Ending our honeymoon in Ubud

PTX Studio in Ubud, Bali

After we got our fill of bustling Kuta, we headed inland to spend the second half of our honeymoon in Ubud.  Even though Kuta has a vibrant bar and club scene, our nights were pretty low key.  I wasn’t sure we’d be able to dial the relaxation meter any lower.

We arrived at our hotel, Anahata Hotel and Spa Resort, a little after noon.  As we were checking in, the woman informed us that the one bedroom villa we had booked was sold out.  When you’ve just traveled two hours into the middle of the jungle hearing your room is sold out is pretty worrisome.  However she continued by telling us, “…so we’ve booked you in the three bedroom villa.”  It was a welcome upgrade.   The villa was ginormous, way bigger than we needed or expected.  On top of that, the hotel facilities were gorgeous with pools, outdoor yoga and chess table all in a lush jungle setting with sounds of a rushing river below.

PTX Studio in Ubud, BaliPTX Studio in Ubud, Bali

We had a private plunge pool at our villa, seen in the photo above looking down into the jungle.  The larger hotel pool was about half way down to the river, just a couple hundred stairs as I later learned.  It was worth the walk down, but I was a hot sweaty mess after making the trek back up the stairs one humid morning.

PTX Studio in Ubud, Indonesia

We rented a scooter to get around which was great because we were able to stop along the way to explore.  As we drove the rice fields swayed gently waving us along to town.  The landscape and architecture is quite different from what we see in Java.  The Balinese families family compounds resemble temples and are intricately adorned.  Statues and carvings sit at every entrance and bamboo penjors hang over the street.

PTX Studio in Ubud, BaliPTX Studio in Ubud, Indonesiaover-the-road

There are ups and downs to the touristy nature of Bali, but one of the ups is tons of great shopping.  Ubud’s streets are lined with restaurants, clothing boutiques and shops selling trinkets of all kinds.  As usual I was hoping for home goods more than clothing, but I managed to find myself a couple of colorful souvenirs in each department.

PTX Studio in Ubud, Balicolorful-shopping

Of course we had to hit the number one Ubud tourist spot- the Sacred Monkey Forest.  Even though we have our own band of monkeys at Goa Kreo in Semarang, we still had to see how the Bali monkeys would measure up to our local ones.  Ubud monkeys are much more comfortable with people, one might even call them little rascals.  Once they get a hint that you might have a banana, those little dudes are grabbing for your bag or jumping over your shoulders to get to that food.  I had both happen to me and each time I was startled enough to yelp like a little girl.

PTX Studio in Ubud, Bali

The day after the monkey forest, we made the discovery that the branches violently swaying outside our villa were actually a family of monkeys jumping around.  We spent the rest of the trip lounging by the windows watching them play.

monkey-watching

Our last day was spent slowly traveling south to the airport.  You never know what the traffic conditions will be like so it’s best to always prepare for the worst.  We made a point of finding a lunch spot close the the airport where we could lounge until it was time to head to check in.  Azul Beach Club fit the bill nicely- decent food, fruity drinks and expansive ocean views.  Each booth even had its own oscillating fan which was a nice addition to the ocean breeze.

PTX Studio in Ubud, Bali

 

Even though it took us a year to get to Bali, I can safely it won’t take us another year to make it back.  Hopefully we’ll have some friends or family come visit soon and give us the prefect excuse to book a return trip.

PTX Studio in Ubud, Bali

Honeymooners in Bali

PTX Studio in Bali, Indonesia

We did it!  We honeymooned in Bali and it was awesome.  Most people assumed that after moving to Indonesia, Bali would be my getaway, but even though it’s only a one hour flight away it took me over a year to get there.  I think we purposely avoided it because it’s so touristy.  Also Joel had already been many times, so we when we started planning our getaways we tried to find destinations a little more off the beaten path (which we definitely achieved by going to Karimunjawa!).

