From the bustling metropolis of Kuta, to the chill of the northern mountains, all the way down to the surf breaks of Uluwatu, Bali is unique in the fact that there are many types of experiences for tourists. Truly, the “island of gods” presents something for every traveler. We can guarantee that you’ll never hear a tourist say “I was bored in Bali.”
Especially for those traveling in Southeast Asia for the first time, visitors experience a sensory overload arriving in the south coast of Denpasar. Most head straight for the beach towns on the nearby south coast. You’re overwhelmed with the amount of things to do – the clubs of Kuta, the island tours, the Seminyak sunset strip. There’s a rush to move quickly as possible in your trip, because you realize there is too much to see in a short period of time.
But then, just an hour north – you arrive in Ubud. Immediately, you sense a change in the air. An immediate urgency to stop, and take it all in. Temple complexes seamlessly weave into the center of town, amongst endless markets where you can’t tell the inside from out . When you’re on the main strip, you may feel similar as you did in the south – a bit congested and often packed with group tours. But once you take a step outside of center, you’re immersed into neighborhoods full of art and vibrant character – a glimpse into a more authentic Bali.
Whether you start your morning with a sunrise over Campuhan Ridge Walk, or in a yoga class in chilled out Penestanan – there is nothing quite like the silence and tranquility of an “Ubudian” morning. You choose from the plethora of cafes overlooking rice terraces for breakfast, and it begins to feel like you’ve stepped into another world.
If you spend your afternoon in town, vibrant art and handmade crafts are inescapable. Balinese Hinduism places great importance on art and attention to detail – there is nowhere on the island where you see this more clearly than in Ubud.
If you spend your afternoon outside of town, friendly village locals will direct you to hidden waterfalls and mountain landscapes. Throughout your day, you’ll catch glimpses of Mount Agung peeking between the clouds, Bali’s highest and most sacred volcano.
The high-vibe frequency of living in Ubud can be shocking at first. Between the architecture of homes to the placement of offerings – ornate detail is brought into every aspect of life. As a volunteer however, living in Ubud more long term means that you get to experience a different kind of town. The vibrancy of the town begins to settle in, and what used to be overwhelming quickly becomes normal.
Familiar faces, restaurants, and rice terraces become regular aspects of your day. The kindness of the people however, never gets old. Through getting to know the people, between our local staff, their families, and your students, volunteers have the opportunity to experience the beauty of Ubud on a deeper level than monkey forest-bound tourists. You will quickly understand how the heart of this island and the Balinese people, have inspired the mission and vision of VP Bali.