Pretty much everyone knows what put this place on the map. This small area in Bali was made famous by Eat. Pray. Love. Ever since, People flock here to find that inner peace and spiritual connection seemingly missing from their every day lives.
During my research of Bali, I read many accounts on how Ubud had lost its authenticity and charm to the hordes and hordes of tourists who now flock here; That it's no longer the place of serenity and spirituality that it once was. I mean, heck, they even have a Starbucks!
I still wanted to make a stop here, but I was a little weary on what my experience would be.
Are there hordes and hordes of tourists here?! Yes. However, I still find this place magical. It speaks to my soul in a way I can't quite explain but want desperately to keep finding a way to listen to. There is a grounding that takes place here, and I really dig it. I find myself not wanting to do much with my days but simply be present. To take it all in and appreciate each and every thing I come across. And so even when you finish your day and feel like you haven’t done a lot of “stuff”, you feel like you’ve accomplished so much.
This place is full of surprises around every corner and there is so much beauty to experience and be a part of. My advice would be to stay outside of the center of Ubud (it really is a crazy, chaotic area with too many people navigating a really small area), but visit it and see it for yourself. I loved where we stayed, and it was just a short scooter ride away from the action, but while at home it was all peace and serenity.
So, what did my 6 days in Ubud look like? Well, let's take a look shall we..
Yoga. I took a yoga class every single day I was here. I don’t even want to tell you how much I enjoyed it, because it will make me look like a hypocrite for all the times I have not spoke so highly of it. Needless to say, yoga here is a different experience than probably anywhere else. From morning yoga, to sunset yoga, to hanging upside down on ropes tied to the ceiling yoga, and everything in between. Just buy me a bag of granola.
Massages. They are so affordable, if you don’t get a massage pretty much every day in Bali, you’re cheating yourself. Seriously, all of our massages have been between $6 - $10 for an entire hour. Did they offer us cucumber water at the end? No. But, so what!
Eating. The food here is good. The ambience at some of these places is even better. Plus, all restaurants have free wifi, so you know us plugged in Americans have a pavlovian response when we see that.
Sunrises. We stayed at a place called “Sunrise Villas”, and the setting was on a river gorge that looked over the terraces and was an endless view of lush greenery. I don’t know if anyone else was staying there, or if they just were hermits, but it felt like we had the entire place to ourselves. I loved getting up in the morning and just sitting outside as the world began to wake.
We also departed our hotel at 2am one morning to go trekking up a volcano and watch the sunrise. The hike itself was somewhat challenging, as you are navigating steep terrain in the absolute darkness, but the payoff is oh-so-worth it.
River views. We went white water rafting, and that was probably the biggest “adventure” portion of our stay in Ubud. The views during our way down the river were astounding. Along the way you also get a glimpse of people just living their daily lives by the river.
Our stay in Ubud was all that I hoped it would be. I am not saying it’s a stop everyone needs to make, but it’s one that I was so happy I included. I barely scratched the surface here, but it is a place I will definitely be returning to on future trips to Bali.
If this experience seems right up your alley, or if you’re looking to create your own, don’t hesitate to contact me to start the planning process!