I am trying to figure out which city was my favorite on this trip. Having stopped in six cities in five different countries, it's no easy feat trying to decide.
If I were forced to choose, it would definitely be a toss up between Siem Reap and Bali.
Bali has become one of those countries that seems to be on everyone's travel bucket list. It wasn't until very recently that I added it to my own, my interest piqued by beautiful pictures that kept popping up in my Instagram feed and from reading Eat, Pray, Love.
The decision about where to stay in Bali wasn't a difficult one to make. I knew that I needed to relax and unwind, and Ubud was the best choice. Although I love a good beach, I figured I'd forgo it for this vacation, especially since I've read that the beaches in Bali are typically overcrowded and I wanted an escape from the crowd.
Ubud is as most people who've been there have said, very calm and peaceful. Even when traffic was at a miserable standstill, no one honked or made a big deal. The vibe of this little town imbues chillness.
While in Ubud I did the usual touristy things. I hired a driver and did a full day tour of the surrounding areas and hit up as many must see places as we could pack into a day.
Tegallalang Rice Terrace is one place I had to see and was the first stop on the tour. It wasn't as green as I'd seen in pictures because the rice had already been harvested but the landscape is still stunning . It's a bit of a challenging trek so be prepared, especially if it's hot.
|my awesome driver. I recommend him if you ever visit Ubud|
Tegenungan Waterfall was the next stop on the itinerary. That's also a trek to get to the actual waterfall to go swimming. Once I got there I realized I wasn't in the mood so I took a few pics and we headed off to the next location.
Also on the itinerary was Tirta Empul Temple where many Hindu people and some visitors go to get cleansed in the holy water. I loved witnessing the ritual and getting a glimpse into something sacred.
The final stop on the tour that day was Sacred Monkey Forrest. This is not for the faint of heart as there are monkeys everywhere and sometimes they jump on you when you least expect and rip the clothes off your back. They also might think you're their personal potty and pee on you.
Both of these things happened to me in the space of ten minutes by the way.
It made for a good laugh and even better memories.
|Was not expecting this monkey to jump on me|
|The moment the monkey decided to use me as his potty|
One thing that fascinated me about Bali was the Luwak coffee. I knew that I had to taste it while there. Luwak coffee is the world's most expensive coffee and is made when the Luak eats the coffee beans and then poops the seeds out. The seeds are then cleansed and used to make coffee.
Tours of coffee plantations that offer the experience abound in Bali. There is a plantation everywhere you go. We stopped by the Silakarang Coffee Luwak plantation. The customer service was excellent and I had a really great time.
The coffee is actually really delicious and I was pleasantly surprised.
|about $3.75 for the cup in Bali. In America they sell a cup of this coffee upwards of $50 |
|pretending to roast coffee beans|
I did manage to have a beach excursion after all. It was a rather spontaneous trip suggested by my driver and I'm glad I went. It was a beautiful day and even though I didn't go swimming, I dipped my feet and spent some time sitting by the water and taking in the scenery.
I came across this wall of Bob Marley which made me super happy.
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