We spent just a little over three weeks in Bali, Indonesia. Initially, Bali was going to be all about the beach with just a couple of days inland, but that changed when we got to Ubud. We fell in love. If there is a paradise, it’s Ubud!
We started in Sanur, just a 20-minute drive from the airport, but having been spoiled by the pristine beaches of Thailand, we were a bit put off by how dirty the beach was. Our accommodation, however, was a totally different story. We rented a small two bedroom apartment, nestled inside a hotel property. Our front door opened up to a pool and a sitting area, where we found ourselves lounging for most of our stay. I know, go all the way to Bali and just hang at a pool?! After months of travelling, sometimes you just need to chill and park your bum by a pool 😉
We did pull ourselves away from the pool just long enough to explore the town and eat.
We headed to Ubud for just a three-day stay, not realizing how much we would love this place. Our hotel, Bali Bohemia, was right next to the Monkey Forest. This place is its own little paradise. Since our stay was going to be short, we decided to splurge on this place and it was definitely worth it. So much so that we went back for another eight nights – Not so good for the budget, but totally worth it! The monkeys were a constant source of entertainment around us and we never got tired of them.
At the time we hadn’t planned on going back to Ubud and with only three days, we decided to enjoy every second of it. We booked a full day tour which started with the amazing Barong Dance. It was mesmerizing and if you have very limited time in Bali, make sure you catch a show.
We visited a waterfall, the holy spring water temple, stopped for lunch at a delicious restaurant with an incredible view of Mount Batur, toured a coffee plantation where we drank Luwak Coffee – who wouldn’t want to drink coffee where the beans are pooped by a Civet 😉 – and finally finished the day with a walk around Tegalalang Rice Terraces. It was a fantastic tour and the drive around the island through the lush forests and the beautiful villages made the day even more magical. We were in awe and enjoyed it tremendously.
The Monkey Forest was another activity on our list while in Ubud. Being right next to it, we couldn’t possibly miss out on hanging with the cheeky monkeys. They were an absolute blast and I know a certain 9-year-old that loved it 🙂
We finished our very short stay in Ubud by walking around town, wishing we had allocated more time.
It was time to head back to the beach. We had booked a few days in Amed in hopes of some decent snorkelling. Our initial impression of Amed was rather so-so, but the place grew on us, and by the end, we really loved the laid back feel of the place and almost wished we were staying longer. If you are in Amed, head to Lipah for some amazing snorkelling. I’m not the strongest swimmer, but I managed to get some decent time in.
Another beach that we snorkelled at was Jemeluk. It might be a lot easier for people who aren’t strong swimmers or can’t swim. You don’t have to go far from shore to see some amazing fish and coral but we didn’t like the vibe of the beach and not to mention the crazy Titan Triggerfish that attacked Bruce. The 2-foot menace came at him five times, snapping his impressive jaws looking for a piece of toe. Bruce explained that he had to try and kick at him during each charge. Thankfully, no damage was done and now he has a good story to share 🙂
We wanted a good combo of snorkel and lounge and Lipah definitely has both and as a bonus, there is a really nice restaurant on the beach that serves delicious veggie curry!
Our days in Amed were filled with beach, lounge time, and good food. Definitely no complaints from anyone there!
Some of the must-try restaurants in Amed:
Warung Ole – We ate here a couple of times. Food is great and cheap.
Warung Segara – The restaurant is right on the beach. Good food, cheap and you have a great view of the ocean. If you are lucky, you might even get to see fisherman at work.
Warung Enak – They make an amazing Veggie Curry
Green Leaf Cafe – It’s not as cheap as the other restaurants mentioned, but if you are looking for healthy delicious vegetarian options, then this is the place to go. We loved it and went back twice.
While we were in Amed, we needed to make a decision about the remainder of our Bali stay. We debated on heading to Gili Islands, but I read so many mixed reviews that I just couldn’t bring myself to make the decision and part of me really wanted to go back to Ubud. We all felt like we didn’t get a chance to really explore Ubud and missed the monkeys 😉
So we headed back to Bali Bohemia 🙂
It was definitely the right decision. We felt at home in Ubud and got to spend time with friends we had met in Chiang Mai. Kasm was really happy to see his friend Cameron. Thanks to Penny and Eric, we met some other wonderful world-schooling families and Kasm had a chance to hang out with other kids and made another new friend, Camden.
We met up at a kids’ indoor playground called Kids’ World. It was the perfect safe place for them to run around and play without much supervision and allowed the grown-ups to actually hold a proper conversion 😉
We all headed to a pretty awesome plant-based restaurant once the kids had their fill of play time. Moksa restaurant is nestled amongst beautiful lush greenery, with their very own permaculture organic farm and they serve up delicious raw and cooked organic vegetarian meals. We really enjoyed everything we ordered. Unfortunately, we didn’t take any photos but one of the other families we were with took some pretty cool shots.
Another fun thing to do with kids in Ubud is Paradiso Restaurant and Movie theatre. You buy your tickets for the movie which can be used as credit towards your dinner. Don’t expect it to get you far. It’s a pretty pricey place for Ubud, but it was still a fun experience and kids certainly enjoyed the silly movie 🙂
There is so much to do in and around Ubud and even our second visit wasn’t long enough to cover everything. We’ve definitely added this place to our ‘must return’ list. My absolute favourites in Ubud were two walks we did.
Campuhan Ridge Walk
It’s a beautiful green walk with a well-maintained stone track. The walk can be steep at some places but it’s well worth it, and you’ll be nicely rewarded at the end when you reach Karsa Kafe with its stunning view of rice terraces and they make delicious healthy juices.
Sari Organik Walk
This was another pretty amazing walk and I enjoyed it even more than the Campuhan Ridge Walk. Our friend Johanne was visiting Bali and we were able to meet up for a day to hang out so what better way to catch up than to go for a nice walk. It was raining pretty hard but it made the walk incredibly surreal and so much more enjoyable than if it had been a sunny day. The walk meanders through some stunning rice terraces and a small village lined with local arts and crafts and once again we were rewarded with another beautiful restaurant serving up great organic food.
After our walk in the rain, we headed back to our place and hung out at the restaurant for a little while. We had become quite the regulars at the Bali Bohemia restaurant. It’s hard not to! Great food, friendly staff and cool music 🙂
And let’s add a little bit of play time in there 😉
Until next time…