Who doesn’t know Bali? This popular Indonesian island is known for its exotic and unique culture that come along with stunning beaches along Bali’s coast. Every bit of Bali is interesting to explore and you will not be able to complete that in just one or two days.
Among the many attractions in Bali, there is one area that has been gaining popularity in recent years: Ubud. Featured in the award winning book and movie “Eat, Love, Pray”, which starred Hollywood star, Julia Roberts, Ubud has more to offer than just a medicine man in a laidback village. There are many other fun things you can do in Ubud! It takes days to explore the entire Ubud region. Hence, it is best to plan ahead of your trip! If you are a time-starved traveler, read on for a 1-day fun itinerary to get the most out of your Ubud getaway!
Get close to the monkeys in Ubud Monkey Forest
Want to have a closer connection to monkeys? Go to Ubud’s most popular destination for tourists: Ubud Monkey Forest. It is called that simply because the forest is inhabited by hundreds of monkeys. The forest is open to tourists from 8.30am and the entrance fee is 2.50 USD (half price for children under 12 years old).
Inside, you will be accompanied by a guide. You will have the chance to see how the monkeys behave in their habitat. In many ways, they behave like human.They have fingers that can hold and grab things. One of the many interesting things you will notice is they like to help one another to remove ticks from under the fur, displaying evidence of a close-knit community.
The monkeys are used to being around humans, so they are not going to harm you physically. However, these monkeys can be very naughty too (it’s their nature)! They may eye your properties, therefore, do be mindful of your purse, sunglasses, cap and especially your camera. However, you needn’t worry too much. Monkeys are opportunists. As long as you are alert (don’t leave anything unattended), they will not have the nerve to get near you belongings. In case the monkeys got your belongings, your guide knows how to handle these monkeys. He/she will get it back by bartering with the monkeys, using either bananas or peanuts.
Have a taste of Ubud's delicacy: Duck
Enough of monkeys? Now it is time for you to have Ubud’s delicacy, crispy duck, for your lunch. Although the taste is similar to chicken (some who eat duck often knows the difference), duck meat is more tender, meatier and fattier than that of chicken. Therefore, it is crispier when fried.
If you want to have the best experience of eating duck, go to Warung Bebek Semar (warung: local dining place). Although named ‘warung’, this is actually a restaurant with the one of the best ducks in town. Normally, people would order the fried duck. In addition to that, you should also order barbecued skewered duck called duck satay (2 USD). Now you know there is duck satay too! Savory, sweet and crispy are the words that can best describe the duck satay.
Shop for souvenirs at the lowest price
There is a scene in the movie where Julia Roberts was walking in Ubud Art Market. Although she didn’t buy a thing, one gets an idea of the souvenirs available in the market. This traditional art market sells many kinds of souvenirs like casual outfits (t-shirt, shorts, sandals, caps, etc.), wood and silver crafts and paintings. Some have Balinese themes (e.g. flowery designs with topless Balinese women wearing their traditional skirt called kebaya carrying a pot), but many are just local or Chinese products that aren’t related to Bali culture (toys, watches, etc.). The price depends on your bargaining skill. Please note that it can be very hot throughout the day here, so do remember to keep yourself hydrated and happy shopping!
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Enrich your skills by cooking Bali’s cuisine at Payuk Bali
What can be better than learning a new skill in a foreign land? Learn to cook at ‘Payuk Bali Home Cooking Class’ for only 25 USD! The activity starts at 3.30am in the nearby pasar (local term for market).
Not only will you get to learn to cook Balinese traditional dishes such as Srombotan (salad with grounded nut dressings and coconut milk) and Bebek Betutu (spicy duck grilled within a banana leaf, often used in ceremonial occasion), but your chef will also teach you how to pick the right ingredients and spices straight from the market (turmeric, coriander, etc.). Then, right after you’ve gotten your ingredients, the chef will teach you how to cook the dishes step by step. At the end of the day, you will be able to enjoy your own creations as your dinner! It is a must-try experience for those who enjoy cooking.
You may have heard about the exoticism of Ubud and certainly you will see the rich Ubud’s culture from the movie, ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. However, what have been shown in the film (e.g. the medicine man, rice terrace and temple) are only a small part of Ubud. Visit Ubud and experience first hand the richness of Ubud’s culture!
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