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INDONESIA | Tuesday, 13 September 2011 | Views [718]

Ubud is a beautiful place. It is quite touristic but I think it hasn’t lost its personality to the tourism yet. You can still find the streets were the locals live and do their everyday chores although they do try to get their share of the money that the tourists bring in. There are lots of shops, home stays as well as fancy hotels, tourist “information” shops which are more like local travel agents and restaurants.

On my second day I rented a bicycle for 20 000 rupees (a bit over $2 less than 2€) for a day. My first destination was the monkey temple which is surprisingly located in monkey forest and the forest is full of monkeys of course. Monkeys are always entertaining to watch. Monkeys eating bananas, sleeping, playing, grooming, swimming, scratching their asses or just doing some other funny monkey business. Some were trying to steal hats or other items from poor tourists and there was a swim jumping competition going on among the young ones.

After the monkey temple I went just cycling around but without a map it was hard to know where to go so I decided to book a tour for the next day. So on Saturday I went on a temple tour. The driver took us to see five different temples, we visited a coffee farm where we tasted different coffees and teas and we saw the crater of the collapsed volcano, the lake Batur which is located in the crater and the mount Batur with black traces of old lava flows. We ended our trip with nice views over some rice terraces. Over all the tour was quite nice but I was a bit disappointed that the tour price of 130 000 ($15/11€) didn’t include anything else than the car and the driver. All the temples had entrance fees from 15 000 to 20 000 so at the end the tour wasn’t as cheap as I had thought. Also the view over the volcano crater to the lake Batur had a price and even though the view was from a public road we had to pay to pass. It was a bit annoying that every place we stopped especially the beautiful temples were surrounded by all sorts of souvenir stalls and that people were constantly trying to sell you something. It felt like there is almost nothing holy in this country and there are no limits in getting your share. But at the end I was happy I took the tour. I don’t have to see any more temples and I once again learnt something new.

Tags: sightseen, ubud

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