Follow in the footsteps of Elizabeth Gillbert and journey to Ubud where just like her you can experience this place of wonder and beauty. Elizabeth Gilbert’s best selling memoir Eat Pray Love tells the story of her experience over one year living in Italy, India and Indonesia – in search of an inner balance and spiritual fulfilment in life.
And where better to search for balance and spirituality than in Bali, an island of gods and goddesses? It drew Elizabeth Gilbert’s attention for its richness of nature, culture, cuisine. And of course, in Bali she finally found love.
It’s in Ubud, with the help of her local friends, Wayan, the traditional Balinese healer, and wise man Ketut Liyer, that Liz rediscovers her ability to love. Living in the beautifully lush surrounds, making friends with the local people Liz embraces Ubud and learns how to find balance in her quest for pleasure and meaning.
Join us for a journey of eat, pray, love and escape in Ubud, Bali.
Dash a lick of a strong spicy Balinese ‘Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka’ (Balinese suckling pig set menu) down at Jalan Sweta Ubud, across the Ubud Palace. It’s a five-minute walk to the leftside of Pasar Ubud. But if you miss home and want to munch a wider choice of culinary options, cruise along Jalan Raya Ubud (Ubud main road). During the filming of Eat, Pray, Love, Julia Roberts was invited by the local ruler to dine in an enjoyable restaurant in Ubud. That’ll be The Lotus in Jalan Raya Ubud. Carry on, let’s maybe sip down a few evening margarita at Nuri’s, plus a giant juicy ribs with sambal kecap (mixture of chili and soya sauce ), or a Japanese elegant at Ryoshi Ubud. You don’t have to come at the same place twice since there are countless restaurants and delicacies to explore.
Visit Pasar Ubud and rummage through the beautiful locally made souvenirs. It’s also a good place to hunt for some antiques. Spoil yourself with choices of antiques, decorations or traditional fabrics—all prices are negotiable so be prepared to bargain.
Staying a few days, weeks, or even more than what you originally planned, will always be a wonderful moment to treasure. Exclusive hotels are optional. Even Liz enjoyed the blunt look of tropical tree tops, swimming pools and a fresh tropical fruits at a reasonably priced hotel down at Monkey Forest Road. “It’s good to be back,” she said once along the journey.
One of the most popular attractions here is the sightseeing at Jalan Raya Ubud. The Ubud Palace is a nice stop. Don’t miss gazing at the rice fields at Tegalalang. Smell the air and feel the breeze on your skin. Embrace the butterflies in your stomach. Experience the local culture and go see a Kecak Dance performance. Or see some of the unique local artwork produced here at one the marvellous gallery’s like Blanco’s or at Biasa Gallery. If you come at the right time, you may be lucky enough to see a festival or ceremony. Ask locals for information about this. Soak up the relaxed pace of daily life here and see how locals live by embracing their spiritual side, just like Ketut Liyer (the healer who encouraged Liz to love again).
Meditation is good for your mind and soul. Try one of the many meditation and relaxation centres around Ubud and learn to slow down and live in the moment just like Liz did on her journey.
Your escape to Ubud will start right at the time you unpack your bag in a nice quiet hotel of your choice just as Liz did as she relaxed her body and mind surrounded by beautiful scenery. She knew she didn’t have to worry about being on her own because she could always make friends with the charming locals. They are more than happy to explain what and where to go. Such is the friendliness of Ubud.
As you arrive in Ubud you’ll be welcomed with the smell of canang (a Balinese offering; combination of leaves, flowers and incense). You will see genuine smiles of the Balinese faces who greet you with respect.
If you don’t have a map in hand or even a clue, you can always understand phrases like “Taxi, Sir?” or “Hotel, Ma’am?” Just tell them you’re heading to Ubud and you’ll be on your way.