March 11-14, 2018
Hello Ubud! I’m in ya.
Ubud is centrally located in Bali and can be described as a hippy, yoga, vegan, chaotic, juxtaposed “village”. Having just come from a small village, I was surprised by how much Ubud caters to westerners. Let me sum up the “face” of Ubud in one picture.
I feel like this is Ubud attempting to cater to the western population that have set up shop in Ubud to indulge in yoga. But, this is far from an authentic Balinese vibe. If you walk along the main streets you will see a multitude of restaurants – Italian, sushi, Indian, etc., but no Indonesian or Balinese cuisine. But! If you go even 20 steps down a side street you can find a family owned restaurant and get a mean gado-gado or mie goreng for less than 2$. This is the Ubud that I was expecting, and I love. Ubud is still there under the tourists, you just have to look for it a little bit!
Anywho, here’s what I did during my time here:
Playing with the monkeys
Traditional Balinese dancing at the Palace – they dance a ton with their eyes! It’s crazy!
I climbed Mt Batur to see the sunrise! This consisted of being picked up at my hostel at 2:15am, driving an hour and half, and walking up a steep mountain for 2 hours. All to see this beautiful view! Well worth it!
On my last day in Ubud I rented a scooter. It started out a little rocky by accidentally running my scooter into the outside of a shop.. Oops! Don’t worry, no one got hurt and I didn’t even damage anything in the shop, just my pride. “Slow, crazy white lady, slow”.
Look da fuq out
I went to a Tukad Cepung Waterfall and Tirta Empul Temple!
Tukad Cepung Waterfal
Tirta Empul Temple
This Hindu temple is known for its Holy Water coming from a spring under the ground. It is also the oldest temple in Bali (I think, probably, most likely). People come from all over to take a dip in the holy water and move along the spouts to cleanse themselves. I choose not to go in that water, but to merely witness the majesty of the architecture and history. I choose this because it is a sacred religious temple for the Hindu people and I felt like it would be cultural appropriation (proper use of this word? yes?) to get in, toss some water around, and take a pic for Insta when I really don’t understand the meaning of all this. If someone came into my place of worship and took a few pictures and participated in some part of my beliefs as a novelty without understanding what they are doing or why, I think I would take some offence. Thus, no water for me. Still a cool experience though!
Just as I was leaving the temple, a tropical thunderstorm began! I had planned to go to Petulu to watch the Herons come in to nest for the night, but instead ended up staying at the temple in a restaurant until 5pm when I decided I had better just drive home in the rain instead of driving home in the rain AND the dark.
That’s Ubud for ya folks!
XO – Kristiane