The sight is breathtaking, magnificent, stunning. It reminds me of the time I visited the Great Canyon – when I walked through the woods and all of the sudden stood in front this big gaping hole of a canyon, in all its glory and beauty. This time I’m walking through the bustling streets of Ubud, squeezing past tiny shops selling rice hats and sunglasses, past big bellied tourists snapping picture after picture, and vendors shouting their offers at me. Then, suddenly, the noise around me quiets – and I’m facing a sea of green and gold.
We woke up early on our first day in Ubud, mainly because the roosters outside our Air Bnb were making a ruckus. Our little bungalow house was the most beautiful, tranquil and relaxing place! Its massive terrace was overlooking a rice field and provided shade in the hot midday hours. We ate a huge breakfast consisting of exotic fruits including jackfruit, snake fruit, mangosteen, passion fruit, pineapple, dragon fruit, papaya and ladyfinger bananas. I was surprised the find out that I actually really like snake fruit! Once peeled the fruit looks like an oversized garlic clove but tastes like a crunchier version of a lychee.
Our host dropped off a scooter for us which we took for a ride after breakfast. The first few meters were a bit wobbly, but I quickly got the hang of it and even started honking like the locals do (in the most polite way possible!). We drove along the beautiful scenery of glimmering rice fields and past small cafes on a smaller road until we turned left onto a bigger street which led us to the rice terraces of Ubud. After paying a dollar for the parking fee we were facing the canyon-like landscape filled with rice crops. I was absolutely blown away by the sight and couldn’t stop taking pictures along the way deeper down into the fields. We kept passing pay stations demanding for small donations (not optional, so bring smaller notes) until we had left even the last tourists behind and were rewarded with the most spectacular views.
Dehydrated, sweaty and out of breath from climbing the endless steps in the scorching heat, we made our way back to the scooter. I quickly bought a sarong and a knit bikini at the market stalls at the top of the rice terraces before we made out way back to central Ubud. We ate dinner at Alchemy, a fully raw vegan restaurant, sharing the mushroom & spinach pizza, the nachos, the ‘My Thai’ salad and Pina Colada smoothies. For desert we enjoyed the carrot cake and the banoffee pie. I’m usually not the biggest fan of raw food, but at Alchemy I almost forgot about the food being uncooked. My favourite has got to be the banoffee pie!