Ubud, Bali: Rice Terraces, Temples & Hiking Volcanoes!

Ubud is a small town in the inland of Bali, it’s famous for yoga and its vegetarian/vegan food and used to be (and in some ways still is) a mecca for people looking for an escape from 9 to 5 office life. Keep reading to find out more about my experience in Ubud!

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I arrived in Ubud the day before my birthday and met up with Vicky, a British girl living in Australia who I’d met in uni. It’s insane how you can meet people you know in random places these days! Together we booked a trip to do the sunrise trek up Mount Batur the next morning. That meant getting out of bed at 2 a.m, a one hour bus ride and trekking up a volcano for 2 hours. Sounds crazy you say? Well for me, this made it totally worth it!

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The sunrise was incredible! We just about made it to the top before sunrise and it was fantastic to see the sun slowly climbing above the clouds, covering the scenery in the most stunning colours.

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What really stunned me was that several Indonesians had set up little stalls on the mountain top, selling coffee and other beverages. That means they take up this crazy hike every single day! The hike itself was a lot harder than I imagined. Apart from the fact that it’s pitch dark and you only have a tiny flashlight, there are also so many people on the track. The first bit was alright but just before you hit the top, there’s only ash to walk on and it’s super slippery.

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The worst part however was going down. It’s so steep that you constantly have to be careful to avoid falling. So do make sure you take good hiking shoes with you if you plan on doing this trek!

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The Mount Batur trek is very popular and it does get rather crowded on top. Everyone I’ve met who has been to Bali has done this trek. In this case, I would definitely advise doing what everyone does as it’s an incredible experience!

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The next day we visited the Monkey Forest but I didn’t take my camera as I had heard that the monkeys there steal everything! We also hired a driver and visited the famous Tegalalang Rice Terrace which was so beautiful to look at and our pictures turned out fab!

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Our driver also took us to the Goa Gajah temple, also known as the Elephant Cave due to this formation. You can see that the cave entrance shows the relief of various menacing creatures and demons carved right into the rock. The primary figure was once thought to be an elephant which is why it’s named Elephant Cave.

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The whole area of the Goa Gajah temple is huge and also features a Bathing Temple with beautiful, detailed figures. It’s believed to bring luck to touch the water that comes out of these figures, so we lined up behind the locals to follow their tradition.

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Our last stop was the Tirta Empul temple which was founded around a large water spring that is considered holy by hindus and used for purification rituals. I loved wandering through the temple grounds and experiencing Hindus performing their rituals and bathing in the springs!

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Ubud is an incredible place that’s a nice contrast to the surfer vibe of beach towns like Seminyak, Kuta and Canggu! I would always recommend going to Ubud if you’re looking for a place to relax and maybe do some yoga and enjoy delicious vegetarian food!

Have you been to Ubud yet? What has been your favourite place on Bali? Stay tuned for next weeks travel post as it will take you to one of the nicest islands I’ve ever been to!

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