Posts Tagged ‘ubud’

Last days in Ubud

Posted in Indonesia on July 13th, 2009 by Vagablonding – Be the first to comment

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

ubud sign

In the morning we had a big breakfast of eggs, toast, fruit salad and coffee at hotel Puri Gong, then we set out to walk around Ubud. I saw a dress I really liked in a shop window but it was bright orange and not quite my size so they are making me one in dark grey for 200,000 and it will be ready for me to pick up tomorrow morning!

ubud street

In the afternoon I got tattoos at Creative Tattoo. Lionk the artist there was really nice and had a feather-soft touch! I got “Bali” in the Balinese script Hanacaraka on my right ankle and the symbol for Gili Air on the back of my neck. It took about half an hour total and cost me 550,000 including tip.

loink creative tattoo bali

creative tattoo bali

bali tattoo

loink creative tattoo bali

We had a late lunch on JL Gootama at Dewa Warung where I got Gado-gado. Dewa Warung has the best Gado-gado of any place I’ve tried, and it only costs 8,000!

ubud street

We went to the market again at the end of the day for more sunset-priced shopping. We went to Pizza Bagus for dinner and our last Bintangs. I got yogurt and muesli for 20,000 which was a little light on the muesli and heavy on the yogurt for my taste.

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

After another big breakfast at Puri Gong we had some delicious tiramisu and cheesecake at a bakery on Jl Hanoman to celebrate my birthday. Then we hired a taxi for 50,000 to take us to visit Wayan Rana, the painter we met up on Campuan Ridge at the beginning of our trip. We bought 9 paintings and one wooden egg painting total, some for ourselves and some as gifts, 5 in frames and 4 singles, all for 800,000. Score!

On the way back we had the driver drop us off at the post office where we mailed a bunch of post cards to friends. It cost 8,000 per post card. We went to Dewa Warung for lunch again, then we headed back to hotel Puri Gong to pack before going to the market.

balinese praying

bali dog

Around sunset we hit up the market one last time where we bought carvings, t-shirts and sunglasses, and I gave a lady selling sarongs the purse I bought on the first day here because I didn’t need it anymore.

ubud sunset

After the market we went to Dewa Warung for our last dinner where I got a rice, spinach, coconut dish for 10,000 which was ok, and a mixed juice for 5,000 which was delicious as always. While we were eating the power went out!

We headed home to finish packing, then we checked out and got a taxi to the Denpasar airport for 140,000.

Goodbye Indonesia, we aren’t ready to leave! This has been an amazing trip and I plan on exploring more of this country very soon.

ubud landscape

Now on to Japan for a short adventure in Narita during our 10 hour layover there!

From Gili Air to Ubud via Perama boat and bus

Posted in Indonesia on July 13th, 2009 by Vagablonding – 2 Comments

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Happy birthday to me! I’m 23 today!

We woke up before sunrise, had some mango, pineapple, protein bars and coffee soda for breakfast before getting on our cidomo for a ride down to the jetty on the south end of the island. We boarded a local boat at 7:15am which took us to Bangsal. From the boat we could see where they harvest the pearls!

lombok pearl farm

perama boat sign

In Bangsal we walked on the main road to where the Perama bus picked us up to take us to Senggigi. You can tell which road to walk down because it’s where all the horse carts are waiting to offer you a ride. You can get a ride on a cidomo or a motorbike if you want to, but the walk down the road isn’t bad and going by foot saves you money. The bus stop is on the left side of the street before the tattoo shop. You will know it by the baby blue painted pillars, but otherwise there are no signs indicating that it’s the bus stop. We walked right past it the first time!

bangsal perama bus station

bangsal perama bus station

The bus to Senggigi goes along the coast and the views from the road are lovely. Lombok definitely has some stunning beaches and I am coming back to explore this island for sure someday!

