I wasn’t hungry this morning so I skipped breakfast. Poor Nathan had a solo breakfast but he’s a fast eater so I doubt he minded too much haha. This was our last day in Ubud and I had pre-booked some more spa treatments at the Kaveri Spa at our resort. After my pretty mediocre massage on our first day, I wasn’t expecting anything amazing but this therapist was waaaay better!
Our treatment started with a couples massage (with MUCH better pressure) followed by body scrubs and body masks. After we washed the strawberry masks off in the showers, we had a beautiful smelling flower bath. These baths are the new craze in Bali and lots of spas are starting to offer them in their packages. It was definitely more of a photo opportunity for me as I find baths incredibly boring haha. But it was a nice experience! The flowers also smelt AMAZING. (Note: it’s very hard to try and slip into a bath when the flowers have been arranged so nicely)
Nathan did join me after taking 100 photos of me. I asked if he wanted a picture but he declined. I wonder why… (I did however get him in a little video)
After the bath, I hopped in the shower to wash the hundreds of flower petals off me. (Not sure if I was meant to do this as I’m sure they just got stuck in the drain – woops) then we headed to reception to check-out.
If you remember back to my previous posts, I mentioned I had organized a photo-shoot for Nathan and I as we wanted some professional pictures taken to display at our wedding. After not having anything to wear, I cancelled the photo shoot and didn’t re-book anything. Funnily enough when we stayed at Udaya Resort & Spa they offered us a complimentary photo shoot session. We had to book which was easy enough to do and they had a photographer come and take photos of us around the resort on our last day. You got one picture free and then if you wanted any more you could buy photo packages. It’s actually a great way to get business because THEY SURE GOT ME!
I ended up buying a long maxi dress from the markets in Ubud the day before so wore that for our photo shoot. If you’re getting married, I highly recommend doing some type of professional photo shoot before the big day as you can start to get comfortable in front of the camera. I can take a million mirror selfies but when someone else is taking photos of me I’m not sure how to position my body so this was good practice. (Even more so for Nathan as he hates staged photos hahaha) Surprisingly enough the photos actually came out pretty good! We ended up purchasing about 20 of them which cost around AUD$180 which is pretty expensive for Bali. However it was good to get it over and done with and I didn’t want the hassle of trying to find someone else. I won’t show any of the photos on here yet as I’m wanting them to be a surprise but I can say the big white hat did make an appearance 😀
After the photoshoot, we headed next door to have lunch at The Melali for the second time that week. Nathan ordered a Mexican wrap with Chicken whereas I ordered mine with Falafel. We also got some fries with Tzatziki sauce and crumbed chicken strips to share.
Once we’d finished our meals we ordered a Gojek car to take us to our next accommodation in Jimbaran. The guy that picked us up had this small little hatchback car so we crammed our suitcases in and begun the 1.5 hour drive to our next hotel.
We had booked two nights at The Royal Tulip Springhill Resort which was about 1km away from the famous Rock Bar. My first impression of the resort was that it was quite secluded. As in, to get to the resort from the main road you had to take a few long entrances to get to the front. (You couldn’t just step out and start walking around the streets kind of thing) The staff were nice and the rooms were large and decent and they had a large pool for families.
After checking in to our room we sat by the pool for a little bit and ordered a couple of milkshakes. The restaurant area was pretty dead so I’m not sure why it took a good 20 minutes just to make two milkshakes but oh well haha. While we were sitting there I overhead a girl say that apparently there was an earthquake. I googled it and there had just been a 5.6 earthquake where we were. Obviously as we were outside we didn’t feel anything so kind of gutted we weren’t in our room to experience it! (We always get earthquakes in NZ so it’s a little bit of a thrill when they happen)
We decided to get ready around 5pm and head to The Rock Bar at the Ayana Hotel for a few drinks to watch the sunset. Our Gojek ride only took about 10 minutes however it would have taken longer if I hadn’t realised that Nathan had hopped on the wrong Gojek! When your scooter arrives, they usually say your name so you know it’s yours and you just hop on the back and off you go. Nathan went before me so when another one arrived and asked me if I was Nathan I was like oh shit he’s hopped on the wrong scooter. I took Nathan’s one instead and quickly called him to tell him to double check where his driver was taking him. Turns out he was going somewhere way further so he got his driver to cancel the original ride and take him to The Rock Bar instead and paid him a little bit of cash for the hassle. I tried cancelling my original ride but it wouldn’t let me as my driver had arrived at my location. He couldn’t cancel it from his end either so he had to drive to The Rock Bar to ‘complete’ the trip. (Think this is a safety feature Gojek has so the app knows the driver took you where you to were meant to go) I felt a bit bad but at least he still got paid for it I guess!
