Indonesian cuisine was seriously some of the most flavoursome and delicious food i've ever had. Every place we ate was so deceiving - most little eateries looked like nothing much from the outside, some even completely empty, but the meals were just wonderful. Look for anywhere which serves "Masakan Padang" - usually tonnes of dishes stacked up in the window of the cafe - you won't be disappointed. SO MUCH FLAVOUR!
At one place, where i'm sure we were just sitting in a little lady's living room, I had one of the most delicious chicken dishes of my LIFE. And she cooked all 5 of our dishes separately, one after another - so fresh. Definitely try the places where the locals eat, which are usually out of the town a little bit, as they're the cheapest and best (although even the places on the high-street are still ridiculously cheap).
We also found another place just by chance, which also didn't look like much from the outside, and there was NO ONE else eating in there. We walked in like "hmm, it's kinda dark and dingy in here", but were taken through to the back which overlooked a rice paddie - just check out the view from our table...
Amazing right?! and here's what we ate... I have no idea what was on Sheree's plate but it smelled beaut! I treated myself to an Australian rib-eye steak, and by "treated" I meant I spent just over £5 on my whole meal including drinks. Unfortunately I didn't get the name of this place - although most of the cafes we ate at didn't have actual names, they were just there.
Things to do in Ubud...
1. Tegenungan Waterfall
This place is abosolutely insane! The best waterfall I visited on my whole trip. Many of the waterfalls in Thailand had dried up due to hot season, but this one was crazzzzyyyyy big and so powerful. I couldn't stay in there for long as it literally took my breath away - so windy! We actually got lost on the way there and ended up at the top of the waterfall - sometimes getting lost is the best way to find a place, because you come across places like THIS abandoned hotel - looks like something out of a film set! We met a bunch of Bali kids who didn't speak a word of English but just followed us down the track, it was so cute.
2. Jungle Fish
Oh. My. God. was my reaction when we walked into this place. An infinity pool in the middle of the jungle - I could never have even imagined this place in my dreams! We blew a couple million rupees in here (not so scary - its only about £100) between 4 of us. That included a bed table, delicious food and cocktails, with use of the pool all day. It was so amazing i'm even considering making it my honeymoon spot one day. It's a hotel too and I can imagine the rooms are just as lovely! I'm gonna write a separate blog post on this place so I won't say too much. But JUST GO THERE!
3. BARC - Bali Dog Adoption & Rehabilitation Centre
One thing I noticed about Bali - there's stray dogs EVERYWHERE. It's heartbreaking to see :( Unfortunately I ran out of days to go to this place but one day I will go back and volunteer. I feel like where i'm from, Brits are a nation of animal lovers - and unfortunately they aren't always treated the same in other countries. So it's nice to see a place like this, in a country which has so many poor little lonely doggies, which takes in and re-homes strays. I'm sure you could go in just to cuddle some puppies if you want. They also have a charity shop down the road which is a must visit - I got a top and skirt for under £2!
4. Hire a scooter!
This is my number 1 tip anywhere you are in Asia. It's simply the best way to get around - not only is it cheap, but the views are just beautiful, the drive is so much fun (especially in convoy when there's a group of you), and sometimes you get lost and end up in the wrong place, which sometimes turns out to be the best place! Don't be put off by negative Nancy's and their stories - not everyone is out to mug you off and steal your money. Rent from your hostel or a recommended place so you know you can trust them. The drive around Ubud was hands down the best views of my life!
5. Ubud market
I picked up sooo many bargains at this market! One thing to note: they pretty much all sell the same thing. So if you don't manage to haggle one person down to your ideal price, just go to the next stall. And make sure you wander deep into the market - the stalls right at the back, out of the way, were usually the cheapest! I didn't pay more than like £3 for an item of clothing. Expect Balinese queen dresses like the red one above, crochet blankets, dreamcatchers, silver jewellery and many penis shaped bottle openers.
This place is just lovely! They sell 100% vegan food, drink and products. I discovered smoothie bowls here and now i'm obsessed! Sheree has even re-created her own smoothie bowl recipe here. We imagined the lifestyle of its cool customers - living the chill life in Ubud, eating fresh vegan food and doing yoga every day, cruising around on a scooter. Ah what a life! Very tempted to move to Ubud one day. Just look at our breakfast!
7. Monkey forest!
Another thing I didn't manage to do, but I did drive through it lots on my scooter. It's based in the centre of town, so you have to drive through to get to the main high street, which means: monkies everywhere! They're so cute, and quite tame apparently.
8. Rice paddies
The drive around the rice paddies was just insanely beautiful! There are many you can go and explore on foot too. When we went it was waaay too hot to go out walking for long, but I can imagine in the cooler seasons this is just lovely!
There's sooo much more to do in Ubud that I didn't get round to doing, the possibilities are endless. It's also right in the centre of the island of Bali, which means its a great place to stop off if you're touring the whole island (which I totally want to go back and do one day!)
Hope you enjoyed this little guide, and I hope it'll inspire some of you to visit Ubud soon!