Just a few hours in an aircraft can take you…
As you may have noticed on my Instagram account I spent over 2 weeks exploring and eating my way trough Indonesia. The following updates will be posted in diary style to keep you informed about my Indonesian adventures.
Day 1: Arriving in Bali and checking in to Padma Resort Ubud
It was time to pack my suitcase and leave to Changi Airport. I spent a lovely couple of days in Singapore but now I was equally excited to spend some time on the beach. After a short flight of only 3 hours I finally arrived at my prime holiday destination: Bali, Indonesia. Here I will spend a little bit more than two weeks relaxing and indulging myself into luxury and going on adventures, where I hope to find some peace and quietness before the hectic Christmas holidays start.
This isn’t my first time on Bali, the islands of gods, and there has been a big change in comparison to my last visit 3 years ago. You no longer need to buy an entry visa nor pay a leaving fee if you are planning on staying in Bali for less than 30 days. Most countries within Europe/Oceania will get a visa on arrival so no need to queue and to fill in forms. This was a pleasant surprise because I didn’t know that the rules have changed.
After I got my visa stamp I walked into the arrival hall were the chaos started. Many guys who wanted to drive me to my hotel, approached me and start asking ridiculous prices. After spending quite some time in Asia before I know how to play this game by now and managed to reduce his starting price from 560.000 Rupiah to 325.000 Rupiah. 15.000 Rupiah makes 1 Euro- so for just over 21 Euros they were willing to take me to my first hotel 1.5 hours from the airport in a small town called Ubud, which is known as the cultural centre of Bali. Here I will be staying in a brand new property from the Indonesian chain Padma Resorts and Hotels.
It took the driver a little bit longer then expected because he got a little bit lost but the staff from Padma Resort Ubud guided him via telephone and everything worked out fine. Next time I will definitely book the shuttle from the hotel.
After a nice welcome drink my own butler escorted me to the room. Because I arrived very late and I didn’t had anything to eat during the flight I was still feeling a little hungry. Luckily this resort had a 24hour butler service so even though it was already 11pm I could still order some nasi goreng before I finally went to bed.
In the morning I could fully appreciate the room for what it is since I arrived late when it was already dark the previous day. The room was nice and spacious with approximately 60 square meters combining modern design with traditional Balinese aesthetics. From my private balcony I had a beautiful view over the valley which is located in the middle of the jungle in the Payangan area. The room has a nice Asian feel to it. There is a lot of use of wood which makes it blend in so well with the surroundings. After I had woken up it was time for my morning workout, luckily Padma Resort Ubud has its own jogging track which I was eager to try. While jogging down the track I finally made it to the bottom of the valley where I saw a small creek with a nice picturesque bamboo bridge crossing it. The entire jogging track is 1.5 km long but the entire property has 11 Acres of land so if you want, you can do quite the distance when you go out for a jog.
The Padma Resorts are well known for their spas and relaxing atmosphere – Padma Resort Ubud is no exception. With a spa, a fully equipped gym and sunset yoga training, there are many ways to relax. Every day there is a changing schedule with activities like a bike tour through the local village, different workshops etc. so there is always something to do if you feel like being active.
Swimming around in the gorgeous infinity pool or sipping on a fresh fruit juice at the sunken pool bar, how can I not be anything else than relaxed. While sipping my berry shake I noticed all these small birds diving and briefly touching the water. It was so amazing to see all these birds taking a small bath while I was overlooking the jungle. Such an amazing atmosphere – I really felt part of the surrounding, it was so peaceful and quiet. Padma Resort Ubud is really the perfect place if you want to relax and enjoy the tranquility in a natural setting.
After some pool time it was time to try out the lunch menu, the resort offers a nice variety between Asian and European food, from super healthy to the good old burger and everything in between. Same can be said about the Puhu Restaurant and Lounge which is situated on the 3rd floor overlooking the valley where I had dinner. There was a nice balance between the different cuisines and a good balance between fish and meat. The staff are very friendly and helpful while I was choosing what to eat, recommending dishes and the wines which go with them. It had a very homely touch to it which I very much enjoyed. The afternoon tea is also served here offering a nice mix of sweet and savory treats.
In the morning I couldn’t help it but get up early to see the sunrise while enjoying a swim in the heated infinity pool. After a shower it was time to head up to the restaurant for breakfast. Since I was there during the soft opening I could choose my breakfast from a menu offering Western, Indonesian or Japanese style breakfast. I loved the Nasi Goreng for breakfast, as well as the freshly cut fruit which were also very tasty.
After some relaxing time by the pool it was unfortunately time to pack my bags again and check out. The Grand Opening of the hotel will be this February and I will be back for sure on my next visit to Bali.
In order to get to my next destination I arranged transport through the hotel. The driver who picked me up also offered me to take me to some sights along the way without any additional charge which was a great way to see more of the surrounding areas.
Things to do in Ubud area
Ubud is known for being the cultural centre of Bali and there is a lot of things to do in the area. The hotel also offers a free shuttle service to Ubud town centre.
Ubud town centre
Ubud is far removed from the party beach scene and often considered as the cultural centre of Bali and a hub for arts and crafts. It is a great place to wander around the arts and crafts shops, check out some healthy cafés and restaurants or visit the museums. If you want to join a yoga or meditation class this is the right place to do so. Yoga Barn is a popular spot but very crowded, alternatively try Radiantly Alive and Intiutive Flow.
Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Come here to enjoy the beautiful scenery and enjoy a stunning view over the rice paddies. It is a great place to take photos, go for a walk or take a seat in one of the restaurants to have some Indonesian food and sip on a cold drink while admiring your surroundings.
Luwak Coffee Plantage
It is very likely that at some point during your trip your driver will take you to a coffee plantage where the famous Luwak coffee is produced. Luwak coffee is actually one of the most expensive coffees in the world and considered a delicacy. I found it very interesting to see what plants like cinnamon, coffee, ginger etc. actually look like and to meet the Luwak. You will get to try a taster of the different varieties of tea and coffee they produce for free and if you want to try the Luwak coffee you can do so for a small cost. However I wouldn’t recommend you to buy anything at the shop since it is usually a bit overpriced.
Sacred Monkey Forest
In a beautiful jungle setting where you can also find some temples you will be able to see over 500 Macao monkeys. Walk through the area and watch the monkey, play with them and feed them bananas. Just be careful with your belongings since the monkeys could try to steal them.
Mount Batur for sunrise
Join a guided tour for an amazing trek up to the active volcano Mount Batur. You will climb up to the highest peak from where you will be able to enjoy a glorious sunset and stunning morning views.
Thank you Padma Resort Ubud for a great stay.
To book Padma Resort Ubud: http://www.padmaresortubud.com