The Ayana Resort looked really nice! If you’re looking for somewhere a bit more luxurious to stay in the South of Bali I would recommend staying there. I’ve read some good reviews on it too! To get to The Rock Bar you have to walk through the resort then take this tram ride down to the bar/restaurant on the oceanfront.
This is one of the most popular places to watch the Sunset in Jimbaran. As expected it was pretty pricey as it’s at a 5-star resort so we just grabbed a couple of drinks. We were considering ordering some food but the menu didn’t appeal to me and from what I’ve read the food isn’t amazing for what you pay so we just sat and watched the sunset for an hour.
When on holiday you must have dessert so we went on the hunt for an ice-cream place. We had driven past the Movenpick hotel a few times so we thought surely they would have a Movenpick Ice-cream store close by. A quick Google map confirmed they did so off we went! Unfortunately though the ice-cream flavours were super unappealing. We walked to another gelato place down the road but their flavours didn’t excite me either. No dessert was had that night 😦
When we got back to our hotel we had showers and I did a little self-tanning as my spray tan was starting to fade. As it was my birthday the next day I wanted to be all bronzed for the day club! 😀 😀
This morning we had breakfast at the our resort’s Deeva Restaurant. (By the way, anything I highlight is usually a link to whatever the place is I mentioned)
We started off with fresh fruit, a home made bread selection basket and a couple of Pineapple Juices. They didn’t have a buffet so we ordered off their menu. I got the scrambled eggs with a side of tomato, sausage and potato hash brown. Nathan got something similar but I didn’t rate the food that highly. I found the portions very small and simple and to be honest – a little underwhelming.
We had organised a driver to take us around Ubud for the day as we wanted to see a few temples, waterfalls and rice-fields while we were in the area. Surya from Bali Customized Tours was waiting in our lobby at 8:00am to take us on our adventure which I had booked prior to arriving in Bali. First stop was the Tegallalang Rice Terraces which is the most popular rice field in Ubud. As it’s located on a high roadside, the fields are nice and cool and breezy – a well-known spot for tourists to stop and take photos. I’m happy we went early in the morning as we did a bit of walking up and down steps which would have been way hotter in the afternoon. The rice terraces also have great Bali photo opportunities which we definitely took advantage of! Thankfully our tour guide Surya was a pro on the camera and took some great snaps. I presume over the years, Balinese tour guides have been trying hard to up-skill themselves so they stand out from other tour guides. With the rise of social media and everyone taking photos, you can really tell that they’ve spent a lot of time learning how to take amazing photos on your phone.
We learnt that the soil in Bali as well as the humid tropical climate is great for growing rice. All the crops are watered from a Subak system which is the water management system in Bali. As rice is seen as the gift of god, and theSubaksystem is part of temple culture. Water from springs and canals flows through the temples and out onto the rice paddy fields which Balinese communities jointly help to manage as they are working together for the good of the community instead of thinking of the individual farmer. As there is a lot of water and muddy areas, I wouldn’t recommend walking around the rice fields if you don’t have good fitness as the path is uneven and slippery due to the mud and water.
After we’d finished at the Rice Fields, we went and saw a couple of Temples.
A little learning for you all – In Balinese culture they follow Hinduism. Hinduism has five pillars of faith:
belief in one Supreme God
belief in the soul as the universal principle of life and consciousness
belief in the process of reincarnation
belief in the fruition of one’s deeds and
belief in ultimate release, unity with God
Reincarnation in Bali is usually within the family, so every newborn baby is believed to have one of the ancestors’ soul. When it comes to Karma, what you give is what you get. You bring your karma from your past life into the present life and will take karma from this life to your future one – your next reincarnation. Our tour guide was explaining that’s why Balinese always try and do good things in life so they can have a good ‘next life’ After death, your soul passes to another body, but is always seeking to free itself from incarnation so that it can attain enlightenment – the unity with the God. When a person dies, but its soul has not yet achieved this state, it continues with the incarnations.
After learning more about the way Balinese people are and how they’re so spiritual throughout their every day life, it really made us understand why they’re all so kind, welcoming and hospitable. You get bad people in every country, however I find Balinese to be some of the friendliest people – especially compared to other places I’ve been to in South East Asia.
After the temples, we went and saw one of the waterfalls in Bali! Probably the most famous one in Ubud – Tegenungan Waterfall which is located in a tropical jungle. Our tour guide said this was one of the smaller waterfalls but lots of people come to visit it. If you’re looking at visiting some other waterfalls in Bali, I’ve read Sekumpul Waterfall in Singaraja is one of the most beautiful waterfalls but is a tough trek to get to. Otherwise Aling-Aling Waterfall in Sambangan is a natural water slide Waterfall. The waterfall falls from a steep cliff and is surrounded by lush jungle. It’s about 35m long which you can slip and slide down. The journey to get there can be a little tiresome, with treks across rice fields and up and down many steps but I see it in lots of TikTok videos so it must be worth it!