perama bus

view from lombok road

view from lombok road coconut trees

Once in Senggigi, we took a local boat to the larger Perama boat, which left at 9:00am. A breakfast of coffee, banana pancakes, bananas and pineapple was waiting for us onboard. The boat was practically empty compared to the packed Perama boat we came on 12 days ago. The ride was much smoother and I read and napped for most of it. Lunch was served onboard at around 11:30am and consisted of rice, veggies, tempe and peanuts, fish, and watermelon. We arrived in Padang Bai at around 1:00pm. There we waited for the bus to Ubud.

perama boat and public ferry padang bai

The ride to Ubud took about an hour. We were dropped off at the Perama office where I waited with our bags while Ryan walked around trying to find a hotel that still had rooms available. We ended up staying at a place called Puri Gong Cottages on Jl Hanoman. We got a room with a double bed, air conditioning, and a view of the pool for 225,000 a night. The walls are rattan and are very thin with peep holes poked through them! We stuffed some toilet paper in the holes to keep out any prying eyes. Because the walls are so thin there is pretty much no noise barrier which makes sleeping well a bit difficult.

puri gong peep hole

After getting settled in our hotel we went to the market for some sunset-priced shopping. Everything is always cheaper at the end of the day because the shopkeepers get desperate if they haven’t made enough sales for the day. Then we had dinner at Biah-Biah on Jl Gootama.

Campuan Ridge walk and central Bali tour

Posted in Indonesia on June 9th, 2009 by Vagablonding – 4 Comments

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

Today we set out on the Campuan Ridge walk, listed in Lonely Planet. The first section of the walk was uphill in the sun through elephant grass fields. We saw workers cutting down the grass and enjoyed some stunning views.

elephantgrass

The next section of the walk was through rice paddies where we also saw workers. We met a painter named Wayan Rana in Sebali Village and stopped to chat with him for a while. His paintings were much cheaper than we expected – first price 50,000 for a small framed one. A local guy on a motorbike stopped and tried to sell us some carved bone buttons. We politely refuse and he went on his way, hassle-free.

rice fields

rice field worker

houses and rice fields

Then we walk on road back to Ubud and saw some residential life. On the way home we stopped at the big Bintang supermarket and got our first beers of the trip for 11,300. The cashier tried to shortchange me but I corrected her. Ryan resisted buying a 5 gallon bucket of strawberry ice cream for 22,500. We went to a super cheap street in middle of Ubud – Jl Goutama, and ate at place called Biah-Biah where I got Sayar Urab for 3,000 and steamed rice for 4,000. It was so good and filled me up. We were lazy for the rest of the day and just used internet and Ryan ate dinner at Pundi-Pundi again.

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Today we took a tour around the central / eastern area of Bali with a company called Jalan-Jalan for 150,000 each from 9am-4pm. We had a driver and car which we shared with one other american guy who was unfortunately an annoying complainer.

The first stop was Goa Gajah (elephant cave temple) which was alright, kinda lame, not bad as a stop on a larger tour but I wouldn’t make it a destination. There were lots of school kids there, we took pictures with them throwing gang signs, it was a riot.

bali kids

Next we went to Tampak Siring (the Holy Spring Temple) which was prettier and more interesting. There were lots of school kids there again and a group of boys followed us around asking me for kisses! The temple has a hot spring that worshipers bath in. You can see the spring and it looks cool – black sand bubbling up in the water.

On the way to the next stop we went to a local coffee roaster / spice farmer’s place called Sai Land where we sampled some of THE BEST coffee I have ever had. Our favorite was the chocolate and coffee mix but we also tried ginger tea and pure coffee. While there we talked for a while with the owner about the harvesting and roasting process of the regular coffee and the civit cat poop coffee, as well as more personal topics like the upcoming naming ceremony for his almost-3-month-old child! I bought a box of ginger tea from their shop for 35,000 because I thought it was so delicious and I’m sure it will be glad I have it the next time I have a cold.

coffee

After the holy spring we went to Penelokan where we stopped for a lovely view of Mt. Batur and Lake Batur.

