Lives in Nanaimo, Canada
Since Feb 2007
65+ year old female
I live on beautiful Vancouver Island. I seldom leave the island during the spring and summer. During these times, I enjoy exploring locations all over the island and the Gulf Islands at ocean side hotels and restaurants. In the autumn, I have enjoyed exploring Washington, Oregon. and California. I travel further afield to get away from our wet, cold winters. S.E. Asia, South America, Central America, Hawaii, Mexico, Florida and California have been my some of my favourite sun spots. I like to rent an apartment or condo in North and South America. While in Asia, I like to stay in funky local hotels. Occasionally, I will splurge on a villa or high end hotel. Wherever. I go, I walk for hours every day. I enjoy taking photos of my travels.
Nature & Wildlife Areas
Art Museums, Lessons & Workshops, Performances
Scenic Walking Areas
Yoga & Pilates
.The Taksu Spa in located in a very quiet corner of Ubud on a river ravine. They have developed both sides of the ravine with gorgeous tropical gardens & individual bales (open sided pavilions) for massage & other body treatments. Yes, Taksu is more pricey that your average Ubud spa. But, the quality of the experience is far superior to anywhere that I have been in Ubud. I looked up their services on their website & discovered that they had monthly "specials." The November special was Aromatherapy Massage Practicum at 175,000R (approx. $17.50 US.) The regular price for this massage was 450,000R (approx. $45 US.) I booked it at the very end of November. The male masseuse was very professional & gave me a massage as good as any seasoned veteran. I was totally relaxed & tranquil by the time that he finished my massage. The spa bale came fully equipped with a closet for my clothes, a shower with lots of pressure & hot water, body wash, shampoo, & conditioner to remove any excess oil. After my massage I relaxed with some fresh ginger tea. Then, I met my husband & we enjoyed a lovely lunch in their beautiful garden restaurant. We were given 10% off our lunch because I had a spa treatment. I would highly recommend Taksu Spa. I do not understand why it is not rated as the best Spa in ubud on TA.
The weather in Ubud continued to be mixed, sunshine with rain showers. It took awhile for the rain to build up & we could usually tell how much time we have before we have to get under cover. The only problem was that we could not calculate how long the showers would last. The sky looked threatening. We could see that it would rain soon. We decided to go Taksu to have our main meal at lunch. I had seen on their website that they had roasted duck. We could hang out at Taksu until the storm was over. We ate in their upstairs restaurant that over looks their lovely garden restaurant. They had the most comfortable chairs that we have encountered in SE Asia! The serving staff were welcoming, friendly & efficient. Of course, I ordered oven roasted Peking duck breast. It that served over a mushroom risotto and accompanied by caramelized apple and turnips with honey raisin sauce. This was without a doubt one of the best meals that I have eaten, anywhere. The depth of flavor that was achieved in the sauce was truly amazing. The turnip was ambrosia which was surprising as I don't usually like turnip! The duck was perfectly cooked & so juicy. My husband had a mixed grill special. Three mounds of mashed potato were topped with grilled fish, grilled prawns, & grilled chicken. One protein on each mound. The meal was accompanied with delicious sauce & a side of creamed broccoli. For a beverage I had the Rejuvenator (apple, lemon, carrot, beet, ginger.) The drink was a beautiful ruby color. The earthiness of the beet complimented the duck perfectly. D had his usual Bintang beer. The meal including taxes & tip came to $27 US. Easily a $100 meal at any restaurant of this quality back home. The whole time we were there the rain came down in buckets. By the time we were ready to leave, the rain subsided. What a perfect way to while away the time.:)
My Husband & i have visited the monkey forest several times on trips to Ubud. The forest is about 27 acres. There is many beautiful species of trees that are being protected as well as the monkeys. It is also, a good place to see a variety of birds. The temple & the sculptures are beautiful & evocative of Ubud in times past. We have noticed that the monkeys have become increasingly aggressive because people feed the monkeys. Also, the monkeys do not have any natural predators. We have seen the monkeys jumping on tourists, grabbing at their jewelry, watches, pulling their hair, & baring their teeth. We always take care not to wear any jewelry, not to carry any food, & do not engage the monkeys in any way.
On previous trips that we were in Ubud, Warung Mendz was our favorite place to hang out on their big comfy furniture & have a delicious meal. On our last trip, we peeked in & saw only hard wooden chairs. I was suffering from a hip injury & needed somewhere soft to sit. A few days later, I read a TA review that mentioned comfy seating on floor cushions. We trekked over to their warung to take a second look. Great! They had soft seating. We ate at Warung Mendez, twice during our stay. We ordered heir lumpia (spring roll) for a starter both times. Their lumpia was totally unique. The The outer covering was not the crisp greasy deep-fried crust of the traditional lumpia. Instead it wass a soft spongy thick crepe similar to African injera bread. This crepe was the perfect foil for the delicious, juicy vegetable filling. The lumpia was served with pickled vegetables & soy sauce with chilies. The pickled vegetable were the perfect balance for the richness of the lumpia. We found the soy sauce over-powered the lumpia. The next time that we went, we asked for their chili sambal. The sambal contrasted well with the lumpia. The other dishes that we tried were the Balinese Seafood Soup that was very similar to Thai Tom Yum, Vegetable Tempura, Ikan Pepes (fish steamed in banana leaf), & avocado salad with sweet mustard dressing. These choices were tasty & well executed. The only flaw was the sweet mustard dressing. I was anticipating a Dijon honey vinaigrette. Instead, the salad was dressed with what tasted like hot dog mustard. It totally over-powered the delicate flavor of the avocado. I scraped off as much of the dressing as I could which improved the salad. The staff were friendly & efficient. We look forward to eating at Warung Mendez, again.
