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Finding oneself in Ubud, Indonesia

20121007_143303The locals blame that book, and that movie, and that actress, Julia Roberts! Seems a little harsh to me particularly as Bali is an island of little industry outside of the biggy that is tourism!

So Ubud’s popularity rolls on like the tour buses and taxis that ply the route up from the southern resorts.

Be warned, progression can be very slow and Bali’s one major issue, too many people on to little roads will ensure you will have plenty of time to contemplate what you want to do in Ubud.

The good

The dining scene in Ubud is pretty much unrivaled in Bali, think along the same lines as Seminyak in the south. There seems to be a proliferation of vegetarian places to eat and if you have been travelling around the rest of Indonesia you will appreciate this diversion from meat!

Lots of solo travelers end up in Ubud and some never leave. You can see countless expats around town on their motorbikes and iphones, chilling out over another juice and seemingly not doing much else. So you will not feel out of place asking for a table for one in Ubud.

Accommodation is plentiful and ranges from bare bones budget to world class expensive so everyone should be catered for. Ubud also is good for the solo as many hotels and guesthouses seem happy to negotiate a discount for one.

Activities are wide and varied and many come to Ubud to undertake cheap yoga sessions, or to learn to cook or rent a motorbike and scoot around the lush countryside and paddy fields.


Also you can do the local ridge walk (see photo) and take a stroll through the Monkey Forest (but watch your sunglasses as they will whip them off your head.)

The not so good

‘Taxi?’ You will get this all day, even the weary looking expats are subjected to this minor annoyance. Best bet is to say Tidak, Terima Kasey or be rude and just ignore them.

Getting around is a bit of an issue too, the sidewalks can be very dangerous, particularly at night when you might just end up stepping in a massive hole. Take a flashlight out if you are walking long distance.

Monkeys! Ok, not everyone likes being climbed on and having their sunglasses stolen!

As mentioned the foot and road traffic in the day can be unbearable but once the day trippers are back safely in their southern resorts then a sense of calm is restored.

It rains a lot.

Getting to Ubud

Perama buses run direct from Kuta or the Airport if you just want to come straight here and avoid the Aussie ghettos by the beach.

Moving on from Ubud

If you are heading east, the road to Candidasa and beyond via Klungkung is often busy with trucks, but a nice one hour drive nonetheless.
Bedugul has a traditional fruit market, a splendid botanical garden, and the Ulun Danu Bratan temple, about one hour north by car.

The region around Tabanan has Mount Batukaru and the Batukaru Temple
The rice fields around Jatiluwih, about one hour north by car.
The waterfalls around Munduk, about one and a half hour north by car.
Lovina is an easy-going black-sand beach, about two hours north by car.

Solo Travel Ubud Rating

Ubud is a great destination to roll solo. There are lots of other solos around and it’s affordable for rooms and activities too.