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Written by Savi, 90 Comments

I think about Ubud as we ride through a silent back road that takes us through lush paddy fields. It’s just rained and the countryside is alight with neon greenery. Paddy fields stretch out as far as the eye can see. Cool breeze pushes against the fabric of my kimono as I think about this gorgeous, wonderful haven that we stumbled on last month. Ubud – she’s a li’l bit of heaven with a wild side!   Fluidity is the word that best describes our month in Ubud – days flow into each other, hours swim into one another. We become one with curtains dancing around our room, languorous massages, the sound of rain and falling leaves against the windows, bike-rides along dusty alleys, and sumptuous organic meals. We swivel and feel like we’re drifting into our version of Utopia, with eyes-half closed. Ubud, it feels like homecoming.

Ubud-Bali-Guide-Things-To-Do-sunset
A typical scene from Ubud

 

Aaah! Bali!
Aaah! Bali!

 

A MINI GUIDE TO LIVING IN BALI

Accommodation in Bali

Ubud, with its labyrinth of smoothie bars, yoga studios, tie & dye boutiques, bohemian retreats, vegan eateries, and sun-hazed countryside is truly our ticket to the moon. I cannot wait to be back. We did venture out of the haven that is Ubud several times during our time in Bali.  The bustling resort areas of Sanur, Nusa Dua, and Kuta are similar to other beach-side getaways in South-East Asia. But unlike Ubud, they don’t scream special at all. If you’re a beach bum, we suggest avoiding Nusa Dua or Seminyak and renting an AirBnB villa in Canggu or a scenic hotel in Uluwatu instead.

As for me, my heart belongs to Ubud, so here’s a couple of recommendations for those of you who are planning to visit Ubud soon (you lucky, lucky souls!). If you’re here for a shorter time, you can choose a hotel that suits your budget. There are plenty of affordable, mid-range, and luxury options to choose from. In each case, we’d suggest choosing a place with a view. It’s good to wake up to a gorgeous view! Two hotels we would recommend in Ubud are Maya Ubud and Desa Visesa.

If you’re there for longer, we suggest booking an apartment. We always stay in a little cottage overlooking paddy fields, 20 minutes from Ubud, that we found on Air B&B. As I’ve said many times before, we enjoy living in apartments that offer a kitchenette to cook the occasional meal and a li’l work space when we’re in a city for more than a week. It needs to feel a bit like home right?! Our cottage has a bit of both. But consider yourselves warned. Living amidst nature, in a cottage overlooking paddy fields, has its disadvantages – a swarm of mosquitoes follows thunderstorms, roosters wake one up at 6 am, and the surroundings can get squelchy in the rain. But waking up to this view, meeting locals and chatting with them on a daily basis, and living in the lap of Mama Nature is truly incomparable. We love villa rentals for long-term stays but would suggest a hotel for a shorter stay.

We loved Ubud :)
We loved Ubud 🙂

 

Cost of living in Ubud

It’s possible to get a visa on arrival that lasts for 30 days. If it wasn’t for the visa, we would’ve stuck around for much longer in Ubud. Expect to spend around $1200-$1400 in a month for accommodation, fuel, bike rental, activities, and all meals if you’re on a moderate budget. Here are some costs that you might find useful:

Bike rental: $3/day or $40/month. If you’re quoted a higher price, bargain. Don’t rent a car in Bali. Roads are narrow and navigating hard.

Petrol: Petrol is sold by the bottle in most parts of Ubud. 1 bottle should cost IDR 8000 (approx. USD 0.60/£0.40). If you’re quoted a higher price, bargain.

Meals: You can get a plate of scrumptious Nasi Goreng or Mie Goreng for as little as $0.50 at most streetside shacks. The cost of meals in restaurants varies according to the restaurant (see below) but it’s hard to spend over $15/£12 on a meal unless you’re dining at a high-end hotel.

Fruits: If you love your fruits and veggies, you’re in for a treat in Ubud. Bananas, mangoes, papayas, watermelons will seduce you as they did us. You can buy one of each for a cumulative sum of $4-5 (£3) – yep that’s true! Shop at the huge Coco-Market at the beginning of Ubud’s city centre if you want to save yourself the trouble of bargaining with local vendors. There are several other supermarkets (Delta Dewata, Bintang, Indo Mart) strewn all over town.

Accommodation in Ubud: If you’re in Ubud for a short time, you can find some amazing hotels for $150/night or apartments at $30/nights. If you’re in Ubud for a longer period, it is possible to rent private villas for anywhere between $500-$2500/month, depending on the amenities you want.

