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Bali | The Menjangan + Ubud | Part 5


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This part of the series is going to tackle 2 different locations: The Menjangan + Ubud. The final entry of the Bali Series will be posted later this week. Hope you've enjoyed!


\\The Menjangan//


For the next portion of the trip we journeyed down, out of the cloud shrouded mountains to The Menjangan, a beachside resort on the north West coast of Bali. I was especially excited for this portion of the trip because the resort is located in 382 hectares of untouched wilderness that is called Bali Barat National Park. 

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Because The Menjangan is on such a large piece of land, with so much vegetation, the resort is split into 2 types of accommodations: the monsoon lodge in the heart of the forest and the beachside villas. When we arrived we expected to be staying in the forest (which looked amazing), but were ecstatic to hear we'd been upgraded to a beachside villa. To say these rooms were amazing would be the understatement of the century.

A series of boardwalks stretch over the sand and extend to each beautiful bungalow room. Inside is bright open and airy with a big beautiful white bed smack-dab in the centre. Looking forward from the bed are two large, glass doors that open onto your private deck with steps that led straight into the sand a few feet from the water's edge. 

At night you could lie in bed and hear the waves lapping the shore and if you were lucky you could watch the ocean change tones as tropical lighting storms rolled in and out right before your eyes. 

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The resort is named after the Menjangan, deer that make their way to the beach for nibbles at low tide. We saw them multiple times during our stay.

The resort is named after the Menjangan, deer that make their way to the beach for nibbles at low tide. We saw them multiple times during our stay.

The views from the restaurant at the main lodge when you arrive.There is also an incredible tower that you can venture to the top of to get an even better view. 

The views from the restaurant at the main lodge when you arrive.There is also an incredible tower that you can venture to the top of to get an even better view. 

This is Tyler doing his laundry in the most beautiful, private, outdoor tub (out the doors behind the bed in the suite). I think it's safe to say we're not used to travelling at this level of luxury. I should mention that the place did offer laundry service ;) That night I had one of the best bubble baths of my life out here before cozying up in a big, white robe and watching a movie (the hotel bring you a book to choose from!). 

This is Tyler doing his laundry in the most beautiful, private, outdoor tub (out the doors behind the bed in the suite). I think it's safe to say we're not used to travelling at this level of luxury. I should mention that the place did offer laundry service ;) That night I had one of the best bubble baths of my life out here before cozying up in a big, white robe and watching a movie (the hotel bring you a book to choose from!). 

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The view from the beach. Colonies of mangrove trees with roots reaching into the ocean surround the area. 

The view from the beach. Colonies of mangrove trees with roots reaching into the ocean surround the area. 

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We had so many romantic meals on the beach looking at this incredible view. The location was just so quiet and secluded, perfect for a couple's retreat.

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A dock houses a beautiful, beachside restaurant amongst the mangroves - the best spot to enjoy a drink or have a great breakfast.

A dock houses a beautiful, beachside restaurant amongst the mangroves - the best spot to enjoy a drink or have a great breakfast.

Because the park is so large, to get be from the lodge to the beach location you are given rides on these amazing shuttles. You sit on top and drive through the the jungle canopy and get to see wild chickens and monkeys and more if you're lucky! 

Because the park is so large, to get be from the lodge to the beach location you are given rides on these amazing shuttles. You sit on top and drive through the the jungle canopy and get to see wild chickens and monkeys and more if you're lucky! 

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Local fishermen. We took a kayak (offered by our hotel) around the bay and got to check out the nooks and crannies along the shoreline. There were tons of amazing activities offered to keep you busy in the secluded destination (snorkelling, dive trips, jungle walks) but we had a really great time just taking it easy and being at our beachside bungalow.

Local fishermen. We took a kayak (offered by our hotel) around the bay and got to check out the nooks and crannies along the shoreline. There were tons of amazing activities offered to keep you busy in the secluded destination (snorkelling, dive trips, jungle walks) but we had a really great time just taking it easy and being at our beachside bungalow.

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After a couple of nights it was sadly time to say goodbye to The Menjangan and move onto our next adventure.


\\UBUD//


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I wish we'd made more time in our schedule for Ubud. We walked until our h\feet were blistered. We discovered the most amazing little shops and eateries and we slept like logs every night.

We stayed in Pertiwi Bisma II . It was really great for the price and had an amazing pool. 

It's really important to get a hotel in a central location in Ubud. Some have mailboxes in the city area that show up on google maps, falsely leading you to believe they are more central then they are. 

Ubud is a town in the midsection of Bali. It is full of yoga, spas, shops, restaurants and lots of Bali retreats take place in Ubud. I think Tyler & I both agree that Ubud was our favourite spot in Bali. There's tons of culture and hustle bustle. It's lush and beautiful and there are lots of alleys full of shops, markets to barter at and super healthy restaurants to try. 

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No picture for proof, but Nomad - across from the temple in town, was our favourite restaurant in Ubud. We ate there multiple times, trying lots of dishes - and we loved pretty much every single one. I believe the chef was an iron chef (?) and the food is incredibly high quality at a totally affordable price.