batur-volcano

Next stop, Besakih (mother temple), the biggest and most important temple in Bali, located on the slope of Mt. Agung. It was pouring rain the whole time and I was car sick from the windy drive up, but it was beautiful so I enjoyed it. Because this temple is so important only worshippers are allowed inside but tourists can go on the outside stairs and peek in the doorways. There are a fair amount of ‘guides’ trying to scam people around the temple, telling you that you need their services when you don’t, or telling you they can get you in the temple when they can’t (if you do get in you risk being slapped with a huge fine). It’s no big deal, just say ‘no thank you’ to everyone and keep walking.

besakih-temple

temple-procession

After the mother temple we were taken to a restaurant at Bukit Jambul for an amazing view of the rice terraces – and an amazingly expensive buffet lunch (I skipped the food and Ryan ordered something less expensive al la cart).

rice paddies

Our last stop was Klungkung, aka Semarapura, which used to be the center of an important kingdom in Bali. We didn’t see many other westerners here so we were getting some funny looks, but we did see more police and military than we have seen anywhere else.¬† Here we opted to skip the temple and instead sat on some stairs at the Puputan Monument and watched school kids learning drill-down type exercises and an informal soccer game.

klungkung

We headed home pretty worn out. For dinner we wandered to Pizza Bagus which had fast wifi, a mellow atmosphere, and cheap not so great pizza, but we hung out and split a big Pizza Ricotta Spinaci with chicken added to Ryan’s half for 45,000 and two small Bintangs for 23,000.

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

For breakfast at Artini 3 today I had an egg Jaffle which I originally assumed was just waffle spelled wrong, but it’s actually egg or banana between two pieces of toast. It came with fruit and was pretty yummy.

We got a ride to Ganesha Bookstore but didn’t buy anything because it was much pricier than we expected. We walked around and found another bookstore and bought a used copy of Stephen King’s The Dead Zone for 35,000. We needed a book to read because tomorrow we are leaving for a very sleepy town called Amed on Bali’s East coast where we hear there is great snorkeling and diving and… peace and quiet!

We bought a t-shirt each at the market for 35,000 total, and then I bought a beautiful dress in a shop for 180,000 which is spendy for Bali but this dress rocks and would cost a ton at home. It looks fantastic on me so I figured what the hell.

We ate lunch on our favorite cheap street again, this time at a place called Dewa Warung. I got Gado-Gado (mixed veggies with temphe and peanut sauce) for 8,000, Temphe Satay for 10,000 and a coke for 4,000 which turned out to be waaay more food than I needed but I ate most of it because it was delish. The place had a nice expat backpacker vibe to it and the food was great and dirt cheap.

The evening was spent lounging in the pool, doing laundry by hand in our bathtub, and hanging out at Pundi-Pundi drinking coffee for a couple hours while we researched hotels in Amed for tomorrow. We booked the same driver from Jalan-Jalan that we had for the tour yesterday for 250,000 total for the drive.

I have enjoyed Ubud a lot and plan to come back at the end of our trip. Now on to Amed!

Ubud Monkey Forest Sanctuary and Kecak Dance

Posted in Indonesia on June 7th, 2009 by Vagablonding – Be the first to comment

Friday, June 5th, 2009

The most hilarious thing happened this morning. We were woken up at 1:30am by two stray cats outside our room making really loud drawn out angry meowing sounds at each other, inches from each other’s faces. I peeked out the window at them while Ryan filled a water bottle to throw at them like a grenade? A man in another room threw his trash basket at them while a woman watched out their window. The cats ran 5 steps down the stairs and kept up the growling. The man threw something else and cats finally stop. Maybe you had to be there but the noises those cats were making had us laughing for the rest of the day.

For breakfast at Artini 3 I had toast with strawberry jam, fried egg, fruit, and more of that godly coffee. I swear I am going to buy this stuff and ship it home by the ton.