 

The place we called home in Ubud :)
The place we called home in Ubud 🙂

 

Spas in Ubud

Luxury Spas

For an indulgent luxurious spa experience like no other, we love the spa at Maya Ubud. In fact, we’d go so far as to say this is the most scenic spa we’ve ever seen. It’s won several Best Spa accolades, which is why we ended up there in the first place. We opted for their signature couples massage, which is a 90 minute massage in an open-air massage room followed by their pièce de résistance – a decadent Balinese flower bath overlooking a gushing river and the rainforest. We felt like new people after being slathered with delicately fragranced oils for a couple of hours and savouring a bath with an enviable view while munching on fruit skewers and a light yogurt parfait. A spa treatment at Maya Ubud is the perfect way to celebrate an occasion, be it a birthday or an anniversary, or just indulge yourself on holiday.

best spa in ubud
It’s hard to argue with a massage room that overlooks the gushing river and rainforest 🙂

 

Mid Range Spas

  • A mid-range spa offers great value for money is The Udaya’s Kaveri Spa. Udaya Resort and Spa puts together iconic flower baths and provides a relaxing experience. It is located close to Ubud centre and provides the perfect excuse to pamper yourself on your holiday in Ubud Opt for a couples massage, body scrub, and flower bath package if you have a couple of hours. You won’t regret it.
Flower bath at Kaveri Spa at The Udaya Resort and Spa, Ubud

 

  • If you’re looking for a complete wellness experience then Five Elements is a great option. The wellness retreat offers a range of body and soul-nourishing treatments including body massages, superfood facials where guests faces are massaged and pampered only with edible items (no chemicals here!), and flower baths with a range of revitalising and cleansing herbs like ginger and lemongrass. We suggest combining your visit to the Five Elements spa with a meal at their Sakti Dining Room. The restaurant is the epitome of vegan fine dining for us. Dishes are colourful, healthy, and vegan all at one. We love their jackfruit tacos, pesto barley risotto, and diary-free desserts. If you go during the day, you must ask for a table overlooking River Ayung.

 

Vegan fine-dining at Sakti Dining Room, Ubud
Vegan fine-dining at Sakti Dining Room, Ubud

 

Revitalising Flower Bath at Five Elements Ubud

 

  • If you love organic and natural body treatments then Skin Spa offers a variety of treatments using pure oils and natural products. It’s perfect for a frequent pamper session because most treatments cost less than $10/£7.
Affordable spa in Ubud
Natural and organic treatments at Skin Spa in Ubud

Budget Spas

  • If you love getting your massages in rooms that open up to fields and have a spacious feel to them, then try Sedona Spa on Jalan Campuhan. The rooms are beautiful and the massages are relaxing.
Massage room at Sedona Spa Ubud
Massage room at Sedonsa Spa Ubud

For more frequent massages (bi-weekly or even daily if you like ;-)) there are dozens of spas and massage parlours in Ubud, especially on Jalan Monkey Forest – here 1 hour Balinese massages range between USD 5-15. Everything from pedicures and manicures to foot reflexology treatments and back massages is on the menu. As a thumb rule, we would suggest not opting for the cheapest $5 option as those often tend to translate to cramped and noisy rooms and dirty beds. Having said that, there are lots of good & affordable spas too, so do shop around and take your chances.

 

Spas to Avoid

  • We’re yet to find a $5 spa we would highly recommend but one affordable spa you should avoid at all costs is Inggrith Spa – one of the worst massages of our lives.

 

  • Another spa to avoid is the Clear Spa (housed inside the popular Clear Café) on Jalan Hanoman. While the café has a great vibe and tasty food, the spa is appalling to say the least. Noisy rooms, flimsy curtains dividing the massage cubicles, and bad masseuses are only the tip of the iceberg here. You can get much better massages for the same cost elsewhere in Ubud. Avoid it!

 

Restaurants in Ubud

There is no shortage of good restaurants in Ubud – you can get everything from Indonesian specialities like Nasi Goreng, Nasi Campur, and Babi Guling (roast suckling pig) to pizzas and hamburgers at Ubud’s eateries. But it’s the swarm of raw, healthy, and frequently vegan eateries that REALLY excited us in Ubud. Not finding enough healthy food on the go is one my pet peeves about travelling – in Ubud there is too much healthy food going around and that can never be a bad thing. Here are some of our favourites and a couple of hyped eateries that we didn’t really like:

FAVOURITES:

