Ubud; A tour for the day

One of our best days in Ubud was spent with Gede Murdock. Gede (pronounced G-day, as in ‘g-day mate’) says he can organise anything you want to do in Bali, and for us, this was exactly the case. Why not try him out? Gede was recommended by a friend of ours and he took us from Seminyak to Ubud, via a number of attractions. His car has great air con, is modern and comfotable and Gede speaks great English too. If you would like to contact him Just add him on Facebook and let him know what you’d like to do.

Our first stop of the day was a Barong dance. This is a traditional dance that shows a battle between good (Barong) and evil (Rangda). This is specially put on once a day for tourists, who are brought in buses and by private drivers. This was our least enjoyable experience of the day, but is probably a good one to tick off. We enjoyed following the storyline on sheets we were given as we went in but would have preferred to do something else instead.

We visited three villages that showcased traditional Balinese crafts; Batiking, silver work and wood work. The premise of these villages is to show tourists how the crafts are traditionally done and encourage people to buy the products. Each village was very interesting and the work was beautiful. We didn’t buy anything at these villages, other than a scarf, as we have way to much already and found the products quite expensive. In saying that, all of the products were much cheaper than New Zealand and take a lot of skill and time to make.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

During the hottest part of the day we stopped at Tegenungan waterfall. While very busy, Tegenungan had a lot of steep stairs and many special little treasures worth exploring. In fact the waterfall was the least interesting bit. You could join the bikini clad crowds for a selfie in the mist, or take your selfie and then discover the serene scene upstream (and downstream). Locals have built, and were building, hundreds of towers of balanced stones. They are in the river, on the banks, on boulders and on precarious ledges. We spent hours exploring and finished up with a cold coconut and some nasi goreng overlooking the waterfall.Untitled_Panorama5

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Poo coffee? Not everyone’s cup of tea but very smooth. Gede took us to a small mock coffee plantation. Here we were able to see all of the different plants which are grown to make different teas and coffees and learn about the production of Luwak (sp?) coffee. The highlight of this visit was tasting all of the products, 12 different delicious teas and coffees. You get a platter or testers to drink, in lush jungle, overlooking the rice fields. This treat is free but there is a certain expectation that you buy some products as you leave.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It turns out that the best way to see Goa Gajah, the Elephant Temple, is late afternoon. The sun is low, most of the tourists are gone and the atmosphere is serene. You also get to see your man a pink sarong. As with Tegenungan waterfall, Goa Gajah is a really nice place to just be. We are not religious but this temple felt very spiritual and hummed with belief. We spent so much time here that we had to cut the rice fields from the tour as it was getting dark and we were about 9 hours into our 8 hour tour.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our final stop on the way to our hotel was the Sacred Monkey Forrest. Most of the blogs which we had read, suggested leaving the monkey forest. People thought it was scary, gimmicky and a bit of a waste of time. We went anyway. Gede warned us to leave as much as possible in the car and not to get anything out of our bag while we were there, if we didn’t want the monkeys coming to close. With the pre-reading a subsequent warnings we were quite nervous heading in but it was all fine. The temple inside was well worth the visit (more soft end of day lighting and serene atmospheres) and the monkeys were pretty cute. Lots of tourists happily fed the monkeys and enjoyed holding up bananas so they would climb on your shoulder, no thank you! We had a very different experience with monkeys at the Uluwatu temple, blog post to come.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We packed a lot into this day and can’t thank Gede enough for showing us around. We learnt a lot about Balinese culture and got to absorb a number of attractions at a really nice pace. We spent a further 4 days in Ubud so will do another post about our time including scooters, rice fields, local markets and Bali-belly.

1 thought on “Ubud; A tour for the day

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close