Thursday, June 9, 2016

Ubud - the green heart of Bali

If you are searching for a dry, affordable and beautiful holiday destination, while being an expat in the rain-drenched South-East Asia, look no further: book your plane ticket to Bali! From Bangkok, Air Asia, Asia's most widespread low-cost flight company will fly you to Bali in around four hours. If you fly over from Yangon you need to plan a stay-over in Bangkok on the way there as the flight from Bangkok departs at 6 a.m.

Bali is, as you may know, a highly sought touristic place: with amazing nature consisting of beaches, low hills and mountains and volcanoes, with an excellent tourist infrastructure, friendly English speaking locals, delicious food, and lots of outdoor activities to choose from. The high season starts as of June. In July and August, Ubud's hotels welcome the European tourists. Most come to enjoy a beach holiday and some look forward to hit the waves on a surf board. 

But we were looking for a place to relax. And that is why we chose Ubud. The green heart of the island is home to the rice paddies and tropical forests. It is located a bit more than one hour from the nearest beach. We looked for a quiet and private hotel. Luckily we found a serene place with a few villas, every one with a private pool and an amazing view on the lush tropical forest. It was a twenty minute drive with the shuttle bus of the hotel to Ubud town centre.

Regarded as the cultural scene of Bali, Ubud has a large number of artists' galleries and workshops. In the evening the tourists stroll along the main streets and admire paintings, photographs, and sculptures. In some evenings, on the grounds of the former palace, you can watch traditional dances and admire their colourful face painting. The restaurants offer fresh and delicious food enriched with local spices. There are many activities in case you get tired of relaxing by your private pool while resting your eyes on the green jungle in front of you. So you may take early morning strolls along paddy fields and visit villages, or you can visit the temples around Ubud. Children and adults alike will enjoy watching the monkeys in the Ubud Monkey Forest or will have fun in a white water rafting adventure. An evening dinner in one of Ubud's restaurants can turn into a happy dance evening because of the talented live bands playing around Ubud. And it seems they love to play reggae music!

We chose to book a photography tour, organised by the David Metcalf Photography, due to my increased interest in photography. We were mentored during the day by Sebastian Suki Belaustegui. A few of the photographs taken during the tour can be seen below.

And make sure you have enough space in your luggage. We ended up buying a table lamp from Piment Rouge shop. Lovely place, highly recommended also for small souvenirs or presents!

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