  • Warung Abe Do

This tiny eatery tucked away in one of the by-lanes (Jalan Tirta Tawar) of Ubud is a right gem. It serves dozens of green smoothies (oh yes!), fruit smoothies, and cold-pressed juices at reasonable rates. It also serves some seriously scrummy food : we loved Gado Gado (Indonesian steamed vegetables topped with peanut sauce) and the grilled chicken breast served with a potato and garlic mash. The vegetables come from an organic farm around the corner, so the produce is as fresh as it gets. We went to Abe Do almost everyday for our green smoothies and loved exchanging tales with the owner, Nyoman, who is quite a character 🙂 A meal (main-course+smoothie) for 1 at Abe Do will set you back by USD 6-7 (£3-4)

Delicious smoothies at Abe Do
Delicious smoothies at Abe Do

 

  • Warung Gurihan

Now if you like going off-the-beaten-path and really listening to locals’ recommendations, try visiting Warung Gurihan in Mas village. The shack is about a 20 minute drive from Ubud, so venture to Warung Gurihan only if you’ve rented a bike to get around in Ubud. The shack is usually jam-packed with locals.   Try the chicken teriyaki or grilled fish. If you’re vegetarian try the BBQ’d tempeh, BBQ’d aubergines with some steamed rice and their signature sambhal (Indonesian sweet chilli paste). A meal for 1 at Warung Gurihan will set you back just by USD 3-4 (£2-3). We promise you you will go back for more.

Yummmm!
Yummmm!

 

  • Acai Queen

One of my favourite new eateries in Ubud, Acai Queen is easily the most instagrammable place in town. It’s tucked in into a little lane in the centre of Ubud and is ideal for a light meal. Try their signature acai bowls (the tropical bowl is my personal favourite) or the avocado toast. The refreshing food and bright purple interiors, dotted with pineapples is bound to leave you feeling zingy. Try it out if you enjoy healthy desserts! Expect to pay around USD 8 (£6)/person.

Our favourite Acai bowls at Acai Queen

 

  • The Seeds of Life

A tiny raw-food café on Jalan Gautama, just off Ubud’s busy centre, The Seeds of Life, is incredible for a healthy breakfast. Try their Acai bowl or chia pudding. If you’re a health nut, they also offer a sugar-free vegan ice-cream – nom! Expect to pay around USD 10 (£7)/person.

 

  • Soma Café

Soma Café, also located on Jalan Gautama, serves a selection of healthy food and (you guessed it) smoothies. They pride themselves on their range of organic high vibe meals in a typically Balinese alfresco environment. Eating at Soma’s can be an incredibly soothing experience – they have a gorgeous courtyard dotted with palm trees and fresh coconuts. We spent dozens of hours working there while sipping on a drink.  Most smoothies and drinks cost around USD3 (£2)

Soma's cafe, Ubud
The courtyard at Soma café, Ubud

 

  • Sari Organic

Sari Organic is a bit of an institution in Ubud – you need to walk through lush paddy fields for 20-30 minutes to reach this eatery. The menu has a bit of everything – great salads, smoothies, and cocktails. The best thing is obviously the view – there’s nothing quite like sipping on coconut water and devouring tender coconut meat while looking out to miles upon miles of paddy fields 🙂 It can get very hot and humid in Bali. If you’re not up for the 20 minute walk, try driving to Warung Pulau Kelapa on Jalan Raya Sanggingan . You can drive right up to this restaurant, which overlooks paddy fields. There is an organic farm next door and you can pick and choose vegetables for your own meal. A meal here will set you back by USD 7-8 (£5-6)

Walk through paddy fields to reach Sari Organic
Walk through paddy fields to reach Sari Organic

 

If you want a calorie-laden meal or two, the unimaginatively titled Mamma Mia has authentic Italian pizzas, Warung Little India and Mumbai Station has decent Indian food, and Cinta Grill has some juicy and scrumptious burgers 🙂

THE ONES THAT DIDN’T QUITE MAKE THE CUT

  • Kafe

Kafe is one of the pioneers of the raw food movement in Ubud. We went there with great expectactions but didn’t love it as much as we expected to. While the salads are amazing, the cooked food is a bit lack-lustre and overpriced.

 

  • Bebek Bengil – Dirty Duck Diner

Bebek Bengil (fried duck) is a local speciality and Dirty Duck Diner is THE place to sample it. We gave it a go but we didn’t really enjoy the artery-clogging meal. The deep fried duck reeked of oil and it was all too much. Give it a go if you enjoy deep-fried foods but avoid it if you’re a healthy eater. 1 portion of Bebek Bengil costs USD 10 (£6).

Fried duck - didn't quite live up to the hype!
Fried duck – didn’t quite live up to the hype!

