Ubud, Bali – Biking Out Batur to Ubud
We love Ubud! There! We said it. Although we’ve showed you so many other destinations in Indonesia, we can’t deny that Bali offers a side that we fell in love with. Following our quest to Nusa Dua, we decided to spend some time in our favorite area of Bali, Ubud. We heart these highlands and we celebrate it this time by going downhill. No, not psychologically or suicidal (with the quest to popularize the pineapple dance, how can we really be suicidal?). We took a bike trip downhill with the Bali Eco Cycling tour. Why? Cause the rumors w
ere right, they had the to-drool-over lunch in Bali. Boy, were we glad we did that trip 😀
We went down hill with the Bali Eco-cycling gang. A great tour all and all where you get to meet the people, become farmers, and get physical. Tour cost IDR 360,000 / pax which include your bike, helmet, drinking water, lunch, and many more!
Nick Homestay is located on Jl. Hanoman no.57 and accessed through a dark alley. Our room was IDR 380,000 with an ensuit bathroom, fan, and a balcony with a great view. For more info go to www.nickhotels-ubud.com
Bebek Bengil is well known for its good taste, and surely now for its great ambiance. A portion of it’s original duck is IDR 87,000 including greens. The restaurant is located on Jl. Hanoman, Ubud. For more info and contacts: www.bebekbengil.com
How to get there
Perama shuttle services major areas in Bali. Between Kuta and Ubud is a 1,5 hour ride costing IDR 50,000 / pax on a non-AC bus on certain hours. For more of their schedules and routes go to www.peramatour.com
It had been on my list for sometime now and I’m so glad that Vira was willing to join in. The bike tour idea was pretty straight-forward. You go down the Batur Mountain by bike and enjoy whatever you pass by. You will see the life of the locals, do some local activities, and get a tan while doing it. And that is doing it in style. *sunnies on*
Now, a lot of our friends have questioned, why on earth would we pay some amount of money for a tour that we can comfortably do ourselves? Easy! We can’t comfortably do it on our own. We would have to rent a bike and transportation up the mountain, in our limited amount of time. With these two small hands (have you seen how small we are? *cough*), the odds weren’t on our side. But then again, so what?! It’s all choices and once in a while we’re happy with being organized while we spend our long weekend on a vacation.
I’m sure the tour meant well, but have failed to mention that we would be driven to the coffee plantation and garden. I can sense that everyone (8 of us) were eager to get on a bike and paddle up. Turns out we did much of the first lag of the trip in a car, including to the first destination: the garden.
The garden was filled with local Indonesian fruit and herb trees. A bit of nibble on this and a sniff of that, educated us on a few local treats usually used in our dishes. I’m pretty sure it would be great information to travelers that have curiosity in the insides of our kitchen, especially the ones from non-tropical country. You’ll learn a lot of things with a guide on a tour, as did I eventhough I am a local. Nonetheless, I did learn a thing or two like Robusta coffee are like people, there are male and female seeds!
And this place also has caged Luwak, the famous rodent of which people pay tons of money to drink coffee seeds within the remains of their feces. Say what? Yes, feces. Hmpfh..oh that’s a great look on your faces 😛 Luwaks are cute but they have sharp claws. So no touchie! It made me wonder, how the hell did the first human find these seeds? You’d have to wonder, right? Ah humans, it’s always a wonder what we can discover 😛
Most of the trip was down hill. We really didn’t have to do much paddling, yet a lot more hitting the breaks. It was the right combination to enjoy the less seen Bali rather than concentrating on paddling. It was like sitting on moving chairs where all you have to do is look around and you’d have to stir a bit. On this trip, you will make a few stops and meet the locals, may they be in their house or working in rice paddies. And don’t say we didn’t warn you, but you will love trying their activities :D.
The guide, which I can’t remember his name, was very good. He had very good English skills and was very informative. He also had very good calves so I believed him as a bike guide. His assistant is a younger bloke that likes to show off his biking skills. A good young blood to challenge you.
And were the rumors true about the best lunch in Bali? Yes, it was! Enough said!
A few friendly tips we can offer is wear sun block, bring a mini first aid kit just incase, bring your own snack if you know you’ll easily fall in to hunger, and take seconds on the lunch.
We don’t want to spoil too much of the trip. Trust me, there’s much we haven’t spoiled! Muhaha! I’d say that I enjoyed my time doing something that had been on my list for sometime. Was it worth it and do we recommend it to you? For IDR 360,000 / pax yep! Especially for those that would like to see and meet the locals up closer even though you’re approaching them as tourists. And there’s nothing wrong about that. *tourist high five
We thought we’d try the famous and the ‘stated to be the origin’ of Bebek Bengil or dirty duck. I’m guessing the dirty duck was taken from the idea that it was from a free-range duck and that’s why it tastes good.
This venue has developed far if it had ever started small. It is now a luxurious place with huts, lush plants and ponds to serve an appetite for the eyes. How was the duck? The duck was pretty good really. It was tender and well cooked. They say you need to cook a duck right to have a good taste. I’m in no contradiction to that! But to be honest, we were a bit let down by the taste of the condiments including the Matah paste. We probably have different likings, but personally we like Bebek Dower’s Matah paste a lot more. The duck was better in Bebek Bengil, but the paste was better back in Jakarta. Again, this is a matter of taste
A traditional Bebek Bengil cost about IDR 87,000 / portion which included greens.
Jl. Hanoma, Ubud.
Telp. +62 361 975 489 / 977 675
For more information check out www.bebekbengil.com
This one time we ‘go show’-ed through Ubud. It was a little bit risky considering it was a national long weekend, but we thought that we’d give it a go. Once we arrived at the Perama shuttle stop, we decided to walk our way up the street and ask whichever accommodation allured us.
Out of curiosity we followed a sign located right in front of a dark alley. I was intrigued by the fact that it claimed to be a traditional Balinese house, which I love, and that it was in a dark alley. Right?
As we followed the dark alley, we found ourselves finally at a vast Balinese house compound. To our surprise, Nick’s Homestay is well known. It was Trip Advisors recommended accommodation for 2009. I can’t remember what made us decide to stay there, it probably was the tiredness and the need of a good night rest. And it sure was good to wake up with a mountain view from the balcony.
We also booked the bike tour from the receptionist. He recommended it from all the rest and gave an honest price. He also coordinated the trip. All we had to do was say the word. Now, that’s service.
Our room costs IDR 400,000 / night which includes a light breakfast and hot showers. There was no AC but then again, we were in Ubud. We don’t need one.
Did we mention they had free wifi?
Jl. Hanoman No. 57, Ubud
Telp. +62 361 975526
For more info go to:www.nickshotels-ubud.com
This time we tried the Perama shuttle system, and we have to say we’re very happy with it. Although we considered to head north using the Sarbagita, we were told that the bus only reaches the Gianyar bus station. To get to the heart of Ubud, it would take some effort since there wasn’t any public transport nor was taxi easy to find. So we opt for Perama, which stopped in the heart of Ubud.
In the Kuta area, Perama shuttle pool is located on the lower end of Legian (not far from the Bali Bombing Monument). We jumped on the non-AC bus and rode for one and an half hour up north, right in to Ubud on … street. We paid a nice IDR 50,000 / pax as opposed to the IDR 200,000 should we choose to take a taxi. That’s a great deal! *ka-chink
We traveled the same way back since we had to jump on an early plane back home. For more shuttle schedule and routes, head down to their site at www.peramatour.com