Following my few days in Singapore, my 7-week odyssey through Southeast Asia would end in Bali. Singapore to Bali is only a 2 1/2 hour flight (and in the same time zone), making it quite a convenient jaunt, especially with cheap flights on local discount carriers Air Asia and Tiger Air. I was going to be spending much of my time in Bali in the mountain city of Ubud, well known for its monkeys, amazing scenery, yoga, food, and culture.
Ubud is about 23 miles from the airport, but due to poor roads and heavy traffic in the main city, count on a solid 90 minutes for the ride. Uber is quite scarce on Bali, and taxis conspire to keep rates high going to Ubud from the airport. So if you plan to head to Ubud straight away, you’re best off either arranging private transport directly through your accommodation, or contacting a private driver service ahead of time. The ride was quickly forgotten, though, as I got to enjoy these sunset views shortly after my arrival:
Ubud was amazing. It is so beautiful, the weather is heavenly, the food is sublime, the culture is almost indescribably unique. If you’re spending a weekend in Ubud, here is what I’d recommend.
Do Yoga. There are dozens of studios in the area and on the island, with The Yoga Barn being one of the best. Classes start at $8 and go down in price from there with multi-class cards. The studios are open-air tree houses in the tropical forest, with the breezes keeping you cool:
The Sacred Monkey Forest is certainly worth a visit, seeing hundreds of monkeys in their natural habitat. Although they are not as friendly as the ones in Malaysia, you can still get up close and personal:
The Tegalalang Rice Terraces are a big attraction in central Bali. There are many ways to get there, but the day I arrived someone in my homestay mentioned an e-bike tour through e-Bikes Bali, a 3-hour guided tour that includes lunch (on the morning tour) or dinner (on the afternoon tour). What a cool way to see the remote countryside of this beautiful island; flying up and down hills and tearing through the rice paddies:
And no trip to central Bali is complete without a day of waterfall hopping. The interior of Bali is an endless sea of ravines, canyons, rivers and waterfalls, all of which are amazingly lush hues of green. There are hundreds of waterfalls on Bali, with new ones being discovered all the time. I went to Kanto Lampo and Blangsinga waterfalls, both of which were awe-inspiring. Three three of us hired a driver for the afternoon for about 4 1/2 hours, at a cost of about $7.50 each. And I must say, TLC definitely got this one wrong…you absolutely should go chasin’ waterfalls:
Michael Prodanovich is a contributor to Point Me to the Plane, and author of The Ultimate Guide to Free Travel