You cannot visit Bali and not come and see the lush and verdant countryside in the centre of the island. Take some time out to breathe in that fresh air!
Although I was staying in a cheap hotel in Kuta beside the seaside, I did manage to get to Ubud a few times as daytrips. One of the main reasons was that I was so eager to see the Balinese rice paddies and other parts of the countryside. I didn’t see any when I was in the Philippines, as I went to all the wrong areas (i.e. Manila and Boracay), but the centre of Bali is a heaven for these kind of paddies, and I wasn’t going to miss them this time round! It takes about an hour in a taxi van to get to Ubud from Kuta, which is quite arduous, but there is lovely scenery along the way, so you’ll never get too bored.
You are really right out in the heartland of Bali, the true countryside, here in Ubud. The air feels fresher, and a little cooler, and the pace of life is markedly slower. When you are standing in lush greenery wiling away the day by watching dragonflies rather than trying to dodge stoned moped drivers on the pavements of the beachside roads, then you know you are in a more peaceful part of the island!
Ubud is certainly the cultural heart of Bali, as I have written about before. I did a lot here, from gazing at the wildlife, to taking as many photos as I could of the epic green landscape. I always like watching the locals going about their daily lives, and in a way makes me wish I was Indonesian and that I could join them on some kind of work experience job!
Have you seen the rice paddies and verdant countryside of Bali? How does it compare to that of your own country? I swear there’s something magical about Ubud, and not just the fields…even the people, the markets, the music, the old wives’ tales, and yes, even the cows somehow look more content here!