By Charity & Tim
You have three days and $500 (not including air fare), where should you go? There are many choices in Asia but for a short three day excursion, limited budget or no budget, Bali offers something for everyone. Five-star resorts to, home-stays, hostels and ashrams, gastronomical dining to warungs (locally owned eatery), luxury spas to a street corner stop-ins, shops of all sorts and a variety of cultural classes taught by locals, as well as outdoor adventures that include volcanoes, rivers, bicycles, 4-wheelers, kites and more. Bali is indeed the ultimate vacation destination!
With so many choices, planning can be difficult if you are unfamiliar with the area so we’ve taken the time to map out your trip, guiding you to the best Bali has to offer. Our three day journey will take place in the once sleepy village of Ubud, now a mecca for those seeking the “real Bali”. Located in the cooler hills Ubud is the artistic and cultural heart of Bali, a perfect destination for your Bali vacation. Lets Get Started.
- As dawn breaks crisp and clean in the exotic mountain air, life is beginning to stir in the ancient city. Coffee and breakfast are first on the agenda at Taksu spa and restaurant. This establishment offers one of the best breakfasts (we recommend the breakfast burrito), great coffee, the most comfortable indoor seating or outdoor tables in a jungle like setting.
- After our leisurely breakfast we will dive right into the local culture, by wondering through the central Ubud Craft Market open daily from 5am and/ or a stroll through the Sacred Monkey Forest.
- Lunch at the local cafe and boutique Kismet. Here they greet you with a cold face towel and cucumber water upstairs at the cafe, we recommend the pad thai (the best in Ubud) or the green vegetable curry, both are organic.
- Now is a perfect time to get your first spa experience. Our top recommendation is Tjampuhan spa. We recommend the Dewi Package + half-day spa. This amazing deal includes a facial, massage, steam room, sauna, hot and cold pools in the grotto and use of the main swimming pool. A great place to unwind and relax.
- Now that you’re refreshed let’s get out for a night on the town. An appetizer and or happy hour drink at Oops, located on the main road this location (across from this morning’s market) is ideal for people watching. With 15% off we can indulge before our dinner reservations at Clear Cafe. This stunningly beautiful restaurant creates culinary works of art with locally grown produce and a whole lot of love.
- Time to top off the night at one the hottest hot spots. The CP Lounge promises a night of fun with live music and dancing making the 3am closing time seem much to early.
- Topping off our first day in paradise seems impossible be we will surely give it our best effort. Let’s look at two options to begin the morning.
- Option 1: Go on a cycling tour with Grace Bali. This option (at a 30% discount) includes breakfast overlooking the active volcano, Mount Batur. An exhilarating experience! Followed by a coffee and spice farm tour with Luwak Coffee Tasting. Wrapping up the day by cycling back to Ubud Via the scenic route. A downhill ride passing through local villages giving a glimpse into the local homes, temples and schools. Includes transportation to the starting point.
- Option 2: Attend one or a few of the many cultural classes offered. Choose from Chik Batik making, Silversmithing, Labonging (our word not theirs), Mask Carving, Wood Carving and Fruit Carving just to name a few. This option doesn’t include breakfast so why not enjoy some great coffee and breakfast pastries at Anomali Coffee before your class.
- After one of these two options, we recommend lunch at Bali Buda, a staple in Bali for 20 years and don’t forget to stop in their organic shop, Buda Mart located just around the corner for some take away baked goods and more.
- Relaxing back at the hotel sounds like a bit of heaven on earth preceding another and possibly the most fabulous of dinners at Fivelements.
- Fivelements, a healing and wellness retreat offers many services, not the least of which is an exceptional dining experience in the Sakti Dining Room. The cuisine is prepared using living foods for optimum taste as well as healing for the mind body and soul. You will be amazed and delighted by not only the meal but the architecture and ambience too.
- The final day in paradise is filled with a myriad of choices. Really you need more time, but since time is ticking, we will do our best to decide what’s next.
- It’s breakfast again and I’m torn between two wonderful choices. Breakfast and coffee at Warung Schnitzel, it’s much more than the name would imply and they do have some amazing sausages to compliment your eggs or breakfast at Sari Organik a gem in the middle of the rice field, but be prepared for a lovely 15-20 minute walk if you choose the Organik trail.
- Having decided where to breakfast the choices are only getting tougher. You may want to take a Balinese cooking class at Paon which includes a market visit to buy ingredients or the Bali Herbal Walk, which is an up close and personal tour of all things herbal, learning to identify them by sight and smell and learn how to make a Balinese medicinal drink that you can use back home.
- Whatever you decided, we recommend a 2 hour hot stone massage at the Pita Maha Resort Spa which includes lunch and a dip in the infinity pool or a “jungle” spa experience at Cantika Spa. Cantika makes all their products from ingredients grown on site in the Bali “jungle” but yet only 10 minutes away from Ubud central.
- An afternoon of shopping is an easy choice. First up is Suen Noaj Boutique for a some new hip European influenced threads, followed by Namaste for the spiritually inclined, Nadis Herbal Store and Angelo Store for herbs and holistic remedies, Street 278, a shop with “purpose” for recycled bags, M Shop which offers another cool line of bags and wallets but from recycled tire tubes. For your last minute souvenirs on the go, try upstairs at our favorite big grocery market, Bintang. They have a wide selection with fixed prices that makes getting in and out quick and clear.
- Shopping done and souvenirs bought you have only one more choice left to make. Dinner at Cafe Vespa or dinner at the Jendela House which offers a free glass of wine for your first visit, and is known for their unique dining experience. These are two very different styles but both are lovely and are sure to impress.
- Though dinner was a tough choice, the after hours party is not. The XL Shisha lounge for another night of live music and drinks.