When we arrived in Bali we travelled straight to Ubud, away from the madness of Kuta. Ubud is a really cool rural town between mountain ridges. There’s lots of lush green vegetation everywhere and lots of stone carvings, which is a local speciality. It smelt good in the mornings with all the Hindus making offering to there gods and burning incense sticks with a little parcel of bright flowers. We stayed in a really luxurious hotel for a very reasonable price, they made swans out of our towels and dusted the room with rose petals. The breakfast was also really tasty.
We hired a scooter to explore and visited a Balinese art gallery and then walked the mountain ridge in the late afternoon which had really pretty views down the valley and was lined with rice terraces. It felt really rural despite pretty much being in a town.
The next day we went further a field on the scooter and drove 1hr30min to Sidemen (pronounced sid-e-men). We travelled through lots of pretty villages on the way, most houses had stone statues and monuments outside and also homemade Street decorations. They reached up 4-5m in the air and dangling down to just above head height symbolising that the rich should remember to look after and take care of the poor.
Sidemen was a beautiful rural area full of lush green rice terraces and views of mountains. We arrived to good views but the wrong side of the mountain so had to clamber off road on the scooter past lots of locals who really didn’t expect to see us….especially the old lady who was showering naked in the stream.
We had a good chat to the locals at lunch and found out about Balinese life and learnt some Indonesian language from them.
We really enjoyed our time in Bali and would definitely go back to explore more of the island.