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We swapped the beaches for the rice fields.

When we began planning our trip to Bali, the first place we knew we wanted to visit was Ubud. While a week on the beach in Seminyak was relaxing, a week surrounded by rice fields and rainforests, immersed in the cultural and artistic heritage of Ubud was even better. No amount of rain (and there was a lot of rain) could have stopped us from exploring all the sites and devouring all of the delicious Indonesian food that this area has to offer.

Rice Field


A wet and muddy welcome.

We were a bit concerned heading out of Seminyak and into Ubud, as we had seen videos of a landslide flooding the main street the night before. Thankfully by the time we arrived, most of the road had been cleared, just leaving behind a muddy mess to trek through. We checked into our hotel and hit the streets, heading towards a restaurant we had already picked out for dinner. Murni’s Warung was the perfect welcome. We had to try the Beef Rendang voted by CNN Travel as “World’s Most Delicious Food”, and we also devoured their Chicken Tongseng. With full bellies, we walked back up the main street, stopping to admire the outside of Pura Dalen Temple and strolling through the Ubud Art Market, resisting the temptation to buy anything that would fill up our suitcases on this year-long journey too soon.


Hanging with the monkeys.

Clark asked – “what are we seeing today Bec”? I replied, very enthusiastically – “the monkeys”! After breakfast at our hotel, we headed straight to the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. We spent a couple of hours wandering the grounds, watching monkeys climb, run, eat and just simply do nothing. We admired the temples and learnt more about the cremation ceremony in Balinese culture at the Cemetery. After a sweaty trek uphill back to our hotel, we decided we had to take a dip in the hotel infinity pool overlooking a rice field. We then finished the last few details of this website and made it live!

To celebrate we walked around the corner to a restaurant called Warung Gauri. Clark enjoyed a Bintang, I tried a glass of Balinese wine, and we ate a feast of incredible Indonesian food. We took another lap around the Ubud Art Market later that night and then treated ourselves to dessert at Gelato Secrets.


A beautiful sunrise.

We woke up early to catch the sunrise at the Campuhan Ridge Walk. We got the drone up in the air just as the clouds parted, letting the rising sun light up the palm trees and rolling hills. After we returned from the walk, we headed back to our hotel for the free (I mean included) breakfast. The coffee didn’t quite hit the spot, so we walked up to a great place called Lazy Cats Café for a coffee and juice. Once our caffeine hit, we were ready to head back out for more walking, this time through the rice fields along the Sari Organic Walk and the Sweet Orange Trail, stopping for lunch at Sweet Orange Warung.

While we were enjoying our food, the weather suddenly turned from sunny blue skies to pouring rain. We started our journey back home when we thought we might have caught a break. We didn’t make it very far. We took shelter in a car garage with some other travellers, hoping the storm might pass soon. When it didn’t, one by one, we each decided to brave the rain. Stepping straight into a pool of water on the street, we were instantly drenched. On the trek home, each vendor waved out umbrellas and ponchos, but it was way too late for that. When we returned, we decided we would avoid getting soaked again that night by having dinner across the road from our hotel at sun de bisma.

Campuhan Ridge Walk


The famous Bali sunset returns.

We somehow got to day four and had not yet explored the sites along Ubud’s main road. So that is what we did on this morning. The first stop was the Saraswati Temple and its beautiful lotus pond leading up to the entrance gateway. We stopped for a quick break, coffee and a pastry to share at Titik Temu Coffee. Next, we explored Ubud Palace, its unique architecture and gardens. Unfortunately, the sunny, blue sky morning was beginning to turn grey again. To avoid a repeat of yesterday’s wet walk back to the hotel, we decided to head back early and hide indoors until the daily thunderstorm had rolled through. We had an instant noodle lunch that we’d grabbed at the mini-mart (hello budget travel) and caught up on future travel bookings while we waited. Finally, at dinner time, we returned to town, to a place called Tinos Warung. We sat looking out onto the street and the markets, which made for excellent people-watching. Back at the hotel, we were treated to our first stunning, clear-sky sunset of Ubud.


