On one of our last days in Bali we decided to take the couple hour trip up to Ubud…the cultural center of the island. In Ubud a person could find fine arts, scenery, temples, and shopping… all good. We hired a taxi driver for the day, who ended up being this pretty rad guy who drives people around for a living. What blew my mind was that he only charged $50 dollars a day…and we had him from 8am-7pm. It’s crazy to think that $50 dollars a day can provide for his family of a wife and three children as well as himself. He was very gracious and went everywhere we wanted, even offering suggestions.
The first place on our list to visit was the Bali Zoo. We had heard that the zoo offered special ‘animal encounters’ and thought it would be neat to check it out. Seriously one of the best zoos I’ve been to! No, it wasn’t big by any means, but you were able to touch or feed so many animals! It was tons of fun.
The Bali Zoo takes very good care of their animals, and none are drugged when they have human contact. You are educated how to handle them, and all goes well! It was pretty fun!
Our next stop was Monkey Forest, Ubud. This place was surreal. I honestly felt like I was in some sort of Lord of the Rings/Planet Apes movie (except they were 1 1/2 to 2 ft tall monkeys).Huge trees with long ‘tarzan’ vines growing down vertically, moss covered rocks, sculptures, and of course monkeys. Everywhere. As a matter of fact, I’ve never seen so many monkeys combined from over my short little 23 year old life. The were everywhere. In the trees, on the rocks, on the ground, on and in the temples, on peoples heads….these little guys get around.
Before we entered the forest, we bought some bananas. We had no idea how fast these would go, but I’m glad we bought some. I’ll never forget the look on my husbands face as a monkey literally made a jump for him and latched ahold of his shirt, while he fished with the free hand for the bananas Derik was holding. These weren’t shy little creatures. I tried to get it on film, but it happened so fast the pictures came out a little blurry. At least you’ll see the ‘action’ of the photograph. The rest of the pictures were just taken as we were walking around the forest.
See? Lots of monkeys.
After Monkey Forest, we headed to the heart of Ubud for some shopping. Im not sure if I mentioned this before…but I LOVE to haggle. I love it so much, Derik cant even come into a shop with me…he feels bad for the salesperson. Lets just say I’m cheap, and I’d rather leave it than take it if it isn’t the price I want. I came away with some great finds…some absolutely to-die-for little Balinese dresses for my sister’s little girl (due December 3rd), dresses, 1o bags of bali coffee ( ok, it’s that good…I bought a lady’s whole stock) and of course, as any tourist would when they go to Bali, paintings.
I should explain something for you who are new to this. Bali paintings…absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Oil, acrylic, or some strange metal or other substance used to make art. They are all originals, no prints. And, get this, you’re going to pay $15-$100 dollars for them. That’s ranging sizes between 10″x 12″ to 32″ x 48″, maybe even bigger if you’re good at haggling. How could a person in their right mind pass up fine art at those prices? Honestly, maybe I shouldn’t blog about it…in fear that they’ll change their prices on me next time we go.
At the end of the day, we realized that we hadn’t even begun to tap all that is Ubud. So we made plans to go again. Maybe summer of 2013? Next time we visit we would like to stay in Ubud for a few days, just to get the real experience.