One of the most peaceful and paradisical places on earth...
Yes, fine, I proposed to Inna in Ubud this year (she said yes!) so I'm probably biased. What I do know is that the place we stayed, the things we did, the sites we saw; they were all excellent, divine, fantastic, wonderful (!) and if you took a similar trip, you would be as happy as we were.
We stayed at Big Love Gaudi Studios, a place we found on airbnb. Now, accommodation for me can be many things. I've stayed in five, six, seven star resorts or hotels. Lots of them. I've seen luxury travel like you wouldn't believe. I've also slept on the street, on the beach, tents and in crappy little huts. I've done it all.
But, this place, Big Love, it's the best place I've ever stayed. The location, the views, the buildings and features of the place. The staff and owner and just everything! It was wondrous. As far as I'm concerned, if you go to Ubud, don't stay anywhere else, and I'm not getting anything for saying this, it is just that good!. Ok, if it's booked up you can find others, there's lots of amazing places there too (and as usual you can find out about those in the usual channels, or by just going down there and winging it!). But this place, it gets my full 9 stars. Check out the photos! They have amazing rooms, a yoga studio, bike hire, airport transfer, pool, a self catering kitchen (or many neaby local restaurants with divine balinese cuisine!) and the most beautiful sunsets. We highly, highly recommend you go stay at this wonderful place!
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From there, it's a few really nice motorbike rides to Ubud town, the temples, waterfalls and volcanoes of the area. We went to the Monkey Forest which is still a worthwhile experience. Yeh Pulu Temple, Tegalalang rice terraces, Gunung Lebah temple, Saraswati temple and palace, the Elephant cave, Tegenungan waterfall, the markets and shops of the area (with just so many to die for items!) and the majestic volcano; all were brilliant. There's lots more too! All you need to do is book Big Love Studios: they will pick you up from the airport, you unwind a bit in their awesome space, then hire a bike from them and leisurely work your way through these sites (or some of the many others), stop to eat Balinese food and see Ubud and the surrounding area. It's so easy and good, why wouldn't you do it?!
But above all, the best reason to go? It's the energy of Ubud, the healing, energising, peace giving energy of the place. If I was rich, I would buy a place there. There's an interesting history too, it's known locally as a place of healing and it holds a key place in the spirituality of Bali. It's still affordable, and there's so much to see and do, you could do 2 weeks or more there alone. We went on to Seminyak (see the review here) but we were always longing for Ubud! Longing for that zen like energy there.
We were also lucky because in September there was the important festival of Galangan. You have to see the photos for that reason alone! It made a wonderful trip, even more special and allowed us to peer into Balinese culture and life itself. We would highly recommend you go at this time yourself. Failing that, just go, go, go to Bali and escape from it all!
Have a peek at our photos below...
Ubud photos: Click on the arrows to scroll, or on the image for a larger version (in a pop-up)
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