March 30, 2017
Best Hotel Breakfast Ever (at the Sankara Ubud Resort)
Waking up at Sankara Ubud Resort was unreal. Unlike the Trans Resort, there weren’t crowds of people, no kids running around, splashing and screaming in the pool. The property is surrounded by its natural environment and it’s calm and serene. It was exactly what we were looking for – a peaceful retreat.
Breakfast was included with our stay and there was an amazing selection of set meals. I had the Experience Breakfast and it was so good! I couldn’t believe it was free!
Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
After breakfast we took the free hotel shuttle service and headed to Ubud Center. Our driver dropped us off in front of the Sacred Monkey Forest. I actually wasn’t planning on going here but I’m glad I did! It was really fun!
The forest alone is beautiful and peaceful. There are massive trees everywhere (186 species of trees in 12.5 hectares of forest to be exact) and incredible designs around the temples and bridges. There’s also a calmness to the forest that I didn’t expect to find in the middle of Ubud.
Having the Balinese long-tailed monkeys (macaque) freely roaming around definitely made the forest a lot more fun! The monkeys generally keep to themselves unless you are planning to feed them. If they’re hungry, they may end up climbing all over people with bananas in their hands. I definitely did not want to touch them so i just watched people get clambered on.
Some facts from the website…There are about 600 monkeys living in this area. They are divided into 5 groups: in front of the main temple, Michelin, eastern, central, and cemeteries. The village residents view the Monkey Forest as an important spiritual, economic, educational, and conservation center for the village. The temples in The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary area are believed to have been built around the middle of the 14th century according to the Pura Purana (a holy book made from palm tree leaves used as the historical document of the temple).
We walked to town after the Monkey Forest and spent a good amount of time shopping under the assumption that this would be our only chance to shop on this trip. We checked out the Ubud Palace which was built during 1800-1823 and is known for its well-kept architecture. Since you can’t go into the temple, there wasn’t that much to see. It does make you realize how important religion and art is to the Balinese and how humble and modest the people are. It was free so can’t really complain!
We had lunch at Ibu Rai, which was delicious! So far, all the local food had been consistently good. You can’t seem to go wrong. We’ve only been disappointed by Western foods. I had the nasi goreng fried rice.
All the guide books and select blogs I read recommend shopping at the Ubud market. So my mom and I headed to the Ubud market and haggled a bit for random souvenirs. I thought everything was so cheap! My mom is an expert bargainer and we usually check the price of an item from a few stalls before buying anything. People give you the most random prices. It gets a little annoying after a while.
[If you’re interested in stocking up on souvenirs, go to a fixed price store. When we were in Ubud, we thought we were getting great prices at the market. Wayan Paul helped us realize otherwise… (he’s the amazing driver from Bali Golden Tour that we met the following day.) On the way to the airport on our last day, Wayan took us to Cening Bagus, a hugeeee two story store with almost everything we saw at the Ubud Market at a FIXED PRICE! Everything was cheaper than what we had bargained for at the market (where we generally paid 60% less than what the vendors initially offered). My mom and I spent $100 at this store and bought loads of snacks, coffee (like Luwak coffee), souvenirs, gifts, etc EVERYTHING!! It was amazing.]
We headed back to the hotel after our day out and about. One thing we should have done instead was the Campuhan Ridge Walk, but unfortunately, we didn’t know about it at the time.
We had afternoon tea at the hotel, went for a quick swim, and had dinner at the hotel restaurant. Their fried duck is apparently very popular and it was delicious! I loved the ambiance at the hotel restaurant. Even when it rains and thunders here, it feels great. It’s just such a relaxing place.