A gorgeous old bike abandoned on the side of the path in Ubud, Bali.
On our wonderful trip to Ubud, Bali last month Rahul and I walked every morning in the picturesque paddy fields. One morning while wandering past one of our favourite warungs (restaurants) we noticed that an object on one of the tables was moving. When we took a closer look we could see it was a hen pecking up a few crumbs left over from the day before. Quite a classic!
Not only has Ubud got a wonderful market but it has boutiques galore too. You can spend hours poking around in the cutest boutiques you have ever seen. My favourite streets for special shops with a difference are Hanoman Street, Jalan Dewi Sita and Goutama Street.
Shhh…now some tips for some extra cute spots to look up on your next trip to Ubud…
- Toko Beads ~ Hanoman Street ~ This little jewellery boutique sells divine, original pre-made jewellery and has dozens of tiny rattan baskets filled with silver beads for you to make your own creations.
- Dandelion ~ Jalan Raya ~ for the cutest children’s clothes in Bali. Super tasteful store…
- A:UN ~ Jalan Dewi Sita and Hanoman Street ~ They sell the cutest soft leather ballet flats, gorgeous glass bottles, a small range of heavenly children’s and ladies clothing in this tiny, white, minamalist shop
- Ubud-ahh ~ Jalan Jembawan and Monkey Forest Road ~ You will find fabbo gifts and knick knacks here such as malas, shell dishes, bead bracelets and heaps more.
- Threads Of Life ~ Jalan Kajeng ~This tiny boutique sells exceptional hand-made Balinese textiles made with traditional methods. You will find darling clove drawer scents, clothing, Ikat wall hangings and woven bags.
- Blue Glue ~ Jalan Raya ~ the hotest bikinis in town!
- Shivaloka Soul Jewellery ~ Hanoman Street ~ I bought the most special mala here with a carved om. Don’t miss this shop if malas are your thing. They are a little more expensive but worth every cent.
Ubud is definitely a shoppers paradise. One of the fun spots to shop in Ubud is its huge market. The market is located very centrally in Jalan Raya (Ubud’s main road).
The market is open from 6am till 6pm every day of the week. From 6am till around 9am the fresh fruit/food stall holders are set up. Here you can purchase a vast array of produce. We bought yummy bananas, mangosteens and snake fruit. It is a great time to just wander and watch people purchasing their shrine offerings and daily goods.
After 9am the regular stall holders set up. These stalls sell a vast array of goods from fake sunglasses, t-shirts, beads, Balinese souvenirs right through to cute little pottery teapots.
However the markets are not for the faint hearted! Bartering is the order of the day here and stall holders expect that you will negotiate with them. My tips are:
- Have fun…remember you are on holidays.
- Only barter on goods you intend to buy. If you intend to buy decide on your price and stick to it. Sometimes when you walk away unsuccessfully the stall holder will come down to your price (if your price is fair!)
- If you are not interested a friendly “Just looking” and a smile is your best bet.
My boys loved to barter. They went to the market each day to get presents for their friends and compared notes on who got the cheapest price. They were happy and so were the stall holders.
In Ubud even the most harsh scenes are tinged with beauty. On our morning walks I have been fascinated with the Balinese security. They use old antique glass stuck into stone to deter home invaders from entering. Some would say it looks rather harsh but I find the combination of the patterned glass, old stone and moss have a certain beauty of their own.
My name, Lakshmi, and the lotus go together. Most images we see of the Indian goddess Lakshmi has her seated in the blossoming lotus. Maybe that is why I adore the lotus so much.
In Hindu tradition, the lotus represents beauty, non-attachment, purity and resurrection. The lotus is rooted in the mud but floats on the water without becoming wet or muddy. As a lotus is able to emerge from the muddy waters unspoilt and pure it is considered to represent a wise and spiritually enlightened quality in a person; it is representative of somebody who carries out their tasks with little concern for any reward and with a full liberation from attachment.
“One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water.”
– Bhagavad Gita 5.10
Ubud is positively blooming with beautiful lotuses. Whether in a small stone bowl or a large pond they are everywhere you turn. Lotuses have the power to brighten even the murkiest pond. In 2014 I’m going to make a more conscious effort to be like the lotus. I want to be more considerate in my actions towards others and work on my attachment to my belongings. The path is long but at least if I am able to identify my faults I can skip along the path without straying too far away from it.