Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
I hopped off the Perama shuttle bus at their office on Jalan Hanoman, only a few steps away from Ubud’s famous Bebek Bengil restaurant. I had not booked a place to stay, so I took the Perama staff’s advice to check out the north part of Jalan Goutama for the criteria that I was looking for: a room under IDR300,000/night, an area with easy access to food and a walking distance to Ubud Market.
One of the staff drove me to Jalan Goutama on a motorbike, with my big bagpack placed in between him and the dashboard, with IDR30,000 fare. He dropped me off at the intersection between Jalan Goutama and Jalan Dewi Sita. I randomly checked on two home stays that looked right – totally depending on gut feeling – before I decided to stay at Goutama Home Stay.
Why I chose Goutama Home Stay:
Other than that, Goutama Home Stay also has/is:
Although there were so many options of places to eat, I only ate at Biah Biah restaurant, right across Goutama Guesthouse, in all the 3 days I stayed there – sometimes I had meals around the UWRF venues on Jalan Sanggingan or at the center.
I like Biah Biah restaurant because:
Jalan Goutama is dubbed – in a mocking kind of way – as “the hipster street” by two people that I know. Seeing all the vegan, raw food restaurants, kombucha and homemade jam shop, taichi and yoga lesson signs along the street, I wasn’t surprised. I actually like the area because of the varieties offered – and because things are affordable to me. If I was to stay longer, I might just sign up for the tai chi class. I regret for not bringing home the homemade jams. I would’ve peeked in the fashion and jewelery boutiques, but I was actually stopped myself ‘cos I didn’t have the budget to go crazy with the lovely dresses and necklaces they displayed.
In the middle, Jalan Goutama intersects with Jalan Dewi Sita, a very long street with an array of boutiques – from fashion to soaps, restaurants and accommodations. Some Jakarta people that I know are crazy about the massage oils of Blue Stone, the homemade jam of Kou, both shops nestle on Jalan Dewi Sita.
On the north end, Jalan Goutama intersects with Jalan Raya Ubud, which is the busy main street of Ubud town, often jammed with cars in the weekend. Ice cream parlors, mini marts, fancy restaurants and Indonesian chain coffee shop Anomali are within short walking distance from the intersection.
Most shops are closed at 9 or 10 pm, so the street gets pretty dark afterwards since the street lamps are almost non-existing. Although it’s relatively safe to walk there at night, there’s no harm in putting extra carefulness. Some more things that I like about Jalan Goutama is that there was only a few stray dogs roaming the streets – and none was bothering me by following or barking at me like my experience last year when staying at Taman Mesari on Jalan Sandat, and the street is so alive from afternoon until around 10 pm that I wouldn’t have to worry about being lonely staying by myself.
Do you have a favorite street in any destination?