Bali week 1 – Ubud and around
And so my first week in Bali has come to an end. Even though I’ve been here for a good week, it feels like the heat has taken over my body much longer than that. Some of you are curious about what life is like being here and so I figured it would be nice writing a blog about my time in Bali up until now.
The flight to Bali
My journey started on the stormy day that hurricane Maria passed by The Netherlands. As I planned on traveling to the airport by public transport, I decided to leave home early in order to avoid missing my plane. Miraculously neither my trains and the plane were delayed and so I left for Doha in Qatar perfectly on time. Did you know that the departure time of a flight is not actually the moment you take off, but the moment you leave the gate? My brother messaged me ‘you’ve departed’ while I was actually still taxiing. I saw no more than one movie (Eat, Pray, Love, I couldn’t find anything else that interested me) and then I fell asleep. Arrival at Doha Airport was right in the middle of the night and I waited for three hours before leaving for Denpasar. I had a meal and then slept for most of the journey, some ten hours, and landed at Denpasar airport the next day late afternoon. Here I was picked up by Ketut who took me to Ubud. After check-in to my hotel, I fell asleep pretty much straight away and slept another 12 hours. I guess I really had some catching up to do …
My hotel in Ubud
On my first full day in Bali I basically didn’t do anything. I slept until 09.00 am and the rest of the day I just took it easy. It was raining most of the time anyway so I read a book on my veranda, wrote a little, slept again and was just very at ease. I didn’t feel like heading into town because my hotel was quite a walk away from the centre. Despite the rain it was quite humid and I had to get used to the heat. So I varied between airco on / airco off, swimming, laying down, swimming … I booked a nice hotel with an infinity pool for the first days of my trip and hanging out at the edge of the pool and staring into the jungle for hours was just what I needed.
Meetings in Ubud
The next day I decided to head out because you can’t really spend all of your time in Ubud in your hotel. In my previous blog I already wrote that whenever I arrive at a new destination, I always kind of have to push myself to starting to explore. And so I found a fellow digital nomad on Facebook and we decided to grab lunch at Habitat Cafe together. Nicole just arrived herself too and it was fun to exchange thoughts and ideas about nomad life and traveling in Asia, Peru and other places. Then I went to check out Hubud, one of the coworking spaces Ubud has but since my hotel had fairly good wifi, I didn’t want to spend the money on working over there. I also went to check out The Yoga Barn for a future yoga class, which I in fact still have to take because I ended up doing lots of things throughout the next couple of days. That night I met up with fellow Dutchie Marieke who I know through Instagram and as we are both traveling by ourselves, we decided to spend some time and activities together, which is easier in most cases and lots more fun anyway!
Cycling through the rice fields near Ubud
Even though Elizabeth Gilbert makes it look really cool in Eat, Pray, Love, cycling through and near Ubud is not quite like that. Ubud is not the Ubud it used to be anymore. When I booked my cycling tour I had no idea what it was going to be like, but it turned out to be a lot of fun. I did not actually bike in Ubud, but was taken to Mt. Batur where I started my ride down, through the (non-touristic) rice fields, back to Ubud. This tour was a lot of fun and I will write more about it later!
The Bali Swing
The next day I wanted to take it easy, but half way during the day Marieke and I decided it would be good to do at least something. And so we grabbed a taxi to The Bali Swing, something we had seen on Instagram. I will write a long blog about this adventure, but I can already give a sneak peek with some pics and by telling you this was so much fun. I’ve already received many questions from you guys and to answer the most asked: yes, it’s fun! And yes, you are really above a canyon. And yes, it’s worth the money! More about this attraction will be published later!
Climbing Mt. Batur
I decided to stay in Ubud a bit longer and added one night to my stay in Ubud, as the next day I wanted to climb Mt. Batur, the first of the volcanoes I planned on climbing. Mt. Batur is an active volcano and the Sunrise Trek (as it’s called) is being done by hundreds of people each day. Which made me think it would be rather easy but little of that was true. I was being picked up at 01.30 am and since I didn’t want to oversleep, I basically did not get any sleep at all. At 04.00 am I started my climb and I arrived at the top of Mt. Batur some 2 hours later. I was utterly exhausted after a challenging way down (loose scree, lava and rocks) I didn’t do anything anymore for the rest of the day, other than sleeping and swimming…
After climbing Mt. Bature I moved on to Sidemen in eastern Bali. Even though it is super quiet around here, I like it a lot. My body still needs to get used to the heat though. The humidity is taking its toll on my lungs and with each step I take I’m sweating like crazy and grasping for breath. When I see some people running I can’t help but think ‘HOW?’ but then again, they may be used to this.
