Looking for an Ubud guide? Ahhh, Ubud.You know that feeling when you get swept off your feet?
That’s how I felt about this place.

Ubud was by far my favourite place on my visit to Bali. I really wish we had another couple of days to spend here. I’ve quite simply lost my heart to this place and even though it’s beginning to get really commercial thanks to the ‘Eat, Pray Love’ movie and book; I think it’s almost magical. We stayed in Ubud for 3 days, but I suggest staying longer. Wondering why? Here’s my ultimate Ubud guide. Have a look at our hotel for a start.

Here’s your ultimate Ubud guide

Hotels

Need I say more? This place is called Nick’s Hidden Cottages. It’s located on a lane called Jalan Bisma, which houses some really cool cafes and off-the-beaten track yoga spots. Go left and you can go down to the lane that leads to the Ubud market within a 5-minute walk. Here’s an actual map we used as a reference:

Our map of the ultimate guide to Ubud, all real complete with highlighter! The cross out south is the popular Yoga Barn.
Our map of Ubud, all real complete with highlighter! The cross out south is the popular Yoga Barn.

You can use this map on your trip too! Just save it from up there. 🙂 (You’re welcome)

Day 1 of the guide to Ubud- Market to Market

Ok, I’m gonna say we were pretty exhausted from attempting to surf, all that yoga and chillin’ in Canggu, so we took it easy and attempted to ride a scooty. So we went up to a place called Nick’s Pensioner’s and rented two vespas.

And returned it back in 5 minutes.

Fail.

I even fell on my first run with it. Evidently, I’m not built for moving vehicles and especially NOT for South East Asian traffic on a scooty. (I swear I am not a sissy, it can be scary you guys!) If you are a confident scooty driver, then by all means do it. It’s the best way to get around. I couldn’t even hold the handle straight with a person behind me.

If you choose to take a cab, make sure you bargain for 50% less than the asking price. Some of them are really bent on ripping you off.

We then walked down to the market. It’s a pretty commercial space with a lot of common and uncommon stores. By that I mean there’s Starbucks coffee and Billabong, but along with a couple of off-the-beaten track places. I like that mix somehow, it’s creates an eclectic feel.

The Ubud Palace is stunning, though rather bare. In the evenings around 7pm, they have a showing of the Mahabharata. Which I’m afraid we missed because of a lack of time. 🙁

If you’re looking for a place to eat that’s pretty authentic, step into ‘Borneo 8’; located almost at the crossroads of Jalan Bisma and the main market place. Try the authentic bakso(meat soup), gado gado (veggies in peanut dip), nasi goreng (fried rice), bihun goreng(fried rice noodles) with a cold Bintang beer. This place earned 2 rankings on my Bali for your belly article. Here’s one of the dishes we tried:

A fresh and crisp bihun goreng with seafood at Borneo 8.
A fresh and crisp bihun goreng with seafood at Borneo 8.

Yummeh. So, so good! We then went on to chill by the pool and then went on to experience the nightlife at Monkey Forest road.

There are several nice restaurants out there, but one of the most popular ones is called ‘The Laughing Buddha.’ This resto bar had an excellent band and is pet friendly.

Bars in Ubud are resplendent

We ordered for tapas that went decently well with the sangria (which wasn’t strong enough in my opinion). The band takes requests, so do send on some so you can hear their own jazz renditions of your favourite tunes.

Tapas galore!
Tapas galore!

Try their pandan chicken and hot and spicy chicken wings. Sooo good.

DAY 2 – Monkeying around and a case of badly cooked pork

"Yup.

As an ardent animal lover, I was mega-excited to go to the Monkey Forest, which is a must-do in your Ubud itinerary. A lot of people we had met really complained about the monkeys and their ‘wild ways.’ I mean, come on. They are monkeys. They’re meant to be wild!

Exhibit caution when you buy food for the monkeys. If they wanna snatch it, just give them the food. Don’t resist.

That's us walking through the Spring Temple
That’s us walking through the Spring Temple

The Monkey Forest also hosts a temple. Check out my post on ‘Temple Running in Bali’ to know more!

I got to have a monkey climb on top of my head. ^_^

Who then proceeded to eat some of my hair.

