Travel Itinerary: Ubud, Bali where to stay, eat and go

April 20, 2016

As some of you might know, upon returning to Singapore after a 3-month solo backpacking trip in South America, I felt reverse culture shock. It was a little too much for me, so within the week when I got back I booked an impulse trip to Bali, an island I have never been to despite everyone being there before. I thought just 4 days is enough because I thought it was a small island, but nooooo. It's a huge place. I thought I'll stay at Ubud area up north because it is more chill, less touristy and while I was right, I also underestimated how much time I need to really see Bali, including the south.

In any case, I only had a few days to book my accommodation in Ubud, because it was such an impulse trip. I used Clarinta's Best of Ubud Guide for 90% of where I went, but unfortunately the B&B she recommended was fully booked! It was then that I found out about HotelsCombined.com, which is a site aggregator for ALL the major hotel/accommodation booking sites like Booking.com, Agoda, Hotels.com and Expedia and allows you to compare and get the best available rates.

Where to stay

I booked the Umaya Ubud Villa, just next to the Monkey Forest, for 3 wonderful nights for around S$65 per night. The funny thing was, we were so close to the Monkey Forest, there were 3 monkeys that got into a fight on my first day on my roof over some territorial dispute and made such a racket! But that is an UNPRECEDENTED event. Was rather entertaining actually. Nobody got hurt - they moved off after a while.

At Jl. Nyuh Bojog, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia

The bungalows are situated around two pools - one for double rooms, and one for family suites.


I loved my 4-poster bed, and the luxurious mosquito net. Free breakfasts every morning was yummy. Air conditioning worked well, but the wifi wasn't too strong in the room. That being said, DO NOT buy a SIM card at the airport for they will rip you off! Just ask the hotel reception for where you can buy a phone card instead. I got a SIMPATI one for only 70,000 rupiah (around S$7) for 2GB data in 1 week and did not even have to produce my passport (bring it anyways).

I also love my au natural washroom. It's sheltered, but not completely covered so the moisture escapes. Not a lot of mozzies if you shut the door too.

The only slightly inconvenient thing is you have to walk out of the villa by a small side road beside the Monkey Forest to get onto the main road (called Jalan Hanoman which translates to Monkey Road) for about 10 minutes. That means you get to see plenty of monkeys without paying for them, and I didn't see any of them displaying aggressive behavior as they are very well-fed, but I still dislike monkeys in general. It is also VERY dark at night especially just around the villa, so the only way to get back after dinner is probably with a taxi or scooter if one is alone. Still it is a minor inconvenience for the serenity.


Where to eat  

Of course one of my main objective is to eat when it comes to Ubud! Most are places recommended by Clarinta. Here are my top 5 picks for food and coffee.

1. Naughty Nuri's for BBQ pork ribs dinner
Jl. Raya Sanggingan, Desa Kedewatan, Kecamatan Ubud, 10am to 10pm

Them ribs (120k rupiah) are really good. I won't say the best in the world, but pretty decent. Apparently they are also famous for their margaritas. I was so full with my curry vegetables and ribs plus some rice, I couldn't put anything else in there.


Here's the menu of some of the disher for your reference.




2. KAFE by Yoga Barn (along Jalan Hanoman)
Jalan Hanoman No. 44B, 7.30am to 11pm
This was one of my first meals upon arriving.. and it is REALLY healthy. The brown rice felt like a good kickstart for my digestive system. The place is filled with Yogis and expats though because this is by a yoga place. The juice (can't remember what, likely berries with watermelon) was about S$2.50-3 but such a godsend in the heat.





3. Locavore To Go 
Jl. Dewisita No.1, Ubud, 8.30am to 6pm (though I went for dinner and they were open?) '
Closed on Sundays
If you want some fancy farm-to-table food, go to Locavore, but you will have to book in advance for that fine dining privilege. Of course I did not manage to get a booking, but along the way I stopped by their "to-go" restaurant and found it empty! The waiter convinced me that there's no point for me to walk all the way to Locavore, and eat at their To Go branch instead. They were offering a 3-course menu for only 250k rupiah. Really worth it, and when I had it, it was even more so because it was so good! Forget about Locavore. Just go to this hidden secret instead!