From the moment that I stepped into the beautiful tropical gardens of the ARMA, I knew I was in for a visual treat. The soothing sounds of the fountains relaxed my spirit & opened my mind to the beauty that surrounded me. Stone sculpture frosted in soft green moss & decorated with flower offerings, pools graced with bright pink lotus flowers, elegant orchids in a variety of colors, all set the stage for the breathtaking art within the museum. Bali has to be an artist's dream place to express art. The color & the beauty can be see everywhere. In the natural flora & fauna, the rice fields, the deep river ravines, the jungle, the architecture, & the beauty of its people. All this & more is beautifully displayed on the walls of the ARMA. Take the time to treat yourself to the visual feast. You will find that it will refresh your soul.
Quirky, eccentric, maybe even slightly crazy are descriptors that defines the art & the museum of Don Antonio Blanco. Unique architecture, delightful Balinese statues, tropical gardens, magnificent views, & erotic art featuring the beautiful women of Bali. What more could you ask for? Go & spend a couple of hours letting your imagination run wild with conjecture what might have gone on inside this villa. Life is short. Have fun! It is obvious that Don Antonio did.:) Also, take some time to go to the lovely Rondji Restaurant on the museum grounds. Please, note that the museum & restaurant are not handicapped friendly. There are lots of stairs & a steep driveway.
We ate at the Elephant more times than any other restaurant during our one month stay in Ubud. We enjoyed the beautiful open-wall view of tropical trees & flower, the lovely cooling breezes, the quietness, the comfortable seating, mellow music, the bistro Bali style ambiance, the friendly & efficient staff, the fairly priced menu & most of all the food! We did not encountered a under par meal. We had the Gnocchi, both the sage butter & the pesto, the Vietnamese salad rolls, antipasto platter, the green Brekky, the grilled polenta, the zucchini, & much more. This restaurant was a total delight!
My husband & I never miss the opportunity to walk through the rice fields on every visit to Bali. The Campuhan Ridge Walk is the story of rice. The total cycle of growing rice is laid out before your eyes. It is all there: from the preparation of the land, the planting, growing, the harvesting, the drying, & the ducks that control pests & fatten on spilled grain. Art galleries, spas, accommodations, & restaurants have sprung up over the year since our first rice field walk. But, these do not detract from the beauty & the serenity of Ubud's justly famous rice fields.
Intuitive Flow Yoga Studio is a very spiritual & serene yoga studio in the Penestanan area of Ubud. The studio is on the top floor of a building along the pathway by the river. The view of the jungle, a ravine, & the rice fields is spectacular. Tropical trees & shrubs covered with blooms in every colour imaginable. Some of the instructors include: Eva, a perky little Indonesian girl from Java who teaches a class was called Relaxing Yoga. Chiara provides quite a different experience at her relaxing Gentle Yoga class. Her classes have a lovely flow. They are very spiritual & touched me profoundly. Exploring Yoga is one of the classes taught by Linda. She is the owner of the studio. She has very good reviews about her style of yoga. Her yoga class was very interesting. This teacher introduced many new mudras (finger positions) that were new to me. Also, some new yoga postures. We did more chanting than I have experienced at any other yoga class. The class ran 2 hours. I was pretty blissed by the time it was finished.:) Intuitive Flow is the perfect place to practice yoga.
