Even though it was getting towards the end of my time in Bali, this was by far the busiest, most tiring and most spenny day!
It’s a long one, so grab your cuppa and a biscuit – I’m not missing out any details here, including where we went in Ubud, what I bought, along with some haggling tips.
I made an early, quick stop at Nourish for a coffee and cinnamon scroll for breakfast – it was so big (the size of my fist) that I left half to eat the following day!
Baim collected us and acted as our guide and taxi guy for the day, where I of course picked up some spicy ketchup (3 bottles for 24k = £1.30) at a fuel stop.
Traditional Bali dance
First up was the Barong and Keris dance (150k = £8.10), a traditional dance that tells the story between good and evil spirits. I won’t lie, we were all a bit underwhelmed, mainly because we didn’t understand it and lost interest. It took close to an hour. The outfits and music however, were very colourful.
Then it was onto one of my favourite parts of the day when we went to a coffee plantation! My ignorance had me under the impression that this wouldn’t be available in Bali, yet were managed to look at the many things grown including coffee beans, papayas, cacao beans, rosella, cinnamon, nutmeg and more. Coffee beans can take up to 2 years to grow before they are then picked for use. Bali coffee tastes great – simple. We also came across luwak coffee, where the plantation brings in endangered luwaks and feeds them coffee beans; they poop out the beans, where they are they mixed and cooked with spices, before being ground by hand for a few hours. Fortunately the luwaks aren’t kept in there all the time and are rotated every week with more endangered luwaks, where I believe our guide said they are returned to the wild.
During our visit, we managed to experience coffee and tea tasting – for free! I do like my coffee, so this was a dream, my favourite being the coconut and avocado ones. Regarding tea, I loved the ginger one so much that I got a pack: it was so strong which I love, and has health benefits including helping your gut. I also tried some luwak coffee (50k = £2.70) which was a rather acquired taste. It was okay, but I wouldn’t been in a rush to try it again. All I can compare it to, is it having a sour after taste – fortunately I couldn’t taste poop, not that I’ve eaten poop before to know that… I also grabbed some chocolate orange which is created on the planation, therefore all sales go towards its continued operations. There is no milk in it, so it doesn’t milk. I’m surprised at my self-restraint, where it lasted me for a couple of weeks after coming home! (My purchases and coffee tasting all came to 220k = £11.88).
Alas Harum rice terrace
We were getting a tad hungry by this point, but had one more stop at the Alas Harum rice terrace. Entry is 50k (£2.70) where you get to explore and wander about the plantation, where you can see the layers in the earth. I can’t quite explain why it’s like that, but it was something I hadn’t seen before. If you’ve seen the big swings on Instagram, they’re available for a fee equivalent to £10+. We didn’t fancy it, but they were very popular and always swingin’! Similar to the planation, Alas Harum also had coffee tasting etc for a fee, so we got lucky beforehand!
Volcano entry and buffet lunch
Next up – lunch! After about an hour’s drive, we made it to the top where we got a view of the mountain. I was a bit confused when people tried selling to us through the window, only for us to realise we had to pay 50k to enter the vicinity. Oh, okay.
Now, let me prepare you for the next bit, where I don’t intend to sound like an entitled little sh*t, but I was not happy. Lunch was a very unhappy affair and I let my feelings be known, much to my friends’ humour.
I’m not quite sure if Baim had an agreement that we had to go to this buffet (Grand Puncak Sari), but it was awful. When I think buffet, I think a variety of choices. Nope, not this one. I recall there being about 6 choices – 2 of them rice. And let’s not forget the flies buzzing around *everywhere*. I was so disappointed as we’d been having great, delicious food dishes beforehand t a much cheaper rate, yet this came to 175k (£9.45) each, including service charges.
I was not happy. I would not recommend that place one bit.
As a result of my bubbling disappointment, I couldn’t wait to get my dopamine levels up – if you guessed right, then yes, that meant honing my haggling skills once more, dear reader.
And haggle I did.
Ubud Traditional Market
Baim dropped us off with parting advice to bargain, bargain, bargain. Being a businessman in Bali himself, we of course took him at his word. It was a short walk through the streets of Ubud to get to the traditional market, which you can’t miss.
There are multiple stands selling the same thing, ranging from breathtaking artwork, to jewellery, rattan pieces, clothing, branded dupes and Bali bags! The whole walkway is a chameleon of rainbow colours and stall owners shouting at you ‘very cheap, good price, you buy!’ I LOVED IT! It’s part of the business to haggle there, but I also found it so much fun! I was so glad I’d done my research and prepared a lot beforehand, so I knew what prices to get them down to, setting myself a maximum limit beforehand.
My tips for a successful haggling:
- Haggle everything – but NOT food, that’s beyond rude!
- Walk away if they aren’t giving you the price you want (be realistic)
- Do not to pay more than half of their original price
- Set yourself a maximum budget
- Buying multiple things gives you more room to bring the price down
Some of the things I got:
- Bali bag and 2 coconut bowls – 350k bag + 160k bowls (£27.54) down to 190k! £10.26!!
- 2 t-shirts – originally 120k each. Got 2 for 120k (60k each) £6.48
- Ring 30k = £1.62 (I think the original price was like 150k?! £8.10. I still think 30k is generous)
- Another ring + earrings – 150k down to 60k = £3.24
It was a successful trip to the traditional market. If you’re on the lookout for a Bali bag, I understand this is one of the best places to get them at a good price. I’ve only recently learned there is another Ubud market, so if you have more time, there’s your chance to explore. You can also check it out in my YouTube video.
A quick stop in Kuta
We came back via Kuta as I hadn’t been able to get a purse which I’d been on the lookout for. There are loads of stands, shops and stalls at different times of day and night in Seminyak and Kuta; I got a NY cap for 100k (was 150k), but I reckon I could’ve got this down even more but was in a rush. I finally came across a stand selling LV dupe purses – I got it for 120k, down from 350k, where he almost didn’t give me my change, but I politely nudged ‘brother’ to hand it over. Their banter is quite infectious. A lot of the stall owners are friendly with each other and refer you to them, so I went along with ‘Charlie Brown’. I won’t lie, I felt kind of bad when he guilt tripped me because of COVID affecting business and ended up buying a top for my brother and a beer cosy for my boyfriend. 100k for both, down from 320k – I really didn’t need or want them and handed them back, but managed to get him down.
Finally, after a super long, tiring, jam-packed day, it was back to our hotel and farewell to Baim. I was a tad peckish and headed over the road to Krishna’s for a butter chicken curry (+ Spite for 110k) before it closed. My eyes were closing as I was eating it – I was that tired!
What a day!
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