Ubud, what can we say other than it is totally amazing here!
After a few days at the beach, we were ready to head inland to Ubud. I had been to Ubud before, but only on day trips. That was a big mistake as Ubud is a magical place! It’s hard to say exactly what we loved the most about Ubud. It could be the weather, which was milder than the scorching heat we experienced in Kuta. Or it might be the food which seemed to be more varied and delicious. Or, possibly, it was the general vibe which was definitely more laid back – even the local touts were chill in Ubud, something we can appreciate for sure. Regardless of the reason, we came away agreeing that the next trip to Bali would be spent solely in Ubud.
Check out this travel guide to Bali if you’re planning a visit to this amazing island!
Our hotel in Ubud was also one of the best value-for-money stays we have ever experienced! We stayed at the Sedana Jaya Guesthouse, a charming home-stay located across the street from the Ubud Art Market and just off Jalan Raya Ubud.
The home is a traditional family home, which in Bali means several separated buildings encircling a courtyard in the center. Oh, and there are lots of trees and greenery which will make you forget that you’re still in the city. The best part was, however, was the amazing breakfast – your choice of 4 delicious entrees + fruit salad + a glass of fresh fruit juice.
Finding a breakfast this good at a hotel that costs only $9-$10 per night blew my mind! Do note that the Sedana Jaya Guesthouse only has two guest units, so be sure to book early! They only opened earlier this year but I imagine it will only get harder to book as more people learn about the place. I was able to lock down 5-nights here, but only because I booked three months early. Check current price and availability on Booking.com. The owners are super sweet and made us feel at home during our stay. In our opinion, this is the only hotel to book in Bali!
While we were in Ubud we decided to take a day-trip with a couple of people we met on couchsurfing.com. It was the first time that we’ve met up with someone from the site, and we all had a fun day exploring Bali. Sharing the car/driver rental between 4 people was really great for keeping the cost down. The whole day cost around $7 per person not including the admission prices for the attractions we stopped off at. There are a lot of great things to do around Bali and we were able to do a lot in one day. Our itinerary looked like this:
- Coffee and Chocolate farm tour
- Handara Golf Resort
- Ulun Danau Beratan
- Pura Ulun Danau Buyan
- Wanagiri Hidden Hills
- Tanah Lot Temple
This was a lot to see and do in one day and we were pretty tired after our Bali day trip! The highlight of the tour had to be the swings at Wanagiri Hidden Hills, or Tanah Lot. We arrived at Tanah Lot just in time for sunset which was a great experience!
Next time we go to Bali we will need to check out Lovina and the Northern coast. I have heard a lot of great things about this part of Bali but never had the chance to check it out myself.
Public transportation in Bali is pretty bad so you need to find alternatives. Hiring a driver is a relatively affordable option, especially when you have a group to split the cost. Another option is to rest a scooter during your trip. A daily scooter rental in Ubud is around $5-7 which is really convenient if you’re looking to do some exploring. We planned to rent a scooter for a few days during our trip to Bali but decided against it after seeing countless tourists with bad cases of road rash. You should definitely have some experience operating motorbikes before heading to Bali as the driving conditions are less than ideal.
During our 10-nights/11-days in Bali, we spent a total of $420. That works out to roughly $40 per day as a couple – or $20 per person. It might be higher than some but we still feel pretty good about this budget for Bali. This number includes hotels, food, admission tickets, and transportation during our travels. We did have a number of meals at highish-priced western restaurants and added in a few stops for ice cream/smoothies when we felt like it. It didn’t really feel like we were overly restricting ourselves while we were in Bali. We ate and did what we wanted but saved a lot of money by eating lots of local food and choosing low priced accommodation in a convenient location. Overall we were really satisfied with how much we did in Bali and how little it cost!
A final note on transportation. Bali is really bad about public transport as I mentioned before, which might explain the terrible traffic to some extent, so you will have limited options on how to get to Ubud. We took the Kura Kura bus to Ubud as it is a good budget option.
The Kura Kura bus to Ubud costs 80,000IDR one-way, or 120,000IDR for a return ticket. Note that you will need to pay an extra 10,000IDR if you plan to stow your luggage away in the front of the car. It’s worth it if you have large/bulky luggage – although our relatively small backpacks fit easily on the floor between our legs.
An alternative option for getting to Ubud would be to hire a driver for the day and do some sightseeing around Bali. The driver could deposit you in Ubud after seeing some of the sights Bali has to offer. If you are in a group of 3-4 people this might be a good choice as you would essentially be getting a 2-for-1 deal!
If you’re not doing day trips Ubud is easily walkable. Whether you want to do that in the heat is up to you though! We found that staying in the center of Ubud was really convenient as it allowed us to avoid taking taxis for the most part. We never spent more than 10-15 minutes walking anywhere we wanted to go!
Other things to see
Aside from the day tour, the rest of our time in Ubud was spent wandering the streets, eating lots of good food, and checking out the surrounding attractions. These were some of the highlights from around Ubud.
- The Ubud Art Market – we were able to see tons of clothes and handmade crafts and souvenirs.
- The Ubud Monkey Sanctuary – this place has changed a lot in the years since my last visit. It looks like the admission fees are getting put back into the development of the place, and they now have a free shuttle that can bring you directly to the sanctuary and back!
- The Camphuan Ridge Walk – We took the hike down this trail in the afternoon and loved the gorgeous views from the trail. Make sure to bring some water though as you will need it!
- Soma – This restaurant has an amazing atmosphere at night. To be fair, this whole street is lined with amazing eateries, but Soma was our top choice. If you’re not up for a full-blown meal consider popping in for raw fruit smoothies and dessert. You won’t be disappointed by anything on their menu!
Follow Our Journey Around The World!
Last Stop: Starting Our Honeymoon In Legian
You Are Here: Forget About Kuta and Head To Ubud!
Next Stop: Trapped Overnight In The KL Airport…