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26 June, 2018

[TRAVEL] 3D2N Itinerary in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

H E L L O from BALI! 

It was mid-year and I was on my second sponsored trip of the year. Just 2 months ago, Resorts World Genting flew me to Langkawi for a 3-day-2-night trip by the sea which I have blogged HERE, and this round I am glad to have AirAsia flying me to Bali for a 3-day-2-night "eat-run-travel" kind of vacation (Blog: HERE).

What did we do in Ubud, Bali?
[Hotel] Champlung Sari Hotel Ubud
[Cafe hopping] Watercress Cafe, Habitat Cafe
[Places to go] Ubud Art Market, Ubud Palace, Ubud Monkey Forest Reserve
[Local Indonesian food] Bebek Bengil famous duck

Bali, Indonesia.
One of the world's top 50 holiday destinations.

I remember the last time I went to Bali in 2015, I stayed in the vibrant town of Kuta where the streets of bars and restaurants come alive as soon as the sun sets. This round, I spent my holiday at a quieter, more culture-rich and peaceful town called Ubud. The only thing I knew about Ubud from my previous trip was the Ubud Art Market, where traditional crafts are marketed at mass volume. But there were definitely more that I had discovered during this trip...

"We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us."

This trip was supposedly a soul-healing trip. When life tends to escape us because of our daily mundane routine, it is time to take a break and recharge ourselves.. I must admit that traveling is a great way to break the monotony and bring myself back to the base for simple happiness.

Now that I come to think about the sense of happiness that I have always been seeking for.....

When I was in the plane, heading to Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali, I thought, "When was the last time I actually look at the sky and fluffy white clouds, with a crystal clear and free mind?" Just me, and the anticipated excitement as soon as I landed on a foreign land. Those moments were becoming really rare for me but it was good to actually notice it. At that point, I knew I must put my best foot forward and take in as much positive energy  as possible from Bali, before returning home for that insane routine again.

Again there was a voice reminding me that I did not have to travel far because the beauty of nature is always around us. Don't forget those moments. 

Champlung Sari Hotel Ubud
Jalan Monkey Forest,
Desa Padang Tegal,
Ubud, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Phone: +62 361 975418
Rate during our visit: RM160+ per night
Rating: 3/5

If you are looking for budget accommodation in Ubud, then you can consider Champlung Sari as it is strategically located in the heart of Ubud town (and there is a 24-hour convenience store right in front of the hotel).

Considering the affordable rate, I guess I just couldn't complain much about the lack of cleanliness and certain amenities in the room (hair dryer, iron, etc). Overall, our room overlooking the garden was pretty comfortable although the interior seemed a little shabby.

Traveling Tips:
Most cafes and accommodations in Ubud are equipped with Wi-Fi facility, hence getting a local sim card (for example, I bought Telkomsel local sim for IDR 300,000 (=RM90)) is optional.

Oh did I forget to mention that the tourists' favourite Ubud Monkey Forest Reserve is just across the street? Do expect this friendly troop hanging out around the hotel but be careful with your belongings...don't say I didn't warn you :P 

But one thing I really like about this hotel is that it has several Instagram-worthy spots at every nook and corner. Time to level up your Instagram game when you're there!

Breakfast was mediocre, but look...I had an amazing view of the swimming pool from the hotel restaurant. As soon as I got into the pool after breakfast, I was totally immersed into the beauty of serenity and my heart literally felt lighter. 

Although some say that Ubud is one of the craziest town in Bali with heavy traffics etc, I just couldn't stop emphasizing the fact that I enjoyed being there, surrounded by Balinese art and culture. Oh perhaps the air smelt better there too! 

As Ubud is famous for its handcrafted arts, you don't have to go far to search for the
beautifully carved wooden decors as you can check out the stall in the hotel lobby itself.

Ubud Traditional Art Market
Jalan Raya Ubud No.35, Ubud,
Kabupaten Gianyar,
Bali 80571, Indonesia.
Business Hours: 6am - 6pm daily

If it is your first visit to Ubud, then Ubud Traditional Art Market should be on your to-go list. It is my second time here actually but I have never gotten bored of the traditional art market because there are just so many things that fascinate me, including the traditional rattan woven bags, hats, handmade dream catchers, wood carvings and the list goes on.... I am not really a shopaholic kind of person, but don't you think the stalls here are so Instagram-worthy?

Traveling Tips:
Before purchasing anything, just make sure you bargain for at least 40% discount from the originally quoted price. Generally, the shoppers are mostly tourists, hence the prices of goods here are exorbitantly high. Happy shopping! 

Oh did I forget to mention that our hotel is only 15 minutes walk away from the market? Along the walking route, we also spot plenty of restaurants / cafes and shop lots carrying names of big brands such as Billabong, Pandora, Ipanema, Starbucks, etc. If you ever need anything, I guess there is nothing that you can't find here.

