Ubud is a destination that should not be missed. Why you may ask? Hinduism is the predominant religion in Ubud, Bali and every family has their own unique and well decorated temple. The temples are beautiful and give Ubud a charm and character that I have not found anywhere else in my travels. People here are very religious and they practice by offering the gods a tray made of banana leafs with rice, flowers, biscuits and chocolate. There is also a smell of relaxing incense across Ubud which makes it very pleasant to walk around.
1) You can strike your very first yoga pose at Yoga barn (http://www.theyogabarn.com)
Since watching the movie Eat Pray Love I have been inspired to do a yoga retreat, but yoga retreats are expensive. After some extensive research I planned my own budget yoga retreat (watch out for my next blog post on how to plan your own yoga retreat without breaking the bank)
2) Go trekking and catch the sunrise on top of an active volcano, Mount Batur.
We booked a sunrise trek with a company our home stay was affiliated with (http://www.pinehbalitours.com/) . In order to catch the sunrise we had to leave at 2am, the tour group driver was right on time to pick us up at the home stay to take us to the Luwack coffee farm where we were to meet the other members of our trekking group. The tour was very affordable around $25-30 CAD per person and included 2 breakfasts and coffee. Trekking an active volcano was the coolest adventure!
The trek was tough because a) It was at 4 am b) It took 3 hours for me to climb because it was a steep incline and the path was rough c) There was a lot of rushing by our other trekkers, I would recommend starting the hike earlier because we spent a lot of time waiting around before you actually get to climb the volcano. We finally made it to the summit, unfortunately we were unable to see the sunrise because when we reached summit as it was cloudy, however the view of Ubud from high above the volcano was beautiful. Our tour guide was amazing and patient while we moaned and groaned all the way up. He supported us when we tripped and cheered us on when we almost gave up. The hike down for me was as difficult as the hike up but I would definitely do a hike up a volcano again! The thrill, the view and feeling of conquering when we reached the summit was worth it.
3) Get up close and personal with natural waterfalls while rafting ($30 CAD per person)
4) Pamper yourself without breaking the bank at a traditional Balinese spa (http://www.jelatikesthetic.com)
5) Try new foods and eat your heart out all within your budget! Fine dining in Ubud is super affordable like $10 cad maximum for a meal. There are plenty of really good restaurants here with some offering halal meat options, we chose Pentani to try the famous local dish, crispy duck. The crispy duck was delicious and the service was beyond expected. Their mocktails and salads are super refreshing and a must try! They also have wonderful live music that set a beautiful tone to dinner and made it an unforgettable night!
Good food, great music and amazing people, what more could I have asked for!