Balinese massage amongst the forest
Ubud is away from the noise of Kuta, and it's a fantastic base to explore traditional Balinese lifestyle. The villages and rice paddies are just a stone throw away where you see the locals minding their own business. Want nirvana? Having traditional Balinese massage amongst the dense forest and flowing river, complete with aromatic oils. Priceless. Attached is the picture of the massage table.
An artsy surprise at Bangkiang Sidem
To make the most of your Ubud experience, venture into the nearby villages. It's the best way to really soak in the local culture, mingle with the locals, sample real Balinese food, and be surprised by peculiarities of the local customs (read my 'Invisible to the naked eye' tip under Local Custom, and you will know what I am talking about).
One of the walks I took was through the small village of Bangkian Sidem. To go there, pass through the Ibah Luxury Villas, following the concrete path to Pura Gunung Lebah, along the Campuan Ridge, where two rivers - Sungai Wos and Sungai Cerik - meet. You pass by fields upon fields of elephant grass, scenic rice paddies, and on to Bangkiang Sidem.
Along the way, I stopped by a shop (mainly to take shelter from the searing midday sun) by an artist named Made Sudarsana who invited me to see his works, obviously with commercial intentions. But the conversation went beyond commerce and his art - we talked about life in Ubud in general, traditions and family life. His wife used to work for a large hotel in Ubud as a spa specialist but had since moved to another of the hotel chain's property in the Caribbean.
I also got the honor to be invited to Made's house to meet his family - his father, mother, sister, and two kids. Over cups of aromatic Balinese coffee (and some leftover cake from the kids' birthday party), we chatted about the Philippines and Indonesia, about local customs in Ubud, and showed me the family compound. I took snaps of the Made and his family and would like to invite you meet Made and his family in one of my Ubud travelogues.
There is no better way to completely engage yourself with the gentle and very hospitable local population.
Delicious Indonesian and Belgian dishes
Café des Artistes, located only a 2 minute stroll from Ubud’s most famous tourist attractions; the market, the palace and temples welcomes you for Lunch and Dinner.
Have a comfortable seat inside the main restaurant area or outside on our street-side garden terrace to enjoy a tasty meal, dessert or a well-made drink. Our ever-smiling staff will take care of you, in order to help make your visit an unforgettable one. Make your choice of any of our Indonesian dishes to have a taste of the archipelago or go for our grill-specials and western cuisine which features some Belgian specials as well.
For a lighter option our salads and snacks will be the right thing for you. Desserts a go-go for all the sweet-tooths as well as ice-creams and crepes. Check also our “Monthly Special” out, a 4-course set-menu, designed to please your palate. After backpacking through Indonesia for 20 days, the "biefstuk friet met peperroomsaus" (=steak with peppercorn cream sauce and french fries) and the Hoegaarden Grand Cru from Café Des Artistes were heavenly good!
Japanese food with a local twist
This cafe is so close to Waka di Ume where we were staying so we decided to check it out. Situated close to the rice fields with beautiful views of the surroundings including our resort, it has a charming rustic ambience to it.
This is really a no frills cafe that's family run and everyone chips in to help. I especially liked the different kites that hung from the ceiling and decorated the place.
Unfortunately, food here is not as good as Japanese food with a local twist don't really work for me. It's a little too weird for my tastebuds.
Pictures at the Neka Museum, Ubud (1)
The Neka Museum on the northern edge of the town of Ubud can be visited on foot, but it's a rather long walk uphill. Unless you really like walking a lot, I would not suggest that you undertake this trip on foot. We walked to the museum all the same, but we took a minivan on our way back.
This is an astronomical chart.