I was so excited to go to Ubud. Being a yogi I couldn’t wait to check out this spiritual city and have the ultimate yogi experience, a Balinese yoga retreat!
Where to Stay in Ubud, Bali
I loved our hotel in Ubud. I booked it while feeling disappointed in Cambodia and because it was around the time of our 3 year wedding anniversary, I decided to book more luxurious accommodations than we were used to. We stayed at the Desak Putu Putera Cottages and while still super affordable it was so nice! The infinity pool is gorgeous and they even offered floating breakfast!
We became friends with one of the staff members, Wayan, and he even took us to his family’s home. They were such kind people and we shared laughs and durian with them. Yep, we had to eat super smelly durian because we couldn’t turn it down and be rude!
Note: Nearly everyone in Bali is named Wayan. It means eldest child. So they will have Wayan as a prefix to their names.
7 Things to Do in Ubud, Bali
1. Attend a yoga retreat
We did a week-long yoga retreat at Shanti Toya Ashram and it was amazing! Read this post to hear all the details. It was my first yoga retreat and hopefully not my last! Ubud has a ton of cute yoga clothing boutiques too so you can stock up before your retreat.
2. Do the Water Purification Ceremony at the Pura Tirta Empul Temple
This was such a cool experience! We got to don sarongs and cleanse ourselves with this sacred water! We hired a guide on site who was super helpful explaining the ritual and significance of everything. It was cheap and definitely worth it.
3. Explore the Goa Gajah Elephant Cave Temple
Hop on your moto and head to this temple. For about $3 (sarong included!) you can explore the cave. The entrance is the best part! The surrounding property is really pretty too.
4. Check out the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
This is on every Bali list. Grant had been to Indonesia before and thought he had already been to the money forest but turns out he went to the one on Lombok. This was more touristic than I expected with a huge entrance and ticket counter. The monkeys are very playful and a little feisty so don’t get too close! The sanctuary itself is beautiful with old Hindu temples from the 1300s.
5. Eat delicious healthy food
Ubud has some great restaurants. We liked Dumbo for pizza and Kismet for plant based fare. Sayuri Healing Food is a really cool hippie vegan cafe with events like yoga, chanting, and live music. Great spot to read a book and drink a smoothie!
6. Visit a coffee farm and drink luwak coffee
If you’re planning a trip to Bali, you’ve probably heard of luwak poop (or the common misconception “monkey poop”) coffee. Yep, it’s a real thing and of course we had to try it! These cute critters are a cross between a ferret and a raccoon.
Although we were wary to try it because we didn’t want to drink coffee at the expense of mistreated luwaks. We visited a coffee farm where they sadly had them in cages. They claimed they were well-treated pets but we didn’t buy it! However, there was one cafe in downtown Ubud that had a cute luwak just hanging around. As far as the coffee quality, it was alright.
7. See the Tegalalang Rice Terrace
I had read mixed reviews about the rice terraces and that they were a bit scammy. We opted to admire them from a scenic cafe rather than do the hiking tour (we had just hiked them in Vietnam!) and I think this was the right call. It is basically a bunch of wannabe influencers getting a selfie on a swing. Definitely not the highlight of Ubud, but still pretty to check out.
While it was a little more touristy than I imagined (there’s a Ralph Lauren store next to the monkey forest!), I still loved Ubud.
Buddies with Ubud,
Note: We visited Ubud in April 2019