Ubud News


As I weave my scooter amid the bustle of today’s Jalan Hanoman, or take advantage of the many of shops, restaurants and spas along the way, it’s hard to remember my early visits to Ubud when this was just a dirt path beside the rice fields, punctuated by the occasional small temple.

So when I hear that there is a new café in a peaceful spot with rice fields all around, on Jalan Hanoman, I think that someone’s kidding me.

Yet here we are. A short hop south of Coco Mart, just after the Jl Monkey Forest turnoff, I’m checking out PISON and I like what I see.

Firstly, they actually have easy to access, off-street parking, round the back. The smart-looking restaurant with its traditional along-along roof is set back a little from the noise and pollution of Hanoman, and we have the choice of air conditioning or a table outside, close to the rice fields.

They offer great, piping hot coffee (30-35,000 rp), an all-day breakfast list, and several delicious Indonesian choices on the main menu, along with many western dishes. Most of the meals are 75-85,000 rp. Go Pison!



For many of us who love animals, the only downside to a holiday in gorgeous tropical Bali is the frequent reminder that the island’s stray cats and dogs aren’t treated very kindly. On many a walk or trip in the car, You’ll see a forlorn-looking animal that you’d love to stop and help. But how?

If you want to contribute in a more permanent way, encourage all your friends in Australia and New Zealand to book their accommodation through Quickbeds, Flight Centre’s online Accom search and booking site. Quickbeds has teamed up with Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA) and will donate directly to BAWA, making it easy for you to help save and protect Bali’s animals.

Tell your mates to go to Quickbeds and use Grassroots Code: 1602. When they book, $10 will go to BAWA for bookings up to $349, $25 for $350-$699 and $50 for bookings of $700 or more.

Just click on this link: www.quickbeds.com/?grassrootscode=1602. They’ll get a price guarantee, 24/7 customer support from an Aussie phone support centre, and no booking or credit card fees.



Ubud Writers Festival is almost here, with the main program from October 23 to 26 and other activities and workshops both before and after the main event.

If you’ve decided not to immerse yourself this year, at least take a leisurely walk to learn something new and valuable about Balinese culture. From the festival’s cultural workshops, my pick this year is the Herb Walk (only $35/ 350,000rp).

While most us have forgotten our grandparents’ natural remedies, and buy herbs and vegetables from the supermarket, for a Balinese family the home garden and nearby forests are abundant sources of food, herbs and natural medicines.

In a normal day, a Balinese mother might gather herbs, vegetables for cooking and salad leaves for the family meal, prepare a natural tonic to keep her household healthy, and pick some leaves for shampoo or washing a delicate silk sarong.

Your guides Lilir and Westi have spent years studying with Usada Bali, a traditional Balinese book of healing. Their Herb Walk includes a fresh coconut drink or herbal drink. For more info/ to book (places limited) visit Ubud Writers and Readers Festival website.



This month one of my absolute favourite blues bands, The Cooltones, are back at the Laughing Buddha Bar on Jalan Monkey Forest, playing Saturday nights from 7.30pm.

These guys gather new fans with every tourist to hit town, with both professional musicians and us regular listeners and dancers impressed with their smooth musicality. Their lead singer, Koko, has the best lyrics down pat, and their lead guitarist – by day a music lecturer at the university – is regularly asked to move to Los Angeles or London, with offers of heaps of work as a session musician.

Laughing Buddha has a reputation for bringing the best local talent and international musicians to Ubud, so on any night of the week get there early to claim a table, order one of their chef’s dinner specials or grab a cocktail. Don’t be late or you’ll be standing in the street with the rest of the newbies!

About midway up Jl Monkey Forest on the right hand side going north. W: laughingbuddhabarbali.com.

You can also find Cooltones at top Thai restaurant Siam Sally (next to Jl Hanoman’s Yoga Barn entrance), where they are often joined by holidaying musicians from other countries such as Owen Jones, leader singer of Australian band Rapid Fire.



For real change, you need time, tranquility and the support of others who’ve taken the path before. Changes in both body and mind will help you journey further towards your own truth.

Sometimes, working in a very small group brings powerful results. Both at the end of this month (October 24-30) and mid next year (April 9-15), there’s the opportunity for just three special people to take their own next step for change.

The Embodying All of You Retreat will be held on the tranquil island of Nusa Penida. Facilitators Michele Cempaka & Daina Kahu have 30 years experience in body and mind transformation work. They are seeking 3 men or women (25 years or older) who are committed to transforming their lives now!

If you want to form a wonderful relationship with your body, discover how to stay connected to your higher self and clear any limiting beliefs that are holding you back, you probably qualify.

With several pre workshop connections with your guides and time to create a 10 year plan for keeping on track with your vision, the program offers a wide range of teaching tools and learning modalities. They have thought of everything, as you’ll see when you check out the full program at www:spiritweaverjourneys.com. Spots are extremely limited; to put in your personal application, you need to book a call with Michele: calendly.com/mcempaka/embodying-all-of-you-20-min-call.


E-mail : BAubudnews@gmail.com

Copyright © 2019 Wayan Jen

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