Welcome to Ubud, where there are more dogs than people, and more monkeys than dogs. I’d advise you to stay away if you don’t like being woken up at six o’clock in the morning by screaming monkeys fighting on the roof. The first time was an experience, but by the third morning I was ready to punch an ape in the face.
I say that with all manner of bravado, but I promise that once we entered the Monkey Forest, I would, without a doubt, have used Paige as a human body shield if one of them had gotten too close. The Monkey Forest was unquestionably my favourite part of Ubud, and possibly one of my favourite parts of the whole trip, but I knew it wouldn’t be a relaxing experience as soon as we heard ‘The Rules’. Don’t touch the monkeys, they’ll bite you. Don’t look the monkeys in the eye, they’ll bite you. Don’t have anything in your pockets, they’ll steal it (and probably bite you for good measure). From the offset I knew that the inevitable outcome of this excursion was that I was going to be bitten, catch rabies, and soon after, I would probably die. What’s that? Would I like to buy bananas to feed these evil little gremlins? Absolutely not.
I’ve never been the manliest of men, and armed with nothing more than my asthma pump, I’ll be honest and say I felt a little outmatched. Despite spending the two hour trip absolutely petrified, I’ll go ahead and admit that I really enjoyed it, and I’m glad to say that due to a brilliant technique I mastered (running away as soon as a monkey got close), I did not get bitten and die.
Ubud is also home to one of the largest markets in Bali, and we quickly learnt the best way to haggle for the things that we wanted to buy. The range of items is quite vast. If you want fake designer clothes, dirty jewellery, wooden-penis bottle openers and lots of things along those lines, the market in Ubud is the perfect place to get them. When they tell you a price for your knockoff Adidas trainers, the best thing to do is to shake your head and tell them you want it for a fifth of the price. When they say no, simply walk away, and within ten seconds they’ll be shouting/chasing after you, more than willing to accept your offer. That’s exactly how Paige ended up with a pair of incredibly cheap Ray Bandinos (proven to be better quality than genuine Ray-Bans) in Seminyak.
Speaking of Paige, she’s not the most sure-footed of individuals, so you can imagine the trouble she had when we realised that the paths in Ubud are not exactly in perfect condition. If you can picture a construction site being hit by an earthquake, you might come close to the truth of what Ubud looks like. It’s no surprise then that Paige managed to fall flat on her face in front of the receptionist of our hotel, who then couldn’t look Paige in the eye without crying of laughter for the next two days. I’d be lying if I said I enjoyed any experience more than seeing Paige sprawled out on the floor in the rain. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get a picture of the occasion, or else I promise I would have attached it to this post.
Ubud is also home to a vast array of nice little coffee shops and restaurants, although compared to a lot of places in Bali, these can be a little pricey. On the most part you’ll be willing to pay the extra, especially when you saved so much money on your fake Fred Perry shirt in the market. I can highly suggest trying out Watercress Cafe, as me and Paige used it four times in the three days that we were there (we’re creatures of habit), and the food was incredible.
I would like to add to the end of this post, that if, and I highly doubt this is the case, you’re a taxi driver in Ubud, and you happen to be reading this, I’m going to let you know that I WOULD TELL YOU IF I NEEDED A TAXI. Yes I see you standing next to your car that has “Taxi” written on the side. Please do not follow me up the road asking if I need a taxi. No I won’t tell you where I’m going. Stop shouting out random places in the hope that I might be heading there. Please leave me alone. I hope your taxi gets stolen by a monkey. Thank you.