It hurt.

But they are a delight. Just appreciate them as they are, don’t stare at them in the eye and don’t touch.

After that we headed to Ibu Oka for their famous ‘babi guling’ or suckling pig. Which was a disaster. I mean, it was vile! We then went to this place called Umah Pizza (Another on the Bali for your bellly list) for an amazing wood fire pizza. I mean, really. Ubud really is one of my favourite places in the world.

We headed to bed early this day in order to rise early for our trek.

Day 3 – Climbing Mt. Batur One of the best days of my life. Seriously.

I wish I could tell you we woke up at the crack of dawn. But noooope. We had a pick up scheduled from our hotel at 2.30 am in the morning! Sigh.

It took us half an hour to get to the starting point. As we got out rather grumpy from all the grogginess, (no jet lag is gonna get you through this) we were soon brought back to life with our guide, Ketut.

Climbing up Mt. Batur requires atleast an average level of fitness. Which, unfortunately none of us had. Instead of scaling all the way to the top where everyone got a proper view of the volcano and got volcano steamed eggs for breakfast (I can’t believe I missed that), we stopped at 1,400 m.

And suddenly had no regrets. Because, check it.

Anyone else think of the Lion King song after seeing this?

Them besties soaking it all in.
Them besties soaking it all in.

I don’t blame them though.

I mean, look at this. I can’t get enough of it.

Ubud guide | Mount Batur
#skyporn

NYAAAA SEMINYAAAAAH WHERESMAPIZZABABAHAH

That's Ketut on the far right there. #Besttourguidever
That’s Ketut on the far right there. #Besttourguidever

Now, Ketut is like no other guide I’ve ever met before. A very simple man, he makes you crave the simpler things in life. He helped me through over the slippery pathways, told great stories about growing up in Bali, his organic farming venture and the little games he used to play as a kid. I highly recommend him and Bali Trekking Tour. You know, we actually preferred our little spot even though it wasn’t at the top?

It was just us there, not a bunch of tourists. Which was a great idea after all.

On the way down, the route is easier.

We planned our whole day, including the trek, plantation tour and hot spring visit for a mere US$80 (Around AED 300). This included breakfast, snacks and transportation. Totally worth it.

On to the hot springs where we unwinded after our long trek.

A photo posted by Aneesha Rai (@aneesha_rai)  

What’s not to love? This infinity pool surrounded by the lake and mountains/active volcanos made my vacation. This was literally my favourite day of the holiday and the highlight of my Ubud guide.

You could opt to get a massage done here as well. We decided to opt for a spa next to Nick’s which was AED 50 for a full body one hour aromatherapy massage. A steal!

We then headed on to the plantations where we saw kopi luwak. Which is literally civet cat poop coffee. Yup, you read that right. Poop coffee. Civet cat coffee is so expensive because they pick the best coffee beans and poop it out. It’s then foraged, roasted and packaged. The difference was huge in terms of taste!

Yep, she’s roasting civet poop coffee.

Poor N. & H. looking EXHAUSTED, despite all the tea and coffee that surrounds them.
Poor N. & H. looking EXHAUSTED, despite all the tea and coffee that surrounds them.

I recommend you try the pandan tea. It was one of my favourites. But do try them all as I did!

We went back, got our massage and set out again to Kupu Kupu Barong Villas. Now this place is totally date-night worthy. The views are so mesmerising.

For $80, you can get a delicious full five course meal. We took the Bird’s Nest, which literally looked like one! In a cosy way. You must read about my experience in my previous post. That wraps up our time in Ubud!

If you want a full-blown itinerary, help yourself here.

This closes my series of posts on Bali! I hope you enjoyed hearing my story and my journey. Let me know in the comments below. I hope this guide to Ubud was useful!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.

6 Comments

  1. Loved Ubud and trek up Mt. Batur especially on way back the coffee plantation my favourite tea was Pandanus (I don’t drink coffee) and I bought a packet to come home with me almost all gone need some more but not sure where or if you can purchase this on line somewhere really like to know tried getting more in Ubud before leaving but couldn’t find it

    1. Hi Karen, thanks for stopping by the blog! I believe you can purchase them on Etsy or even make your own with pandan from an Asian store 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.