I wasn’t planning on returning to Ubud so soon after my 2017 visit, but my friends Ryan and Anthony were getting married there, and my friend Trixie was also attending the wedding, so we decided to make a trip out of it. As this was my fifth time in Ubud, I didn’t really try to see or do many new things... I just let Ubud suck me in as always. So, here are some photos - with commentary - about what I did and saw in and around Ubud.
I am a native of Singapore and a professional expat. Since leaving Singapore in 1994, my life journey has taken me first to Bangkok, then to Manchester UK, and then to the United States - starting with Los Angeles, then Honolulu, then Silver Spring, MD, and then back to Honolulu. I took some time off from work between July 2017 and March 2018 to travel and reflect (check out my Midlife Crisis Flashpacking series). I'm now back in the corporate world with a renewed attitude towards life and work. I plan to take another extended trip in... full info
My Home Away From HomeThis is the fourth time I have stayed at Santra Putra. Karja and Made are great hosts. I am so fortunate to have found this place.
Travel tip: Book early. The Lonely Planet lists Santra Putra as a preferred accommodation and it fills up fast.
Penestanan One of my favorite activities is to simply wander around Penestanan, where I have stayed on my last four visits. Much of Penestanan cannot be reached by car, and there are many footpaths like this one that go alongside padi fields. There’s always water flowing through the drains. This particular path is my favorite as it leads to Bintang Supermarket, where I buy fruit and snacks.
PenestananClose up of rice grains that will soon be ready to harvest. Rice is such a labor intensive process, as evidenced by the many hunchbacked women I saw in Tana Toraja (less so in Bali). As an Asian, there is something so comforting about a bowl of fluffy rice. Too bad carbs are the devil.
PenestananOne of the paths that went through the village. It’s just so green there, and everything is arranged in such an aesthetically pleasing manner.
The WeddingThe happy couple. Unfortunately, the lighting wasn’t great from where I was sitting, so this is the best shot I have, even with photo editing. I met Ryan (left) on an aviation geek site and we became fast friends. When Ryan emigrated to Adelaide, I introduced him to Trixie, and she helped him get established.
The WeddingThe wedding venue was a rather out-of-the-way villa northwest of Ubud. It was tucked away behind a village. The village dance troupe was co-opted to perform for the wedding guests.
Gunung KawiThe day after the wedding, Ryan and Anthony invited us to lunch at their villa. We decided to hire a car and driver for the day. Our first stop was Gunong Kawi, located in the village of Tampaksiring, north of Ubud.
Gunung KawiGunong Kawi is an 11th century monument featuring these candi carved into the rock face. One feels like Indiana Jones when approaching this site. It is easily one of the most awe inspiring sights I have been to.
Gunung KawiTo get to the candi, visitors have to descend more than 200 steps.
Gunung KawiWhile going up and down the steps. Visitors are treated to pretty rice terraces.
Gunung KawiThis woman was washing her baskets in the irrigation channel.
Gunung KawiThis irrigation channel brings water to the rice fields.