 

Cafés in Ubud

A couple of Bali’s cafés got a huge stamp of approval from our resident coffee geek. After examining the beans, smelling the coffee, talking to baristas, and rolling the final product (always an espresso shot in Vid’s case!) on his tongue, Vid’s decided he really enjoys the coffee at Anomali Coffee on the main high-street (Jalan Raya Ubud). Sewing machines are converted into tables and tin cans are used as chairs at Anomali Coffee. The industrial warehouse feel made us miss London!

The other café that boasts of great coffee is Seniman Coffee Studio. The coffee studio is located on Jalan Sri Wedari. Coffee at Seniman is an ornate affair and each cuppa comes with an entourage of flowers and nibbles. Coffee at both these cafés ranges between USD 3-5 (£2-3).   If you want something cheaper, try a cup of local coffee or bubble coffee (cold coffee with condensed milk and gelatinous tapioca pearls) at any of the stalls lining Ubud’s alleys. A cup will set you back by USD 0.50

Our caffeine fix in Ubud :)
Our caffeine fix in Ubud 🙂

 

Things to see in Ubud & Excursions from Ubud

  • Saraswati Lotus Temple, Ubud Centre

This lotus temple, smack back in the middle of Ubud centre, has an unassuming exterior but is stunning on the inside. It also houses a couple of cafés – Starbucks and Lotus Restaurant – so you could contemplate it’s beauty over a cup of coffee or watch an Indonesian dance performance there. We suggest going to the temple at sunset because it’s specially intriguing at that hour. Entry is free.

Gorgeous setting in the evenings!
Gorgeous setting in the evenings!

 

  • Sanur Beach

If you’re craving some time at the beach, head to Sanur Beach, 45 minutes away from Ubud. The drive to Sanur isn’t great but the beach front offers a couple of great restaurants, shacks, and plenty of water sports opportunities. It is also quieter and more relaxed than the public beaches at Nusa Dua and Kuta.

Peaceful Sanur beach
Peaceful Sanur beach

 

  • Day Trips and Excursions from Ubud

There are so many excursions on offer in and around Ubud – everything from visiting waterfalls, hiking volcanoes, and exploring paddies is on the cards. Read our detailed article on our favourite excursions in Bali to decide which ones you would like to pick for yourself

 

Shopping in Ubud

We have a detailed video on shopping in Ubud – here you will find all information including our favourite shops in Ubud, how much to pay for items, where to bargain and where not to bargain, and what snacks to pick for friends and family back home. Here it is:

 

Highlights of a stay in Ubud

We came to Ubud for a month just to spend time in the lap of Mama Nature – we didn’t want to do too much, see too many sites, or tick things off a checklist.  Ubud is the perfect place to resonate and we can’t wait to be back. Here’s what we loved the most:

  • The food : I don’t think I could rave about Ubud’s organic and raw food scene more if I tried. It’s heaven if you have a soft spot for green smoothies, cold-pressed juices, and healthy food.
  • The paddy fields : If you read the reverie at the beginning, you’d know that Ubud’s lush green paddy fields have a way of making us feel at home
  • The people : Balinese people are just so warm and friendly. Our hosts, Wayan and Komang, had so many tales to share and invited us to be part of celebrations in their village on numerous occasions. We loved meeting their family and dining with them. So many restaurant owners we met would just join us for a meal and tell us amusing tales about Indonesian idiosyncrasies. We were welcomed with huge smiles wherever we went and that’s how we’ll remember the island.
  • The pace of life : We wanted languor to be the defining characteristic of our career break and we can’t think of a better place to experience this. Ubud’s countryside and its villages are the perfect anti-dote to the rat race that is city life. Here life seems to unravel in slow motion, everyone is up for a chat, and no one is in a rush to be at ten places all at once. Food and drink is savoured as its meant to be, not gulped. Conversations are revelled in and tangled thoughts get time to unravel under magic sun beams. Nirvana or my ticket to the moon, those are the only descriptions I can think of 🙂

 

FYI (when not to choose Ubud for your holiday)

Ubud might be perfect for bohemian dreamers, nature lovers, yogis, and those who enjoy slow travel but it might not be for you if:

  • you like to party late into the night. The ultra-bohemian and spiritual vibe ensures most people are asleep by 10.
  • you want to spend time bumming by the beach (the nearest beach is over 1 hour away!)
  • you want to shop at malls – you’ll get plenty of local handicrafts, trinkets, and tie-dye garments here but there is nothing by way of malls or hectic night markets.
We met some of the friendliest people in Ubud :)
We met some of the friendliest people in Ubud 🙂

 

Gorgeous rice fields everywhere!
Gorgeous rice fields everywhere!

