Asia

Exploring monkey forest and Ubud Palace

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That morning the smell of incense woke me up. It was 7.30 am and the hotel employees were making offerings to the spirits, consisting of bamboo baskets with fresh colorful flowers, some food and incense. The breakfast was so complete that I had to ask if it was really included in the scarce 20 euros that the room cost us per night and, while we tasted our breakfast, we watched how the neighbor worked in his small rice field.

That day we take it easy and dedicate it to explore Ubud, a small town full of painters and sculptors (and now also restaurants and hotels quite fashions). Ubud was founded by a Hindu priest who came from Java to preach his faith. After a failed attempt and asking permission from the gods, he settled at the confluence of two rivers, where he noticed that a lot of mystical energy was accumulating and many healing plants were growing, which is why he named the settlement Ubud (place of healing).

Arma Museum

In 1987, Ubud was nothing more than some houses, a couple of temples and many rice fields. Today it is a town full of "fashion" restaurants, meditation and yoga centers, massages, cute little shops and small hotels. It is also the main cultural center of Bali due to its museums, art galleries and the many traditional dance shows it offers. In addition, being located practically in the center of the island, it is ideal as a starting point for excursions.

A few meters from the hotel is the ARMA cafe-museum and we pay the entrance because on Sunday morning you can see the children doing traditional music and dance classes. The museum contains Balinese and contemporary works of art and there we could see an artist making engravings on fine bamboo sheets. Some pictures represented the history of Ramayana and others were from the Balinese horoscope, and the artist did not work more than five hours a day so as not to hurt his eyes.

When leaving the museum, we continue along Pengosekan road towards the Monkey forest. We saw the decorated entrances of the houses and the adjoining rice fields. It was very hot, it was barely eleven o'clock in the morning and we were already sweating so cute, so we stopped for a juice in a bar. After replenishing liquids, we continue until we reach the Monkey Forest, which is a sanctuary that houses hundreds of monkeys in an Indiana Jones movie spot. There are monkeys everywhere, some purging the neighbor, others breastfeeding their young, some arguing and all hunting for any type of food, even if it has a wrapper.

In fact, they can be given food, but it is advisable to do so with a caregiver next to them since they are somewhat unpredictable and you never know how they can react. You also have to be careful, because if you neglect you open your backpack in search of food the very greedy.

Upon leaving Monkey Forest, we continue towards the tourist officeBut it was so hot that the only thing we wanted was to return as quickly as possible to the hotel to take a dip in the pool, so we asked a taxi driver what he charged us for taking us to the hotel. He tried to hire him all day for an excursion for 400,000 rupees, but I knew that Sele had done the same route in July for 250,000 rupees, although there was no way to get off 350,000.

After cooling off in the pool, the light went on: in Bali everyone goes by motorcycle or bicycle, so we could rent a vehicle to move around and avoid dying of heat. The bike was ruled out by the heat it was, so I asked the hotel manager how much it would cost us to rent a motorcycle for that afternoon. Renting a motorcycle a whole day at the hotel cost 50,000 rupees and for half a day in the end they left us for 35,000 rupees (surely it would have been cheaper, but I preferred to do it at the hotel because I knew that they would not come with meticulous to charge me the rest).

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