We took a package tour from Yogyakarta (via Mt. Bromo) to Bali to be able to save time since we’re travelling with our friends who were on vacation. We figured that it would be more convenient with them if we didn’t DIY the whole trip.
There are lots of travel agencies in Gang I and II in Malioboro (Yogyakarta). I suggest that you check each of them for the prices before you buy any tour packages.
Upon reaching Denpasar, the driver asked us if he could also take us to Ubud for an additional 50,000 Rupiah per person. We were hesitant at first because we find it a bit expensive but since it was already 9PM we agreed to just use the same vehicle as our transport to Ubud.
If you’re on a tight budget, you could always alight at Denpasar and take a taxi to Ubud (or bus if its still available). A shared taxi would definitely cost you less. We met one of the tourists in Ubud that we travelled with in Mt. Bromo and he told us that he paid 96,000 Rupiah for the taxi from Denpasar bus station.
Our van dropped us off in Monkey Forest Road (considered as Central Ubud). we checked most of the hotels and guesthouses in that area and the prices were way beyond our budget. We opted to walk towards Monkey Forest and finally settled on a 200,000 Rupiah room for the night.
It was way beyond our budget but we’re very tired and decided to just look for another hostel the following morning. Luck was with us on that same night because we met some locals who told us that there are cheaper hostels in Peliatan.
As soon as we checked out, we went straight to Peliatan and checked in to this lovely homestay guesthouse for only 60,000 Rupiah per night with Wifi and ensuite bathroom which we all thought was quite a steal.
Their family’s temple”
We stayed in a house full of very hospitable and nice Balinese family.
Putu, the son of the owner told us that we’re lucky because there would be a lot of ceremonies on that week. There’s a couple of wedding ceremony and a funeral ceremony. His mom was very eager to teach us Balinese language and his father was always ready to explain about their culture and traditions.
Because of them I realized that Balinese are people proud of their heritage. A lot of them are still practising their customs and traditions including their daily ceremonies up to now.
I love Ubud. It doesn’t have the party vibe that Kuta has but it has this warm ambiance that made us feel as if we’re part of their family.
They even went the extra mile to lend us some of their clothing so we could dress like a local whenever we attend their ceremonies. It was such a pleasant experience.
We would have extended our stay if not because of the “Non-Extendable Entry Permit” that we Filipinos have for Indonesia.
Anyway, here’s some information that could help you travel to Ubud without breaking the bank.
Most of the hotels along Monkey Forest Road are expensive. The cheapest that we found would be the 200,000 Rupiah hotel in front of the open field. If you’re looking for cheaper hostels, don’t hesitate to ask the locals. You could also go to Siti Homestay in Peliatan where we stayed. There are more affordable options around that area.
Food in restaurants can be a bit expensive, if you’re travelling with a tight budget like me you could always eat at local eateries for a faction of a price. You’ll find a lot of these kinds of eateries outside the Monkey Forest Road.
There’s not that many taxi plying the roads of Ubud but if you know how to ride a motorbike then this would be the best option to go around the town.
There’s quite a few money exchange shops in Ubud and ATM Machines as well. Exchanging your hard earned money to Rupiah wouldn’t be a problem. It’s a different story though if you visit farther villages surrounding Ubud.
Surfing brands like Ripcurl, Billabong, Quiksilver etc are cheap in Bali maybe due to very high supply. Be wary of counterfeited designer items that are being sold in what looks like a real Paul Smith shop. The price alone tells you that it’s not really authentic. For local handicrafts, sarong, batik, sling bags etc, go to Pasar Ubud in Jalan Raya. There’s a handful of bookshops as well that sells new and second hand books.
Walk around and be mesmerized with the Balinese Temples, you could also visit the Monkey Forest. walk further and you’ll get a glimpse of Balinese Rice Paddies and local life. It would be better if you know how to drive a motorbike so you could drive around and explore Ubud by yourself. Otherwise, you could always hire a taxi and discuss with the driver the places that you want to visit.
As of the time of writing, I’m already back in Siem Reap but I’m thinking of going back to Ubud anytime soon. The place is perfect for relaxation and learning the ways of life of Balinese. I hope that when you visit Bali, you’ll spend more time in Ubud than in Kuta to get to know the heart of Bali.