If you have ever seen the Julia Roberts’ movie, Eat, Pray, Love, you have seen Ubud! It is probably the best-known town on the island of Bali. Promoted as a tourism hub and arts center, its 74,000 residents see 3 million foreign visitors annually. We hired a driver to take us there yesterday (the only way on the island to travel any distance), and it cost $50 US for 10 hours of sightseeing. It was certainly busy and certainly beautiful.
The first three photos are from the vegetarian restaurant where we had a late lunch, Zest. It is perched up on a cliff above the main street, has many unusual items, and everything was delicious. The most expensive item on the menu was about $6! The shades on the groovy guy in the first photo have a sticker on that says, “Ma mu”….”your mama!” (BTW…Happy Mother’s Day weekend to all the great moms reading this!) As you can see from the second and third photos, it was, as usual, an open-air restaurant with fountains and lots of greenery…felt like a temple!
After that are several photos of the Royal Palace, which had quite a few pavilions, hundreds of statues with ferocious faces protecting the grounds, and a large courtyard where events are held. It is the only tourist attraction we entered in all of Indonesia for which there was no admission fee. As you can see, all of the statues are “dressed” – decorated with fabric and headwraps. We were told that the fabric always has to be two colors or designs to represent the yin and yang of life.
In the middle of the photos, or so, is the Ubud Art Market…many items for sale, most made locally in this artists’ colony. Following that are some cute items we saw for sale. Then, it was on to Saraswati Temple. Aren’t the lotus flowers and leave so pretty in front of the temple? And yes, both men and women must wear a sarong around their waist to enter Balinese temples. It is always provided free of cost. It was the second place in one day that we saw, “Menstruating women are prohibited.” There is no way they can tell, of course. I imagine locals comply, but probably not every visitor. (Mike did want me to make clear that HE was not menstruating!)
We really loved walking down the street in the next-to-last photo. It even felt as refreshing as it looked! And the last photo….well, let’s just say….the faces on the artwork look grim. The name of the shop doesn’t match. We laughed out loud as we took the photo.