A Weekend In: Ubud, Bali, Indonesia – Culture, Beauty, and Nature

by Michael

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:

a sunset over a housea body of water with trees and buildings in the background

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:

a group of palm trees and bushes a group of people sitting on mats in a room with windows a sign on a stone wall a group of people sitting on mats in a room a building with a spiral staircase

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:

a monkey holding a baby a monkey sitting on a rock a tree with many branches a man holding a monkey on his shoulder

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: a man on a bicyclea man riding a bike on a patha green field with trees and a hill a green terraced rice field a green terraced fields with trees a group of people riding bikes on a road a field with palm trees and a road

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:

a waterfall in the forest  a waterfall in a forest a group of people by a waterfall a group of people standing around a waterfall a river with rocks and trees a group of people standing in front of a waterfall a waterfall in a forest

Michael Prodanovich is a contributor to Point Me to the Plane, and author of The Ultimate Guide to Free Travel

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Michael Chan August 2, 2017 - 11:19 am

Uber does work in Bali

Michael August 2, 2017 - 11:22 am

So I’ve heard from a few people. I never had any anywhere near me there, and only know one person who actually found one, so it’s not something that people should count on being able to use at their leisure like in the States.

James August 2, 2017 - 12:57 pm

Uber can mostly found in capital region of bali, Denpasar. In tourist area such as kuta, seminyak, nusa dua, jimbaran and the likes, never expected them to be around. Its much profitable for people to be a guide or renting cars to tourist. Therefore uber is never their first choice of earning money.

Marie August 3, 2017 - 5:07 am

No culture for you? No temples, ceremonies, meeting locals or gamelan music or dance? Next time please try it!

Michael August 3, 2017 - 9:53 am

Oh I did indeed see temples and attend a class on the offerings, as well. I spent much more time there than just a couple days! There was way too much to put into one blog post…such an amazing place!

alicia September 13, 2017 - 3:51 am

Thanks for sharing such a great post.

Kristina Ron December 23, 2017 - 12:09 am

Wonderful information..

yoga ttc in india January 26, 2018 - 11:17 pm

Nice Post. Thanks for sharing the information


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