I love how unique the city is, but just like in Thailand … it is starting to attract more and more tourists, and tourism will soon become an industry here.
But the essence of Ubud still remains, you can’t change who or what you are. The culture, art, and way of life remain. However, Ubud it is busier than I thought.
I visited The Ubud Palace and Puri Lukisan Museum on the first morning. Thailand and Indonesia are influenced by the Indian piece of literature “Ramayana”. Although the Balinese characters are named differently, I can still guess at their root meanings. The painting – holy bebek! There are so many pieces to which I can only say wow! Some pieces look scary, with story links to mood and expressions into colors.
I’m sitting at Starbucks watching how chaotic the road is. The road is small, with two ways, yet cars and motorbikes park on one side, causing a traffic jam but at least moving slowly (in Bangkok, it is most likely that nothing moves for hours). There was a tourist lady who left the motorbike on the street to get a cup of coffee. The result? Nothing moved until the lady got back and moved her bike out of that spot.
It is common to see tourists with yoga mats and I am not sure if it is already a signature for the place. And yes, I’m coming back for another teacher training … why not? It is a cool place for Boho and Yogi. It is vegan-friendly, and gluten-free, plant-based, raw, Ayurvedic diets are advertised everywhere.
Well … since it is my first time here, I’m going to get “Bebek betutu” for lunch today at Cafe Lotus situated next to Starbucks and the Saraswati temple. They also have traditional folk performances every day except today (Friday). However, you can find these performances at many venues around Ubud town at 7.30 pm – a ticket is about 80,000 IDR.
Now back to the Bebek (duck) … Carnivore day! Bebek Betutu (Balinese roast duck) Duck is stuffed with spices, wrapped in banana leaves, and tightly enveloped in banana trunk bark before being baked in a coal-fire for 6-7 hours. The chicken version is called Ayam.
People are nice and kind. One thing I find very funny, and maybe it’s just me, is that the men and women look similar as if they were close relatives or at least from the same family. The currency as well … if you get a cup of coffee for 58, it means 58,000 IDR (never forget to add three zero(s) at the end).
Day 5 … and it is my last day. I have to be at the airport at 6 am and to get there from Ubud takes around 1.30 hrs. So I’m planning to contact the shuttle bus company. It costs around 60,000 IDR to get to Kuta (where my next hotel is), and from the hotel to the airport, it’s just 5 mins … yeah! 60,000 IDR instead of 300,000 IDR for a private taxi. I’d better save money for food and shopping.
After breakfasting at the hotel, I stopped by Three Monkeys Cafe’. It is of a medium size and looks ordinary from the front, but has a 4 stars interior feel inside and is situated right next to a rice field.
I noticed that if you have a business here, either accommodation, a café, or spa, a rice field brings more attention … perhaps I just love green.
I love the coffee here, even though I went to Starbucks 2-3 times. Three Monkeys Cafe provided me some alone time with nice slow Jazz and Latin music. Their coffee and Balinese crepe were delish! I had some great conversation with the staff here about culture and tradition. For instance, the offering to land spirit. We have that in Thailand, but here it is way prettier. “We pray for the God, nature, and humans,” he said. This concept touched my heart. There are many ceremonies here that I would love to come back to experience. We exchanged some information about how Thai people live and how the Balinese live. I also had a similar conversation with a spa lady yesterday. She said she lives with a big family 15 mins away from Ubud. Living in Ubud is very expensive.
Tomorrow I’ll be in Kuta … of course, the vibe would be much different.
What do you do for work? And after my answer, “Wow! You have come to the right place!”
Are you a writer? “I’m writing so yes!”
I know I need to be a freelancer. It’s the life I have always wanted. You have no fixed working time and get to miss rush hour.
Late lunch at 4 pm … I tried Indonesian curry with rice at Art Kafe. It tastes like Thai green curry but with extra spices, herbs, and vegetables. How they cook rice may be different. I can just eat the rice alone. It’s half sticky and not loose like Thai rice. I like the texture. They play 60-80s music while I’m writing, giving me a pretty cool vintage mood.
Day 6 … I packed my bag last night. It took no time at all as I don’t have much stuff with me. On the way to breakfast, I decided to see a doctor because my left eye got worse. I got an antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and special eye drops. I think I got inflammation in Phuket during the bike ride. I’m not sure if it was due to a bug, dust, or one of my own eyelashes. I cleaned my eye and hoped it would be better … but no. Later, I purchased eye drops and it looked like it was getting better, but it wasn’t really. Anyway, during my trip to Ubud, I spent 1,726 baht or 668,460 IDR on medication, almost a 2 day’s budget. Now what? I have 200,000 IDR left and breakfast costs 87,000 IDR.
I jumped onto the 10.30 am bus instead of the one at 1.30 pm. Luckily, there was one seat left. I stayed the night at H Sovereign, the closed airport hotel with a free one-way transfer.
Day 7 … BoardingI am leaving with the feeling that many things have not yet been done. I have already planned what to do for my next visit – yoga every damn day and learn more about the culture and history.
My eye is much better today. This trip is completed. I got what I expect from myself. I “Reconnected”. When people asked me about what I did or where I went during my 6 days in Ubud, I just say I didn’t do much. I saw some temples, looked at the art, went to a spa, and spent my time relaxing.
But the honest answer inside me is “I just lived and enjoyed life.”
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