Bali has always been known for it’s healing properties and calming aura. Travel journalist Bronwen Gora discovered even more reasons to go to Ubud in Bali to find your chi.
Ubud is Bali’s epicentre of raw food – and everything wonderful that can be done with it. Most exceptional is Soma Café in Dewi Sita St. Magic is performed with raw ingredients here, especially on the raw chocolate cake. Other do-not-miss eateries are Kafe (Jl Hanoman) where the mint slice is divine and Bali Buddha (Jl Jembawan) for the most extensive vego and juice menu in town.
Ubud is located in the hills and therefore slightly cooler than the coast and less frenetic than Bali’s tourist meccas of Seminyak, Legian and Kuta. Ubud’s few central streets Jl Hanoman and Jl Monkey Forest and surrounds may be busy but turning out of either and taking a left and right soon leads to lush hills, rice paddies and deep valleys.
Enjoying life is all about balance so maintain the yin yang balance with an indulgent Sunday brunch at internationally renowned Indus restaurant. The main reason other than the beautiful fresh food is the expansive valley views from the terrace.
You’ll find the best here and a plethora of dedicated teachers. The Yoga Barn’s Emily is hailed as one of the best Anusara yoga teachers while Radiantly Alive offers nine – yes nine – styles of yoga. These two are a cut above what you’ll find in many places, housed in beautiful new buildings.
Find the most fashionable as well as the widest range in Ompure (next door to Kafe) in Jl Hanoman. Expect to pay city prices – but the gear is oh so feminine yet edgy.
This gorgeous, gated compound of three stunning, unique luxury villas and pools was built by Californian jeweller Carolyn Tyler. She has let her creative streak loose on this luxurious getaway: rooms and levels colour-coded according to chakras, spring-water pools and a meditation tower overlooking the rice paddies.
Find it on villanabali.com
For massages you’ll remember forever, this is the first recommendation of 99 per cent of Ubud yoga junkies. A treatment with Ketut Arsana, referred to as “The Master”, is the penultimate experience, in the form of anything from spiritual advice to acupuncture.
This annual festival in March enters its seventh year in 2014. It’s like a multi-day music festival but with world music groups and yoga displays as headliners instead of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
Alchemy wins hands down. This big, bright open space outside of Ubud’s bustle on Jl Penestanan features not only a range of lovely leafy foods but also a mini organic vegie shop, goodies such as huge bottles of lush cashew milk – a must-try – plus medicinals, herbal powders and delicious, nutritious raw local cocao powder.
Ubud means medicine in Sanskrit and as Elizabeth Gilbert explained in Eat, Pray, Love, it has always been a place where locals headed for healing and all manner of medicinal herbs and plants. (Try the locally produced Moringa powder sold at Alchemy for added energy).
Need somewhere lovely to stay? villanabali.com has some of the most luxe private homes and villas dotted all over Bali.
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