Thanksgiving in Bali {Ubud Day Trip}

Happy Travel Tuesday! Don’t forget to link up at the bottom.

Our second full day in Bali we wanted to take a day trip. We knew from our research that we wanted to see the rice terraces, a temple and the monkey forest. We mentioned this to the villa manager the day before and she immediately volunteered to set us up with one of their drivers.  For $40 the four of us had a full day touring the island starting in Seminyak and going up to Ubud and back.

baliThe day started with our yummy Balinese breakfast at the house before we hopped in the van with our driver for an 8am departure.

I knew from friends that a lot of the drivers have their certain places that they want to take you (I’m sure that they get a cut of the sales) so we tried to make it clear which places we wanted to go to. Even still our driver took us to a couple of places of his own choosing.

The first place he took us was a big commercial center that was a tourist pit stop for sure. It reminded us of a couple of places our tour buses would stop at in Vietnam. We did enjoy watching the Balinese women making colorful tapestries on the very vintage machines.

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Then our driver took us to traditional Balinese group of houses and small temple, where bought some wooden souvenirs after we saw them being made by one of the residents.

Next stop was the Batuan Temple, a Hindu temple on the way to Ubud. First order of business was getting everyone outfitted in the traditional sarongs and signing in the guestbook. FYI you can’t enter the temple if you are on your period or pregnant, although I am not sure how they would check that…

We spent some time walking around the grounds and watching the locals go about their daily practice. It was different than the very flashy temples we had seen in Thailand, a lot less gold and jewels, but still very beautiful.

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After the temple we hopped back in the car and headed to a coffee plantation. We were interested in seeing what the whole Kopi Luwak coffee, the most expensive coffee in the world, was about. Kopi Luwak are coffee beans that have been eaten and digested by an Indonesian cat called a civet cat before being cleaned, roasted and ground.

DSC_0336The civet cats were being pretty bashful when we were there but we did spy a couple peaking out. After learning all about the process of making their coffee and teas, we sampled a wide variety of flavored coffee and teas. The kopi luwak was not our favorite, but there were a lot of really flavorful blends that we really enjoyed. My personal favorite was the Coconut Coffee that we ended up buying a bag of.

After the coffee plantation, we continued up to Ubud to the Monkey Forest. My knowledge of this place extended mostly to episodes of the Bachelor where I had seen the monkey climbing on the contestants, so I was a little apprehensive of this portion of the day.

Before we even got out of the car our driver warned us to take off our sunglasses and leave any non-essentials in the car since the monkeys are known for snatching people’s belongings.

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Before we even got inside the gates we saw a monkey going to town on someone’s water bottle, so we knew he wasn’t exaggerating. There were different signs warning of what not to do, such as make eye contact with the monkeys or try to touch them.

Day Three: cautiously hanging with some monkeys at the monkey forest in Ubud.

A photo posted by Courtney Alkek (@courtneyalkek) on

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We were very cautious but we did witness several angry monkeys and one guy take a tumble after a monkey did not take to his attempt at a selfie. We also chose not to purchase any bananas to feed them since that seemed to be a common denominator in the horror stories I had read (just google “bali monkey forest” and you can read a handful of terrifying encounters).

Our favorite was seeing the little monkey families.

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The grounds were very beautiful and contained a temple that we discovered when avoiding an angry monkey in our path.

We enjoyed seeing all of the monkeys everywhere you turned, but after witnessing one too many hissing, angry ones we were ready to get out of there.

Also, I was on the verge of hanger. We told our driver to take us somewhere he would eat for lunch and I’m pretty sure he took us to the most expensive tourist spot on his list, but if he gets a cut or some sort of benefit that’s alright by me. We really enjoyed his company, and he really enjoyed the boy’s jokes.

After lunch we were pretty worn out, but we had one more stop on our list- the rice terraces. Travis has been especially obsessed with seeing them after noticing a photo on the apple tv screensaver.

DSC_0373There are different places you can go in Bali, but our driver took us to the Tegallalang Rice Terraces. We chose not to walk through the terrace, instead we admired them from above.

After the terraces we stopped by a local market to pick up some souvenirs before heading home. We were back at our villa by 3 o’clock and absolutely worn out from our jam packed day trip to Ubud. I am so glad we got to see all that we did and check a few things off the (mental) travel bucket list.

Now it’s time for the Travel Tuesday Link Up with Bonnie from A Compass Rose!

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