Ciao a tutti!
Who doesn’t love a bit of monkeying-around while their on vacation?
After saving up money with two high-energy jobs in Port Douglas, North Queensland, we were ready for a “vacation from the vacation”. And what better place to feel rejuvenated than Bali, Indonesia? Just a hop-skip-and-a-jump from Cairns, it was a great way to have a cheap “break” from our working holiday in Australia.
To get the cheapest flight possible, we flew into Densapar Airport, getting off the plane around 1:30AM. We were at our Kuta hostel by 2:00AM and even though our check-in wasn’t until the next day, they happily let us sleep under the stars by the pool! It wasn’t ideal when the roosters and sunrise had us wide awake by 6:00AM, but they say the early bird gets the worm.
We spent an exiting day and half in the lively city of Kuta, going shopping for cheap clothing by day and eating extremely spicy food and convincing the bar tenders to give us two-for-one deals by night. If you can appreciate a tacky, touristy city like we can, then Kuta is a great place to get a $10 massage, visit the beach and see the outrageous night life.
We then hopped on a rented scooter and headed north to the center of Bali to see the much-anticipated Ubud villiage. Known for its laid-back, hippie lifestyle, Ubud entered it’s stardom after being featured in Eat. Pray. Love. Ever since then, it has been quickly growing in popularity.
Highlights in Ubud
- Monkey Forest Sanctuary – highly recommended! See why below.
- Boutique shopping
- Visiting the rice terraces
- Taking a Balinese cooking class
- Eating delcious Indionesian cuisine
- Taking a class at the Yoga Barn
Kampung Ubud Hotel & Spa
We unknowingly booked the beautiful Kampung Ubud Hotel & Spa in the heart of Ubud through the AirBnB app – my preferred method of booking private, affordable accommodation. It wasn’t the cheapest available accommodation in Ubud, but at less than $50 a night for two people, it certainly wasn’t the most expensive and we wanted to treat ourselves.
Overall, we were very impressed with our experience there. The bathrooms, like all Balinese bathrooms, could use some TLC and our spa experience wasn’t outstanding, but the traditional-style rooms were adorable and so comfortable I could’ve slept the whole week there. We had three choices of delicious breakfast included in the price which we ate by the pool every day.
The service was so friendly and warm, I still feel like we were actually friends with the receptionist! Bali generally has great service, so I wasn’t surprised, but it was fun to stay somewhere that wasn’t as hostel for once!
Ubud Monkey Forest Sanctuary
One of the highlights of the entire vacation was our trip to the monkey forest. I can’t stop laughing about those silly monkeys! It’s just the equivalent of a few Australian bucks to walk around the pretty sanctuary and check out the residents. You’ll see hundreds of monkeys, and there are plenty of staff walking around to ask questions if you like. You can also buy little sugar bananas to feed them if you want to see some real action. We didn’t bother though.
Just a friendly reminder to respect the rules of the monkey forest, far too many tourists have a bad experience here which could’ve been avoided if they’d just take signs seriously. Like, when they tell you to hold on to your possessions, do not put your bag down! A monkey will undoubtedly take it! Then we laugh at you as it opens the zipper and runs away with your passport BECAUSE A MONKEY IS SMARTER THAN YOU. Note that this basically happened right in front of our eyes.
One good thing about staying in Ubud is that you get to experience a bit of the monkey forest every day because the monkeys sometimes wander out on the street, climb across the television wires and sit on the nearby souvenir shops. Once we passed with our scooter and just missed getting a priceless shot of a monkey eating an ice cream cone! I just wished I’d seen him steal it in the first place.
Have you met any monkeys lately?