Sunday, 7 September 2014

A Return to Ubud: Part 1

Angela and I spent our last two days in Bali back in Ubud, a town we'd fallen in love with on our first visit about a week previous. Before, we'd only had enough time to explore its mossy labyrinthine streets for one day, which clearly wasn't enough. This time we would get to see Monkey Forest and some stunning rice terraces, and we also rented a motorbike and drove to Tanah Lot on the coast.

We stayed in a different hostel to our last visit. This time, we had a great view over some local rice paddy fields.

We rented a motorbike and went for a ride around the streets. Ubud must have some of the worst traffic we've encountered in Southeast Asia. It's not terribly difficult to ride in, just very dense and slow-moving at times. It also took forever to find a gas station where we could refuel the bike. 
This is one of the reasons we love Bali so much: there are these amazing statues that anywhere else would be world-renowned tourist sites but here are just decorations for T-junctions and roundabouts. 
On our last visit to Ubud we spent most of our limited time exploring the colourful shops and galleries of Monkey Forest Road, but we didn't have time for Monkey Forest itself. This small nature reserve is home to around 600 crab-eating macaques, and is perhaps Ubud's most popular attraction.
You can buy a bunch of bananas and feed them to the monkeys. It was a little nerve-wracking at first as some of the monkeys could be a little feisty, bordering on aggressive at times. Apparently tourists get bitten here every day.
Most of the monkeys are pretty chill though.
This one kept tugging on Angela's skirt, trying to get her to give him more bananas.

There were lots of families with parents protecting the little ones.

The Monkey Temple. 

Getting some more monkey portraits.

Returning to our hotel at sunset.

That evening we drove just outside of town for some delicious barbecued food.
The next morning, we were back on the bike, ready for a trip to Tanah Lot, a temple on Bali's southwestern coast. 
Heading out of town.
Can't get enough of the architecture and decorations here.
We drove for about an hour and a half, passing temples, paddy fields and busy intersections. It's a good thing we brought a map; the roads were mazelike and mostly devoid of signs.

Click here to continue the adventure in Part 2!

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