What to do in Ubud, Bali

Go shopping

Ubud Market was a great way to buy some of the typical souvenirs that you see people picking up in Bali, although in hindsight we found that Ubud was one of the more expensive places on the Island to find those kind of things. We went early morning, after hearing you’re more likely to get cheaper prices, due to the superstition of the first buy of the day being lucky.

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I bought a number of sarongs, which averaged at about 60,000IDR each, although that doubled to 120,000IDR for a batik pattern. I bought a couple of dresses for around 100,000IDR each and a tote bag to carry everything for 40,000IDR. I’d advise checking the quality of the clothes before buying, I noticed holes in a few of the dresses I picked up, luckily before I’d bought them.

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The famous basket bags that you see everywhere, in various patterns and colours, were selling for around 200,000IDR. I was a bit worried about the haggling situation, I wouldn’t say its my comfort zone, but I went in there with an idea of what I wanted to pay and walked away if I couldn’t get it. Sometimes they’d keep pushing but I found it overall pretty stress free.

Go to a spa

I’ve never really been a spa person, mainly because they’re so expensive but in Indonesia they’re incredibly good value and I frequented one almost every day for some kind of treatment.

Yeh Pulu Spa doesn’t look like much from outside but it’s very centrally located and where I received my best pedicure of the whole trip. The time spent on the pedicure and the attention to detail was amazing, I’d definitely recommend. Although I didn’t have one their massages were really highly reviewed too.

I enjoyed a fantastic facial at Jaen’s Spa, which is a lovely setting, and they give you the most gorgeous lemon tea afterwards. They have another location, Jaens Spa Shanti, which I also visited and whilst I had another fab facial I had a pedicure which I didn’t rate that much. The staff are always very friendly though.

I did go to Starchild Spa but I found the massage too strong for me. Despite asking for the pressure to be reduced there never seemed to be any significant difference and the next day I awoke with bruises all over my hips.

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One of the highlights of my whole trip was my visit to Karsa Spa which was amazing. I had a 2 hour Lular Vegan Delight which compromised of a massage, scrub and ended with a flower bath. You’re in a private room with lots of toiletries so you can take your time to have a shower and wash your hair afterwards. It was really the most wonderful experience from start to finish. Outside the spa sits a bar with a great view so if you drag a partner along you can leave them to enjoy a beer whilst you relax.

Go to yoga

I’ve done yoga every day for around 4 years now and absolutely adore it so I wanted to take full advantage of some affordable yoga classes whilst in Bali.

I visited the Yoga Barn many times, which is just the most impressive place I’ve ever done yoga. The settings are absolutely amazing. I really loved the classes and felt they pushed me, although not all of them I would class as beginner friendly. For people who yoga is already part of their routine I thought this was the perfect place to be challenged and learn something new.

I also visited Radiantly Alive yoga, which I did because they held aerial yoga classes, something I’ve been doing for about 3 years now. For me it was a bit slow, the class was more angled towards beginners but the teacher was incredibly friendly and supportive and made everyone feel very welcome.

Go to a temple

We visited Pura Taman Saraswati, which is a lovely Hindu temple located right in the centre of Ubud. The entry is free and there are lots of beautiful gates, which present many photo opportunities. It has a Lotus pond too, which if you’re able to catch it at the right time of year, would be amazing to photograph. I wore a sarong but Adam didn’t and there were no staff checking either way.

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Go for a walk

We strolled Campuhan Ridge and back and absolutely loved it. We went mid afternoon and found it relatively empty, although bear in mind the walk is quite exposed and there’s not really much in the way of shade. For us it wasn’t a problem as the weather was just right, with a cool breeze. The walk, which takes about half an hour each way, took us alongside a lush jungle and we stopped multiple times for photographs.

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Go cooking

We did an amazing cooking class with Periuk. We were picked up from our hotel and firstly taken to a local market, where we learnt about local life in Bali. We were then taken to the most beautiful house and taught about how coconut oil is made and we made some Hindu blessings, which you’ll notice regularly walking around Bali.

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We used an outside kitchen to cook our meals and it was really the best cooking class I’ve ever done. Unlike the others I’ve done every single person had a job, there was no point where you were standing around whilst one person did the job. They rotated regularly so you got to try everything, it really couldn’t have been any better executed.

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We paid 350k rp for the class, less than £20 each and for me I thought that was amazing value for an experience that lasted us about 4.5 hours and ended with a delicious meal.

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Go to a museum

We visited the Don Antonio Blanco Museum, a painter who had ended up marrying a Balinese dancer and settled in Bali. The gardens were absolutely beautiful and the real selling point of the museum, containing tropical birds and stunning flowers. The building is a really interesting shape and an insight into the theatrics of Antonio, he was frequently compared to Dali and visiting this museum it’s clear to see why those comparisons might have been made. The art itself mostly consisted of breasts, lots and lots of breasts, Antonio believed that Indonesian women had the best breasts in the world and boy did he go to the effort of trying to prove it.

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