 

Slow-paced life - a languorous breakfast in our cottage
A languorous breakfast in our cottage – life so slow is all kinds of sensual

Are you obsessed with South East Asia too? Read all our posts on Asia here

90 thoughts on “An Ode to Ubud, Bali (+ A Guide to Ubud)

    1. Physical policing is next 😉 Just kidding – as with most propaganda, this works on a mental level. We’ve spoken to loads of locals here (mostly observing Hindus) – religious mores are sacrosanct to them and they wouldn’t dream of toying with ‘rules’ or defying them, however lopsided they may be!

  1. Oh my my! This place looks like a fairytale! The waterfall and the volcano are my faves but your pictures make everywhere and everything look so tempting. 🙂

  2. Love love love Ubud… It’s delightful… Try the smoothies and grub at Ibu Rai restaurant on Monkey Forest Road… its pretty decent 🙂 Have a blast you guys… <3 🙂

    1. Oooh we’ve left Bali now but will be back in a couple of months and will definitely try Ibu Rai then. Thanks for the suggestion Shilpi 😀

  3. Firstly, I am just so happy that I came across your website last year. You guys are beautiful and inspiring! Even though a zillion people love travelling, I have hardly seen anyone do it at this relaxed pace. Quitting your jobs was (as I have seen), is(as I just saw in this post) and will be one of your best decisions. Have a GREAT journey. Would love to meet you some day but for now, live your dream and keep these lovely updates coming.

    Thank you for these amazing posts.
    Much love,
    Juhi

    1. Thanks a million for your lovely note Juhi. Travelling at a relaxed pace is absolutely worth it and we love it so. I hope our paths cross soon. Hugs

  4. Wow…All the pics look absolutely pretty! Thanks for taking us through your Bali journey.
    – The Muser – Drop by some time.- thatgirlslifestories.blogspot.in

  5. I absolutely love your posts and pictures and have been following you from quite some time. I write at The Purple Backpack and have featured one of your photos and this post there on , giving proper credit. This is the post : http://roota.in/ask-me/. Do let me know if this is in sync with your policies. Thanks for inspiring us lot <3

    1. Thanks for including us in your post Roota – of course you can use our photos as long as they’re linked back and credited to us 🙂

  6. Hey Savi & Vid,
    I’m glad that I came across your blog just when me and my fiancé are planning our honeymoon. We always wanted to go to Bali but Ubud was not on our plate.
    Initially we had thought of staying in seminyak and nusa dua with a day’s trip to Ubud (an itinerary that we got from majority tourist sites). Your blog indeed inspired our traveller instinct (many thanks for that) and this is our plan now.. 2 days in seminyak and 4 in Ubud.. Our ask: since this is the first time we are travelling together and that it’s our honeymoon, is Ubud the place to be?
    We shall appreciate your suggestions..
    Much love:*

    1. Hey Ankita – so happy to hear you enjoyed our article on Ubud.

      As for choosing Ubud over Nusa Dua, it’s purely a matter of personal preference. Ubud offers a quieter, peaceful stay with access to bohemian markets, rice terraces, yoga studios etc while Nusa Dua offers beach bumming opportunities, night markets, and a bevy of massage parlours. Of the two, we love Ubud. Since you’re on your honeymoon, we’d highly recommend Maya Ubud – the resort is extremely tranquil and private and the spa/flower bath rooms (mentioned above) are incredible 🙂 Hope this helps. Congrats on the impending wedding.

  7. Hi Savi and Vid,
    I am going to this destination my honeymoon….. oh yeah Bali..
    Any thing specific or advise or anything.. which i should know before i go.. please let me know.

    Much Much Love* u guys <3

    1. Hey Sukhpreet,

      The article contains all the things we did / recommend 🙂 I’m not sure where you’ll be staying, but it’ll be a good to split your stay between a beach side resort and Ubud just so that you get a taste of both 🙂

      Have a great honeymoon!

  8. Such a lovely travelouge..been to Ubud last year and to be honest loved it more than Seminayak..
    but as per our itenerary we had planned just 2 days in Ubud ..which was too less..
    Ubud was so peaceful and beautiful I just loved roaming around and enjoy the vibe..
    Wish I came through this before…I would have definitely planned it differently…
    want to go back again and you post just ignited the urge again

  9. Hey Savi & Vid,

    We are a group of 5 girl friends planning an escape to Bali in September. Would love if you could help us with some awesome accommodation to stay in there. Also, please tell us what all should we do since Ubud sounds more of a peaceful place (which we love), but we also wanted some crazy fun. Waiting for your reply.

