Located in central Bali, the cultural town of Ubud has been seeing an increasing number of tourists, no thanks to Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling memoir “Eat Pray Love” that saw the author finding her second shot at true love on the mystical island of Bali. Ubud houses some of the finest museums and art galleries in Indonesia as it is the artistic and creative hub of Bali. In fact, many foreigners who have visited the island for a dose of inspiration have turned Ubud their temporary humble abode for an unexpected couple of months, or even years for some!
Throughout our 1-week stay (which felt long to our fellow Singaporeans but too short for the Westerners), we have met an Australian lady and her daughter who hope to pick up a new language during the winter vacation, an elderly French lady who has called Bali home for the past 25 yrs and is now a proud owner of an authentic French restaurant and an “English teacher-turned-budding writer” wh0 is currently undergoing a mid-career change and hopes to be able to freelance as a writer for magazines. Lots of interesting people and stories!
Wanting to experience the laid-back lifestyle of the Balinese, I must confess that our week in Ubud was definitely very relaxing and relatively activity-free … For once, neither did we do much sight-seeing nor partake in many touristy activities. Instead, we spent the bulk of our time strolling around the little town of Ubud, feasting on local delights, playing with the stray puppies & dogs in the dog shelters and basically doing nothing more than being a bum. :p
The breathtaking scenery
Overlooking the lush and tranquil greenery of the padi fields. Trekking up to a spectacular sunrise over the horizon. Need me (the city girl) to say more?
Traditional beliefs and spirituality
It is often said that walking around Ubud can be a full sensory experience, “from the colours of the shops and nature to the smells of incense freshly laid out for the gods”. Indeed, it was a favourite thing of mine to see the religious locals placing the daily offering of woven palm leaves, colourful flowers and biscuits outside of their homes, shops and restaurants.
Being surrounded by arts & creativity
One need not visit a museum or art gallery to appreciate the artistic talent in the Balinese. Creative (and sometimes, impromptu) displays of art and design are easily seen in every corner of the town. In Ubud, we call these displays and paintings a form of art … In Singapore, we call it ‘vandalism’. Lol.
Mouthwatering local cuisine
The boy must have easily gained 5kg after the trip as he was indulging himself in an endless flow of good food and beer (needless to say, Bintang was his choice of beverage) throughout our week-long vacation. Our favourite dish is the special Babi Guling (roasted pork served with fragrant rice, spiced vegetables and a bit of everything from the pork- from the meat to the innards) from the world-renown but humble Ibu Oka Warung Babi Guling. Absolutely delicious!
Spa treatments at very CHEAP prices
$35 for a 3.5 hours spa package. $15 for an organic facial. $13 for an organic brazilian wax. Honestly, can the price get any cheaper? If I didn’t have the boy in tow, you can bet that I would love to treat myself to a luxurious spa/massage every single day!