This time last week, I was on the flight back to KL from Bali. I was there for about 4 days, cos my folks wanted to shop for some paintings, and I thought I’d tag along.

We stayed in Ubud and I fell in love with the place! The commanding scenery, so rich with culture and inhibited by the most sweetest and hospitable people. Now I know why my parents can go again and again to Ubud.

Villas

Mum wanted to savour different villas so the first night we stayed at Artini 3 Cottages and Spa. It had a beautiful garden, was on a small piece of land, very very cosy. The cottages are sandwiched by paddy fields.. in the morning you can see people membanting padi ;p

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The rest of the nights we stayed at the Ubud Village Resort. Our villa came with 2 gazebos, a private pool, outdoor shower, jacuzzi and a breathtaking view. Bliss.

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There are countless villas in Ubud, so you’re spoiled for choices.

 Galleries

Cos the main purpose of going to Ubud was for painting-hunting, parents and I visited a few galleries in Ubud. There are generally 3 sections in the gallery, the traditional Balinese painting, the scenery/greenery pieces (will definitely have birds in the pic) and abstract/contemporary art.

Folks bought a few greenery pieces,a black and white piece as well as an abstract painting. The artists in Ubud are very talented, at almost every gallery we went to we saw a few of them painting away.

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The Performing Arts

I’m a sucker for the Balinese gamelan. So on one of the mornings, we caught the Barong dance at a puri (temple). I almost cried cos I felt overwhelmed by the sound of the gamelan… listening and watching it being played in its true element and setting.

All along the gamelan doses that I’ve gotten are from the occasional performances by the Rhythm in Bronze led by Sunetra Fernando at the Actors Studio- which is not too bad. My favourite score by them is one titled “20 cents”.

But after hearing the real thing, anything else just pales in comparison.

Unfortunately I didnt have the chance to catch the Legong or Kecak-Kecak (I’m still beating myself up over it), but I’ll make sure I catch it the next time I’m there.

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Spa

I suppose you can say that a trip to Bali won’t be complete without a visit to the spa. I made a few visits to the spa. Yes not only am I a sucker for dance/performing arts but also for pampering.

I went to the Bali Ratu spa @ Artini for a body scrub, bath and massage, then again for a massage and a facial. 

It was heavenly. I dont know what’s the obsession with villas in Ubud cos I had a mini villa on my own for my spa appointments, which of course overlooks the paddy fields.During one of the appointments while I was enjoying a massage, I heard the sound of ducks..itik..my guess is they were making their way past my window..haha. Not something you’d hear at a spa in KL.

There are numerous spas around Ubud but I was recommended by my aunt to go to Bali Ratu and I echo her and higly recommend it for anyone looking for a good winding down pamper session.

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People

Every village in Ubud is known for a certain skill . This desa will be famous for paintings then the next desa for wood carving. So you’ll see rows of shops or huts displaying their work. And so almost everyone in Ubud has a skill-be it playing the gamelan,pottery or egg painting.

Hardly do you see people lepaking, watching WWF in coffeeshops or sitting on their bikes in groups (like the Mat Rempits in KL).

The people in Ubud are hospitable and courteous too.. they’d greet you at every chance they get and what’s most relaxing about Ubud is somehow there’s no rat race feel to the life there, which is a welcomed change from the hectic, capitalist driven tempo we live in back home.

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I can actually go on and on about Ubud but I won’t be able to do justice. It’s just too beautiful and special to describe with words. You have to be there to feel its magic.

I’ve visited a few countries but Ubud is the only place that I felt “sedih” to leave. It’s the blend of people, art and culture that makes it remarkable. I’ll definitely go there again..this time for a longer stay.

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