    PS. Totally in love with both of you and Bruised Passports.

    1. Hey Kanupriya – if you want some crazy fun, we’d suggest staying out of Ubud. It’s too peaceful for a girls trip. There are barely any night clubs or bars in Ubud – you’ll find mostly smoothie bars and yoga retreats in Ubud 🙂 You should check out the beach resorts (Seminyak, we’ve been told, is great for such stuff).

  10. Hi Savi & Vid – really liked your detailed info on Ubud. By any chance, did you visit any other parts of Bali? We are planning to visit in next 3 weeks and are planning to stay in Nusa Dua and Legian region. Any recommendations for places to see or things to do around there?

  11. Hey Savi Vid , you guys are quite inspiring , i travelled to bali last year and found it amazing however its ironical that Ubud was only a day trip in my iteneary .after reading your blog I am tempted to visit bali again just for obud.I was wondering if my hometown Kashmir is on your wishlist 🙂 one last request i am married since 3 months but havent planned my honey yet so what place would you suggest for us for monyh of augest…thanks again

  12. This is exactly what I was looking for planning a trip to Bali. Ubud was definitely on my list because of the rice fields but wasn’t sure about making it as a base. Thanks to you I am no more confused now. I think it’s the best bet. LOve the last part of the post, “FYI (when not to choose Ubud for your holiday)” 😉

    1. Hehe thanks Pallavi – just thought the disclaimer was necessary because each traveller has different preferences 😀 Have fun in Ubud – do send us photos from there. We’d love to share them with our readers

  13. Hi. Pls can you recommend an area / road to stay for 2-3. nights in Ubud. interms of convenience to move around in ubud and also with great view.

    1. Hey Shraddha – if you’re there for just 2-3 days then I’d recommend somewhere close to the city centre. Alternatively choose a hotel which has a free shuttle to the city centre. Make sure you send us photos from Ubud 🙂

  14. Hi Guys…

    We have planned our Bali trip in early November based on your recommendations.

    3 nights in Ubud + 2 nights in Ayana + 2 nights in Seminyak.. Best of both worlds 🙂

  15. Hi Savi- Lovely post – we are planning to visit Bali In January 2017 so Ubud is definitely on the list – However wanted to check with you if January is a good time to go to Bali as I am being told that it would be a wet season with sporadic rainstorms?

    1. Hey Riddhi – that’s right! January in Bali usually means tons of rain and mosquitoes as well. If you’re there for a long time, you can just duck indoors for a massage or a coffee everything it rains. But if you’re visiting for a short time, then I’d suggest choosing another month as the rains can be a deterrent while sight seeing around the island 🙂

    1. Hey there – we’d suggest booking hotels and flights independently and booking day trips around Bali with a local tour company. We quite like tours arranged by Wayan. You can contact him at wayannom (at) gmail (dot) com 🙂 Have fun in Bali and give our reference if you want 🙂

  16. Hi Savi,

    Visiting Bali for my first anniversary. Ubud is definitely on my list of must visit places. I was keen on hiring a scooter for a day to explore the areas in and around Ubud. Does Indian Driving license work in Ubud? What are the other criteria for hiring . Thanks!

    1. Hi Vasundhara,

      Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary 🙂

      Indian driving license does work in Bali – if you have an “international driving license”, just carry it with you. We drive with only our Indian driving licenses. Please wear a helmet and obey traffic rules – the police in Bali can be corrupt and stop you (and might ask you for a bribe to let you go). Renting a scooter to explore areas around Ubud is the best way to go about it if you can handle the traffic – to be honest, if you have driven in India, you should be fine in Bali.

      Hope that helps

  17. Hello there bruised passports!
    Greetings from Ireland!
    My partner and i are going to ubud this August and cannot wait! Your post just got us so excited!
    We are also going to Seminyak and Nusa Lembagnon. Have you ever been to these?
    Definitely printing out your restaurant and cafe recommendations and hunting them down :)we love healthy organic delicious food so it sounds right up our street!
    Hope you are enjoying Ubud at the moment (yes I follow you guys on Instagram!)
    Carrie in Dublin x

    1. Hey Carrie – so happy to hear from you. To be honest, we don’t enjoy the beach areas of Bali – Seminyak, Nusa Dua etc – too much. They’re extremely busy and can get quite touristy. Do look up Uluwatu if you want to spend time around a beach. Loved hearing about your fondness for healthy food – you’ll love it here in Bali. We will be writing another article (a Part II if you may) with more recommendations – do look it up before you leave for Bali 🙂

  18. Hi!

    We’re going to Bali for a week in mid Feb. We’ll be traveling with our 16mo baby. We haven’t booked our stay yet, because, we haven’t been able to decide what all to fit into this trip, since we want to cover as much as we can, and, that is the reason we want to book the stay at a convenient spot, so, we could go left-right without spending too much time and money in commuting from one spot to another. We would like to divide our trip into relaxing days where we just eat at different places and/or chill at the hotel and shop (local clothing and handicraft) plus explore on other days.