My custom request for dinner - sausages! Their sides were served in bowls, of which I then scooped out some.

The dessert was the best, omg. The dragonfruit sorbet was divine, and the rice pudding with fruits was OUT OF THIS WORLD.


4. Seniman Coffee Studio
Jalan Sriwedari No. 5, Banjar Taman Kelod, 8am to 10pm
One of the best cafes in Ubud would be Seniman that grows and roasts their own beans. The dedication to the craft of making awesome coffee is evident when you look at the baristas. The trick is order a brewed coffee, or latte, instead of anything iced or flavoured. I like how each coffee comes with a little snack too. When I visited again they had alfajores, which were the best tasting ones outside of South America. Their sliders/brunch were also highly reviewed!


5. Hujun Locale
Jl. Sri Wedari No.5, Banjar Taman Kelod, 12pm to 11pm
This was on my list the first time, but didn't have the stomach space so I returned on my second visit to have dinner there with some friends. Their menu is rather fancy but based off Indonesian basics with slightly high but fair prices. Everything we tried was great. It wasn't too crowded when I got there on a weekday evening, but best to call and book in advance for a bigger dining party. A plus - they offer a simple but healthy/filling/fun kids menu which my friend's mum really liked for her toddler son.



6. Fair Warung Bale
Jl. Sriwedari No. 6, 9am to 11pm
Hujun Locale was down the street from Seniman Coffee Studio (just a short walk away from Ubud market/Palace), and Fair Warung Bale was opposite! It's a restaurant that also donates to charity for every meal you ordered. I like social entreprises like this. My red curry chicken was superb, and super economical for a meal, for lunch.

Where to go

Alright, there are just 3 places for me to recommend in Ubud that's really worth a visit, after you're done walking up and down Hanoman Street like me. Haha.

1. Lotus Palace near Ubud Palace

Ubud Palace is quite run-down and filled with tourists. Conversely, go to Lotus Palace, which has a Lotus Cafe overlooking it. You don't have to go to the cafe to go in, just walk in for free. And you get a view like this. Enough said. (Oh, and there's a gelato place called GAYA Gelato along the road from Ubud Palace to Lotus Cafe which has REALLY good gelato).


2. Ubud market just opposite Ubud Palace

There's a lot of clothes, souvenirs and sarongs (for US$2 only!) available there. Prices are the cheapest in Bali if you know how to bargain. Do not pay more than 60,000 rupiah for a singlet.. and there's more discount if you buy more, of course. The market recently suffered from a fire and a lot of people probably lost some stuff so if you want to buy anything, buy from there.



3. Tegallalang Rice Terraces

You'll need to get a taxi for this as it is a 40-min drive (don't pay more than 150,000 for it, both ways if possible). It's a pretty awesome view and one of Bali's most famous rice terraces (just visit 1 is enough) but don't try to attempt to climb it unless you want to get heatstroke or leg cramps. Best to just sit by the terraces in the numerous cafes lining the side and look at people attempting to achieve the aforementioned.

Oh and lastly...

How to get around

After arriving at the airport which is situated all the way north in Denpasar, you could try to get a GrabCar or Uber with the wifi in the airport and do not be pressured into getting an airport taxi. But otherwise, I paid 280,000 for an airport taxi from the airport to my villa in Ubud and that's an hour's drive, so its not too bad too. Balinese people in general are super friendly and nice so there shouldn't be any problems. Getting around in Ubud is a little trickier as there are no metered taxis like in Seminyak, so you can either call a driver or use Grab/Uber in the day or get the hotel to call a car for you. Scooters or roadside drivers will also call out "taxi!" or "transport!" and if you can agree on the rate it will be fine.

Hope this helps! Do remember to refer to Clarinta's Guide to Ubud for other recommendations like spa/massage places and eateries and check out HotelsCombined.com for accommodation bookings too.


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