Today we actually got out of the hotel and went to explore Bali by motorbike, it’s our last day here after all so it’s now or never! It’s a fairly big island so we were never going to fit everything in one day so we picked out a few top recommendations and set off.
After filling up the tank for a grand total of £1 (How am I ever going to get used to UK fuel prices again?!) we took a drive up to Ubud. After Kuta and Seminyak this is probably the next most popular tourist destination on the island, it’s almost slap bang in the middle so you don’t get the beaches but it suits those that prefer the mountains and endless greenery. It took over an hour to get there, we thought as soon as we’d got out of Kuta we’d be met with clear roads and peace and quiet but we was wrong, the traffic didn’t stop!
The first place we went in Ubud was Ubud Palace. After seeing so many amazing palaces across the world by now, this one was little underwhelming to be honest. It was very small but it was interesting to see how different the architecture was compared to other Asian countries. As with other asian countries, most temples here are ‘guarded’ by statues of mythical beasts, the ones in Bali are certainly the darkest and fearsome I’ve seen though! The intricacy in their carving was impressive and unlike any country we’ve been to the temple roofs were all black and made from thatch.
After stopping off for what turned out to be the worst spaghetti carbonara probably in the world, we headed over to Campuhan Ridge Walk. This is highly rated on trip advisor and is a lovely quiet walk through the rice terrace fields. As you look around you get views of temple tops, rivers and luscious green forestry everywhere. It was only a 2km walk but with it getting late by now we had to cut it short and start the 50 minute drive to Pod, a chocolate factory out in the sticks.
This drive turned out to be a bit of a waste of time. We read online it was £5 each for a tour of the factory, make your own chocolate and see their honey bears at the end. Instead we were greeted by a man telling us it was actually £25 each and £10 just to see the bears. He did say we could go in the shop though and do some free chocolate tasting. FREE CHOCOLATE TASTING? These 3 words were music to our ears and we were soon inside sampling everything in sight. It was actually really tasty, even the weirder flavours like banana and sea salt were good. As you’ve probably guessed we sampled way more than we should have and probably left looking like 5 year olds with chocolate all over our faces.
There’s a lot more to do in Ubud but it’s all very spaced out and time wasn’t on our sides. We wanted to fit in the Tanah Lot temple which is the most famous site on the island. It was back towards Kuta and meant another 1 hour drive (numb bum here we come again). The rock that Tanah Lot temple sits upon is said to have been discovered in the 16th century. it has a heavy Hindu influence and has also been part of Balinese mythology for centuries.
The temple was very touristy, it was absolutely packed and we were ushered through rows of market stalls to even gain entrance. I wouldn’t say it’s one of the best temples I’ve been to, it was a little too artificial and felt like it was only there to drive money. The grounds were more like a park than a place of worship and people were constantly hassling to sell you pointless things like hair clips and kites. As with Japan we got stopped twice by groups of young girls wanting their picture with us, as you can tell there was a bit of a mis-communication about whose camera we should look at first 🙂