Choosing what town we wanted to stay in here in Bali seemed so overwhelming to us. There is so much to see and do, but that also comes with many tourists all having the same idea. If you know us, you know we tend to lean away from the really busy stuff and try and find the off the beaten path quiet things where our kids can run and be kids. A lot of the token Instagram spots you see come with long waits in line along with a fee to get that perfect picture; something no one talks about. It’s more of an assembly line, then 2 minutes (timed), and for what, the same picture everyone else has?
We were picked up in the mid-morning and 1.5 hours later we were dropped of in front of our place in Ubud, Nick’s Hidden Cottages. Although it was only a 32 km drive it took quite the time, the roads and traffic are challenging here. This was one block off the busy street preceded by a short walk on a narrow path through a rice field. It was very quiet, but still close to good affordable places to eat. The hotel was not only budget-friendly, but had a pool, mini fridge, and breakfast included, as well as also had the most kind and generous staff. It was very clean with a very welcoming atmosphere.
While we had a few desired outings in mind, we spent the first day organizing our adventures and casually drifting through the crowded streets and vendors in the area, not to mention laying poolside and enjoying the water when things got too hot. Although it is the rainy season the weather was not all that troublesome. The patchy overcast skies made for a welcoming break from the scorching sun and the seemingly daily downpour was nearly predictable. The streets however could be challenging as the quantity of rain water tended to surpass the ability to remove it.
We traditionally try to exchange the busy touristy locations for more off beaten places, they feel more authentic and less moulded. However, there are always a few must dos that are on the busy side.
⛰️ Mt Batur volcano sunrise hike.
This hike required a very early start. We would be in bed by 8:30 pm and alarm set for 1:30 am with our driver picking us up at our hotel for 2:00 am. For more on this, see our Mt Batur blog post.
Local transport seemed rather challenging in Bali, and as there were four of us we found it was just as cheap and more direct to just hire a car and private driver. While here we were able to find a wonderful private driver, Chandra, that took us on our own private tour where ever we wanted to go. Of course, we really didn’t know where to look for some less touristy things so we let Chandra know that we wanted to see waterfalls and temples and left the rest of the planning up to him. We spent two full days with him, and here is what we did:
▪️ Aan Secret Waterfalls – Entrance fee by donation
▪️ Krisik Waterfalls – 20,000 IDR per person, kids 10,000 IDR
▪️ Besakih Great Temple – 60,000 IDR per person, kids under 4 free (must wear appropriate clothing ie: shoulder and mid drift covered as well as legs. Complementary sarong, on loan, provided with entrance fee.
For more information be sure to visit the Waterfall and Temple Tour post.
▪️ Virgin Beach – 15,000 IDR per person, kids free
▪️ Ujung Water Palace – 75,000 IDR per person, kids under 4 free
▪️ Lahanagan Sweet – We arrived at the parking lot but it was too muddy to continue because of the rain
Food around Ubud was plentiful. You could find anything and everything you wanted from the local food to western food in the numerous restaraunts around. Prices ranged greatly as well, but the local food was always significantly less expensive.
We walked everywhere around Ubud. It’s a very large area but everything you need is close by. From restaurants to laundry to mini marts to market stalls, it’s all mostly within walking distance if you stay close to the hub of it all.
Overall, Ubud is a great hub to do many different day trips from. There are also things to do directly in Ubud like visit the traditional dance and fire show, Indonesian cooking courses and a Monkey forest, but our girls are terrified of said monkeys so we chose not to visit there.