We Begin in Bali. . .
While I would love to share with you stories, oddities, and anomalies of Singapore, we begin in Bali. Due in part to being sick and bedridden for the first two weeks of arriving in country, and primarily to a whole lot of procrastination on my part. So big apologies for the massive delay in getting this up and running! But whose to complain, really? Bali, is a great place to begin. . .
About an hour drive north of Denpasar Airport will bring you to the more remote location of Ubud. Ubud itself is actually a district made up of fourteen smaller villages. Ubud center has become increasingly popular with tourists, especially since its most recent debut in the book/movie “Eat Pray Love,” and let’s be honest, that’s what brought it to our attention as well. That being said however, it is surprisingly easy to connect with the local people and experience a more authentic Bali by simply wandering down the side streets and exploring some of the surrounding places.
The village of Kedewatan, situated just west of Ubud center, is a great place to explore for a mix of local life and culture. Nearer to Ubud, galleries, museums, shops and restaurants start to appear. The feel here is still mellow and the local people are easygoing and friendly. Continue east and you’ll know you’ve hit Ubud center when everyone starts offering you a taxi. . . seriously. . . everyone. Ubud center is full of art, history, and culture. It does get busy though, and after a while one gets tired of seeing the same shops over and over or running into the eight hundredth yoga retreat center. So moving on, a few miles south, to Mas village. Mas is relatively untouched by the tourism that is invading Ubud and is home to the hand carved wooden sculptures you will find around the island. Walk through here and you will find shops upon shops (often located in the front of people’s homes) of amazing craftsmanship.
We stayed primarily in and around this area exploring, wandering, eating, and meeting new people. After all, who wants the beach when you can be in the heart of Bali. . .