Friday Five: The Ubud Five

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So anyways, hubby and I have been in Bali for the best part of the last two weeks. We leave tonight- substantially more relaxed and balanced than when we left. I haven’t blogged at all while we’ve been away, but have a journal full of posts that I’ll share gradually over the next few weeks.

For now, a Friday Five.

We spent the first half of this holiday up in Ubud. The travel books call it the heart of Bali and really, truly, it is. If you’ve only been to the beaches of South Bali, you’ve really only skimmed the surface. Ubud encourages you to go deeper…much deeper.

Other than Monkey Forest (which I’ve told you about before), and a cooking class (a must do that I told you about here and here), what else is there to do up there?

Reflexology

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You’ll get good reflexology and foot massages elsewhere throughout Bali (there are some great spots in Legian down Jn Melasti and Jn Padma), but they’re worth a mention here too. A word of warning, these can hurt like hell! Especially if the therapist gets into a pressure point that corresponds to part of your body that’s not feeling so flash.

You will, however, walk out feeling as though your feet belong to someone else.

The traditional reflexology treatment uses powder rather than oil and will concentrate on activating pressure points. It’s seriously effective.

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These days I’m a wimp and go for the Balinese foot massage. It’s done with oil, and firm pressure on the acupressure points, and, while it can be wince inducing, is a much more pleasant experience.

Expect to pay around $5-$6AUD on the main street.

Of course, if you’re after a full massage or something substantially more pampering, you won’t need to go far to find one.

Walk through a rice field

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I’ll tell you another time about a great walk we accidentally did, but you won’t need to go too far to find one. There’s something about all that green and the water running through it that lowers your blood pressure immediately. If you’re lucky you’ll even see some rice paddy ducks.

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By night the paddy comes alive with the sound of insects and frogs. If you look carefully you’ll see fireflies darting through the stalks.

See a dance performance

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There’s a different cultural performance each night. You don’t need to buy tickets before you leave- there are plenty of sellers around the venue each day, and they only cost a few dollars. The best places (visually) to see the shows are at Pura Taman Saraswati, and Ubud Palace. Right in the centre of town, you can’t miss it.

It can be a little disconcerting afterwards to see a performer still in full barong costume go tearing off on their motorbike.

Do a yoga class

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It’s not just the Eat, Pray, Love thing, the Balinese really truly talk about meditation and yoga practice as part of normal life. It’s about connecting the body and the brain and bringing it all into balance. Balance is another big theme up here- and one I’ll tell you about later.

Anyways, most hotels will do a daily yoga class, but if you’re in a homestay or somewhere that doesn’t, there are plenty of classes around town you can join.

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Get lost up a side street

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Alleys or lanes are called Gangs here, and there are plenty to wander up. Keep your eyes open, don’t worry about getting lost, dodge the stray chooks, and just walk. After the bustle around the Palace, these little streets are surprisingly calm.

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Don’t forget to keep your eyes open- we had a good giggle over the Chicken Gordon Blue on the menu board below.

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Comments

2 comments on “Friday Five: The Ubud Five”
  1. Deborah says:

    I keep meaning to ask you re GF options there? I’m assuming – given the number of tourists they’d have to cater for dietary needs.

    The idea of reflexology and a massage sounds wonderful!

    1. Jo says:

      Ubud definitely does, so does Seminyak. In the real touristy places e.g. Legian & Kuta, not so much. There’s lots about the cuisine, though, that’s naturally GF- again though, you get a poor example of it in some of the touristy places.

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