This is where my first week in Bali ends. I’ll write more blogs later because I’ve done and seen so much already, so there are plenty of stories to tell. However I’m now off for another plunge in my pool and then some reading. Keep an eye out for my updates!
Want to read more? You may also like these posts:
– Off to Bali: jungle, rice fields and volcanoes!
– Outdoor & Adventure in San Marino
– Hiking to Everest Base Camp: things that nobody tells you
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Thanks for sharing!
Oh I really hope you make it to the Yogabarn as I still daydream about classes I attended there four days ago. Photos of Mount Batur look amazing
Thanks Anne! It’s in my idea to head back to Ubud towards the end of my trip so the Yoga Barn is still on my radar. Happy to hear you enjoyed it!
I was in Bali a couple of months back and regret that I did not spend more time in Ubud! Your hotel looks lovely and the Ubud swing is something I really wanted to do but did not have enough time because I hardly spent a day there 🙁
Ahhh yes that’s a bit of a shame but then again, it’s so large and there’s so much to see. I have a month here and am sure I’ll have regrets of things I didn’t see when going home again …
Most of the people go to bali for yoga retreats but after seeing your hiking photo to the mount batur has put bali-ubud on my list. I love hiking and this places looks amazing for that!
Well you can easily combine climbing the volcano with yoga because there are various yoga centers in Bali. I’m sure you’d love it here!
Fantastic post! nice little insight into the first days of visiting Bali, we are going next year so it was nice to see a little information about it! looks great and great photos!
Ahh great, I’m sure you will love it here!
I’ve never been to Indonesia, so thanks for sharing! It will definitely get useful if I get to Ubud. The sunset picture is amazing! and the one of the crazy monkey too, ahah.
You’re welcome! I hope you can make it to Indonesia one day, it’s awesome here!
Interesting post, I am curious about the post for the Bali Swing that look so magical and beautiful. The best part for me was the moment with the climbing Mt. Batur! I’m a big fan of this type of activities and also that sunrises is just breathtaking nice photos 🙂
Yes the sunrise was awesome. Had to work for it though, but could not complain anymore once at the top, the climb and getting up early is well worth it!
Wonderful snippets from Bali, a place that never disappoints! Trekking to a Volcano is something that must be done at least once in a lifetime. I hope I will get there someday!
Hope you spend more time in Bali and keep showing us the lesser known interiors.
Thank you – I hope you can make it to Bali one day!
It sounds like you packed a lot of adventure into your first week in Bali. It’s interesting to learn that cycling through Ubud is not how it sounds in Eat, Pray, Love – thanks for this. The bike looks like it’s in excellent condition. I enjoy cycling and I’m never sure what to expect when I rent a bike. I will be returning to your blog to read more about your adventures and the Bali Swing – it looks amazing!
Yes the bikes were awesome. Being from Holland, that’s quite a compliment because I’m used to quite something when it comes to that 🙂 I already wrote the post on the Bali Swing and it will be published the next month or so …
When I travel, I sometime give myself a day off at the very first day as you did. ALso, your hotel was worth to stay and enjoy it. The Bali Swing!! I saw many photos of the swing but didn’t know it is an attraction and you should pay for it. I am going to read your blog about it
Yes. Well there are various small swings all over Bali but they are not nearly as big as this one, which is the very best!
Sandy N Vyjay
Bali is exotic and Ubud so earthy and natural. The simple beauty of Ubud comes across stunningly in your pictures. The paddy fields are captured brilliantly. Of course, the swing is something I would love to get on.
AMAZING JUST PERFECT SEEING THESE VIEWS MAKING ME EXCITED TO GO NEXT WEEK . CAN YOU TELL ME THE NAME OF THE HOTEL YOU WHEN TO,?
I stayed at Hotel Pertiwi Bisma II