Ubud and its surrounds

From May 9th to 11th included, we stayed in Ubud.

The first thing we did was to visit the famous sacred monkey forest (entry fee: 30000 rupiahs). We were informed that monkeys can steal your personnal stuff. So we were careful and just took with us some money to pay the entry fees, and a camera that could be well attached to us. It was pretty impressive to be surrounded by hundreds of monkeys. Females and young monkeys are not scary, but you cannot say that about the big males, they can be agressive. Jérémy was slapped by a young monkey, it was really funny. Right after that, he sat one metere from another monkey, which immediatly came to sit on him. We saw a lot of babies, and even something that looked like a babysitters meeting at a children’s garden.

The next day, we had a pretty busy day with a lot of visits.
First, we went to the Tegallalang rice terraces. The view was really nice. You can have a walk in the rice terraces, but we chose not to because it was pretty high and the sun was really strong.

Then, we went to the Goa Gajah temple (here again, they lend you a sarong, bad for sarongs sellers!). The temple was really nice. This is where we learnt that women having their period are not allowed within the temple to respect the fact that it is sacred.

Then, we went to a wood carving workshop, a silver workshop, a batik workshop and a stone carving workshop.
The visit at the wood carving workshop was really interesting. A balinese guide who spoke french explained that they use different kind of woods, local woods like the crocodile wood, but also imported wood like ebony. The carvings were all very impressive. Unfortunately, within the store we were not allowed to take pictures. Our guide told us that if we bought something, he would give us a 30% discount immediatly. We walked around, looked at the carvings… He came again and told us that he could give us a 40% discount, even 50% if we bought two items or more. Very well, the prices were significantly reduced. Lauriane bought a balinese fisherman made of ebony, Bernie bought a buddha made of crocodile wood.

The visit at the silver workshop was really unpleasant. A few workers sat in front of each other, we had a balinese guide with a really bad english who did not give a damn whether we understood what she was saying or not, then we visited the store and all the jewellery was insanely expensive, finally the guide was following us at less than one meter every time we moved, probably because she would earn money herself if we bought something. Anyway, a big disappointment because we did not learn anything and did not bought anything.

The visit at the batik factory was not really organized. We were given a paper written in really bad french to explain the batik process. We were able to see workers making batik. Then, of course, we visited the store. The prices were not really interesting, so nevermind, we did not buy a Nelson Mandela top.

Finally, Putu took us on the side of the road to see some stone carvers working. You cannot deny it, as for the food carving, it is a huge work. We did not get any explanation about that but seeing them working was enough to understand how complicated it is to carve stone.

To finish the day, we made a stop at Tegenungan waterfalls (10000 rupiahs per person). You can get close to the waterfalls, but it takes some time and it is pretty physical. After this busy day, we just had a drink watching at this nice view.

On May 11th, we went on a cycling tour, but we will talk about it in the next post.

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