Of monkeys and Balinese culture

{ July 2009 - Bali, Indonesia }

After enjoying the sun, sea and sand in Sanur, and the nature and culture around Ubud in the past two days, we were ready to enjoy more of Ubud.

Day 3 (20 July) - Ubud

We started the day, bright and early, and walked towards the Ubud Monkey Forest. It is a natural reserve, with temples and lots and lots of monkeys!

The area was in a forest and so there were lots of trees all around.

We spent some time in the sanctuary - watching and trying to avoid the monkeys, visiting Pura Dalem Agung (a Hindu temple), and enjoying the nature (amidst the people around us). After that we walked towards Penastanan, following the suggested walk in Lonely Planet. It was a great change walking along the roads and houses where the locals actually lived.


When we reached Penastanan, we were greeted with endless views of paddy fields. Too bad the paddy fields weren't on terraces - else the view would have been even better.

We continued walking past many artists' houses, got a little lost, but finally found Antonio Blanco's museum. He was a Spanish artist who eventually lived in Bali with his Balinese wife. From the museum and his paintings, he was definitely an eccentric person. His art pieces are one of a kind, but a little too much for me sometimes with all the paintings of the nude female form.

After a tiring day with all the walks around Ubud, we treated ourselves to a wonderful meal in Warung Ibu Oka. They serve roasted suckling pig (a rarity in a country of Muslims, but acceptable in the island of Balinese Hinduism), and it was probably the best meal I had in Bali!

We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the Pasar Seni (Art Market), enjoying the act of haggling while shopping. I ended up buying an abstract painting (that up to this day is still sitting wrapped in my cupboard).

We had our dinner at Bebek Bengil Restaurant (Dirty Duck Diner). They served crispy duck and lots of Indonesians food. The dishes were a little pricey, but the food was definitely worth it. After dinner, we took a chartered taxi to Seminyak, for a good night rest before our last day in Bali.

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