Ubud is a great place for interesting and rich cultural experience, including seeing one of the numerous shows. Kecak Ramayana and Fire Dance was a fascinating show – like nothing we’ve seen before. If you decide to do some shopping in Ubud then Ubud market is a place to go for finding a bargain but you need to be mentally prepared for very persistent sellers! For us it was a bit frustrating experience…For today we planned to do some ‘work’ with regard to our future plans of house sitting in Canada. There are less than 3 months left before we move to Canada and Rich came across an excellent house sitting opportunity in Vancouver via Trustedhousesitters.com. Rich has registered us on the website and applied for an ideal assignment. Now, we need to wait for hopefully positive reply. Fingers crossed! Another task for today was to work out how to get to Gili Islands – our next destination on this 3 months Asian trip. We considered various options including organised transport and more risky and lengthy public ferry. At the end, we booked organised transfer on fast speed boat via our hotel for 370,000 IDR ~ US$ 31(after short negotiations). The public transfer and ferry costs doesn’t seem that much cheaper and it would take the whole day!
We grabbed really late lunch at Arimas Warung off Monkey Forest road. Food was delicious and probably the cheapest meal we had so far – about 88 IDR (~ US$ 7.5) for 2 x main course, 3 x drink and 1 x dessert.We couldn’t leave Ubud without shopping at the Ubud market, which is just a short walk from the Arimas Warung. Shopping in the Ubud market turned out to be a bit of nightmare…..as soon as we just looked at or touched something it was assumed by the seller that we we’re going to buy it! Even when we said that we weren’t interested and walked away from the stalls a couple of times, sellers were very persistent and shouted lower prices from a far distance etc. I haven’t been hassled like that in my life before when shopping. We found it very frustrating and stressful but got used to that with time. At the end, we didn’t buy anything but I tried a couple pieces of clothing on. Overall it was an interesting experience to deal with very persistent sellers. In order to fully experience Ubud we had to see one of the shows Ubud is famous for. Tourist information centre (located opposite the market) seemed to be a good place for finding out more about shows. It turned out that Ubud is very well geared towards tourist with on average 10 different shows every day to choose from. We decided to see ‘Kecak Ramayana and Fire Dance’ for 80 IDR (~7 US$). It turned out to be a very interesting performance, completely different experience than ‘Ramayana’ in Prambanan (Java). There was no stage so spectators were sat in the circle and very close to performers, instead of live music there was a group of about 100 chanting man to create an amazing atmosphere. And candle light used instead of lamps enhanced the whole experience. All of that was happening outdoors. The show finished with an original fire dance – we felt sorry for the guy dancing over the fire barefoot! Definitely worthwhile seeing show. Tonight we enjoyed a lovely dinner at Gayatri Cafe – food was gorgeous but more expensive than in warungs we have eaten recently. We treated ourselves as it was probably our last dinner in Ubud!