Ubud was probably my favourite place in Bali. It was so spiritual, interesting and really inspired me. There is so much to do here and so many incredible places to explore, the people are delightful and the arts and craft here is a true visionary.
From hand-made crochet stores, to woven bag stalls, healing crystal and spiritual jewellery stores, I was in my element! Their people are incredibly talented and you can see how passionate they are about what they do. I spoke to a young man who was actually a taxi driver, but he had also been taught from a young age how to carve wood and hand paint tiles and was saving up to open a business – Balinese people are really artistic and arts and crafts is something they are taught from a young age.
Ubud is full of natural, organic food spots – I had the most amazing natural passionfruit cheesecake ice cream. I also love how many temples Ubud is home too, it really is a dream how scenic and green the place is, everywhere you look there is natural beauty.
One of my favourite things we done in Ubud was watching a traditional balinese dance performance underneath a starlit sky at the palace, it was unique and quite unusual but very intriguing. Their costumes was so beautifully embellished and incredibly detailed, you could tell a lot of effort went into making them.
Another favourite was white water rafting down the Ayung River. There are lots of yoga and meditation dens, which add to how tranquil and powerful Ubud is, everyone seems at peace and you can’t help but really feel that and smile when walking around Ubud.
There are decorative, positive signs and feel good quotes plotted around everywhere in Ubud, you can see that the people there really eat, sleep and breathe their culture and aim to project happiness, bringing the chakras into alignment and balance. Balinese people are strong believers in karma, they believe that if they are positive and thoughtful in everything they do, then they will be protected and have many future blessings.
Balinese people never take anything for granted, and this was explained in depth to me when I visited Tirta Empul Holy Spring temple, which is the most sacred water temple, built around geothermal hot springs. People come here to eliminate bad influences and purify their mind, body and soul. This was one of the best experiences I have ever had.
A kind man went through everything with us and what we must do – this was incredibly interesting and he explained the importance of respect and how you must not only be grateful of family, friends, presents and experiences but most importantly your life and achieving balance and harmony. We made a wish, gave offerings and followed instructions on what to do in the holy waters followed by meditation to show thanks.Ubud is Bali’s cultural heart, a place of meditation, natural healing and medicine. Medicine in ancient balinese is Ubad, which is where the name Ubud actually came from. This is undoubedtly why Ubud possesses such an attractive, spiritual aura. I noticed how everything is done mindfully, with no rush (apart from people whizzing around the streets on their scooters).
Watching women carefully plait woven baskets and place petals and frangipani flowers that symbolise sincerity and love, followed by an assortment of gifts for the gods and a single stick of burning incense, was so lovely. This is known as the daily ‘Canang Sari’ (translating to a beautiful purpose), it is a part of self-sacrifice and self-meditation but also an escape from the vibrant motion everyday life.Everything has a meaning and is a gift of gratitude – the daily Canang encapsulates the selfless essence and meaningful nature of Ubud life. The balanced energy and spiritual meanings behind every small act, is something I will forever adore and remember, and also try to incorporate in my every day life.
I will definitely miss the constant, smouldering scent of incense and beautiful zen landscape. Thank you, Ubud for cleansing my mind, body and soul and enhancing my understanding of the true meaning of gratitude.
Restaurants to visit:
Clear Café – beautiful little café overlooking temples serving healthy, organic and raw food and smoothies. There is a different message of positivity made out of flowers and placed on the steps up to the café each day – so cute and such a beautiful way to start your day! It is so comfortable and has such a friendly atmosphere. (And the most pretty flower arrangements).
AA Juicery and Cafe – delicious vegan, organic juices and food. The island hippy smoothie was so tasty. The small cafe looks over sirine rice paddies and the homes along this road have the most intricate, beautiful carved shrines.
Kebun Bistro – Delightful and charming restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisine. The bolognese with crisp bacon and parmesan cracker and Le Mille-Feuille desert is just mouth-watering. Oh, and the selection of tapas is also very lovely.Ubud, you have my heart!