What haven’t I told so far about Bali?- Part 1, Ubud.
In my previous posts about Bali Island, I told you about interesting dining places like The Dining Corner in the vicinity of Ubud, themed evenings and brunches at the Laguna Luxury Collection in Nusa Dua, about Balinese massages, about the most expensive coffee in the world, Kopi Luwak, which is mainly produced in Bali, about the interesting cooking class by Chef Heinz von Holzen, refracted through the prism of the Experience Economy, about his restaurant Bumbu Bali, about the villas where we stayed in Ubud and Nusa Dua, Ubud Raya Resort and Rumah Bali the delicious burgers and culinary concepts of Locavore, but many more things remained untold, that would be interesting and important to the placescases.com readers who are planning a trip there.
This final itinerary for the enchanting island in Indonesia is dedicated to the KAND&Y team (Y stands for youngsters), with whom we shared this wonderful journey! 😊 Thank you people-you rock! 🤘
My Movie featuring Bali, on my YouTube Channel Places Cases and the Soundtrack
I gathered the photo and video footage that I shot in Bali and assembled a two-part movie.
Although the purpose of this type of video materials is to present in a short visual form the stories about the interesting places that I visit, these have become somewhat long, but thanks to the wonderful music by the young composer, with whom I have the pleasure to work lately, Martin Alexandrov, you will watch them in one breath.
Marty is a talented guy who has once written music for another colourful place, with an eastern flavor on European-Viennese soil, the restaurant with Michelin Star- Shiki. If you like the review or the movie about it, note that except in Vienna , you can find Shiki also in Nusa Dua, Bali.
The sound in the videos is based on Balinese folk music gamelan. Marty captured the specifics of the sound and instruments of gamelan, added various other motifs and created mega cool soundtrack! 😊
Thank you, Marty, for the talent and the enthusiasm to create together!
Ubud and its Attractions
The first part of the film is about Ubud and the attractions in its vicinity. In the city itself, I recommend to see the palace, Puri Saren Agung, where the royal family lived.
I guess it would also be interesting for you to take a walk on the shopping street, have a coffee at the local cafes, eat organic ice cream, taste fresh juice from exotic fruits, eat at the cute restaurants in the local style.
We drank coffee in Bali Star and ate wonderful ice-cream in Downtown Ubud, both on the shopping street.
Walk to the Monkey Forest Park, but observe all the instructions and requirements of the staff, so that these playful and inquisitive animals cannot steal any of your possessions. One of them got on the neck of a friend of ours, because it liked his bottle of water that was handed out of the backpack. Looks like it fell for the silver glow on the label. Another one liked the glasses of a friend of ours and stole them, but a shiny package of snacks, which a woman threw was more valuable to it and it quickly gave up the branded accessory.
If you’re into coffee, you’ll probably be very curious and delighted to visit a coffee plantation. There you will see live plants such as jasmine, cocoa, cinnamon, coffee and also a Civet, which is the reason Kopi Luwak, to be the most valued and expensive coffee in the world.
We visited two plantations. One was named Teba Sari. From there we bought packages of Kopi Luwak on a fairly good prices. Some of them we gave out to friends and relatives. I think they liked their gifts very much! The other was Celuk Swing, where we had a hefty swing above the precipice, and there was an element of extremeness tasting there. 🤪
Temples and Spiritual Life
Mandatory on the island of Bali is to visit a temple. There are many options. Near Ubud is the largest one- the mother-temple Besakih. All cars stop at a large parking lot, from which you go up a long street, but the walk is very pleasant. It is necessary to wrap a scarf from the waist down that will be graciously provided to you at the entrance of the temple. Before the main entrance, locals will offer you to buy for a little money the traditional offerings for Hindu Deities. Don’t worry when they attack you. Just bargain a little and buy some. It’s not a big deal, but it’s important to them because this is what they do for living. The volcano periodically gives them hard times by driving them away from their homes. Not an easy living at all. The guide that accompanies you will tell you about their gods, about the ceremonies, about how they pray for the mountain to spare them in another volcanic eruption and an earthquake, and will show you the place where the offerings are left at a table up in the temple.
The offerings for the gods are made every morning from banana leaves, flowers, treats, the obligatory lit aromatic stick. Hindus place them in front of their homes, at work, you will see them everywhere.
Those curved rods in the streets, decorated with flags, symbolize dragon heads. The locals people believe that dragons are guardians. Others say that these curved rods symbolize a wise man who knows when to wave festive and upright, and when to incline a humble head to the higher forces of nature.
Ubud is a sort of a spiritual center for Yogi. Its name comes from the word ubad, which means medicine because of the spiritual cleansing rituals that are performed here and because of the many herbs that grow in the vicinity. Explore where you can go to practice Yoga or visit a guru. I didn’t have time to do that. In the film/book “Eat, Pray and Love”, that’s where the main character went and met a man who opened her eyes to the spirituality. The sage was a real person and lived in Ubud, but died a few years ago.
The Nature of Bali
Bali has different kinds of natural parks where you can communicate with the local flora and fauna. It’s worth it on the way to stop by and see a waterfall. We specifically went to Tibumana. It’s very beautiful, one that’s tucked away, you walk a few stairs long enough to reveal itself in the end. If you’re into adventure, get on a volcano crater, with a local scout, not alone. In the Monkey Forest in Ubud, which I have already mentioned, you will observe an authentic jungle. It’s so beautiful. And in front of one of the restaurants, on one of the hills, we even saw just in front of us a huge bat that was quietly hanging from a sign. We enjoyed it. 😊 you will see it in the movie-it’s a sweety!
The Art of Massage and Other Arts
Make sure you go for a massage, and not once but a couple of times. You get relax, body and soul treatment, ginger tea, cookies…. You can also take the kids because there are special short, lighter versions of massages for them.
You can read about Nusa Dua SPA studios in my article Is the Balinese massage a ritual or therapy?
Bali has workshops with various crafts and arts- woodcarving, painting, jewellery. Buy yourself a little wooden figure, a painting, maybe two, but still, don’t forget to bargain. In the paintings there is one specificity- if you take them off the street, you don’t know who painted the original, because there are many copycats. Better, go to an art atelier and a wood carving workshop where the local guides will easily take you to. Everything is packed properly so that it can travel on a plane. If you do not insist on having an original painting, copies from Ubud’s shopping street will do, too.
To Be Continued…
In order not to make this travelogue to Bali boring long, I will stop here and if you are interested, I invite you to continue our journey in the second part. There you will see the other part of the film too.
If, however, you are already terribly convinced that you are going to Bali, for your convenience I have added a box of booking.com, in which you only need to add the dates of your journey and click Search. Then you can examine the options for accommodation at prices and conditions that suit best your requirements. Remember that you retain all genius discounts and privileges.
How to get there?
Check-up for promotions of Qatar Airways with the QR code below. This is how we booked our tickets at very affordable prices.
Once on the island, to make it easier for you to find the places I’m telling you about, view the map and hit the pins if you want to get directions.
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