Day 17 – Exploring Ubud
Last year we visited Ubud for several days, but we didn’t get to make the most of the whole experience as the hotel we stayed in (Warji House 2) was a pretty nasty hotel to stay in, it was full of cockroaches and scared us out of Ubud, haha!!
This time we were convinced we wanted to see a lot more of Ubud, so I decided to book a proper hotel/resort instead of a guest house as Ubud is a little more tropical and surrounded by rice fields it can be quite hard for the guest houses to keep all the bugs away, whereas the larger hotels/resorts I presume have some more money to put towards fumigation. Anyway, we are very glad that we are staying with Puri Padma Hotel and recommend them to everyone. The rooms are incredibly clean, the staff super friendly, hotel food amazing and even better they have several hotel drivers which are happy to take you and pick you up from anywhere in Ubud daily (for free!).
After a lovely breakfast in the hotel, overlooking the beautiful rice terraces we decided to head to the Monkey Forest which is a couple of minutes walk out of central Ubud. We booked a car with the hotel reception to take us into town, we shared our trip into town with another couple who are also staying at our hotel. A bit of chatting on the journey led us to discover that they’d also travelled from England (London) to enjoy their honeymoon in Bali and since they were also heading to the Monkey Forest we decided to explore the area together.
Last year, when we visited the monkey forest it cost around 20k IDR each, this year they seem to have done a bit of refurb work to the attraction – building a new car park, and brand new entrance so tickets have gone up in price to 50k IDR/£2.80 per person but this is still a fantastic price for such a brilliant attraction. There’s no lack of monkeys hanging around in the forest, and they are definitely confident little creatures. We bought some bananas from a member of staff working in the forest, who told us to hold the banana up high in the air to get the monkeys to climb up onto you. Tom got completely covered in banana by one particular monkey who chewed it and messed with it the same way a child may in a high chair – haha, poor guy had to walk around with bits of banana stuck to him all day.
There is so much more to see in Ubud, compared to Kuta. There’s at least four or five different temples and palaces all within walking distance of certain central areas of Ubud. Only fifteen-minute walk from the Monkey Forest is a palace named Peliatan Royal Palace so we decided to head up there on one our days in Ubud.
The palace is very similar to many across Bali, but the locals who lived in this particular palace made us feel incredibly welcome. For a donation of 20k IDR/£1.12 per person, they will dress you up in local clothing and show you around the beautiful interior, while also taking pictures of you sat in the grand chairs and praying under the pictures of their king. After spending a little bit of time reading up about this palace I can tell you that this is actually the official residency of Ubud royalty, and they don’t usually show visitors around the inside of the palace (well according to Google anyway!) so we must have got the special treatment somehow!
After a morning, and early afternoon of exploring we headed back to the hotel to freshen up for a few hours. Unfortunately, after only 15minutes of relaxing, we were told that fumigation in the hotel would be taking place within the next fifteen minutes and we were advised not to stay at the hotel in case we managed to breathe some of the smoke in. The hotel receptionist did kindly offer to organise us some transport into central Ubud, so we headed back out again.
A couple of days ago when carrying our super heavy bag I’d managed to snap my fingernail quite far down and although I’d had it plastered up for the past few days it was really starting to hurt. My Shellac nail polish had really started to outgrow and I was starting to look a bit messy, so I managed to persuade Tom to take me to one of the local and well-rated nail salons named Nail Spa Bali. For 320k IDR/£18, they removed my old shellac, spent a good hour manicuring my messed up nails, and then repainted my nails with a lovely deep red OPI nail polish. I was very impressed with the effort they put into a simple manicure, I’ve never been able to find someone that offers a treatment with that care and attention to detail in the UK.
By the time I’d finished having my nails done, and we’d hunted down the laundry place that we left our dirty washing at the day before it was heading into mid-evening time and we were tired from our busy day of walking and exploring. We headed back to the hotel to try out the restaurant there (which happened to be fantastic!), and then we turned in for the night for some well-needed rest.
As always, thanks for reading.