Ubud, Bali: Part 1

Ubud, is probably hands down my most favorite region in Bali. The town is full of art and culture, and you can really see how the Balinese live.

I stayed in the  most unusual open air bungalow just 5 minutes south of the city.  I will write more on the bungalow as part of my design article.

My first stop was at the Sacred Monkey Forest which houses close to 350 mischievous monkeys all out to steal food from you.  I then explored central Ubud and attended a Legong Dance performance.  I was absolutely intrigued by the movement of the dancers; from their finger tips and toes all the way to their eyeballs.  Every gesture counts and every gesture is artistic.  After the show and a nice dinner at Cafe Lotus, I went on a motorcycle ride and was astounded by the number of temples in the town.  I later learned that each village has a temple and each family has its own temple in the family compound.

The next day was jammed packed with activities.  I went on a 25K bike tour through the country side of Ubud and its surrounding villages.

My first stop was the breathtaking rice terraces of tegallalang and then off to a nearby plantation to taste tropical fruits and try different coffees.  I was completely wired and ready for our next stop on the bike tour… a traditional family compound.

I learned that in Bali, there are only 4 names given to an individual: Wayan for the first child, Made for the second, Nyoman for the third, and Ketut for the fourth child.  At times you also have Wayan Accident for the fifth child.  The Balinese have no last names. I was wondering why I came across to many Wayans and Ketuts!

Family is very important to the Balinese people and most live together within the family compound.  The compound has been in the family for generations and most do not even know how old their house or temple is.  It could be hundreds of years old.

Each family is also known for a particular trade.  The one I visited specialized in making bamboo roofs. The technic is passed down from generations.

Back on my bike, I made a stop at a rice field where I helped farmers harvest the rice.  I think I just slowed them down, but my work seemed quite entertaining to them.

And of course I could not end the day without falling in a rice paddy and being covered in mud.

Thankfully I had an enormous Indonesian feast waiting for me at the end of the tour.

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One Response to “Ubud, Bali: Part 1”

  1. Those were some of the names in Eat, Pray, Love!….makes sense now.

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