    Candi dasa sounds interesting too; did you explore that part of Bali at all? Would you suggest we just stick to the South?

    A friend suggested we keep Nusa Dua as our base and go around from there but I feel that might be a spot too far from most other areas. I wouldn’t mind changing hotels during our stay for varied experiences and ease of exploring.

    Suggestions please!

    [I discovered your blog last month while planning my trip to Mui Ne (we’re currently based in Vietnam) and loved it. And, I have a feeling I’m going to be a regular visitor before finalizing trips in the future :)]

    1. Hey Divya,

      Glad to hear you enjoy our blog 🙂

      To be honest, you might not be able to just stay in one place and explore everything in Bali. The best would be to spend a few days in Nusa Dua from where you can explore the southern part of the island and then move on to Ubud where you can spend a few days enjoying the highland feel of the island.

      If you make Nusa Dua your base for the entire trip, you might find it difficult to commute to explore certain parts of the island – traffic is a problem in Bali 🙂

  19. HI Savi!!!
    I love your posts and the way you people travel. Such beautiful pics.

    Me and 3 of my cousins are planning a trip to bali in march. for 8 nights.
    We have Ubud and Kuta sea view resort on our mind.

    Do you think we should stay 4 nights in Ubud and 4 in Kuta sea view? or should we try exploring some other place too?

    1. Hey Namrata,

      4 days in Ubud and 4 in Kuta sound great. You can also look at Nusa Dua instead of Kuta if you like slightly quieter places – Kuta is the party hub 🙂

  20. Dear Savi and vid!

    I have written thrice and m not sure it has reached you!

    Jus wanted to say I’m inspired by you guys and your journeys!

    Thank you for your detailed and captivating account of ubud! My fiancé and I are heading to Bali for our honeymoon and I’ve jotted down the things u wrote for pointers!

    Anything romantic you highly recommend?? We will be there in December

    Thank you so much! More power to u

    1. Hey Sangeetha -you can go for the flower bath at Maya Ubud recommended above. You can also book a nice villa with an infinity pool near Kuta or Seminyak. Have fun on your honeymoon 🙂

  21. Are Airbnb reliable for booking villas or cottages and safe as well? We’re are group of girls going for the first time so a little skeptical. And what are the other ways to look for to stay in ubud and semniyak

    1. Dear Amisha,

      From our experience so far, absolutely safe and reliable. It’s always good to read reviews about the properties too. You can also look at other hotel comparison sites like hotelscombined to find good rates for hotels.

      If you’re first time user for AirBnB you can use the link included in our article to get a good discount on your first booking 😀

      Hope that helps

  22. Hi Savi & Vid,

    Your post was very interesting. Thanks for sharing your experience. My wife and I will be traveling to Bali next month with our 6 month old baby. Is the place safe going with a baby and what precautions we should be taking according to you.

    Many thanks,
    Manav

  23. Guys, I love reading your articles/blogs/posts for in them lies inspiration for me to travel and explore the beauty and rawness of natures.

    If I am planning for Ubud for say 3 days and 4 nights then what is the best time? Also where to stay and how to get the best air deal?

    1. Hi Diganta,

      You could stay in an AirBnB in Ubud. The best time to go would be November – March. As for best airfare deal, we usually check skyscanner 🙂

  24. Thanks for the information. Saw all the pics on Instagram and loved them. What is best time to travel Bali. We are planning to visit in Nov or Dec.

  25. Hey Savi & Vid, love all your pictures and blogs about the places you travel.My friends and myself are planning to visit Ubud, Gili and Seminyak later this month. Your take on Ubud is just what we needed. Thanks a lot and keep blogging

    1. We are glad that our blog post on Ubud proved to be helpful to you in planning your trip there.Happy travels and enjoy all you can.

  26. Hi Savi and Vid,

    Love you both and your blogs and also your instagram!😊
    Me and my husband are planning to spend 11 days in Indonesia majorily around Bali.
    Can you jot down the places to go apart from Ubud as a suggestion which could a mix between quite places and beaches and night markets.

