I love the green of Ubud, the Balinese village where i often spend few weeks.
Ubud is no longer a secret, and especially after the big worldwide success of Julia Roberts movie “Eat, Pray, Love” (that some locals renamed “Eat, Pay, Leave”) it’s not easy to find quite spots unless you rent a scooter and are ready to explore the beautiful surroundings. Deserted temples await the curious explorer and as always people tend to be super friendly as soon as you get out of the tourist area.
Balinese people are definitely not new to the tourism and some of the main attractions might not be easy to visit in solitude but it’s always worth having a look at the busy holy spots in order to observe the locals in their daily prayers and ceremonies.
I have mixed feelings toward the invasion of Yoga schools (mostly ran by westerners who make lots of money on tourist visas and keep paying locals very little) but it’s always good to look at reality with a bit of sense of humour: in Ubud these days, you can get a Shamanic Sacred Colon Cleansing that cost as much as 2 weeks stay in my wonderful room! (and more than a monthly wage for a local worker!)
The last little scooter trip i took, brought me off the beaten path and gave me the chance to discover a very big and less known temple, plus the lady running the warung in front of it prepared a delicious tahu as soon as i showed some interested in her cuisine.
Bali is so full of beautiful places to visit that one life is probably not enough. This time i discovered a quite famous spot where gigantig statues carved in stone overlook a big river flowing through lush vegetation.
After a great afternoon walking through temples and cleaverly avoiding the crowds, it feels so good to drive back home through the rice fields, especially at sunset time when the colours change and the smell of the countryside is more intense.