I’m very much near the end of this amazing 4 month travelling trip around South East Asia. Although travel has been the absolute wondorous whirlwind of adventure that one had hoped, I thought it would be nice to take more of a ‘holiday’ at the end. No matter how positively life-changing travel is, it is also exhausting. So I thought what better place to come than Bali, and in particular, I’ve spent the majority of my time in Ubud, known for its spiritual, holistic, healing ways.
I left revived with feathers in my hair and a spring in my step; I debloated that upset tummy of mine even though I was eating cake and choccy most days (pure cacao and vegan, wholefood treats that is of course) and best of all I was rested and regained some balance.
Hostel Ubud: cheap, clean, very central. I stayed here for my my first night and it was perfect.
Neema Problema: this is where I made a home for myself and I loved it. The location isn’t ideal as its about a 20-25 minute walk out of town but I stayed there as it’s 5-10 minutes from the Yoga Barn. It’s cheap and super simple but the staff make it its absolute best by thoroughly cleaning every day and even our sheets and towels get changed which is such a luxury. Guests are welcome to use the kitchen and they also provide a free pancake for breakfast included in the room rate. Lots of space in the rooms, really nice and social but not in the ‘chug it!’ way; a really chilled vibe with cool people.
There are some fantastic cheap, local food spots with a focus on vegetarian, healthy food:
Dayu’s Warung: There’s a raw, vegan, gluten free pie; the flavour is mango chai chocolate latte with turmeric and goji berries; buy it, delve into it and let your world change forever.
There are also more upmarket, trendy cafes and restaurants which are sure to impress:
Alchemy: I got a build-your-own smoothie bowl here, so so good. I also had some of the organic, cold-pressed juices: nutrient-dense. I’ve been told by a good source that the raw banoffee pie is out of this world.
Earth Food Cafe & Market: good for buying snacks and bits to make yourself in your accommodation and the cafe is yummy, yet pricy.
Bali Buddha: I didn’t actually try the cafe but enjoyed the mart with fresh breads, cakes, dried goods and cosmetics.
Garden Kafe: part of the Yoga Barn – amazing food and the best deal is the family buffet on a Sunday; certainly the best buffet I’ve ever had! This wrap was part of their Ayurvedic menu created for health benefits.
Street food: I love the Indonesian food and there’s lots of stalls selling bits on the street, usually only being bought by the locals. Get in there and sample the good stuff! The sweet, black sticky rice with coconut is amazing.
Fresh Spa: beautiful staff who treat you so well. Pretty pricy but a bright, open space that’s welcoming.
Skin spa and organic waxing: perhaps the best wax I ever had, real skill and precision with totally organic products that are kind to your skin and the planet.
Jaens spa: really lovely service and I had a nice, relaxing Balinese massage here.
Sacred Healing Spring of Tirta Empul: I took part in a purification ceremony in these special waters which have magical curative properties, helping to cleanse sins, balance energy and provide good fortune.
The Yoga Barn: a wonderful place filled with wonderful people. It has a huge schedule filled with all kinds of yoga. During my time I attended a power yoga, yin, iyengar, a couple of vinyasa classes, a discussion on yoga and self realisation as well as health satsang and a full day workshop on balancing female hormones. On top of all that I ate in the amazing Garden Kafe and met so many interesting and inspiring people. The vibe and community here is great to be a part of and there are so many more wonderful classes I would have gone to with more time (kundalini, therapeutic yoga, kirtan, Tibetan bowl meditation, sound healing etc etc!)
And the rest…
Hike for sunrise: Mt Batur is the popular one which hundreds and hundreds of people get up in the middle of the night to hike up. Tours pick up from Ubud at 2am and make it up for sunrise. Mt Agung is higher and so pickups are around 11-12 and you arrive back around 10am, this is a much tougher hike.
Ecstatic dance: the yoga barn’s most popular event where you can swing, twist, jump and shake to your heart desire! Release and enjoy.
Paradiso cinema: 50,000 (£3) for film which can be redeemed on food & drink. Not your average cinema, modern loungers with comfy cushions and pillows. (Top tip: this is linked with Earth Cafe and you can half price food between 2-4 on Monday’s!)
Rice terraces: beautiful place to get lost and find your way back through meeting a local tending to their crops.
Tegenungan Waterfall: refreshing and powerful. The best tip I can give is to hike to the top and relax there by the palm trees away from all the tourists.