Places To Vist From Ubud, Bali

Located in the uplands of Bali only 2 hours from the popular coastal resort, Ubud sits pretty amongst Bali’s most famous landscapes.

Most may recognise Ubud from Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ the picture however is a little different from that you will find when you arrive. Having built on the back of the tourism with the books popularity there now is much more than perceived in the movie, Not that this doesn’t better benefit the local communities it does mean you won’t fall off the beaten track as she does in the movie.

Having recently visited I wanted to share my top not to miss tips to show how you can get off the beaten track!

 

Tegenungan Village Waterfall

Located only a short drive from Ubud plan a day to visit the beautiful falls, As it is only a short drive and a small entry fee (10,000) plan a full day here to give you time to climb down and spend some time in the waters. Although a steep climb is is not as far as it appears! As we were on a day trip we only got long enough to visit for a photo stop however we’d of liked to spend a long morning there, Taking a slow walk back to the restaurants and stalls along the entrance and car park before we headed home.

 

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Tirta Empul (Holy Spring Temple)

With so many great places to visit in Ubud a couple of days in the town will not go a miss! Tirta Empul or for the tourists known as the holy spring temple is a place where the local Hindus are able to self cleanse the mind and soul using the holy waters in the natural springs within the temple. It was super interesting to obverse each person ‘cleansing’ themselves and there was nowhere I felt as calm while I travelled in Bali.

Entrance was approx 15,000 per person and it does included a sarong hire (bring your own if you wish to use the cleansing pools)

Plan to spend a hour or two to enjoy all on offer, and to capture photos. There is some of the most beautiful architecture I’ve seen and I spent ages trying to capture the intricate details.

On a side note if you were looking to get some shopping done and knick-knack shopping done the market maze on your exit is the place to go! You can enter the markets without having entered the temples so if temples aren’t your thing check out the stores. They have the same produce as the markets in Ubud market but the ladies here see a lot less visitors in the same space of time so get less trade. I brought so much while I shopped I spent my daily budget within 15 mins.

 

 

Tegallalang

Often seen blazoned across the front of the Bali guide books the rice terraces in Bali are unmissable. Only a very short drive from Ubud you enter into the small village set around the planting fields.

As one of the more recognised this unbelievably is located on the side of the main through road, Surrounded by shops and restaurants, It feels so out of place. When we travelled the fields had just been recently cut back so it wasn’t as spectacular as I’d seen in previous photos and it turns out had we arrived only a day before this wouldn’t be the case (ask your hotel and local drivers as they’ll be able to advise locally the last time it was cropped)

You must pay an entry fee when arriving in the village, and is a per car/motorcycle and less than £2. You then are free to scramble in the fields and capture as many photos as you would like.

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Goa Gajah (Elephant Temple)

Located only 6kms from Ubud this beautiful carved cave is not to miss if you are looking to include some culture in your trip to Bali.

Somewhat misleading the Elephant temples name comes from the intricate carvings on the entrance into the medication cave. You can easily spend an hour or two and hire a local guide on arrival to talk you through the history of the temple and it’s historical purpose for the locals of Indonesia.

Entry is approx. 10,000 per person

If you are after shopping the markets surrounding the temple are a great place to grab a bargain. The stall holders get less trade here due to the lack of visitors so make the most of an afternoon and give your money into the local communities and grab your self a treat or two.

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Please remember as when visiting any local religious sites and small communities to dress appropriately. This will mean ladies covering their arms and legs while in the vicinity. As the weather can get humid I recommend wearing a t-shirt with a pair of shorts and purchasing a sarong from the local traders to use as a wrap up and cover your legs.

 

All prices are quoted in local currency and based on an exchange rate correct at the time of posting. £1 is equal to 17,000 IDR

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Monkey Forest, Ubud Bali

Located on its name sake’s road, Nestled in the town of Ubud The Sacred Monkey Forest sanctuary is a popular tourist attraction in the inland resort.

The sanctuary was built to conserve the area which is based on the concept of Tri Hita Karana which translates to ‘three ways to reach spiritual & physical well being.’

There are 3 temples that date back to the 14th century that unfortunaely to help preservation you are no longer able to enter. Although you are able to admire there beauty from a distance.

The monkeys that live within the area are Macques or as they are locally known as ‘long tailed Balinese monkeys. There are around 600 to spot while you are there that live within 5 groups. It is quite interesting to watch the different groups as they interact, you certainly can tell when they are within their own groups and when an outsider approaches.