I highly recommend going to the Omma Day Club if you’re in Ubud for the day and don’t want to do anything too strenuous. They day club is situated right next to the Tegenungan waterfall so you can have a couple of drinks while you watch the 25 meter waterfall cascade into the pool below! I really wanted to chill at the day club however we ran out of time on this particular day 😦 oh well – next time!
By this stage, I had seen two temples, a waterfall, rice paddies and done about 300 sets of stairs haha. I was getting hot and kind of just wanted to go and get lunch and chill back at our resort for a bit. We asked out driver Surya if he could take us to one more place and then drop us off somewhere for lunch. He agreed so we headed to our last stop, a traditional Balinese compound where we saw how the locals lived.
The Balinese traditional compound is basically divided into three parts on which each part has a different purpose. The holy structures like shrines are built at the mountain side of the compound, in the middle of the yard you’ll find all the living structures and in the direction of the sea is where the kitchen is.
The kitchen is usually shared by the family’s married children if they all live together. However if the parents are more well-off, than the children are provided with a new compound in another village. Water is taken from the wells in the compound if it’s available, if not they take water from a nearby stream or natural spring. They also have no special dining room and just eat wherever and whenever they feel like it. When we turned up, the family that lived there was spoon-feeding some type of mushy liquid that looked like baby-food to what looked like a small bird. I’m not sure what it was but our tour guide tried explaining it saying it was some type of small animal that fell from a tree that the man was now looking after. Interesting?..
If you do any tour in Ubud they’ll be happy to take you to a Balinese Compound. You just pay a small donation while you’re there which goes to the family.
After the compound, we asked Surya to take us to an ATM as we were running out of cash. He stopped somewhere and I went with Nathan to get about AUD$300 out from the machine. The cash was ejected but when it came time to take the card, it wouldn’t come out. You could see the machine was trying to push the card out but it was stuck. I tried getting it with my long fingernails but I still couldn’t reach. In the end the machine swallowed the card and Nathan had to block the card on his banking app. Weirdly enough, I had such a gut feeling this was going to happen on our trip. When I was packing my suitcase before we left I thought to myself, I wonder if I bring one credit card or two…. I decided on two as I just knew something was going to happen to one of our cards.
Good thing to note, always make sure to use an ATM in Bali that’s attached to a Bank. Or just bring two separate bank cards incase this happens to you.
Our driver was super apologetic! (Not that it was his fault) and offered to call the bank for us. Even took pictures of the Machine and the location of where it was so we could follow it up. To be honest, we weren’t overly concerned. The card was blocked and Nathan moved the money out of the account just on the off chance the card was skimmed. Just meant we had to use our Credit Cards to withdraw money for the rest of the trip. Luckily most places in Bali take card anyways. All the hotels and resorts will take card, as well as the restaurants, day clubs, day spas, at the shopping malls etc… The only time you’d use cash is if you were shopping at the markets, paying cash to your driver or getting a cheap massage or spa treatment where it makes sense to just pay in cash.
After the card incident, Surya dropped us off at Melali for lunch which was only a 2 minute walk from our resort (I didn’t even know this until we got there) but it made it easy as we ended the tour there and told Surya we’d walk back to our accommodation without him having to wait around for us. We paid USD$35 each for the day tour which I thought was pretty reasonable especially for all the driving around he did for us and the great pictures he took haha!
I ordered a Falafel Wrap for lunch and Nathan got Beer-battered Fish & Chips as well as a Chorizo flat-bread pizza from Melali. So good! I highly recommend this place if anyone is staying in Ubud. The staff are also really lovely 🙂 Great prices too, we paid around AUD$30 for all of this.
When we’d finished our meals, we headed back to our resort and had a little swim in our private pool!
Even though Bali is warm, Ubud is a bit cooler so I didn’t last very long in the pool as I was too cold haha! We had the afternoon free and my hair felt like it needed a wash so I Googled the somewhere in Ubud to find if there were any hairdressers nearby. Unfortunately all the ones with good reviews were either closed as it was Sunday or booked up for the day.
I eventually found a day spa called Fresh Spa Ubud and they had good reviews so I booked in for a Wash & Blow-Wave at their blow-bar for AUD$20 and a Gel Pedicure AUD$39 for that afternoon. After quickly having a shower I ordered a Gojek and got to the spa around 4pm. The spa looked cute when I walked in with all the chairs set up nicely looking out to the street. But had a slightly ‘cheap’ feel. As in, they were selling products on the shelves that you could tell had been sitting there for ages.