After breakfast we went to the Monkey Forest Sanctuary, which is this lush jungle with 3 temples that is inhabited by a band of grey macaques. It costs 15,000 to get in for adults but then you can keep using your ticket pretty much indefinitely, so I’ve heard. Going through the forest is one of the only ways to get to another side of town, so this can come in handy. There at the same time as us was a horde of over a hundred well-off well-dressed school kids aged around 10-14. They were cute and friendly kids, all saying hello to us and asking ‘what is your name.’ Lots of shy girls who clearly wanted to ask me something and kept egging each other on to go up to me, but never did. It was SO fun seeing the monkeys with them. We got all into it too taking pictures and running around and screaming when the monkeys chased us. A monkey jumped on me and hung from my purse when it saw my water bottle. On our way out we saw a tourist with bananas for the monkeys and it didnt take long for a sneaky one to snatch the whole bunch of bananas from him.

kids

arielmonkey

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For lunch we went to the Puri Garden restaurant because they had free wifi. We played on the internet and ate some pretty good Mie Goreng (fried noodles, veggies, chicken) for 25,500 but it was very greasy and after a while it made my stomach upset. I’m not used to eating meat or greasy food anymore. Ryan walked me back to the hotel and then went an bought me a diet sprite from the Circle K down the road. That and some tums fixed my stomach right up.

mie gorang

We ate dinner at a place called Pundi-Pundi where they also had free wifi. I had a delicious plate of Jukut Urab (mixed vegetables with shredded coconut and sambal) for 15,000 and bali coffee for 7,000.

Jukut Urab

We stayed for a while struggling to stay awake, made it to about 9pm. Also at the restaurant we saw a middle aged white dude with a very young dolled up balinese girl as his date. And by very young I mean like 12, maaaaybe 13. The first of many similar ‘couples’ we will see here, I’m sure.

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

For breakfast at Artini 3 I had french toast with honey, fruit and coffee. Ryan has been having the ‘American Breakfast’ every day which is 2 eggs, 2 pieces of toast, bacon and coffee. We had 4 cups of coffee each this morning so we were pretty jazzed up and decided to hit the market, but first we changed rooms at Artini 3 to one with one big bed instead of 2 twin beds. We like this room better except the hot water doesn’t work.

We got a ride to the market from one of the hotel staff (free ride but we tipped 4,000 anyway). We tried on clothes forever at one lady’s shop, then haggled for too long trying to get a good price on everything we wanted. We ended up just getting Ryan a shirt because we couldn’t come to an agreement on the price for everything else.

balinese woman

At around noon we got comfort food for lunch because we were hot and frustrated. We ate burgers (veggie for me) on giant buns with mayo, fries and strawberry milkshakes, all for about 140,000. It was by far the most expensive meal we’ve had but it made us feel better so whatev, gotta splurge sometimes, right?

After lunch we went back to the market. I bought sunglasses for 20,000 and we each got a sarong for 30,000. Now we can go in temples!

In the evening we went to a Kecak and Fire Dance  performance that lasted for about an hour and a half and cost 75,000. It was VERY cool. There were over a hundred performers, most of them were the men who made all the sounds for the show with their voices and some clapping, no instruments were used. The outfits on the girls were insanely intricate with beautiful cloth and detailed gold headdresses and jewelry. The first part of the show was a story about a girl getting kidnapped by a huge ugly dude that looked like Wario, but was then saved by her friends and the monkey army? The lead girl was strikingly beautiful. The second part of the show, the Sanghyang Dedari dance, was two very young girls, maybe 7, who danced in unison for 20 minutes, their eyes closed the whole time. They are said to be in a trance and are woken up at the end of the dance by the priest who gives them holy water. The last part of the show, the Sanghyang Jaran dance, involved a guy riding on horse made of sticks with a gold head. He kicked burning coconuts around and stomped on them with his bare feet! He was also in a trance and was woken up by the priest at the end. We enjoyed the show a lot and will probably go see another traditional dance soon.