  27. We went to Bali for a relaxing break from the city. We stayed at kupu kupu Barong villas and went for a spa at Samaya! Next time you guys visit Bali, it’s a must try!! You might spot the kupu kupu Barong ( the big butterfly) there

    Also the sunset at uluwatu temple followed by the kecak dance is an amazing experience! I can send pics if you want to have a look

  28. I’m traveling to Bali on New Years for 5 days. Looking for a mix of party and relaxation times. Should we stay in Ubud or Seminyak?

  29. Hi guys, it was too good a read about ubud. We are planning of our honeymoon in march and wanted to know how the weather would be like in bali at the end of march in terms of rain/insects/humidity. It would be of a great help if you tell us about it 🙂

  30. Hi guys, what a lovely compile of Ubud! Absolutely amazing!! We are planning to go to Bali in June. Just wanted to know what all places to cover if we have a week’s time in Bali. Also, I was reading that weather would be fine during that period. Still want an update from you guys.

    keep doing the awesome work! Cheers

    Poorva

    1. Hey Poorva – just wrote an article on our favourite day trips and excursions in Bali that you might find helpful. June is usually hot but no rain -so yes, that’s good weather for Bali indeed 🙂

  31. Love love love reading this blog ! I definitely draw inspiration for travel from you guys. When I want to take a trip to a new place , I first check out if you guys have been there and what are your recommendations for the area !Loved reading this post on Ubud its very high on our list of places to visit !Please always keep posting your favorite places to eat ,thats the part I like reading the most 😀
    Also, My husband and I have been looking at Greece and would love to know if you guys have any recommendations for Mykonos and Santorini.

    1. Absolutely Anu – we’re constantly updating the food section of this article. Unfortunately we haven’t been to the Greek Islands in the longest time and I never used to jot down names of restaurants, hotels et al pre-blogging days, so won’t be able to recommend much for Mykonos or Santorini, so sorry about that 🙁

  32. Hi Savi and Vid. I’m planning a trip with friends to Bali from India in May. The really bad reviews of Indonesian airlines has discouraged us from booking our tickets. What’s your suggestion for a safe, cheap and reliable airline to Indonesia?

  33. Hey Savi and Vid!

    I absolutely adore your posts and love how beautifully poetic the descriptions are!
    Your words and pictures truly send me into a dreamland 🙂 Thank you 🙂

    How long are you guys in Bali this time? I am visiting with my husband in a month and would love to bring you goodies from Japan if you want any 🙂

    Keep exploring and spreading joy!

    Loads of love,
    Dipti

    P.S: When is your next trip to Japan?

    1. Hey Dipti – that’s so sweet 🙂 We’re leaving in 2 weeks or so, but hope our paths cross sometime in Japan. Have the best time here

      1. Ah…that’s too bad. Have a great rest of your stay in Bali.

        Hope you guys visit Japan soon! I definitely recommend autumn.
        I would be glad to suggest some offbeat places here!
        It will be great to see what magic you weave with your words and pictures upon visiting those places 🙂

  34. Dear Savi and Vid,

    I have been researching online about travel bloggers who have visited Ubud and came across your beautiful blog. You guys are so cute together and so inspiring. Thank you for this article , it is packed with lots of info. and I have no words for the photos! Visiting Ubud is my dream but my hubby and I have a beautiful 4 year old daughter and would like to make an informed decision about visiting Ubud as a family. I have a few questions and would appreciate your expert opinion/thoughts please:
    1. Would you recommend visiting Ubud with a 4 year old in the tow?
    2. Is Ubud a kid friendly place with ‘things to do’ for the kids and kid friendly cafes and restaurants? Also are there any nice hotels/villas who offer crèche services etc. I have read some travel blogs about visiting Bali with kids but not so much around visiting Ubud with kids.
    3. Travel wise, can we rent a car with a local,trusted driver and how safe is it? I live in Surrey and have a UK driving license but driving alongside narrow country roads is not my idea of holiday.
    4. What is the best time to visit Ubud? We are kind of restricted to the UK school summer holidays (June to August).

    TIA and much love,
    Yashika xx

    1. Hey Yashika
      1) Ubud is peaceful and great with a kid but there aren’t too many kid-friendly activities such as water parks etc here
      2) Yes you can find hotels and villas that help with looking after kids too – best to check this before making a booking
      3) Wouldn’t recommend renting a self-drive car in Bali at all as roads are extremely narrow. You can rent a scooty or get a car with a driver
      4) June to August is a great time to visit

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