If I were to have any complaints, it would be the heat. Despite of the short distance, we literally melt under the scorching hot sun as the heat is almost unbearable in Bali. Nevertheless, I am pretty thankful that the weather has been all good so I can take lots of beautiful pictures there. 

Just across the street from Ubud Art Market, we arrive at one of Bali's most popular, majestic age-old royal palaces -- the Ubud Palace (Puri Saren Agung). This artfully designed landmark has been standing prominently in the heart of Ubud since year 1917, and everyday there is a constant heavy flow of tourists at the compound of this palace. Pardon me for my shallow knowledge on architecture, but I do appreciate the beauty of this cultural building and the excellent craftsmanship behind it. 

Ubud is undoubtedly a treasure trove of cultural landmarks, ranging from ancient temples to museums.
So, slow down your pace and explore the beauty around you :) 

Watercress Cafe
Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud,
Kabupaten Gianyar,
Bali 80571, Indonesia.
Business Hours: 7.30am - 10.30pm daily
Estimated Spending: IDR120,000 - IDR150,000 per pax

Being a foodie myself, I just wouldn't miss out my favourite cafe hopping session whenever I travel. I am not surprised to see modern cafes and restaurants growing like mushrooms in town, given that Ubud is such a tourist-centric town. Watercress Cafe is among the 'better' cafes I've found on Google, so we are here to check out the American-style cuisine available on the menu including salad, sandwiches, burgers and healthy smoothies.

Look, I'm loving those colors on the table! It feels awesome to dine al fresco at a cafe, observing people along the street, amidst the warm sunny weather. Totally in love with the vibes here!

Habitat Cafe
Jl. Monkey Forest No.88, Ubud,
Kec. Gianyar,
Kabupaten Gianyar,
Bali 80571, Indonesia.
Business Hours: 8am - 10pm daily
Estimated Spending: IDR120,000 - IDR150,000 per pax

On the next morning, we treat ourselves with a sumptuous breakfast after our morning run in Ubud. Habitat Cafe is located just at the corner of the road before turning into our hotel. How convenient it is! If you want to watch monkeys, this is the best spot too, as Ubud Monkey Forest Reserve is located right opposite the cafe. But please beware of your belongings :P 

On the table:
Crumbed Eggs Benedict @ IDR 75,000 (= RM21)
Breakfast Roll @ IDR 70,000 (= RM20)
Duo Smoothie Bowl @ IDR 75,000 (= RM21)
Healthy Smoothies @ IDR 50,000 (= RM14)

Do you feel that I have been eating quite healthily in Bali instead of binging on the famous Nasi Campur Bali, Sate Lilit, Ayam Betutu etc? Well, it is always difficult for me not to gain weight while travelling, so I have been trying my very best here in Bali.

Nevertheless, it feels awesome to satisfy my strong cravings for eggs benedict, croissant sandwiches and healthy smoothie bowls

Breakfast Roll - French croissant by Monsieur Spoon stuffed with scrambled egg, organic bacon, 
avocado slices, melted mozzarella cheese topped with Sriracha infused Hollandaise sauce.

Bebek Bengil - Dirty Duck Diner
Padang Tegal, Jl. Hanoman, Ubud,
Kabupaten Gianyar,
Bali 80571, Indonesia.
Business Hours: 10am - 10.30pm
Estimated Spending: IDR150,000 per pax

Finally, for our last meal in Ubud, we choose something local as we have been hearing lots of positive reviews of this restaurant from our friends. Calling for all duck lovers, Bebek Bengil is dubbed as the best crispy duck restaurant in town. After trying it myself, I must agree that the duck dish is so good! Highly recommended!! 

On the table:
Bebek Bengil - The Original Crispy Duck @ IDR 127,500 (=RM37)
Balinese Sate Lilit Platter @ IDR 96,000 (= RM28)
Crispy Duck Salad with Balinese Orange and Shallot Dressing @ IDR 92,000 (= RM27)
Nasi Campur Bali @ IDR 75,000 (= RM21) 

The Original Crispy Duck since 1990
Half a duck steamed in Indonesian spices, deep fried to crispy perfection.
Served with sauteed potatoes and a side of salad / rice with Balinese vegetables.
Remember to use your fingers for the best enjoyment!

Overall, the Balinese cuisine here is amazing, but what truly amazes us is the picturesque view of lush greenery overlooking a wide paddy field which we get to enjoy while dining at our private hut. 

In a nutshell....

Overall, Bali is a wonderful place which never stops impressing me with its timeless artistry, strong culture and rare spiritual energy. Although our schedule is crazy packed over the few days, I am glad that I actually took a couple of days off from work and immersed myself into the natural beauty of Ubud. 

Last meal in the plane before landing at KLIA2. 

Once again, thanks AirAsia for planning and organising this! Looking forward to my next trips with you guys.


1 comment:

  1. Nice travel itinerary, fish! The food looks good! I would like to visit Bali one day...


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