Who wants to go back to Bali when there are so many more places to explore. Follow us as we check in and out of Ubud this month.
We’ve all heard of Ubud, right? That magical town in the middle of Bali made famous by Eat, Pray, Love. The rumours are all true—the area has grown in popularity and changed since the success of the book and film, but thankfully it’s still as charming and oozing spiritual style as Javier Bardem himself. I found myself stumbling into incredibly engraved entrances which transported me into alternate worlds of temples, hotels, homestays, spas (and the famous Monkey Forest). It’s the kind of place where you can just happen upon a yoga class, a rice paddy field that rolls for miles, men playing bamboo xylophones or women dancing. Thankfully, local traditions are still going strong, counterbalanced by art and clothing boutiques, a multitude of cool-as coffee shops and let’s not forget the restaurants. Bali comes with Indonesian cuisine that’s truly unique, so much so that this year sees the first Ubud Food Festival (June 5 – 7), dedicated to our favourite hobby of eating; encompassing cooking classes, food workshops and lectures on how to insta your lunch like a pro by Indonesia’s finest. Plus, several of Singapore’s very own foodie movers and shakers will be there to represent the Red Dot’s culinary best.
Arriving at the Honeymoon Guesthouse courtyard, it felt like I had stepped over a stone threshold into paradise. It was clear I’d struck gold—the hotel is at the quieter end of Ubud, five minutes from the main streets and the bustle. Amongst the statues and water features are several pavilions, a swimming pool, cookery school, massage room and restaurant. Rooms are spacious, minimal and stylishly decorated with romantic four-poster beds. Next time I visit I’m definitely taking a Javier with me. And if not, well, the food can satiate my large appetite.
An Empty Stomach – From Sambal to Satay, Bakso to Soto, dining here is mega and won’t leave you hungry.
Eyes In The Back Of Your Head – The traffic is insane! You need your wits about you, plus a pinch of patience for travelling around. But, hey, what’s the rush?
Filled-in Footwear – One word to describe the pavements is ‘rickety’. One flip-flopped trip and that’s your pre-vacation pedicure ruined.
Return flights with Tiger Air to Denpasar start from SGD$150. Contact Tigerair.com.
Rooms at the Honeymoon Guesthouse cost from $63, www.Casalunabali.com/honeymoon-guesthouses
And Ubud has it’s own food festival running from June 5 – 7, 2015. Visit www.ubudfoodfestival.com for more details.
By Jo Upcraft, Cosmopolitan, April 2015