Recommended Duration of Stay:
6 Days on the ground
Currently 1 US Dollar = $13,407 RP
How much money should you carry:
If you’re wondering how much money to take along with you on your trip, consider that I spent a little over $300 US dollars during a 7 day stay and that included quite a few moments of splurging (multiple spa visits, taxis, snacks, lunches, dinners & Souvenirs) #treatyoself.
Where to Stay:
My suggestion, gather a handful of your favorite friends and split the cost of a villa. You get the comforts of home and the luxury of MTV Cribs. I’m talking on-site concierge, daily breakfast made by an on-site chef, 24 hour pool access, separate bathrooms, huge rooms, beautiful views, and the works. The villa life is Absolutely Amazing!
If this isn’t your style, there are definitely more traditional options from resorts to hostels in the area.
What To Do:
Pura Bratan Temple:
Temple complex located near Lake Bratan. Here worshippers give offerings to the Balinese water, lake and river goddess Dewi Danu. If you’re a fan of water landscape views, this is the place to see it. Here you can meditate and capture all of the pictures your camera or phone can manage.
Tegalalang Rice Terrace:
There are rice paddies everywhere in Bali. The city itself is basically a huge rice paddy itself, however if you want to see something spectacular, it wouldn’t hurt to take a “Taksi” to the Tegalalang Rice Terrace. There’s literally levels to this shit!
Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary:
It’s like playing a starring role in a monkey scene from Madagascar! The entertainment was all too real. These fuckers have no chill. It’s like they too took a listen to Beyonce’s Formation-- They see it, they work hard, they grind until they own it! If they see something they want, and you have it...They’re coming to get it. If they think you might have more… they’ll open your purse themselves to have a look/see.
Also, when you enter the sanctuary, it’s highly likely you’ll become furniture for one of these guys. Don’t freak out. Just take a picture and then cling to your camera. Their curiosity WILL get your camera got!
This was an unexpected but GORGEOUS stop on the trip. We just thought we were going to see some dudes paint some shit. What we ended up experiencing was a gorgeous boutique gallery with a diverse collection of artistry from local painters and sculptors. The gallery itself is easy and enjoyable to get lost in, with small and large rooms, filled with Koi fish ponds, Buddha statues, and oversized original acrylic and oil paintings at every turn.
Let me start this off for you, the way I wish somebody had started this off for me (insert side eye emoji here). Traveler, PLEASE beware. This is absolutely NOT a walk in the park. It’s actually a long hike in the mountainous rain forest, with little to no man made walking paths. You will absolutely scale walls, balance on slippery rocks, and hold your breath as you make your way down the side of muddy hills. Now, if this is still enticing to you, do your adventurous self a favor and visit the Secret Garden natural pool and Kembar Waterfall! The views are absolutely gorgeous and easily the site of many-a- b-roll from your favorite tropical action flick.
So you know what to expect, be clear there’s a 1 meter jump, a 5 meter jump, a 5 meter slide, a 10 meter natural slide and a 10 meter jump. Try all 5 or pick your poison. This excursion is definitely not for the faint of heart (or feet), but per my own experience, you won’t know you’re not faint if you don’t try.
What to Eat:
Fried Rice & a Sunny Side Up Egg: I added a couple pieces of bacon on the side which I’m sure is as nontraditional as a bride wearing all black at her own damn wedding BUT… OMG That shit was HEAVEN and absolutely gorgeous too!
With your choice of meat or naw: Lord jesus! You can find this every and anywhere in Bali. I need to figure out where to go to incorporate this into my weekly lunch schedule at work. The perfect amount of everything! Just damn tasty. I just hope it’s as good here!
Dewa Malen Restaurant (Ubud)
The setting is beautiful! You’re literally sitting on a patio overlooking a temple and a rice paddy. It’s as Indonesian as it gets without being extra corny. The wait staff is amazing and friendly! Most importantly is the food! I ordered the fresh spring rolls and the Shrimp Tempura Pad Thai noodles. All of which were DE-FUCKING-LICIOUS! There was no disappointment on my end. Not to mention, the bathrooms (which if you have a tummy like mine, you WILL need) were presentably clean and spacious, lol. Not the Ritz, but not the gas station-- know what I mean???
If you have a chance. Stop here. There’s good food, clean bathrooms, beautiful scenery and wifi. It’s all an American girl can ask for when traveling to foreign lands.
Warung Babi Gouling Pak Malen
When I travel, I generally like to ask where I can find really good traditional food. Usually the answer is along the lines of “at my mama’s house”. However, this time around I got a REAL ASS answer and it was DIVINE! See, if you’re a pork fan such as myself, you respect a good crackly skinned piece of pig. This place has that, and then some. Not knowing what I wanted off of the menu, the woman who took my order suggested a tasting of all the things. And yes, this was SUCH a good idea. Not to mention, the box of pig portions with some super soft white rice on the side was a measly, $3. So naturally I indulged and got an extra portion of skin for an extra $1. It was worth it, and quite frankly i’m not sure what stopped me from jumping back into a cab to get a second helping. It’s likely the fear of judgement from my travel partners. But I promise it would have been worth it.
How to Get Around:
“Taksi’s” are everywhere. I found most of my rides that were under 15 minutes were generally in the $25,000 rp-$30,00rp range. However, BEWARE of shifty drivers. All taxi’s are metered. So, if your driver doesn’t turn on the meter, be prepared to haggle and stick to your guns. At the and of the day, folks are just trying to pay some bills, so as long as you're reasonable, you should be good. You also have the option to work with a personal driver for the duration of your stay. It definitely felt safer and the cost is super negotiable! We had the pleasure of being hosted by the gentleman below. If you have a chance to visit, give him your business! Note: Thanks to me, he now familiar with and fond of Migos Bad and Boujee :-)
Also, I saw UBER works here. So that’s an option as well.
When to Go:
I visited in January, and it was quite rainy, as it was the peak of the rainy season. So the humidity was definitely something to fight with. Temperatures were in the high 70’s when the clouds were heavy and rainy, and in the mid 80s when the sun came out to say hi. I can imagine however in the dry season, the weather may be quite unbearable with both high heat and stifling humidity. If I come back, I’d like to make the trip towards the end of the rainy season when the rain is likely less frequent. So sometime between March and May.