Done with the shopping and lazy days spent poolside with a mojito? Know there’s lots to see and do but can’t face a tour? This is the kind of schedule one could get used to…. open up the diary.
Hit these Ubud spots for equal amounts of discovery and bliss in one day.
A food market is always the best place to get a taste of local life.
Get amongst the crowds of batik clad women, armed with colourful shopping bags, haggling without raising their voice, for food and flowers. Buy yourself some exotic fruit for the day, wander the stalls. There’s a sense of calm underneath the chaos, no one rushes.
By 9am the traders have disappeared, rubbish is hastily swept away, locals have loaded up their motor bikes and headed home. The market transforms as the art and craft stall holders move in, setting up their sarongs, bags, handicrafts. Do your shopping before the crowds arrive, pay the ‘morning price’ for good luck.
As a clean living hub, shots in Ubud are more likely be thrown back at a Tonic Bar.
Kick start the day with a fresh jamu shot at Jamu Sehati. Try the Balance brew served hot. Ginger, turmeric, galangga, lemongrass, pandan, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, lime, coconut sugar, alkaline water.
You’ll find this tiny kiosk perched on the corner of Jalan Sandat and the main road, a 5 minute walk from the market.
Cantika Alami is a tiny spa on the edge of town, more outdoors than in, with an absolutely no rush vibe.
Go for the hair treatment. It starts with coconut shampoo, patchouli water and a head massage. Next up fresh aloe vera gel. A neck, shoulder and arm massage with a fragrant coconut, ginger and floral oil is a pleasant distraction whilst the aloe does its good work. Cool patchouli water and a spray of frangipani tonic is the final touch. It takes an hour. Sip on the lemongrass tea. Relax.
Price: less than $20 to give your hair the best treat in town.
Bookings: You need to call: +62 85100944425
Website: Cantika Zest Bali
Wander off in search of lunch.
In your blissed out state, turn left out of Cantika Alami on to the footpath towards the rice fields. Every few steps there’s a café, many offering organic fare, all with nice views. Try Cafe Pomegranate a spectacular fusion of Japanese and Balinese architecture for a taste of ‘glamping’.
There’s a bit of dodging around motorbikes on the path but once you get past Sari Organik, it’s not so busy. Slow down to a ‘wander’. Enjoy the views. Stop for a fresh coconut water and chat with local artists along the way. This pace puts you in the perfectly relaxed state of mind for your next destination, The Pyramids Of Chi.
Entering a Pyramid set amongst the rice fields for a Sound Healing feels quite ethereal.
The array of instruments promise extraordinary sounds.
The experience is a deeply personal one. You may get clarity, feel a deep sense of release, possibly a few tears, or simply the most delicious relaxation that serves you better than a few hours of sleep.
Worried you won’t fit in? Don’t be. An intro session gives you insights into the ancient mysteries of Pyramids, and gets you comfortable with what’s about to take place. You need no prior yogi, healing or spiritual experience. Simply be ‘prepared for the unexpected’.
Turn the phone off, wander the grounds or relax at the cafe before or after your session. The food is superb. Don’t rush. Take the complimentary shuttle bus back to Ubud, a 10 min ride.
Price: Sound Healing Session rp250,000 (approx. $AUD25)
Bookings: Drop in for 11pm & 3pm sessions or book via website
You can’t leave Ubud without trying the classic ‘mandi lulur’ spa treatment.
Think full body massage, all over exfoliating scrub and relaxing in a bathtub filled with fragrant flowers. 90 minutes of pure bliss. Nur Salon blends home, temple, garden, art and spa into an enchanting space. Leave the hustle of Ubud behind you once you step through the temple like entrance on Jalan Hanoman.
Prices: from $25 – $45
Bookings: Best to call ahead: +62 361 975352
Website: Nur Salon Ubud
Finish the day with ‘food that loves you back’.
Moksa is fabulous plant based healthy cuisine, and seriously, every plate delivered to your table is a work of art. The permaculture gardens surrounding the restaurant bring the farm culture of Bali life to your table. The tables have some space, candlelit, there’s a gentle quietness that feels just right.
It can be found ‘A Quiet Stone’s Throw From The Bustle Of Downtown Ubud’ in Sayan, a 15 min drive from Ubud centre.
Prices: Starters 60k ($6). Mains 75k ($7.50). 3 course set menu 175k ($17.50) plus taxes.
Bookings: Via the website
Most of the day can be done on foot with just a couple of car or taxi rides. Take sunglasses, hat, sunscreen and a water bottle. Wear comfortable sandals, no need for sport shoes. All the destinations for your 24 hours in Ubud are on this map.
Ubud is a wonderful destination.
It’s a little cooler than the beach locations and despite the growth in tourism it holds onto a strong cultural heartbeat with dignity and grace.
Take a little of that grace home with you….