Our favourite breakfast in Bali.

One of the most popular things to do in Ubud is to visit the Tegallalang Rice Terrace. There are many ways to do this, so the night before, we researched how to get there and the best area to go to. We stumbled upon Tis Café, which had sweeping views across the terrace and an infinity pool. So we made a booking for breakfast and started our fifth day here. The weather was the best we'd had so far in Ubud, with blue skies and barely a cloud in sight. We enjoyed coffee and refreshing smoothie bowls and then journeyed down to the rice terrace. Along the way, we met a lovely farmer who showed us his paddies and told us about the irrigation process. Once we felt like we had sweat enough out in the midday sun, we made our way back up to the road and got a taxi back to Ubud. We jumped into the pool, had another budget lunch and spent the afternoon relaxing at the hotel. For dinner, we walked down the road to a restaurant called Lemongrass Bisma Warung.


Chasing waterfalls.

For day six, we booked a driver to take us around to see the waterfalls of Ubud. On the way, we stopped at Goa Gajah, also known as ‘Elephant Cave’. We didn’t spend long here, as the main attraction, the cave itself, is relatively small, but being there early, we got the place ourselves. We admired the artifacts, the temples, and the gardens, then took off on our waterfall drive.

First on the list was Kanto Lampo Waterfall. We were excited to explore this waterfall, as, unlike the others, it thunders down over rocks that you can climb onto and explore. Sadly, there wasn’t much exploring to be done, as the only way to get to the waterfall was to wait in the Instagram line, quickly take a picture and move out of the way. So we mainly admired from afar, explored the surrounding area, and then left for the next place. Tibumana Waterfall was our second stop, and we spent a bit more time at this one. The stream falls into a large plunge pool, which you can stand around or jump in for a swim. We sat up on the rocks and waited for the crowds to disperse to enjoy the waterfall without featuring in the background too many photos. Our final stop was Suwat Waterfall. This one was our favourite. It is a beautiful hidden gem, not yet taken over by the Instagram crowds. We got to sit on the rock, with only one other couple there at the same time, and enjoy the secluded beauty of this site. When we returned to Ubud, we went out for lunch at Pukako Bisma, because I was craving a cheesy toasted sandwich. We knew another couple who had arrived in Ubud that day, so we all went out to dinner to swap Bali stories at Murni’s Warung, which we had been keen to go back to since day one.


Our final day in country #1.

Two weeks flew by quickly, and just like that, we were wrapping up our stay in Bali, Indonesia. We spent the morning walking the Camphuan Ridge Walk again to get one last nature trek in before spending the next few weeks in cities. We stopped for lunch at White Orchid Ubud, sharing three dishes of tasty Indonesian food and then took full advantage of our last day with a pool. We packed up our bags, checked everything was ready for our morning flight and headed out for one last dinner in Indonesia – at a Japanese restaurant called Ikigai Ubud.


This hotel was almost perfect for our stay in Ubud. It is located on Jalan Bisma, within walking distance of Ubud's main town and many attractions like the Campuhan Ridge Walk and the Sacred Monkey Forest. The included breakfast was simple but tasty and all we needed to start our mornings. There is an infinity pool overlooking a rice field, and the staff are very friendly and helpful. The rooms are small but nice, with modern designs. We would have loved a fridge, but none of the rooms had any. The only issue we had was the bathroom, which was in serious need of some attention to water damage and sadly, this made the room smell damp. However, considering how affordable this place was (we paid around AUD$20 a night), we really couldn’t complain.


On to country #2, the next stop on our trip is George Town, Penang, Malaysia.


When planning our travel destinations, we pin our bucket list of sites to see and recommend places to eat and drink on Google Maps. We are then never lost for ideas when travelling, and we can easily share these lists for our friends and family to use.

Click here to see our Google Maps for Our 7 Days in Ubud.

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