I’ve been to Bali a few times, and have explored many places on the island, from the north to the south, from the west to the east. From all the places I’ve visited in Bali, Ubud is still one of my favorites. The town has undergone many changes throughout the years, and yet it still maintains the artsy and relaxed vibes.
It’s not easy to see why it attracts many tourists from all over the world. Located 200 meters above the sea level, it’s (relatively) cooler than the other areas. The streets are lined with cafes, jewelry workshops, and art shops, selling things from colorful fabrics, pieces of jewelry, homeware, paintings, and much more. Surrounded by rice fields and forests, it offers an easy escape to nature for anyone who needs it. Last December, I went to Ubud again, this time with my boyfriend. We stayed somewhere around the Monkey Forest area, and every day we would walk up the street to the market and the plethora of shops and coffee shops around it.
We loved walking, so we walked everywhere in Ubud. But after a few days, we realized walking in Ubud wasn’t that pleasant (thanks to all the cars and motorbikes). We made it a mission to go to Campuhan Ridge, allured by the promise of serenity and beautiful views.
Unfortunately, for some reasons we didn’t get there until the end of our last trip, when we were awake at 5.30 am and couldn’t go back to sleep (I’d read before that it was advisable to go there no later than 6.30 am, unless you want to go just before the sunset. Otherwise the sun would be too hot).
So at 6 in the morning, we left and made our way through Monkey Forest Street and Ubud Street.
Half an hour later, we found the sign, leading us to the beginning of the trail. The path, albeit well-built, was long and uphill. Within minutes I was panting, and had to stop to gulp some water.
The air was fresh, the sun was still hanging low. There was no motorbike in sight, and the only sound filling the air was the low chatter of the passersby. Some of them were jogging, the others were walking slowly as they were taking in the simple beauty of this place.
From a distance, I saw something thick hanging in the air. I winced, thinking it was the exhaust from another motorbike (something I was already used to at this point, but still resented), before remembering that there was no motorbike, and what I saw was actually the morning fog, slowly disappearing as the sun rose higher in the sky.
The pearly dew stayed longer though, decorating the leaves and making a treat for our eyes.
For my out-of-shape body, it took quite an effort to get to the top. After 7 am, the sun grew stronger and we began to struggle in the heat. We stopped a few times, which wasn’t unpleasant at all with this view around us.
When we finally got to the top, it got even better.
When we reached the end of the path, we decided to go ahead. Off the Campuhan Ridge path, we found ourselves in the middle of a quiet village, with art shops and little warungs lining the street. We had an encounter with these cuties, brightening up our morning.
A few meters ahead, the scenery changed into this.
It was amazing. One minute we were surrounded by arts and paintings, and the next it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere.
We kept on walking, taking in the view around us. Suggestions on the internet led us to Karsa Cafe, so there we went. It was actually a bit disappointing. The food was expensive and mediocre, but at least the surrounding was pretty.
After coffee and a tiny portion of breakfast, we made our way back to the town. It was still breathtaking the second time around.
It was at this time that we spotted a house on the other side, perched on the edge of the hill.
Imagine living in that place.
A few meters down the line, we found another house.
This house might look desolate and derelict, but to me, it looked dreamy. Two years of living in Jakarta had exhausted me, and I’d been dreaming of living in a little house in a far-flung place, surrounded by nothing but greenery.
At this point, the heat was starting to become unbearable (it was only 9!), so we quickly made our way down. After that, we hit our favorite little place on Bisma Street, ordering fresh mango juice and a hearty omelet.
That was my favorite morning in Ubud. As someone who lives in a crowded, highly polluted city, getting to enjoy a walk in the fresh air with this view was incredible. This might not seem much, but to me, this is a luxury.