So, I’m in Ubud, Bali, at the moment, taking a short break from life in Timor-Leste.
There are quite a few exciting things here for me after 4.5 months in Dili. For example: coffee made with real milk instead of UHT milk, real mushrooms instead of tinned mushrooms, being able to walk around alone at night and also, having a huge range of restaurants to choose from (Dili’s options are pretty good considering it is a LDC — least developed country — and has a small population, but you do tire of them quickly).
Also, coming back to Indonesia feels like a sort of homecoming – I lived here for nearly two years, so it has a happy sense of familiarity. Plus, being in Ubud is just easy. It is an easy place to be. There are no day-to-day problems for me to deal with here.
I’m staying at Dewangga Bungalows, an excellent flashpacker option with stunning gardens and a great little pool, right in the heart of Ubud centre (yet very quiet and relaxed).
And close to fooood. So I’ve been to Ubud a number of times before and have already written about joys such as Ibu Oka’s Warung (amazing), but here’s a few other places I’ve never put down in the blog before.
1. Ja Juice, Jl Dewi Sita
Really delicious organic/healthy options. I love the Indian crepe here and the mung bean burger is also excellent. The juices are delicious! Free WiFi (except between 12pm-2pm lunch rush). Great atmosphere. Good prices.
2. Bali Buddha, Jl Jembawan
Another healthy, organic place. I’ve actually written about it before, but it truly is great. I love the vegetarian nasi campur, the tempe burger and basically anything I’ve ever tried here. A great place for a health fix. Note: no WiFi! There is a kids play space though.
3. Mingle, Jl Dewi Sita
Conveniently located right next door to the hotel I’m staying in on this trip, the rooftop, WiFi-d up, terrace of Mingle is a great place to sit and relax. Their coffee is highly recommended, as is their breakfast (best spinach and poached eggs I’ve had in a while).
4. Bollero, Jl Dewi Sita
Are you noticing a trend here, that perhaps I haven’t been wandering too far from my bungalow? I stumbled upon Bollero on my first night here, eyes attracted by the large historic photos of topless Balinese women nursing babies. They provided a lot of food for thought. Who took the photos? What was their purpose? From a feminist perspective, can women’s rights and agency transcend historical spaces, and hence what are the moral and rights considerations of displaying these images? Then the food arrived and I chilled out. I had duck spring rolls for an entree (amazing, freshly made), Balinese chicken for main (great, didn’t taste anything like what you get at the tourist traps, very flavoursome) and coconut creme brulee for dessert (um, once again, amazing). And two cocktails. All for Rp 240,000. I highly recommend this place, there was not a single disappointment on the plate (or in the glasses). Free WiFi.
5. Tutmak, Jl Dewi Sita
I promise, I did go further than just this street on this trip! Tutmak is a very sophisticated ‘warung kopi’ with views to the soccer field and the street. Great coffee, great breakfast, free WiFi. What more do you want?