bali so we were all a bit exhausted. Later that night, after a nap (or two) we all went to Made Becik Waroeng, a local family run restaurant with amazing prices and good food.
Our first day, we rented scooters from our host for 50,000 IDR and with petrol costing 10,000 IDR, we were able to scoot off to see the rice fields. Along the way, we stumbled upon Bali Geo which turned out to be a right blast.
As it was my friends birthday, we grabbed a cake from Kakiang Bakery. Due to some scooter mishaps – bumpy roads and because we (well me) hit a wall whilst turning… – the cake ended up not looking too crash hot (sorry Helen.)
Somehow, my travel luck is always having something under construction, closed or an event that doesn’t allow me to check out what I want. This time was a ceremony at Elephant Cave, and although the gardens were wonderful – I really did want to check out the front of that cave. I chalk these experiences up to just needing to go back to the places I’ve been.
I also have a habit of reading things wrong, so when I read that the Campuhan Ridge Walk was 2kilometeres, I told everyone that it took 2 hours which meant we changed our breakfast time and we were all very hungry for an hour (sorry pals.)
One of my favourite things about Ubud was the sheer vastness of things to do. I’d never thought about jewellery classes before, but doing a bit of research found there are so many options in Ubud. We picked out Chez Monique Jewelry for our session, 450,000IRP and fantastic reviews. The only thing is, we nearly got attacked by dogs on the way as we got a bit lost.
Make sure you search “Chez Monique Workshop” on maps and not the address given on the website. You’re able to cut, file, polish your own design.
⏰ 9:00 – 17:00
💰 80,000 IDR |$7.30 AUD | $5.25
📍Jl. Raya Campuhan, Sayan, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar,
I heard good things, however, while on the scooter ride to this museum it started raining (I mean RAINING) which meant we ended up having a slight mishap where Adair supermanned off and I flashed my whole ass to everyone. However, drenched and shocked as we were – I still think the museum was worth it. Especially that last room alone.
Have you been to Ubud? Have you ever fallen off a scooter? Have you ever flashed your whole ass to a street of people?
Let me know below!
As always, stay cool.