For a small entry fee of 20,000 (£1.50) you are able to freely wander within the grounds of the sanctuary. With some of the most beautiful art and sculptures in the area we took hours to walk around and capture all the photos I wanted.

Here are some of my favourite snaps from my visit to the monkey forest.

 

 

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Which Gili Island Is For Me? A Guide To The Gili Islands, Bali

Heading over to Bali and hoping to check out the Gili’s? Have a read of my guides below and find your best suited island to get the most from your trip!

 

Gili Trawangan 

The largest of the three islands and often referred to as Gili T or simply the party island you’ve been pre-warned! As it is the most developed of the three islands there is a mixture of budget hostel rooms, mid-range and luxury accommodation so would suit any budget.

With an abundance of bars along the east coast there is something for everyone, with the beach shacks with laid back vibes, to the nightclubs which will keep the drinks and music flowing until the early morning. Personally I think if travelling as a family avoid the main throng on the east coast and head for some of the hotels along the north and west of the island to avoid the party lifestyle that is normal any night of the week.

With plenty happening on the island everyday there will be something for everyone, and you can read my list of recommendations here

 

Gili Memo

Nestled between T & Air this is the smallest of the chain in the Northern Gilis. Arguably it has the best beaches of the Gili’s and I truly believe this is due to the lack of tourism on the island. With less choice of accommodation than it’s sister islands Gili Memo it still compares with pricing and has rooms starting from £14 per night.

Without bike hire you are left to wander the island on foot, but don’t let this put you off! A loop round the island will cost you an hour and most likely a full memory card. With the only salt water lake on the Island chain there is wildlife spotting to be done and sun soaking. After rumours of the island having large numbers of mosquitoes due to its lake the island has been quiet since, however I am happy to report I had no new bites after my visit, but if like me you suffer with bites check out my post here on how to avoid bites and prevent itching!

With the laid back locals it is hard not to fall in to island time, not that you have any reason not to!

 

Gili Air

The closest of the three to Lombok this has the shortest journey time from Bali or Lombok islands. With plenty of choices to dine and drink this comes up as the second most popular of the Gilis as the ‘Goldilocks choice’ Not as much partying as Gili T and not at quiet as Gili Meno this one is right right for those in-between.

With everything located in the east of the island it means the west of the islands host the best beaches not unlike Gili T, but as the waters are quiet there are snorkelling reefs all around the islands which haven’t yet been destroyed.

With a range of accommodation from hostel to 5* boutiques there is something to suit everyone, there is also more chance of larger rooms to host families.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Budgeting For Bali

Having just returned from Bali I thought a helpful guide to the country costs might come in useful for those looking to or are about to travel to this beautiful country. The rumors are true and spending your money wisely means it can be a backpackers paradise.
Store Prices 

Bottle of large water – 4000-10,000 

Packet of Malboro Red – 20-25,000

Ice-cream (Magnum) – 10-12,000

Coke/Diet Coke – 5-7,000

Restaurant Prices 

 Indonesiaian meal in small restaurant – 45-65,000

Western Meal in small restaurant – 65-85,000

Meal within an expensive restaurant – 80-150,000

Bottle of Bintang – 25-35,000

Bottle of water – 8-13,000

Cocktails – 80-100,000

Deserts – 45-80,000
Prices in the marketplace 

Kaftans – 40-60,000

T-shirts – 40-60,000

Wooden crafts – 50-100,000

Poncho kaftans – 40-50,000

Jewellery (silver rings) 30-80,000

Fake Dvd’s – 10,000
Day Trips and Ferrys 

Fast boat from Bali to Lombok, one way – 300,00 (including a pick up transfer to the boat)

Fast boat from Gili T to Bali, one way – 300,000 (including a drop off transfer from the boat to town centre of your choice)

Fast boat between Lombok and Gili – 200,000 (pick up in Lombok included)

Snorkeling trips from Gili and Lombok – 250-300,000 per person 

Driver Hire – 100-300,000 (will depend on the length of journey and how many hours)

Private Driver from Ubud to Kuta (via versa) – 200,000

Blue Bird Driver from Kuta to Seminyak – 30-50,000. Ensure when entering the taxi the meter is switched on.

Blue bird driver to the airport (from Kuta area) 75,000… this is the minimum fare requirement.

All prices are listed in Indonesiaian Rupiah, and at the time of posting the exchange rate was £1 = 17,ooo IR and $1 Usd = 13,000 IR