PTX Studio in Bali, Indonesia

Wanting to start our honeymoon off with a bang, we booked a room at Ananta Legian Hotel which is located right in the middle of the action.  Legian is an area between Kuta and Seminyak, two of the most high traffic neighborhoods for tourists.   The streets are lined with restaurants of varying cuisine and shopping from posh boutiques to overflowing stalls of bargain necklaces and pom-pom shorts.  Yes, I quickly broke down and wrangled myself a pair of pom-pom shorts and OMG they’re the most comfortable thing ever.

PTX Studio in Bali, IndonesiaPTX Studio in Bali, Indonesia

Ananta Legian fit the bill perfectly!  With a room on the first floor we could stumble out of bed to the sparkling pool complete with swim-up bar.  We had high expectations of making the three days in Kuta our party time before heading up to the serenity of Ubud.  However we failed pretty hard at staying out past 9:00pm.  We’re morning people through and through, so we were up with the birds each day to lounge on the beach or check out the attractions.

At the top of our sightseeing list was Uluwatu Temple, a Hindu temple built on the top of cliffs overlooking the Indian Ocean.  We went on Sunday morning and the lines of worshipers dressed in white were long and dotted with brightly colored baskets of offerings.

PTX Studio in Bali, Indonesia

The line of temple goers extended down quite a few flights of stairs.  The tourists stayed mostly on the outskirts, walking the path along the edge of the cliff taking selfies.  We were warned about monkeys in this area; they’re very comfortable around people and enjoy stealing shiny things likes sunglasses and earrings.  But we didn’t see a single monkey and I was a bit disappointed.  Little did I know later in the week I would be getting my fair share of monkey sightings.

PTX Studio in Bali, IndonesiaPTX Studio in Bali, IndonesiaPTX Studio in Bali, Indonesia

After Uluwatu it was time for lunch and Jimbaran Beach was on the way home.  It’s small a cove situated just north of the airport that’s lined with umbrella covered tables.  The restaurants are far from fancy, but they serve up delicious, freshly caught seafood at a fraction on the price of the overpriced resorts.  Feeling like honeymoon ballers, we splurged on the platter that included lobster, shrimp, crab and clams.  It came along with soup, rice, greens, two beers and watermelon for dessert.  It was more than enough for two and set us back about $45 USD.  Not too shabby and quite refreshing after a sweaty morning searching for monkeys in a mountain temple perched above the sea.

PTX Studio in Bali, Indonesia

The next day we hopped a taxi to to the Potato Head beach club in Seminyak.  It’s definitely one of the higher end beach clubs (there are so many!) and it didn’t disappoint.  There’s a restaurant, bar and pool overlooking the beach.  With a reservation you can rent giant chaise lounge by the pool.  We saved on seating by getting one of the free sofas, so we could spend on fancy cocktails.  As the skies darkened, we hightailed it outta there and scored a cab seconds before the rain.  Bali rain is a lot like I remember of Florida from my childhood holidays.  It’s sunny most of the day until about 4:00, then for a half hour the skies open up and soak everything in their path.

potato-head-spread

After the rain we headed to the beach.  We’re not the surfing type and the riptide was pretty strong so most of our beach time consisted of people watching from our loungers.  Every thirty seconds someone comes by selling hats, glasses, jewelry or foot massages.  The sellers are generally friendly, pleasant and not too pushy, but it starts feeling depressing when the peddler is a six year old girl hawking anklets.

The flip side of the beach is the dogs that joyfully bounce in and out of the surf.  In Java we only see sickly-looking, street cats, almost never a dog.  Bali dogs are plentiful and look generally upbeat and healthy.  Surprisingly many of the street dogs had collars.  We asked one of the locals and it seems that most, even if they don’t have a proper home, at least have a family or two that make sure they’re fed and happy.

PTX Studio in Bali, Indonesia

After three days it was time to head inland to the jungles of Ubud.   As we drove away from Kuta I thought maybe we were making a mistake by leaving the beach, but it took about ten minutes in Ubud for me to realize I was dead wrong.  More on that soon!

PTX Studio in Bali, Indonesia