Have you ever been somewhere that just resonated with every inch of you? A place that you just knew in your heart that you belonged there for some reason or another? That was Bali for me. It was a place that brought me calmness and a sense of freedom. A place that I would go back to in a heartbeat and live if I didn’t have my little rescue pups.
I think no matter where you are in your life Bali is place that will help ground you, bring you clarity in so many ways and reset your life in a way that is so powerful. I have never felt so at peace with life as I did when I spent three weeks in Bali a few years ago.
So when I found myself freshly out of a relationship and some free time on my hands I felt the need to pack up and head there yet again….and that just what I did.
For anyone looking to travel to Bali make sure you give yourself enough time to discover the different areas. Bali is known for their beautiful beaches but let me tell you being in the Monkey Jungle of Ubud may have been my favorite place to visit. I may be biased though because I’ve always had a love for Monkeys. I would’ve taken them all home if I could’ve.
Where to Stay in Ubud
When I checked in to the Ubud Village Resort and Spas my tongue hit the floor, I felt as if i had just hit the lottery with how big this villa was. Not sure if maybe thought I had my whole family joining me, but wow wow wow!! The villa had 4 of its own day beds, an outdoor dining area, an outdoor hot tub and shower. If you’re looking for a BIG, and I mean BIG villa for you and some friends I’d highly suggest checking out their villas here. They called it the “Bloggers” villa.
Words can’t even describe the view from the infinity pool at Komaneka at Tanggayuda that was high above the trees. This secluded Ubud resort offers luxury villas with private plunge pools overlooking the Oos River. Each villa comes with four-poster beds, open-air pavilions, hand-carved volcanic stone bathtubs and private infinity pool views over the river valleys. Komaneka is well-known locally as the Balinese boutique brand and for its beautiful and authentic use of native hardwoods, paras stones, batiks and Balinese design.
My other favorite resort in Ubud is The Hanging Garden which all of us IG stalkers recognize as the world’s most photogenic pool. You can probably recall the pictures of the long legged travel bloggers walking gracefully across the pool with the Balinese flower crown on their heads. Ubud’s Hanging Gardens have been shared globally for a long time now winning recognition with many of travel’s elite. However, there is of course more to the Hanging Gardens than their stunning split-level infinity pool. Hanging Gardens is held above the treetops and valleys of the Ayung River with views of cascading waterfalls and the resort seamlessly threads ultimate luxury to the tropical settings which surround it. Accommodation consists of private pool villas and suites designed in contemporary Balinese style and are all set on stepped rice fields. Every villa comes with a private pool with views over the valley canopies. Ubud Hanging Gardens is no doubt a haven of peace and tranquility.
Elephant lodge?? Do I need to say anything more? I was researching Elephant rescue camps to volunteer at and I came across the Mason Elephant Lodge which is situated within the world renowned Mason Elephant Park and comes with everything a discerning guest will need. You stay amongst Bali’s largest herd of rescued Sumatran elephants, watching and interacting with them as they go about their daily lives.
Things to do in Ubud
One of my favorite experiences of being in Ubud, aside from the monkeys of course was taking an authentic cooking class. After much research we found what seemed to be the best in town and boy where we right. The Paon Bali Cooking Class is an absolute must. Your day starts early at the Ubud markets, where you can pick from fresh herbs & spices, crisp vegetables and choice cuts of meats before heading to the actual home of Puspa who actually cooks and teaches out of her home on an authentic Balinese rice field. The food, the people, the whole experience was one like no other.
You’re in Bali, of course that means you have to recreate the iconic #1 Bali Pintrest photo. Sitting in the swing, hair in the wind and a long flowy dress. Now let me add that all of these photos have been pretty photoshopped as you have to be in a harness for safety reasons. Im not a photoshop pro so I was able to just use an app and erase all the harness lines. There’s numerous places to get this iconic shot, but I ended up choosing the Bali Swing. I’d suggest trying others as this one was the priciest of them all and personally I think you could find a better one that was a straight on shot of the river. But, the good thing with the Bali Swing is that it has every shot possible that you’ve seen on Pintrest and IG. It has 18 different swings and photo opps. Make sure you get there early though to beat the crowds and long lines. I was there right at 930 and was able to jump right on. I heard the Aloha swing is pretty popular as well.
I never really had the desire to visit the rice fields the last trip to Bali, so I made sure that was on my list for this time around. Of course it had just rained so it was quite muddy, but it was beautiful. Make sure you wear comfy sneakers because its a lot of steps down to the fields, and lots of walking from one side to next. Don’t forget to bring a few bucks for the women who’s taking care of the fields. She’ll make sure to track you down, with a smile on her face of course. She was sweat as pie in her bare feet and worn clothes. Broke my heart to see such a small frail women in that heat working so hard in the rice fields for little to no money.
The town of Ubud was a hippies paradise. Long cobblestone roads filled to the brim with organic and vegan cafes, shops lined with silver jewelry and flowy dresses, Spas on every corner and you cant forget about the wild monkeys running down the power lines stealing bread off of tourists tables. You could get lost on the streets and go for miles. If you have the chance to head to Bali, make sure Ubud is on top of your list.