Our Honeymoon Part 1: Ubud, Bali
On Sunday night, after almost 24 hours straight of traveling, I was so ready to be home — but looking through these pictures has me feeling all Wanderlusty again.
Our two week honeymoon throughout Indonesia, and primarily Bali, was an amazing trip filled with excitement, adventure, and lots of tasty food.
Since we hopped around so much — we visited nine of Indonesia’s 17,000 islands — there’s a lot of ground to cover in recapping this trip. So, I’m breaking it down into three parts.
If you’re planning an upcoming vacation or honeymoon to Bali, I hope you’ll find this post a good resource for all things fun, food, and fitness related in Ubud!
Where to Stay in Ubud, Bali
We always turn to TripAdvisor when picking hotels and this time it led us to Uma by Como in Ubud.
With gorgeous grounds, a top-ranking restaurant, and an insanely delicious daily brunch, we were not disappointed.
The rooms were all kinds of fabulous as well.
Our garden suite came with an open-aired bathroom connected to our room by a pretty little foyer with our own personal Koi pond.
While we were in Ubud, we ran into an old friend of mine, and she actually invited us to another hotel for it’s opening party.
The Shift Hotel is located near the main Ubud hub and seems like the prefect fit for those looking for a more hip, alternative vibe — without sacrificing luxury.
We felt pretty cool that we got to hang at a party filled with locals and ex-pats and pretend we weren’t nerdy tourists for the night.
What To Do in Ubud, Bali
There are countless things to do in and around Ubud, including some awesome day trips to waterfalls, volcanoes, and cool trails outside the city.
Due to a detour on our journey after a volcano erupted in Java earlier that week, we were a day late getting to Ubud and had to cancel a planned volcano trek. We managed to squeeze in a lot of awesome activities right in the heart of the city though in the time we did have.
The authentic Balinese cooking class at Paon Bali was probably my favorite.
The half-day experience started with an early morning visit to Ubud’s bustling market where we learned about traditional Indonesian cooking and culture, and got to try some exotic ingredients.
My hubby was most fascinated by the traditional cookware sold at the market, including the so called “man’s knife” and “woman’s knife.” Naturally, we immediately bought a set for #whitskitch.
After the market, we headed to a rice field owned by the family who runs the cooking school to learn about the extremely complex process of rice cultivation.
I’d love to tell you how it works, but it was way too confusing — something about planting and replanting and replanting again. I’ll stick with the bulk bins at Whole Foods.
After we’d been throughly briefed on Balinese food, we made our way to the kitchen.
The class was an absolute blast. We made about ten different dishes, and really got to be a part of the entire process.
It was interesting to learn their cooking methods, including how they grind spices and blend foods into paste, without using a food processor.
The secret: the “Bali blender.”
I can’t tell you how many Vitamix jokes were made at this point.
Stay tuned for a recipe post coming soon featuring one of the delicious dishes we made!
Although the recipes were pretty healthy, after a day of gorging we were in desperate need of some physical activity.
I’d heard great things about The Yoga Barn, but was a little reluctant to go to what I figured was the most mainstream studio in town.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. This place is amazing and the instructors are brilliant.
From the beautiful open-air studio overlooking the rice fields to the fresh juice bar with coconuts ready to crack open post-Vinayasa, it was perfect.
We took two classes while in Ubud, the second with my high school friend Emily, who I just happened to run into the first time we visited.
In addition to cooking and soul-searching, the most popular thing to do in Ubud is visit The Monkey Forest.
This so-called monkey “sanctuary” houses thousands of semi-wild monkeys in a large protected area filled with temples and trails. You can buy bananas to feed them for a few bucks.
If you love animals, it’s a very cool experience. If you’re a little weary of them, I’d advise you to steer clear.
We heard stories of people getting bit by the monkeys prior to our visit but decided to take our chances.
While we both came out unscathed, the monkeys can be aggressive and the first aid station located directly out front should probably be a warning sign.
All the stress of dodging monkeys had us in need of some relaxation, so we decided to try out one of Ubud’s famed spas.
Taksu is an enchanting retreat in the middle of town providing yoga classes and a raw food restaurant in addition to their luxurious spa menu.
Despite the indulgent offerings, a spa package including a one-hour full body massage and facial for two people only cost about $70. Insane, I know.
Both services were amazing and I loved that they used all natural ingredients like extra virgin coconut oil for the massage and strawberries, cucumbers, and honey for the facial.
The hubby also tacked on a rose petal bath — for himself.
I have some pretty interesting pictures but I’ve been forbidden from sharing.
Where to Eat in Ubud, Bali
In addition to the amazing food at our hotel and the dishes we made at Paon, there were so many fabulous, healthy spots to eat in Ubud.
For lunch, we fell in love with this little organic cafe, Kafe. They have fresh, squeezed juices, vegan or animal-protein packed salads and bowls, and some pretty legit burgers.
For dinner, we really enjoyed Bridges restaurant, overlooking a river in the center of Ubud. It’s very busy, so I’d advise making a reservation if you want to go. They also do a fun Jazz night with wine tasting on Fridays.
Another spot that we heard was wonderful for breakfast or lunch is Sari Organik, located in the middle of a rice field off a little side street from the main road.
We didn’t have time for a full meal but the mile walk there and back was absolutely beautiful and their custom blended juices (which I would almost call smuices) were on point.
We’d tried the recommended Campuhan Ridge Walk trail earlier in the trip, but I prefer the walk to Sari if you’re looking to see some rice fields.
Finding even remotely healthy food had been a big issue on our trip prior to arriving in Ubud, so when I stumbled upon Clear’s grab-and-go shop on Jl. Hanoman street, I was in heaven.
They have tons of incredibly tasty and clean bars, crackers, and cookies, perfect for snacking on-the-go. They’re all made with minimal ingredients and most without any added sugar.
These came in super handy later in the trip when we were stuck in the airport or on a boat with nothing appetizing in sight.
And for the sweet stuff — Room 4 Dessert.
This eclectic after dinner bar was just down the street from our hotel and I must say, the desserts were some of the best I’ve ever had. They do a cool little tasting menu so you can try a few bites of each of them.
And that’s my Ubud recap!
Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Stay tuned for parts two and three over the next few weeks.