For my birthday this year, we organized a visit to Ubud to 'live' with elephants. Korin and Kees came with us and we had an amazing time! Totally recommend the hotel and Ubud.
We stayed at Elephant Lodge Park which is of a zoo/ attraction park 2,5 hrs away from Dempasar airport. The drive up there is totally worth it and staying at the Lodge gives you the opportunity to really experience being with elephants. Everyday we would open the window and see them munching their breakfast, we would then go and wash a few of them and go for a dip in the lake/pool. The elephants are mostly free and can pick you up in your room for a little ride.
The Lodge is 30mins away from Ubud which is a lovely little town with restaurants and bars in the midst of temples. It really doesn't feel very touristic and we ate very well – ribs on the side of the road were the absolute best – do not miss going to Naughty Nuri's! Korin even went for the classic ribs and cosmo! But we were also extremely pleased with Fair Warung Bale which raises fund to treat people in Bali. I think it is a trend that good-hearted swiss guy/ couple would open really nice restaurant in the region for a good cause. The other restaurant we went to was a place called Bridges, a beautiful place above a river with a spectacular view, and the food was pretty good too!
Typically dance performances are not very good but we went to see a fire dance which was extremely different from everything we had seen. A group of 100 men chanting along a little play followed by a man kicking dry coconut shells in flames. Strange but it works 🙂
Ubud is also famous for the proximity to the volcano that we went to see followed by a bike ride through the villages and rice fields. It was interesting to see a typical home where 3 generations live together and build a temple in the yard to pray. The best part of the ride was that we were able to see a special celebration that decorated the streets and brought people out. Enchanting!
We had a chance to learn how kopi luwak is made and try it. Interesting a little different from normal coffee but there is something about grains out of animal poo that doesn't sit very well with me 🙂
At the end of the trip we did a pit stop at a beach close to the airport but I wish we had gone to Nusa Dua or somewhere else in the south. I guess we will be going to Bali again! Want to join us?