We went to the lovely Indus Restaurant for dinner for their one of their Thursday night salsa parties and to listen to the Indonesian Latino band Buena Tierra. The last time that we were in Ubud, we saw one of the lead singers from the "Gypsy Kings" sit in with this band at the Indus. What a major thrill for me! The Indus is a palatial restaurant that looks like it straight out of a movie set. There are breathtaking views of the Tjampuhan Valley from the balcony. The romance factor is right off the charts For dinner we shared the grilled eggplant & tofu tapas, followed by the Balinese Seafood Paella, & red wine. The eggplant dish was very good. But, the paella was a bit of a letdown as we are used of Spanish Paella with the bright flavor of saffron. We were entertained by the local salsa school's teachers & students. The teachers were very inclusive. They invited patrons at the restaurant to dance with them. I danced a couple of numbers with one of the teachers. But, D did not get up & join the fun. Several of the students (all ages & ethnicity) came over & chatted with us. It was a very friendly & congenial atmosphere. I can not understand why this restaurant wasn't packed with patrons. You get a lot of bang for your buck, here
This was the first time that I have been Sedona Spa at their new location. It is right behind their old location. The spa has certainly gone up-sale compared to their previous one. I had a wonderful Green Tea Treatment at Sedona Spa which was in within a couple blocks of our villa. I booked it on-line & I received a confirmation very quickly. The package included a one hour massage, a body scrub with green tea & ground rice, & a body paste with natural yogurt & honey. This treatment is reputed to reduce cellulite, & stretch marks. The reception was quick to introduce me to my female masseuse. I was taken to my personal bale (an open sided pavilion) with 2 walls of red & royal blue curtain panels & a walled garden with tropical plants & flower including a fragrant gardenia at one end. The masseuse was very efficient & well trained. My massage was very relaxing. After, the treatments were completed I had a quick shower to remove the yogurt paste. Then, I luxuriated in a gorgeous copper slipper tub filled with water and pink & red flower petals while a dove serenaded me. Ginger tea & a fruit plate was provided, as well. All this pampering cost a mere $19 US plus taxes & service & a tip. For couple days after this treatment my skin glowed like it had been varnished. So much so, that people asked me what I put on my skin to give it that shine. :) I will be going back for further treatments at the lovely Sedona Spa.
"Peaceful Magical & Mystical" My husband & were walking the paths from Sanggingan to Penestanan. We saw this lovely restaurant with ponds covered in enormous bright pink lotus flowers. It looked so peaceful & beautiful that we had to stop there for lunch. I had the most delicious Gado Gado that I have ever eaten is a restaurant. Gado Gado is a salad composed of both fresh & cooked vegetables. It is served with a peanut sauce dressing. I had a hot ginger, lime & honey tea to drink. D had a bowl of butternut squash & ginger soup & a side of perfectly cooked French fries & a large Bintang. Our second visit to Lala & Lili's was for dinner after a yoga class at Intuitive Flow. We comfortably curled up in a corner on floor cushions. I ordered a papaya & ginger drink that was like a smoothie & D ordered a Bintang. We shared an ordered of lumpia (Similar to spring rolls.) The lumpia were the freshest & lightest that I have ever eaten. The wrapper was as light as phyllo. The vegetable filling was tender crisp & the peanut sauce was the perfect accompaniment. I had Nasi Campur as my main. I have been sampling this dish at many restaurants in the Ubud area. This one ranked among the best. D had the BBQ Chicken Teriyaki. He said it was very good. We were entertained by a chorus of Whited Breasted Water Hens. Then, rumbling thunder & the rain pounded down. The waitress ran around dropping the bamboo screens to keep the rain off the customers. This just added to the romance of this magical & mystical restaurant. I recommend this restaurant. It is so clean, the service is efficient & friendly. The food is delicious & fresh, and the prices are very inexpensive.
I never tire of seeing this spectacular show. I felt like a child, again being read bedtime stories of princesses, princes, & demons as I watched. The Ubud Palace was the perfect backdrop for this epic production. The lighting accentuated the rich gold gilded brocades of the dancers, their flashing eyes, & adds mystery & magic to their performance. The gamalan orchestra added drama to the dance. There were many humorous moments within the dance. We bought our tickets in advance from a street vendor. We got there about 30 minutes early. I managed to get an aisle seat in the second row. I was amazed to see that a good majority of the audience was made up of local people. This was not a production exclusively for tourists. Go with the open mind of a child & be transported to a mythical & magical time. :)
It was well after dark when we got to our villa from the airport. But, I already knew we would eat our dinner at Warung Pulau Kelapa. I had read all the glowing reviews of this restaurant on TA. My husband & I determined that this restaurant would be only steps from our rental villa. We entered the lovely garden area of the restaurant to find there was one empty table available. We ordered a Balinese dish called Nasi Campur which is a plate with rice in the center & a selection of Balinese specialties surrounding it. We also, had Balinese chicken sate with fiery hot chili/garlic/shallot sambal. D ordered a big Bintang and I had a drink called ginger beer that which is a non alcoholic drink that has an array of spices in it including cloves & nutmeg. I have never tasted anything quite like it before. It went very well with dinner. The next morning, we discovered the Kamasan Cafe behind the restaurant. It is situated over-looking a river ravine & a lovely garden. I enjoyed a lovely hot chocolate & D enjoyed a mocha Java. We returned for dinner. D had the grilled chicken with coconut shavings & I had their chicken soup which was loaded with herbs & served fiery chili paste on the side.The chicken was what the Balinese call jungle fowl. It is very chewy & flavorful. The look like Bantam chickens. The next evening, we walked to The Elephant for dinner. To our disappointment they were fully booked. As, was the Indus & Nuri,s. We ended up back at Pulau Kelapa which is where we had eaten dinner at the last 2 nights! I had chicken sate & D had Calamari with rice & a hot chili paste & a Bintang. I had a lime, honey & soda drink that was very refreshing. Our first 3 dinners in Ubud were at Pulau Kelapa.:) We enjoyed the tropical garden atmosphere, the excellent & friendly service, the Balinese food & the proximity to our villa.