New atmosphere, we are continuing our balinese trip in the city I enjoyed the most: Ubud. Apart from the Monkey forest, (that I will be talking more about in a future blog post), I didn’t know anything about this city, so it was a real discovery.
Once again, our list of visits is highly incomplete, due to our very laid-back vacation rhythm, which meant we missed out on quite a bit. But here are a couple ideas, addresses and tips for a great stay in Ubud. Enjoy!
You’ll find the Palace where the royal family still lives in the city centre.
The part that is open to the public isn’t very big, but it has very interesting architecture, door ornaments and sculptures.
While I was writing this article, I realized we completely missed out on the Saraswati temple, which is right nearby – it looks like it was quite a view, rising in the middle of a sea of waterlilies (but here’s what happens when you wing it!).
So I’m sharing the info with you here, along with pictures of Ubud Palace – forgive me?
Neka Art Museum
Located 20mn away from the city centre, on top of a hill, this museum will please newbies and art-maniacs alike.
It’s collection encompasses both balinese artists and artists from the whole world, who were inspired by the balinese culture.
The place is as pretty on the outside as it is on the inside, which is great to mix browsing and cultural visits.
On our way back from our visit, on the road between the museum and the city centre, you should alsolutely add in a small detour and head to the very photogenic Campuhan Ridge walk (that we missed as well, we were so intent on heading back to the hotel to lounge by the pool!)
This should interest a lot of you : I got quite a lot of questions about the rattan bags I brought back from the market.
As I was telling you, if there is something you should be bringing home from Bali, it’s bags.
When I see the prices here in Europe, I’m appaled … even if Bali isn’t next door and that freight costs should be taken into account, the margin is just soooooooooo high.
I read you needed to get there early to benefit from “Morning prices”. The first sale your seller makes sets the trend for the day.
So he/she will be more flexible with the prices, because the first sale of the day must go well (and happen!) ! Oh, and distinctly ask for “Harga pagi” (=morning price) to show that you’re not a newbie.
A tourist is hiding in the picture above…
Here are some basic rules (even if I don’t consider myself a great negotiator) :
♦ Look at the products that interest you, but without too much insistance or enthusiasm (Po Po Po Poker face !).
♦ Ask the seller the price, just to get an idea (don’t hesitate to cut said price by 30%) and counter with your price.
♦ FYI, the medium sized round ratten bags I’m carrying here and that you see everywhere can be negotiated between 200 000 and 300 000 IDR (12 to 20€). The sarongs (balinese fabric that you can wear tied around the waist or neck as a skirt or dress) are between 40 000 and 200 000 IDR (3 to 12€) (depending on the quality).
♦ If the seller doesn’t accept your price, act like you’re leaving, and most of the time, he’ll call you back and accept your price. If he doesn’t call you back, remember his price for a new negotiation in the next booth (you’re bound to find the same bag in the next meter or so).
♦ You can also decide to stay flexible in your negotiation, and accept the seller’s price, knowing that his/her quality of life is no doubt much inferior to ours : it’s more about making it a matter of principle and trying your hand at the bargaining game. If you want to be supportive and pay your bag 30 or 40€, go ahead, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!
♦ Sellers in Bali are pretty friendly, and won’t be mad if you decide not to buy anything (there is always an exception that proves the rule : For us it was a vehement “Bad luck!” from a lady I had finally not bought a bag from – the pattern wasn’t to my taste). Just keep on smiling (and I so far haven’t felt any of the “bad luck” she wished upon me).
My yummy adresses
THE ELEPHANT (Hotel Taman Indrakila, Jalan Raya Sanggingan, UBUD)
Located on the road towards Neka Art Museum, the place is perfect to admire the view from the top of the hill. The decoration is plant based and exotic, perfect to cool down.
Fresh fruits, yogurt & lemon curd crepes and strawberries
The crepes were very tasty (and hearty) and I am now officially addicted to Kombucha (fermented tea, very beneficial for the gut).
THE SEEDS OF LIFE (Jl. Gootama No.2, UBUD)
“SOL bowls” (Zucchini noodles, Nori, kimchi, spirulina, tempeh, gomashio…)
I’m going to end up doing yoga with all the healthy places I keep going to for food! Healthy here isn’t incompatible with yummy : huge Buddha bowls and gigantic chia puddings to enjoy while sitting on cushions on the floor (…pretty difficult to get back up afterwards!!)
SOL Jar (Chia pudding, muesli bar, dragon fruit smoothie)
CAFÉ WAYAN (Monkey forest road, UBUD)
Nasi campur and Gado Gado
Great address where you also eat sitting on the floor with cushions. We went at sundown, and couldn’t admire the surrounding greenery, but it was very pleasant nonetheless.
The nasi campur was delicious, and there was a great choice of extremely delicious vegan pastries (like the hazelnut and pecan tart, which was wonderful).
WARUNG IBU OKA (in front of Ubud Palace)
There are at least 2 or 3 of those in Ubud, and they serve grilled suckling pig (Babi guling) with crispy skin. Just make sure you get there early.
Stay tuned for the next episode !
(English translation by Marine)