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Table of Contents
- Explore Jimbaran’s streets and beach on foot, being careful to tiptoe around the ever-present canang sari. If you time your beach stroll right, you’ll get to see the fishermen patiently at work, too.
- Mingle with the wecloming locals and see where your interactions take you. Our highlights? Visiting an elementary school English class, attending a Balinese baby’s blessing ceremony, and going backstage at a children’s dance practice.
- Shadow with an experienced local as she makes flower-filled canang sari spiritual offerings. Also, be on the lookout for processions, when locals balance baskets of spiritual offerings upon their heads.
- Explore Ubud’s traditional art market, where you’ll find everything from batik and silk scarves, to hand-painted masks and puppets.
- At a coffee plantation or café, savor a cup of Kopi Luwak. It’s been dubbed ‘poop coffee’ and is said to be one of the priciest cups of coffee in the world.
- Take in dramatic nighttime and daytime views of the Uluwatu Temple at a kecak fire dance.
- Brush shoulders with the real-life characters from Eat, Pray, Love. We chatted with the book’s charismatic medicine man Ketut Liyer one afternoon, and all the locals seem to know who in the community has a connection to Elizabeth Gilbert’s book.
- Saunter through rice paddy landscapes. We encountered coconut harvesters scaling skinny tree trunks, rice farmers at work, and families of ducks.
- Visit a Balinese art school. We left with a tiny painting depicting Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom and knowledge.
- You needn’t take a formal cooking class to learn Balinese food specialties. When I expressed interest, our bed & breakfast owner, Ayu, taught me how to make her green banana pancakes.
- Hold tight to your accessories as you dodge mischievous monkeys resident in Ubud’s Monkey Forest.
We spent three weeks in Bali — one in Jimbaran, and two weeks in Ubud. We would happily revisit these two properties (affiliate links):
- Jimbaran – Nestled in a semi-residential area not far from the beach, we had a pleasant stay at the Villa Puri Royan. Though the rooms were not fancy, our room’s views of the neighborhood were pretty, and the staff was incredibly friendly. On days when we needed to stay inside and catch up on email, it was convenient eating in the in-house café. We were happy to have stayed in a more understated place like Jimbaran (at least circa 2011), as Kuta was a bit too hectic for our tastes.
- Ubud – For two weeks, we stayed at the pretty and tranquil Nirwa Homestay, run by Madde and Ayu. The family-run guest house was surrounded by a panorama of rice paddies, and our soundtrack was that of nature: soprano crickets, confident roosters and babbling canals. When you go, be sure to order Ayu’s legendary green banana pancakes for breakfast. If she has time, Ayu might even show you how to make them!
Additional Indonesia Resources
- Indonesia’s currency is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). Calculate the current exchange rate.