After A Bumpy First Month, Ubud Works It's Magic.
I really wasn't sure I liked Ubud when we first arrived in early January. It was a congested cliche of tie-dye tourists. I think you'd be sorely disappointed if you came here for a day-trip as most of it would be stuck in a traffic jam. However, stick around longer and you'll be rewarded with the most incredible experiences in this intriguing community.
Two months on, I can safely say this town has worked its magic. As soon as February came, the tourists, traffic jams and thunder storms disappeared. And after much house searching, we eventually found a dream home in our favourite part of town, next to Monkey Forest, where our neighbours swing from the trees. Check out the photos and videos for a tour.
You just have to scratch the surface to find the most unexpected sights in Ubud. Veer off a main road in the centre and you're instantly surrounded by verdant paddy fields. Or walk through an unassuming doorway to find an enchanted garden and healing cafe.
The Island of Gods
Balinese people are every bit as gracious and hospitable as we'd hoped. They revere family-life and fuss over children even more than the Italians! Genuinely happy and friendly, they have embraced tourism with open arms. The only hassle we get whilst walking down the street is for taxis or massages. And even this is done in softly-spoken voices. Despite seeing no police apart from those conducting the traffic, it feels completely safe here.
Hindu karma also helps bring out the kindness in locals and the constant whirl of surreal holy days always make me smile. I love watching the basket-headed ladies in their colourful clothes leaving flower offerings on the pavements. Holy day of metal objects was a funny highlight when my bike was whisked away to be blessed at the local temple!
Heavenly Wholesome: Who Needs Wine & Meat
Like Amsterdam, Ubud is laid-back, tolerant and quirky. For a population of just 30,000, it's amazing how many interesting things are happening here. Yoga and meditation classes are the main event of course. But there are also lots of fun creative projects and musical offerings for all ages. We love going to a crystal bowl sound-healing session that's always packed full of people. I'll explain more about how we're getting hands-on with a healer v soon!
It's insane the number of amazing cafes, restaurants and warungs here too. You could eat out twice a day for a year and still not scratch the surface. Or dent your wallet they're so cheap.
One of our pledges before moving was to drink less booze and eat less meat. This is definitely the place to achieve that. Menus are mainly vegetarian and absolutely delicious. Some of the best meals we've eaten have been vegan, serving vibrant raw food (Sage) and permea-culture veg from their garden (Moksa). And with 500% tax on wine and spirits, we've definitely cut down on the booze! Dragon fruit smoothies are our new pink drink with a kick.