Offbeat Ubud and Amed
Hi! Glad to see that you like the itinerary and hotels we suggested. Now let's have a look at some offbeat activities and attractions near Ubud and Amed.
(Source: Carnaval King 08)
There is a newly opened Balinese eatery, the Warung Rai Pasti (Monkey Forest Road, +62 (0)361 970908) that offers all the authentic local classics such as soto ayam (chicken noodle soup), tempeh goreng (beancurd fried in a spicy sambal sauce) and babu guling (suckling pig) and you don't have to wait long for your suckling pig as you do at the popular eateries such as the Bebek Bengil or the Dirty Duck Diner. And the best part is, you get to sit at the edge of rice fields while you eat, if you can get the tables hidden away at the back.
Freediving the Ocean - Into the Light (Source: jayhem)
Amed is one of the few places in Bali where you can learn free diving (incidentally Luc Besson's film The Big Blue has some stunning depictions of freediving) and whether you are a beginner or an advanced free diver Apneista Freediving training and Yoga space should have something for you. It's Bali's first freediving school. The best place to free dive is Jemeluk Bay with a lack of strong currents and deep and steep coral walls.
Here's a review:
After a relaxing morning yoga session & theory training in Apneista's chilled beach centre, we hopped into Jemeluk Bay, swam to the buoys via colourful fish & coral (spectacular snorkelling is also found here!) and dropped the line. Iâ€™m not completely comfortable swimming in deeper seas yet I didnâ€™t mind being in 30m depths so close to the shore. Jemeluk is a stunning bay with Mt Agung framing the shoreline - in my eyes one of Bali's most naturally beautiful locations. So glad I moved away from Bali's noisy south for a weekend! With instructor Matthew's patient training and genuine encouragement, I was able to dive a little more each time, pushing beyond the mindâ€™s fears & boundaries, feeling confident, safe and very free. I loved the underwater freedom without a heavy tank weighing me down. After being taught simple breathing & relaxation techniques, holding my breath was much easier than expected!
Ubud Rice Paddy Fields - Bali Indonesia (6) (Source: Eric Pesik and Deanna Pesik)
Walking in Ubud's rice paddies is what even the locals enjoy doing, as this local restaurant-owner writes lyrically in Jakarta Post. There are plenty of walks off the beaten track, and you can spend at least half a day getting pleasurably lost.
But if you want something more definite, you can walk about a kilometer up to Campuhan Bridge through the paddy fields, follow the sign there and arrive at Sari Organik (+62 361 780 1839 or 972 087) the farm that feeds the kitchens of the two eateries by that name as well as produces fresh organic vegetables and fruit that go into packaged food. You can help pick fresh vegetables for smoothies or salads or enjoy a meal in the midst of palm foliage under a bamboo roof.
IMG_8426 (Source: mari.francille)
Still was the night. (Source: rickyqi)
After hiking or snorkeling, you may want to relax and get a rub-down at a traditional massage center. There is no dearth of spas and wellness centers in Bali, but there is one that has an edge over the others in that it is secluded, hidden far away from the urban center, and the masseurs will make you feel like they are masters at their art.
The Spa Alila Ubud (+62 361 975 963; Desa Melinggih Kelod, Payangan, Gianyar, Bali; ) lies in paddy fields, with the Ayung river on one side and an alang-alang field on the other (it is the grass of which traditional Balinese roofs are made). Of course it's not easy getting to the spa, but the distance (20 minutes' drive away) is its USP and what keeps it offbeat.
Here is a review:
Alila Ubud doesn't simply happen upon their therapists by accident; only those with five years' experience are welcome to apply, and even then they must undergo intensive training for three months before they begin work at Alila. Every six months, they must also undergo a refresher course to update their skills. Apart from their obvious skill, the therapists seem to have been chosen for their ability to make a personal connection with their clients. Ardianti took the trouble to check if the strokes were too harsh, or if I was feeling comfortable. There was simply a degree of warmth there that has been missing in most spas I've encountered as of late.
(Source: Spa Alila Ubud Review)
There's a tiny and elegant little bar in Jalan Raya called Studio 22 (Oka Kartini Bungalows, Jalan Raya Ubud; +62 361 975 624) owned by Madam Oka Kartini and her sons in the midst of exotic gardens and antique and delicate woodcarvings. The hosts serve excellent wine and mix exciting cocktails, and sometimes host dinners. There is an excellent sound system, and a jewelry and antique shop owned by one of the sons behind the bar. It is there that you can pick up a Kocokan, which is an ancient Balinese temple game disguised as folk art with fantastical fish, snakes and turtles on a canvas mat, painted by hand.