People say you’d never get bored of Ubud.
This was my second time in Ubud this year, after going here with my friends last summer. This time, I stayed longer, and good thing that I was, as it was raining every day around mid-day, so we effectively only had around 6 hours each day to explore the area before it got dark. The rain was no joke, guys. I’m talking torrential rain with thunderstorms (the worst was on our last night in Ubud. The roof was leaking, forcing us to move immediately to a vacant room. A few minutes after that, there was a power outage and it was pitch black).
Despite the rain, we still had a good time. There were many things to do, lots of places to eat, and if I hadn’t come prepared I guess I would’ve been overwhelmed.
For this week 7 Things Series, I’m sharing my Ubud favorites, just for reference in case you want to go here for a vacation (hint: you should).
1. Favorite area to stay: Jalan Bisma
Jalan Bisma (or Bisma Street) was the area I was staying in last summer (not exactly on that street, but somewhere just off Jalan Bisma), and I can say that it’s the best place to stay. Despite its central location (everything on Ubud must-visit list is within walking distance!), it felt like we were somewhere outside Ubud, where everything was more quiet and beautiful. There are many cheap places to eat around Jalan Bisma too, which is a bonus.
2. Favorite (window) shopping place: Ubud market, without a doubt!
I love this place. So vibrant, so beautiful, so lively. I have to admit, after a while, haggling could get exhausting and annoying. All sellers seem to give outrageous prices too, that starting the bargain at half the price wouldn’t do (try 1/4 or 1/3). At first, I felt quite bad having to bargain that much, but I realized it’s better than getting ripped off and paying much more than I should have. Still a good place though, I’d recommend anyone visiting Ubud to go here at least once. I wrote more about Ubud market here.
3. Favorite bookshop: Ganesha bookshop
This place doesn’t look much from the outside, and don’t expect it to be anything like Periplus (which is only a few meters away from this bookshop). But there’s nothing I love more than a good bargain, and this secondhand bookshop has that. On average, a secondhand novel here is priced IDR 60,000, most of them are in very good conditions. It has popular books too, from All The Light We Cannot See, After You, Mad About You, etc. Better still, Ganesha bookshop supports Books for Bali Project, with the aim to support local schools and organizations in Bali, and to help the community with the literacy and learning. When you buy a book, you can choose to donate to any of school/organizations on their list. You can find Ganesha bookshop on Jalan Raya Ubud, just opposite of Neka Gallery.
4. Favorite spa: Jaens Spa
I’m a huge fan of massages. When I was in college, I usually have massages 3-4 times a month (one of the perks of living in Indonesia, massage is cheap!). This spa is on the pricier side, and you’ll see an abundance of other spas offering things for much lower prices. But trust me, it’s worth it. I’d even venture to say that this is the best spa experience I’ve had (and I’ve had tried lots of spa, so that’s saying something). This place is usually full so it’s better to book before you come.
5. Favorite pool experience: Jungle Fish
I wrote more about it here. I’ll add that this is located just a bit off the Ubud center, about 15-20 drive, so you’ll need a taxi. As is with everything, you should haggle the rate you’re given. Aim for IDR 70,000 – 80,000 (or IDR 50,000 if you want to push your luck). The drivers will give you IDR 150,000, but don’t accept that! That’s way too expensive. Just be persistent and be prepared to walk away when you’re haggling, there are lots of other taxis that can take you there for more a reasonable rate.
6. Favorite leisure walk: Campuhan Ridge
For this, I’m torn between The Monkey Forest or Campuhan Ridge. I immensely enjoyed walking in the forest, but although the monkeys were cute, I was always wary of them so I never felt completely at ease there. Campuhan Ridge, on the other hand, made me feel serene and relaxed. The view was beautiful, and there were fewer people there. I wrote about this in my previous post, and you can read it here.
7. Favorite Mexican diner: Taco Casa
I know it’s a bit weird to put a Mexican diner here, but I craved Mexican food for way too long, and this place ticked all the boxes of my needs: delicious and fresh meals, huge portion, and affordable price. If you love Mexican food, this is the place to go.
If you’ve been to Ubud, what’s your favorite? Please let me know, as I’m quite sure I’ll go there again someday :)
Other posts about Ubud: