Ubud was amazing!! On our first day there we had Mexican food, surprisingly it was actually very good, of course we had a margarita as well. Despite the Mexican food I felt like I really was in Bali. Katie had been there before so she had a hotel close to the heart of town. Ubud was filled with restaurants and bars. Duck seemed to be the special almost everywhere. Along the main street filled with local artists and shops I found a guy that hand paints on T-shirts, which was cool. One had monkeys riding scooters. I would have bought one but I am already trying to get rid of cloths as I am traveling. As we walked around one afternoon, Katie and I found a flyer for Canting Bali Cooking Class, We decided try it out. We were picked up from our hotel and taken to the outdoor market, then went to an outdoor covered kitchen in the middle of rice fields.
As a group of about 12 we made some tradition Balinese food including Vegetable Soup, Tempe Lalah Manis, Tahu Kare (tofu curry), Pepe Tuna (grilled tuna in a banana leaf) along with a few other awesome dishes. What amazed me was how well organized the class was. Everyone had a job doing something throughout the class. The staff was helpful, friendly and were enjoyable to be around. After cooking came the eating, and that was just as good as the cooking. I definitely recommend the class.
One of the things Ubud is known for is the monkey forest. I didn’t go, although I did see some monkeys outside stealing stuff from tourists.
I heard about a chocolate factory called Pod about 45 minutes from Ubud. I love chocolate so I decided to rent a scooter and go for a drive. Traveling down narrow roads and passing villages and a right turn down a broken road I finally found it. It was situated in a animal park of some sorts that offered elephant rides and the opportunity to have your photo taken with a honey bear(seems safe). I choose not to do either because animals belong in the wild. I parked where a random guy tried to get me to pay for parking although I just said no and walked up the hill to the “factory.” The place was small with a tiny gift shop and chocolate store. I inquired about a tour which seemed to be way over priced at 250,000 (about $25 US). I just walked up to the glass to watch about a half dozen works pour chocolate over marble slabs. I wondered what I would see on the tour? I entered the store and was able to taste the more then dozen different kinds of chocolate including ginger, chile, lemon grass, 60% and super dark amount others. It was good chocolate, it wasn’t worth going to the “factory” but the drive out there and back is worth recommending renting a scooter and driving outside of Ubud. Plenty or rice fields, forest and small villages. If you get lost google maps works without service or stop and talk to a local they are happy to help.
We decided to go out one night and we ended up at the CP Lounge, which seemed to be the popular backpackers spot. We also stopped at Laughing Buddha for some live music. It was good, but a little over priced for Bali in general. At the CP Lounge I ordered rainbow shots for Katie and I. Twelve shots, each one a different color. That got some attention ……. and we made some new friends including a group of Austrians guys and a group of American girls. As the night continued — more rainbow shots and more bantam later — the bar closed around us and we headed to our respective hostels/hotels. I chose to go a different way then Katie because it was faster. As I journeyed to the hotel I came across a guy and two girls from Ireland as they sang drunk Irish songs I promptly tried to learn. We grabbed Bintang and continued on singing. They turned into their homestay and I continued back. Cheers to everyone I met that night!! It was a time.
Ubud is a great place, I really hope it never changes.
Headed to Java next.