Paul and I first went to Bali together in 1997 when we went to Indonesia and Australia for our honeymoon. The last time we visited Bali as a family, Elina was only 5 years old. Read about that trip here. Six years later, we wanted to revisit some of those places. We spent 5 days in Ubud, Bali and it was as hot, humid and enchanting as we remembered.
Our Ubud villa
We stayed at Cahaya Ubud Villa on Jalan Sok Wayah – located just off the main road of Jalan Raya Ubud beside Pura Dalem, the temple where they perform kecak and legong dances – because we wanted some tranquility among the rice paddy fields after the craziness and stress of packing up our lives into boxes and renting out our house.
The thing about wanting to stay in the middle of peaceful rice paddies is that the road to our villa is accessible only by foot or scooter as the path is narrow and consists of stone, concrete pavers or dirt. The other catch? Our villa was a one kilometre walk along this path. We quickly realised our biggest mistake so far was overpacking…
Luckily Mr Wayan, the villa’s owner, and two of his staff came to our rescue on a very wet and rainy afternoon and picked us up on motorbikes. When he greeted us, he handed us three plastic rain ponchos, and put some on our bags as well!
In true SE Asian style, Wayan sat Elina in front of him and me behind him. I had my small backpack on and he was carrying Elina’s backpack on his left arm. As the roads became slick with rain, I said a little prayer to all the Hindu gods that we wouldn’t have an accident. When we reached our destination, Elina gleefully told me that the motorcycle ride up and down the narrow and winding path was the best thing she’d ever done! Crazy kid.
Walking around Ubud
The humidity is so high here that it was slow going as far as walking around and exploring. The right word for it is ‘oppressive’ heat. And yet of course, the locals were chilled, moved at a slower pace, and didn’t sweat one bit.
Ubud coffee: it’s serious business
Ubud walk through rice paddies
We went for a walk on Jalan Sok Wayah, the path where our villa was. The rice paddies located here are bordered on either side by rivers. A fellow villa visitor from Perth said he and his wife walked down here and ended up at this place with pyramids and they dined there twice. He said it was a 20-minute walk. It wasn’t. It took 45 minutes. Here are the pics.
At the end of the path, on a main road, is the Pyramids of Chi – a place that offers a resort-type atmosphere, good service and expensive food and coffee. It also offers ‘sound healing’ within the bigger of the two pyramids, twice a day. We had something to drink here to rehydrate after our walk but we didn’t eat lunch here.
Elina was exhausted from our sweaty hour-long hike on the path. So Paul and Elina went back into town by motorbike taxi to pick up our laundry and head back to the villa. I decided to walk back as it was cooler now that grey clouds and light rain were offering me respite from the sun.
Nice spot to stay, you guys. You’re setting a high standard right from the start, which is a good thing.
Well after the stress of the past few months I knew we needed somewhere to chill out!
This is such an enjoyable read and your photos are great! We’ve stayed in Ubud twice when Alana was young…great memories of the people, the food, the music…almost everything…I had forgotten about the heat and humidity.
Let us know when you’ll be in Vancouver…hopefully in the summer. Would love to see you!
Hi Norma, this is our third time in Bali, twice with Elina. We’ll be back home in Vancouver in June for sure, not sure how long we’re staying but at least a month, maybe two. We’d definitely want to see you guys too! x
Looks like an amazing place, great area for doing some travel sketching!
Yes it is, Pam. I’ll tell Bunny that!
The photos are beautiful Jolanda, they brought back wonderful memories of when we were in Ubud 20 years ago, especially your walk through the rice fields.
Thanks Louise! Glad it brought back good memories. Hope you and Antonio are well x
Looks great – and yet again the photos are fabulous. Whose the photographer?!
Keep them coming…. x
Hey Anna I’m the photographer!! Paul takes the occasional pic but the taking and editing of the pics are by me 🙂