Every back alley is full of life. It's beautiful and retains it's cultural appearance. Vendors sell snacks and the smells of them cooking waft and mingle with with the incense from the offerings that litter the streets.

Every back alley is full of life. It's beautiful and retains it's cultural appearance. Vendors sell snacks and the smells of them cooking waft and mingle with with the incense from the offerings that litter the streets.

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Market vendors call to your from every angle. They're sweet and endearing and make little jokes with you to try to get you to take a look "miss come look, come look... something for you? silks?" It's never obnoxious,  and this is coming from a shy person that would normally feel uncomfortable in that situation. The local demeanour is just really welcoming and free of pressure. 

Fresh snake fruit, durians and mangosteens at the market.

Fresh snake fruit, durians and mangosteens at the market.

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So there is a market in the middle of the city. I have never bartered in my life and had no idea what to do. You always start at half of what you are wiling to pay and then you barter until you hit that middle ground. I thought I would feel bad haggling, but it soon became really fun because the people were so cute - mostly witty older women who ushered you into their space "I give you good price, good price"

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Post-trip thoughts on Ubud markets and bartering:

  • Don't be afraid to start low, they star high - you will find a middle ground
  • Ikat handwoven textiles, silks, pashminas, vanilla beans, rompers (which I lived in), hippie pants and backpacker hammocks (expensive at home) were our best finds
  • There is also great silver jewellery, but I'm more of a gold girl myself so that didn't work for me
  • Be the first customer of the day and they are more willing to bargain because the first sale is indicative of the luck for the day
  • Don't be afraid to walk away - that's when you find out whether they were offering you a good price or not, because they will usher you back in with lower if it wasn't
  • Have fun and be respectful - always be willing to buy at the first price you offer. It's a really great way to strike up conversation and have fun with locals.
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I jokingly claimed this guy a my dog. I could've packed him in my suitcase in a split second - but he was having none of it. Didn't even bat an eyelash when I tried to get his attention. I think he has it pretty good there.

I jokingly claimed this guy a my dog. I could've packed him in my suitcase in a split second - but he was having none of it. Didn't even bat an eyelash when I tried to get his attention. I think he has it pretty good there.

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I loved the women in Bali. So strong and capable.

I loved the women in Bali. So strong and capable.

You would often see roosters in cages like this on the side of the road. I joked about running and setting them all free, as I thought they were to be dinner that night. I learned later that they were actually put out like that to get riled up for cock-fighting. I didn't learn this until after my return. As I said in an earlier post - i strive in my travels to not be culturally insensitive as I am a guest in a foreign land, but I did feel bad for these lovely creatures.

You would often see roosters in cages like this on the side of the road. I joked about running and setting them all free, as I thought they were to be dinner that night. I learned later that they were actually put out like that to get riled up for cock-fighting. I didn't learn this until after my return. As I said in an earlier post - i strive in my travels to not be culturally insensitive as I am a guest in a foreign land, but I did feel bad for these lovely creatures.

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We were recommended to try this place: "Ibu Oka" for Babi Guling, a Balinese delicasy. I think it was featured by Anthony Bourdain at one point. It was in a backyard of a house in a random alley. Rather unsuspecting looking, when you walked in there were tons of tables in these low 'temple' structures and you removed your shoes and sat cross legged to eat. I loved  the experience. Turns out the dish is crackly, crazy, deep-fried pig that is delicious but way too rich for more than one bite (for me). The coconut and rice were amazing thought and I'm really glad we made this stop.

We were recommended to try this place: "Ibu Oka" for Babi Guling, a Balinese delicasy. I think it was featured by Anthony Bourdain at one point. It was in a backyard of a house in a random alley. Rather unsuspecting looking, when you walked in there were tons of tables in these low 'temple' structures and you removed your shoes and sat cross legged to eat. I loved  the experience. Turns out the dish is crackly, crazy, deep-fried pig that is delicious but way too rich for more than one bite (for me). The coconut and rice were amazing thought and I'm really glad we made this stop.

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3 hours at the spa for $15.00. A couples massage, an exfoliating rub and wrap, finished with a flowered filled bath and tea. There were just not enough hours in the day to to adventure and spa!

3 hours at the spa for $15.00. A couples massage, an exfoliating rub and wrap, finished with a flowered filled bath and tea. There were just not enough hours in the day to to adventure and spa!

This was another restaurant recommended to us - Bebek Bengil (The Dirty Duck). A specialty crispy duck served in a smiliar setting to to the Ebu Oki restaurant (above). Low tables in temples, sitting cross-legged with no shoes and surrounded by the most amazing gardens. 

This was another restaurant recommended to us - Bebek Bengil (The Dirty Duck). A specialty crispy duck served in a smiliar setting to to the Ebu Oki restaurant (above). Low tables in temples, sitting cross-legged with no shoes and surrounded by the most amazing gardens. 

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I loved Ubud and would head back in heartbeat. If you're going to Bali give time for this place, it's really worth it.

One more post in the Bali Series to come this week!