Ubud, Bali

Ubud, Bali

Landing in Denpasar, we immediately experienced Bali’s notorious weather rollercoaster—heavy rain causing local flooding one moment, then sunshine the next. As we navigated through the vibrant streets, we encountered a solemn funeral procession, a poignant reminder of the rich Balinese culture.

Our journey to Ubud was an adventure in itself, weaving between traffic and witnessing breathtaking architecture and scenery. Before checking in, we enjoyed a delightful late lunch at Bebek Tebasari Resto. The picturesque view of rice fields, complemented by tranquil koi ponds, provided a perfect setting for our first meal in Bali. The food was incredible, and our driver, who would become a dear friend, enjoyed it as much as we did.

Finally, we settled into the luxurious Tanadewa Resort, surrounded by the lush beauty of Ubud and the most glorious private villa and pool. I cannot describe well enough the sheer beauty and serenity of this place, the photos will have to do it justice. Exploring the heart of Ubud, we discovered its enchanting wonders, starting with an extraordinary floating breakfast experience deep in the jungle at Bali Pulina. Surrounded by lush greenery and a waterfall, we relished a delicious spread of eggs, fresh fruits, and coconuts.

Another highlight was the Luwak Coffee encounter, where we met the civet responsible for creating this unique brew. Fascinatingly, the civet eats the coffee cherry, digests the pulp, and then excretes the beans. This process adds a whole new dimension to tasting this renowned coffee. Yes, we drank and purchased beans to take home. ☕

No trip to Ubud is complete without marveling at the iconic rice terraces. We opted for a serene hike away from the crowds, uncovering the true beauty of the landscape. We could have partaken in the long lines for a chair swing experience, but it felt curated and unauthentic.

One day we simply spent an entire day lazily chilling in the resort pool and dipping into our villa’s private pool—just what we needed. Our massage at the resort spa left us feeling refreshed and incredibly relaxed.

For dinner one evening, we ventured across town to Tall Trees Restaurant at the Westin. The food was tasty, and it was amusing to watch folks arrive from their rooms, change into and out of robes for selfies, and leave without enjoying the drinks, vibe, or pool. The aptly named West-in—where everyone thinks they are an Instagram influencer?

Venturing northwest for one of our day trips, we visited the breathtaking Jatiluwih Rice Terrace, hoping for a glimpse of the dormant volcano, Gunung Batukau. Unfortunately, the overcast sky cast an ominous ambiance, revealing only its base. Finding shade at a café overlooking workers in the terraces, we sampled cold coffees and took a leisurely stroll, enjoying a lovely time despite the weather.

Our Bali adventure led us to the iconic Handara Gate, but harsh reality struck. The internet painted it as a rich, sacred, and secluded spot, but in truth, it’s just 50m from the road, swarmed with tourists enduring up to two-hour waits for a photo. A disappointment; don’t do it.

Returning to Ubud, we stopped at the Junglegold Chocolate Factory to unravel the secrets of dairy-free chocolate making, then wrapped up our day at the Monkey Forest. Often warned about the mischievous monkeys, we were surprised to find them well-behaved and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

We then headed down to Nusa Dua for a few days, but quickly realized that we wished we had booked our entire trip in Ubud. There was so much to see and do in Ubud that we knew we would have to come back someday. For our stay in Nusa Dua, we chose the sister resort, Tanadewa Nusa Dua, hoping it would offer a similarly delightful experience…


Australian. Sport. Passionate Cricket Fan. Go Pro. Abseiling. Snorkeling. Travel. Golf R. SQL Server Developer. Three sons. One daughter. Last Trip: New York.

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