kechak dance

kechak dance

kechak dance

Getting to Bali and first day in Ubud

Posted in Indonesia on June 5th, 2009 by Vagablonding – 1 Comment

Tuesday and Wednesday, June 2nd and 3rd, 2009

We started out leaving Portland, Oregon in the morning on June 2nd and flew to Vancouver, BC, Canada. From there we flew to Tokyo, Japan, and then on to Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. From Denpasar we took a taxi to Ubud. Including layovers, we traveled for about 26 hours. Our flights went much smoother than we expected, thanks in part to the first class upgrade we got on the flight from Canada to Japan because the kind Japan Airlines counter lady thought Ryan was so tall that he needed a seat with more leg room! It was definitely the best flight I’ve ever had, with delicious food, lazy boy style reclining chairs, private tv screens with remotes, and free drinks!
The Denpasar airport was also much easier to deal with than we expected it to be. We did have to go through a chemical spray gate thing that was meant to disinfect us… I think. The spray left me feeling a little out of it and I had a weird taste in my mouth, but it wore off in not too long. The customs and visa on arrival process was painless. The visa cost $25 for a 30 day stay. We exited the airport and got a taxi at the taxi counter which can be found just to the right of the exit. The ride to Ubud took about 30 minutes because it was the middle of the night and there was little traffic, and our driver was hauling ass. The ride cost 195,000rp. The taxi driver was super friendly and asked us our first ‘Are you married?’ question. The polite answer is ‘Not yet.’ The driver is married, has 3 kids, and makes $150/month. We tipped him 50,000rp (a lot!)
We got to our hotel, the Artini 3 Cottages, at about midnight. The reception was just two guys sleeping outside on a deck. We were taken straight to a room, no questions asked. It tipped the guy who carried our bags $1 and we promptly passed out.

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Our hotel room at Artini 3 is fan cooled and has 2 twin beds, western toilet, hot shower with removable shower head but no curtain. This is very nice for $40 a night! The hotel grounds are beautiful and lush with flowers and statues of Ganesha, the Hindu god with the head of an elephant. There are rice fields that can be seen from the door of our room. Breakfast comes with the room. The coffee is strong and tastes fantastic. I ate a pineapple pancake with fruit, it was quite yummy.

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After breakfast we walked to Pasar Ubud (market) on the corner of Monkey Forest Road and Jalan Raya Ubud. For sale were tons of wood carvings and masks, paintings, little trinkets, jewelry, clothing, bags, shoes, and penis bottle openers? I bought a purse for $3 after some haggling down from 75,000rp.

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There are little offerings all over the street and anywhere there is enough space to place one. They are on statues, restaurant menus, entryways, sidewalks, etc, and it’s hard to not step on them accidentally.

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There are amazing temples everywhere, we need to buy sarongs so we can go in. Everyone is required to wear a sarong to enter the temples, including men.

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We didn’t get hassled too much while walking, just lots of guys offering you a taxi ride and when you say no they reply with ‘ok, how about tomorrow??’

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On the way back to Artini 3 we went to an internet cafe and wrote emails. It cost 10,000/hr but we found a cheaper place for 6,000/hr down the road when we continued on. It was very hot so we returned to Artini 3 and lounged in the pool for a few hours.
The hotel staff are very sweet and kind to us, they call us ‘my friend’ and always ask where we are going when we leave and if we enjoyed ourselves when we come back.
Later in the afternoon we went out walking again and got lunch at Kafe Suri. I got a really tasty huge plate of Nasi Campur for 30,000. Ryan got pad thai for same price but mine was yummier.

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There are stray dogs and cats all over the city. Lots are mangy looking but some are very cute. You don’t want to pet them though, they aren’t friendly and grow at you if you get too close.

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We crashed at 7:30pm and it had already been dark for an hour. It was a very good day, I love it here so far!

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