The ‘Blow-Bar’ they took me into was a room with two hairdressing stations but the basin to wash hair in was in the corner and was not very comfortable when I had my head in the sink. It was awkwardly close to one of the hairdressing stations too and I had my feet up on a swivel chair when my hair was getting washed haha! Not to mention my neck was hurting from the basin as it barely had any support. It really only got worse from here, the hairdryer they used wasn’t the best so it felt like forever to blow dry my hair. They used no protectant product in my hair before they used any of the heat tools (however I must say maybe this is a Bali thing because I swear no place I went to put any serums or sprays in my hair before they used heat tools – which I find weird as don’t hairdressers go on about the heat protectant products being A MUST!??) Once she finished blow drying my hair, she started to curl it with a flat iron (totally fine) however the iron was old so it wasn’t smooth and easy curls like your GHD or Cloud Nine Iron would be. I could just see my hair absolutely being FRIED in the mirror as she held my hair in the iron to make the curl then I watched as my hair got roughly dragged through the iron to finish the curl off! 😦 . Not to mention the smell! She got about two curls through before I thought to myself, maybe I should say something but I’m too polite so I just sat there and let my hair suffer. I think I kept just telling myself “you’re going to get new hair extensions for the wedding so saying goodbye to this hair isn’t the end of the world” I think if I’d just bought new hair I would have mentioned something. Anyways, the hair looked fine afterwards even if it felt like crusty toast haha.
Next were my toenails. Negative points for taking my previous gel polish off with a nail file (I’ve had this happen before and find it weird, Gel should really be soaked off. Not filed off) however the rest of the pedicure was fine. Not heaps of colors to choose from so I went with just a basic white but the equipment they used looked clean and the chairs they had were relaxing.
I probably would go back to this spa for my nails, but not for anything else. I’ve read Rob Peetoom | Hair Spa in Ubud is meant to be the best for hair (They use Davines hair products) or Rasa Gaya Hair Studio (Davines, Keune, Sachajuan)
Nathan came and met me after my appointment as we were going to go and grab some dinner. We walked around Ubud markets for a bit first though and I did lots of bartering for a set of 4x wooden bowls and 1x wooden chopping board. In Ubud they sell lots of wooden items which I thought would look good in the new house we’re building. I went to about 5 different vendors before I got my bowls for the price of AUD$30 hahaha. I do feel really bad though as one lady really wanted to sell me some bowls but she only had 3 in stock when I wanted to buy 4. I thought she’d just be able to get another bowl off someone else but she couldn’t and she started to look a bit upset frantically looking around everywhere for another one to make a sale. I suppose looking back I could have bought 3 off her and 1 from someone else but all the bowls were slightly different shades of wood.
Nathan was fretting I wouldn’t be able to bring the bowls and chopping board back into Australia as they were wood but we were absolutely fine. They’re pretty much the only things that took up room in my suitcase as I really didn’t buy much at all in Bali.
Once we’d done our shopping, we went to a little Mexican place called Taco & Grill Ubud for happy hour. We ordered some nachos to nibble on while we drunk our cocktails. I ordered the Vege Nachos so I assumed it would come with beans, salsa etc… but it came with cooked frozen vegetables (like peas and corn) with Avocado, salsa and cheese – super random! After finishing our drinks (and probably getting a little tipsy) we walked toMilk & Madu for a proper dinner as they were doing 2-4-1 Pizzas.
I have no idea why we ordered a Large Pizza EACH as we were literally not even that hungry after our big lunch. I think when you’re in Bali you’re like ‘Oh wow the food is so cheap I’m going to order this and that and some of that’ and then you end up with far too much food. I ordered a Pineapple pizza called ‘The Pipeline’ that came with caramalized onions, ham and bacon while Nathan got the BBQ Chicken Pizza. We also ordered a side of this garlic bread loaf thing that was super tasty!
If you’re in Ubud, I highly recommend this place! If you follow them on Instagram you’ll find when they have all their deals (like 2-4-1 Pizza). We didn’t have breakfast there but the menu has lots to choose from like French Toast, Breakfast Burritos, Omlettes, Corn Fritters…. can you tell it’s lunch time as I’m writing this? *drool* I might have to go back when I’m in Bali in October. I know they also have a Cafe in Canggu and Berawa too.
After a few more drinks we ordered Gojek’s and had a slightly tipsy ride back to our accommodation. Of course knowing me when I drink I was fast asleep as soon as I got into bed haha!