EAT, PRAY, LOVE IN UBUD
Bali is one of the 13 466 islands of the Republic of Indonesia, between Java and Lombok it is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands. With its 4 million people, Bali is offering a cultural diversity mainly based on the Hinduist religion – as opposed to the rest of the country, which is the first Islamic country in the world in terms of population -. Denpasar, the island’s main city is a strategic point from where tourists from all around the world are landing and starting their trips. Most of them are going directly to the most famous Balinese city, Ubud. Even though it is very touristic, Ubud is offering a spirituous atmosphere and the Balinese spirit comes off with compliance. At one hour by car from DPS airport, it is from there that we decided to begin our trip. Highlighted by Julia Roberts in a fabulous Hollywood romance that we invite you to discover, far away from megalopolis frenzy, Ubud is a living example for occidental people.
WHAT AND WHERE CAN I EAT IN UBUD?
Balinese food is offering a large choice of flavors. Essentially cooked around the rice and with coconut, the traditional one is the Nasi Goreng, a bowl of fried rice seasoned with kecap manis shallot, garlic, tamarin, and other sides like eggs, prawns, and chicken. During our Trip in Bali, we were also invited to discover some variants of this meal such as the Mie Goreng which is exactly the same one but with a bowl of fried noodles. Balinese are enjoying these meals as breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Coming from France, life is very cheap for us in Bali. You can eat well for around 5€ and so making some extra pleasure in good restaurants, that’s why in Ubud we opted for the Spice by Chris Sallens. This affordable culinary experience is proposing different kinds of very good menus. For 195K IDR – 12€ -, you can discover 4 courses. Our choice is composed of:
The Beef Cromesquis with Green Chill Sambal & The Spice Salad Mango, Avocado and Tempe
The Pork Belly and Crispy Skin with Turmeric dressing and Sukkah spices
Grilled Tuna and Smoked Gindara
After a good lunch you can discover an exotic Starbucks coffee at the bend of the Pura Saraswati Temple.
LEARNING HOW TO PRAY IN UBUD’S HOLY TEMPLES.
Our very first spiritual experience in Bali was the Pura Saraswati Temple in Honor of Saraswati, goddess of arts and wisdom. This little trail on a picturesque lotus pond leading to this Hindu Temple richly decorated is offering a quiet sensation at the first feelings. Unfortunately, tourists are not able to enter the temple to preserve the privacy of Hinduist prayers.
At night, you can also enjoy dancing representations in the temple.
Our second visit was Pura Tirta Empul, here Balinese come to soak up the sacred waters and wearing a sarung is mandatory for women and men as in all Balinese temples.
This temple offers a stunning view of the very quiet surroundings. As opposed to other countries I visited, Bali endeavors to preserve its cultural heritage from tourism. Everybody is not allowed to enter in Holy places as we saw in Saraswati Temple.
These holy waters are very popular in the Balinese Hinduist community, faith being omnipresent and very significant for the prayers. We were welcome to join the ritual and to participate with them.
WHERE CAN I FALL IN LOVE WITH UBUD?
“Coup de coeur”: Campuhan Ridge Walk
On an afternoon we advise you to discover the Campuhan Ridge Walk, at the beginning of the latter you can enjoy a little-closed temple. This ramble is offering stunning sceneries and landscapes of Ubud backstages, as you are walking on a crest you can enjoy the surrounding Balinese Jungle.
At the end of the walk, you can appreciate a drink with an incredible view of the rice terraces and the Agung, which is the highest point of the island.
One-day stand: Experiencing Balinese habits
Ubud’s markets are representative of the Balinese culture. We can find there all stuff that Balinese need on their daily lives, from the topbag to cooking pot and articles of clothing as sarungs. As tourists, shopkeepers will try to grow up your prices but don’t worry, Balinese are very open to bargaining.
The atmosphere in the market is very vivid with a lot of locally produced goods.
While heading back to the hotel, our driver proposed us a stopover at a local coffee and tea producer. We have been invited to discover the famous Kopi Luwak coffee directly collected from Luwak’s excrement. From there, beans are treated and then transformed in natural coffee. This coffee is one of the finest and the most expensive in the world – 10€ per kilo -.
We were also invited to taste 14 cups of tea as cinnamon, ginger or hibiscus.
Ubud is a very attractive city and a must go city, our 3 days past were very exciting and our trip was awesome. We invite you to join us on our trip around Bali next month!