Tag Archives: Ubud

Bali, Indonesia – Ubud and the Rice Paddies

9/17 – We took a walk beyond the main tourist street to the place where the Indonesian wood carvings were made.  There were huge wood and stone carvings, most of which were too big to consider bringing home.  We came to a factory where the wares were stenciled “Costa Rica” and “Aloha from Hawaii” – now we know where the rest of the world gets its souvenirs!image image

Is it my imagination, or does this guardian spirit bear a striking resemblance to Homer Simpson??image

For our last walking day, we hired a guide to drive us to parts of Ubud we couldn’t get to on foot. Rai turned out to be a biologist, conservationist and lawyer, who takes tourists around in his spare time. We spent the morning walking through some of Ubud’s many rice paddies.

A farmer clears the weeds from the irrigation ditch, wearing a traditional sarong.image

Ducks also help keep the paddies properly cleaned: 

 Scarecrows and rattling cans keep the birds from eating all the rice before it can be harvested.


Rai showing us the rice flower:image

Rai was a wealth of knowledge about natural remedies. The fluid in these star flowers can be used as soothing eye drops.


You can eat this fist-sized spider to relieve your kidney stones:  

We stopped to pick delicious passion fruit from a nearby tree: 


After our rice paddy tour, we drove to a coffee plantation to see the famous Kopi Luwak.  This is coffee made from beans that have been eaten and excreted by civets.  The coffee sells for $600 a pound.  

Here are the civets.  They are nocturnal animals, and didn’t look happy being on display:

Here is the coffee-bean laden civet poop that collects under the cages:  

 The poop is dried and beans are cleaned:

The beans are roasted:

The beans are then pulverized into fine coffee powder:


We got to sample a variety of coffee flavors and visit the gift shop: 

Our afternoon ended with a trip to a waterfall. 


A lovely ending to our day!  

Bali, Indonesia – Ubud and the Monkey Forest

9/13 – After four weeks at the beach, it was time for our last move within Bali – to the town of Ubud.  Further north and in the center of the island, Ubud was the setting of the last part of the book Eat, Pray, Love, where the heroine finds love among the rice paddies.  We saw plenty of young female travelers here, perhaps looking to reenact that chapter.

Ubud reminded us of Sedona, Arizona, in that it is a groovy place where groovy people congregate to practice yoga and meditate.

We are staying at a small guesthouse with an outdoor kitchen and a tropical pool.  What to do during our last week?  We walked down the main street to visit a Hindu temple, and watched a procession in progress.


Lots of shopping opportunities, of course.

Artists with a sense of humor:


There is a mural on the road to our guest house that shows in comic form some things we may expect to encounter when we visit Ubud’s main attraction, the Monkey Forest, tomorrow.  Can’t wait!


9/14 – The Sacred Monkey Forest Temple, an ancient Hindu burial temple complex, welcomes about 15,000 visitors a month. The actual temple areas are closed to visitors, but make a lovely backdrop for an afternoon of monkey viewing.image


The monkeys are tubby and tame from accepting bananas from tourists, but we were warned not to make eye contact, and not to tease or try to hide food from a monkey. No peanuts are permitted, as they make the monkeys aggressive.

Brave tourists tried to get close for photo ops:imageimage


This little guy rushed the young man and snatched his water bottle:image

There were Balinese handlers who would place a baby monkey on a visitor for a small fee:image


This curious fellow wanted whatever was in that pocket:image

The adults spent their time grooming one another and doing what monkeys do.
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Mamas and babies:


As much fun as a barrel full of monkeys! IMG_2331