I settled down in Ubud, which is a laid back city an hour from Kuta, completely skipping Denpasar and Kuta as I had been reading that these cities are full of traffic, high prices for tourists and no Balinese authenticity. No regrets there so far, Ubud is a great mixture of culture, Hindu temples, yoga places and expats, with great local eateries, surrounded by lovely rice paddies within half an hour walking trip or 10 minutes motorbike ride. For bio-junkies, there is a good amount of places serving organic local food, which is less expensive to the Westen-style organic places, but I still prefer places where locals go eat. In the end, I have come to Indonesia to explore the local perspective and culture, so I don’t want to end up going into the places that look alike any other ‘healthy restaurant‘ in the West, situated just in a tropical climate with palm trees, serving fresh coconut with a straw.
Finding a place to stay in Ubud has proven to be fairly easy, many homestays don’t have websites so you can’t book them in advance anyway. I just walked up the Jalan (Street) Sugriwa, one parallel street to the Jalan Hanoman, where the entire buzz is. I ventured into the Kari house and was lucky to find out there was a free room for me. Ibu Nik said the price was 120 000 Rupiah, but as I wanted to stay longer I negotiated it down to 100 000 Rupiah for night with breakfast. Pretty sweet deal. The room is simple, with one bed, one table and a private bathroom. And I get a bowl of fruit and pancakes for breakfast everyday 🙂
Next on my list was to rent a motorbike, not an easy task I’ll tell you. After scanning my possibilities I found the Ubud scooter rental that rented a red Honda Scoopy, which I immediately liked, to me. I got it for a fair price of 300 000 Rupiah (~20€)/10 days, which hard hagglers would still consider too expensive. Getting a scooter for 2€ a day, I’m not certainly going to complain.
I learnt on my mistake in Vietnam, that having a local SIM card is worth not to pay insanely for using the phone. After asking around a hearing a lot of ‘over there‘ to my question where I can buy a SIMpati SIM card by Telkomsel, I got my SIM card in a laundry place at last. It comes with 4GB of 3G data, so I am connected more that I had ever thought I would be in Indonesia.
Having my problems, right? 🙂