After our arrival in Bali, we mentioned we spent several days doing boat chores. Then we had a 3 night trip at a nice hotel in the prime tourist destination of Bali in the mountains called Ubud. There we relaxed in a luxurious air conditioned hotel suite (for a very reasonable price), and saw the sights of Ubud. I’ve finally processed the photos of Bali, so this post is about our visit there.
We took an hour-long taxi ride up into the mountains to Ubud. There is an enormous amount of vehicular traffic in Bali – especially motorcycles/scooters. I’m glad I didn’t have to try one-eyed driving in Bali. Bali is the most developed tourist destination in Indonesia. Completely different from the places we visited before in this country.
On our way to Ubud, we went through a several mile stretch of door to door stone carved statue shops. I’m not kidding! There were more statues than you can imagine in this place (see the album below for more evidence). The villages here specialize in certain crafts (wood carvings, stone carvings, pearls, etc.). Our driver told us the stone statues are sold to places all over the world.
Along the way we saw beautiful rice paddies, farms, villages, shops, and hotels. We finally arrived at our hotel – Kori Ubud. We had a great time staying there, and it was beautiful. The hotel landscaping have had years of attention, and are both peaceful and beautiful. We were upgraded to a luxurious suite with our own terrace, back yard, and back entrance to the next-door pool. Awesome! See the album for more photos.
We took a walk through parts of the town the next day. Karen forgot her medicine, but we found a pharmacy and got some more there. We had a pleasant walk through parts of the town and visited shops where there was no pressure to buy. Later we went to the market that had hawkers pushing you to buy like you wouldn’t believe. We didn’t enjoy that! Ubud has a unique flavor of beauty, eating places, and souvenir shopping like crazy. We took it easy this first day and it was great.
One night, we got tickets to go to a traditional Balinese dance at the royal palace in the center of Ubud. This was a really unique experience and it lived up the reputation of the beautiful Balinese style of dancing and colorful exotic costumes. The upward curved toes, really unique eye movements, curved and very expressive fingers, fans, and more. It was truly memorable. See more photos in the album below.
We did an all day tour of some of the famous sites around Ubud. First we went to the Elephant Cave Temple. An ancient hindu temple with a cave entrance with interesting carvings outside, and an elephant shrine inside. The more interesting parts were the beautifully landscaped grounds surrounding it though. We then went to the oldest temple down in a deep rice terrace valley. There the temple was carved right out of the volcanic stone mountain. We saw a holy man performing rites there.
We then drove way up into the mountains to the top of a very wide volcanic caldera. There’s a large population living inside this caldera that has a lake and several volcanic cones inside it. There are also shops and restaurants along the very steep edge of the caldera on one side. Our guide took us to a restaurant over the edge with a stupendous view of the area. We had a nice buffet lunch there. We also got to go into some lava tubes along the way.
We drove through several villages with their crafts along this trip. We also went to a Lawak coffee plantation. They sell a very unique, exotic, and in my opinion very distasteful coffee here. Lawak are a kind of critter that looks like a cross between a fox and a possum. They like to eat coffee beans. You might guess where this is going. The beans are fermented in their bodies and when they come out, they are processed and supposedly have a very unique flavor (I bet!). It’s also very expensive. Anyway, thankfully they also process beans normally, and a bunch of other products such as tea, spices, fruits, etc. We got to try a bunch of their coffees, tea, and cocoa. We did not try the Lawak coffee though! We had a very sweet Balinese guide who spoke excellent English. She promised to check out our blog and we took a photo of her to put in the album below.
We finished up our tour by going to a famous terraced rice paddy and I ended up walking down into the bottom and taking pictures. Ubud is a great place to visit and there are many more things to see. You could easily spend a long time here enjoying all the sights, and the very inexpensive hotels, food, and massages.
And here at last is the photo album of our experience in Bali:
View full-sized slideshow
While we were gone to a hotel, we had hired two boat boys to clean, shine stainless, and wax Tahina. The cost was only $25/day per boy. The only problem was that while they worked very quickly during the two days while we were there, while we were gone they must have worked at a snails pace. And, it turns out they missed some areas like on top of our bimini. But, I still paid far less than any where else we have been and we didn’t have to do it ourselves this time!
Our friend Dana from s/v Northfork returned from the US with our boat parts. I quickly installed our new raw water impellers and so we were back to two fully functional engines again. We went out to dinner with Mark and Dana before we left, and another dinner with our new friends on s/v Restless. Eating out in Bali is such a pleasure – great food, and fantastic prices. Before we left, we had a fuel barge come to Tahina to fill up our tanks. Its a good thing we filled up because we used a lot fuel!