Tuesday, 2 August 2016

BALI - UBUD

Located in the middle of one of the 17,000 islands that makes up Indonesia, lies the cultural heart of Bali, Ubud. The chilled, yoga-hippie way of life was exactly what drew me to Ubud, which is why it was high on my list of places to visit in Bali. It only takes typing ‘Bali’ into google, and you’re guaranteed to see one of the many tumblr-esque rice fields which surround the town. 

After a week of partying in Kuta and Seminyak, I was ready for some peace and tranquility - and what better place to find both of these things in Ubud!  I stayed at the Rama Sita Hostel which is fairly far out from central Ubud, and although aesthetically it wasn’t the most amazing looking hostel I have ever stayed in… It is however my favourite place I’ve ever stayed throughout all of my travels. This is down to the communal feeling you get from being surrounded with only 16 other travellers who end up feeling like family after a space of a day. The staff there are so incredibly welcoming and will go above and beyond to ensure you are happy, and the two puppy's there are undeniably cute. 

Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary 
Taking a stroll through Monkey Forest is definitely on the to-do list when checking out Ubud. Taking a peaceful walk through the forested area surrounded with beautiful balinese temples however is far cry from what you will be doing. These Long-Tailed Macaques may look cute from a far - but that's until they are jumping all over you and attacking you for food, or anything that is in your hands in general. It only took my closed backpack alone, to attract enough attention to invite a few monkeys over - one of which tried to steal my camera! I did hear a lot of rumours about some of the monkeys having rabies, and as I’m someone who hadn’t had the rabies jab before entering - I was a tiny bit nervous to say the least... And honestly it was completely fine, there are attendants surrounding the forest pretty much everywhere and visiting after lunch time or later on in the day when the monkeys have all been fed, means that they are all less wild and less hungry. 





Tegallalang Rice Fields Ubud
I was pleasantly surprised to find that Ubud did really live up to its hype. I spent the next couple of days loosing all concept of time (which is the bali way in general) walking alone, getting lost in several different rice fields until I eventually found the Tegallang Rice Fields. The paddy fields are absolutely stunning especially as I arrived as the sun was setting and it was less busy. I heard from other backpackers that in the day time it is almost too touristy which ruins the blissful views. 



Elephants Bali
My last day in Ubud was spent cleaning these amazing Asian Elephants at a sanctuary not too far from Ubud. The experience was incredible and I took extra care when looking into the programme as I didn’t want to fund something that could potentially feed a money making industry rather than somewhere which truly cares for the animals welfare. I can only recommend Elephants Bali from my own experience and the bathing opportunity was something that I was truly blown away with. There are 27 elephants which have all been rescued from Sumatra and all seem to be very happy now. The cost of my voluntary bathing was fairly pricey at around £50 which is a big part of your budget if you are backpacking, but a chance at helping these spectacular animals and getting so close to them, was a cost I was willing to make. 

I thought I will mention however, as I want everything on my blog to be honest, and Im sure the original motives of rescuing all 27 elephants was genuine/had their best interests at heart… I was a bit baffled by their breeding programme which I couldn’t help feel, that its intention is to encourage cash flow? I mentioned this with some of the people who worked there and they quickly shut me down, but never gave me a valid reason why they chose to create a strict breeding programme.


If you have been before what are your opinions on this? 

^
One of the little pups from The Rama Sita Hostel.


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