Bali Guide. My Solo trip. Part 1: Ubud
Eat Pray Love? or Eat Love Pray. My journey started two months ago, with two major destinations: Bali and the motherland of Yoga India. The first leg of the trip is now done and right this moment I am sitting in very nice and peaceful place in Goa, writing this post and feeling very blissful.
Bali was never my dream destination, I just had an idea but did not expected to go there this soon. When I started my yoga journey, my life turned unpredictable, but in a good way: I began to trust the Universe and went with the flow. This magical flow brought me to this magical place called Bali. The Island of Gods and Goddesses stunned me with beautiful traditions and unrealistically beautiful nature. My goal however was not to explore the island and I did not go to a lot of must-see places. I went to Bali to find peace and harmony, find out more about myself and deepen my yoga practice. I had many spiritual experiences, I met inspiring people, while simultaneously discovering the magic and beauty of Bali. It is hard to answer all the questions and to put together all the amazing things I saw and did in one post, but I’ll try.
First, a couple of tips:
I would really recommend to learn how to drive a scooter at the very beginning your trip. I did that only on the third week of being there, and it makes everything soooo convenient. The traffic is very busy and very different from Europe and the US, and it takes a few days to adjust. But once you do you’ll find it easy and comfortable. So don’t be afraid of challenges.
The currency is Indonesian rupee, $1 is around 15000 rupee, I would recommend you to exchange $50 at the airport and the rest in the city, since they have authorized exchange stores everywhere with better rates and no commission. Also always count the money after the exchange in some places they could give you a wrong amount. So be aware.
Download the app Go Jek - here you can call a scooter driver, also order taxi, but scooter is always the best way to escape this crazy traffic. Using the same app you can order food from different places on the island.
Sometimes drivers are not allowed to come to different locations, so they try to get more money from you, just cancel the trip and try to order one more time.
Is it safe to travel solo to Bali? Absolutely yes! I never felt safer anywhere else in the world. I was walking on the streets at night by myself, riding my motorbike everywhere and no one ever hit on me or tried to talk. Everyone was very respectful and helpful.
Soooo, let’s start!
I spent the majority of my time here and I loved the area!
Where to eat:
My four absolute favourites (If you know me well you know if I find my gem I go there all the time):
- Sayuri Healing Food (raw, cooked vegan, delicious). Favorite dishes: Ocean-Bowl, Pirate Tonic Khichdi Deluxe, Quinoa Porridge.
-Zest Ubud ( beautiful area and vegan food)
-The seeds of Life (raw vegan). Favorite dishes: SOL bowl and blue cheese GNOCCHI, pesto is good as well.
-Kafe (I had breakfast there almost everyday + french press coffee and Nut smoothie)
Also good spots:
-Bali Buda (but no wi-fi)
-Clear cafe (a lot of light, good food, and fishes by your seat)
-Elephant (vegetarian cafe with a nice view)
What to do:
1. Holy water temple - Tirta Empul at Tempaksiring. The purification ritual with a holy water makes you feel amazing. As you enter the temple the locals offer you a little tour witn an interesting information for a small donation. I highly recommend doing that: our guide told us a lot about history of the place, walked through every step, took our pictures, gave offering to place on the altar. There is a very special way to do it: first, you need to wear a Sarong (you can rent it here too), then you meditate with offering in your hands, afterwards you leave the offering at the altar. There are three pools which you go to and have the special ritual: first pray, wash your face three times, drink water three times as well and one time you go deep with underwater.
2. RUSSIAN SAUNA - BALI DACHA ( Very cool and beautiful place with flower baths and great russian banya) I suggest to pay a visit around 7 pm. There is also small dance floor with a DJ, great thing to do after detoxing your body in sauna is to dance it out)
3. Sauna and bonfire at Dragonfly Village on Sat/Sun, suggested time at 6:30 pm, 100k rupees entrance. After/ in between sauna sessions you can sit by the bonfire, drink tea or refresh in the pool, also they give you scrub, so before leaving exfoliate, an amazing feeling is guaranteed.
4. My favorite thing to do was going to massages almost everyday, super cheap especially comparing with the prices in the States.
This one was my favorite - UBUD BODYWORKS CENTRE. After the massage you can sip lemongrass tea and chill in the beautiful garden.
5. Fire dance is an interesting performance with traditional dances inside the temple
6. Campuhan Ridge walk is just magical in the evening, at sunsets, or in the morning before the sunrise.
7. Waterfalls: Tibumana Waterfall, Waterfall Kanto Lampo. There are so many beautiful waterfalls around Bali. I went to this two and they were absolutely gorgeous.
8. Ecstatic Dance.
The ecstatic dance is very famous in Bali and you have to try it if you have never tried before.
I loved it! Once I went there I couldn’t resist going again and again.
There are several places to go:
-Yoga Barn (Friday and Sunday the only thing you need is to register three hours before in person, or you can buy three-day pass and register online I would do that if you are staying in Ubud for a few weeks, the capacity of place is 150 people so be sure to register in advance. The energy there is insane, you won’t regret)
-Karma House Bali (Tuesday and Wednesday for women only)
-Paradiso (haven’t been there, but everyone says it is very good too)
9. I assumed you would like to have a famous picture on the swing over rice fields, very Instagramble thing to do and also very fun. I booked through Airbnb, the driver was on time and whole experience went very nice - The Bali Swing through Airbnb.
But also you can go on your own, on a bike it will be cheaper without transfer - Bali Swing.
10. Petulu Village where thousands of white herons return to their nets from all over Bali every night. Such a magical scene. They are coming back around sunset time, so better arrive one hour before.
1. YOGA BARN (famous yoga place in Bali, beautiful space to hang out, have juice, healthy vegan lunch, go to yoga or to dance). My favorite practice Power yoga with Made Murni, I loved her classes so much. With her strong technique and energy she reminded me of my New York practice with the master Dharmaji. Greg’s classes were awesome too.
2. RADIANTLY ALIVE (I went there a couple of times and really liked it).
Where to stay:
Accommodation in Bali is very cheap, of course, you can find expensive and luxury hotels, but why pay more if you can find beautiful rooms for that price?
1. Satya House Ubud - around $10 per night near my fave Kafe cafe. If you want to stay right in the centre of main Hanuman street (all the shops and cafe are there), this is a good choice, simple, clean, and cheap room.
2. Nirwa Ubud Homestay - around $17 per night
A very beautiful place, actually it's in my favourite area in Ubud, the rooms come with your own patio and breakfast is included, the owners live there and they are extremely nice and helpful all the time)
I stayed there for a week and loved everything about that place. Also it’s close to everything but its not in the center so it’s very quiet and you can hear all the wild live without any distraction). It is 10 mins walk away to the Palace or Market, 5 mins by scooter.
3. Nirwa Ubud Karma - around $28 per night
My last two nights I splurged (haha) on this quite expensive for Bali place. The view from the apartment is breathtaking and worthy some extra $$. The downside is that there is no driveway and you have to walk for 10 minutes, which is easy if you travel light.