Monkey Forest and Rice Terrace in Ubud, Bali
My flight from Singapore to Bali via AirAsia was fairly cheap for around $100 and for a budget airline, they were pretty decent. I got a visa on arrival at the airport for $25. Everything was going pretty smoothly except that it was pouring rain when I arrived so my plan to take a bus to Ubud, the center of Bali, proved problematic. Luckily for me, I ended up meeting a mom traveling with her two little ones, who was nice enough to let me share the car/taxi she has scheduled to come pick her up. On the ride into town, I found out that she is also from California like I am but is currently living in Japan with her husband who is in the army. Whenever her husband would leave on assignment, she would take her two kids, a 2 years old and a 5 years old, traveling. I found it pretty amazing that her adorable five years old little girl had already been to 5 countries and counting.
The taxi driver dropped me off at my friend's villa, which took awhile to find because there are no addresses in Ubud apparently. As for my so-called friend, I had connected with her previously online through a FB group called Create your Nomadtopia but had never met her before in person. When she saw I was coming to Bali, she generously reached out and offered me a place to stay at the villa she was renting. I didn't know what to expect but was more than pleasantly surprised when I arrived. My room upstair was newly built with all modern amenities and had an amazing view of the rice terrace and the view of the sunset from the balcony was spectacular.
This place was so beautiful that I didn't want to leave the premise, especially when it was raining the first two days I was there. When the rain stopped briefly, I did managed to walk around for a bit and was amazed at how beautiful all the nearby houses were. I wandered into the house below thinking it was a temple or something but luckily the owner was very nice and understanding. He allowed me to walk around and take some pictures of the flowers in his small garden.
I continued on my way and made it to the Sacred Monkey Sanctuary nearby when it started to rain again.
Families of monkeys huddled together for warmth and it was a bit uncanny how much they resembled humans in their closeness with one another.
When the rain stopped again, I went inside the outdoor temple area which required that I wear a sarong they provided.
Not wanting to get caught in the rain again, I walked back to the villa shortly after. The following day when it stopped raining completely, I came back and walked through the Sacred Monkey Forrest beyond the Sanctuary.
Not having to worry about the rain, I had more time that day to walk all the way around town, check out some galleries, and treated myself to some grilled tuna with Balinese sauce at a cozy and serene cafe.
This dish looked good but was not as delicious as the crispy duck I had at another cafe the day before. Wanting to venture out and try some restaurants further away as well as visit the Tegalalang Rice Terrace, I rented a motorbike the next day. I knew the rice terrace was somewhere along Tegalalang Road but had no idea exactly where so I kept going until I saw a bunch of cars and and motorbikes parked on the road and a bunch of tourists with cameras walking about. I found a spot to park my motorbike and ventured down to where everyone else was headed. It turns out that the top part closest to the road had numerous restaurants and cafes you can relax at for a drink and/or a bite to eat while enjoying the view of the rice terrace.
I wanted to get to the other side so I tried to find my way down. A young girl offered to take me for a small fee but I declined because I wanted to be on my own. After I made my way all the way to the bottom, I eventually found the bridge to take me across.
Turned out I had to pay 10,000 rupiah ($1) to a man sitting on the other side of that bridge for its use as well as another 10,000rp to another man at top to go all the way up. It was worth it though because the view from the top of the other side looking back was amazing. I also saw some pretty beautiful dragonflies as well.
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Keywords: Bali, Indonesia, Monkey forrest, Ubud, bridge, cafe, crispy duck, dragonfly, family, flower, gallery, lotus, monkey, rain, rice terrace, rice terrace, sacred, sanctuary, sarong, statue, sunset, tegalalang, temple, view, villa
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