As soon as I saw the Village Above the Clouds website, I knew we had to go there. I’d found it while searching for eco-hotels in Bali and it was the most charming and visually stunning one I came across. A few weeks later, I chanced across the owner at one of the many workshops I’ve been to in Ubud and he told me some more about the village where the hotel sits, and the school he’d started there. It was the obvious choice for our road trip away from Ubud, and I couldn’t wait to see it for myself. Read more
A lot of people complain about the tourism in Bali, and it’s fair enough. The proliferation of guesthouses and villas that are quickly filling the rice fields and shorelines of the island is alarming and painful to watch – and the traffic is abominable. Ubud is one of the places that has been hit particularly hard, and what we hear was a quiet town is now teeming with tour buses and endless vendors vying to make a buck from the tourist dollar. We’ve gotten used to it, and managed to carve a life behind the tourism screen in what is still a richly cultural and beautiful town.
However, many visitors to Bali never get past the initial shock of tourism, traffic and touts, and leave believing the island has been ruined. It’s likely these people never got beyond Ubud, Kuta and some of the other “must sees” of the island. We wish they’d ventured to Central Bali… Read more
We started October in Bali and are ending it back home in the UK, bathing ourselves in the familiar. So far, we’ve been to a wedding (congratulations Vincent and Kevin!), caught up with family, marveled at the Autumnal colours and prepared for the St.Jude storm. We’ll update you with much more soon, but for now, here are our highlights from around the web for the past few weeks… Read more
“You don’t like it there, do you?” said my aunt on the phone one day. I can see why she thought it. My posts on Ubud have been a little heavy on the navel-gazing, which doesn’t always make for lighthearted stories. But our life here has been much more than all the “Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it” experiments. Here’s a little taste of what it’s like to be a digital nomad in Ubud. And my answer to my aunt: “How could I not?”. Read more
When I first heard about Per, he sounded like an archetypal compulsive liar, full of the tallest of tales that would put to shame Frank Abagnale Jr. In a town like Ubud, you have to have your bullshit detector on.
Then I met him, and the doubts were gone. This man, the youngest of ten from Tibetan and Indonesian descent, has gone from being entrepreneur of the year in the Netherlands to a sought-after healer in Indonesia, via a winding route of meetings with world leaders and time in psychic schools. He’s involved in a movement called Deep Democracy and his mission is to bring peace to South-East Asia, most significantly Tibet. He’s a man brimming with compassion rather than lies. Read more
I woke up that morning, fed up and tired with this journey. The rats had returned to the ceiling, causing another disrupted night’s sleep while they played gymnastics above our heads, the thin plaster amplifying their patter to the sound of elephants’ hooves. Tonight we’d have to re-plug in the sonic repeller, pushing aside any worries about its effects on our consciousness. Sleep was more important.
Without sleep, everything feels heavier. A glorious day turns bleak and infuriation gives rise to the unreasonable. “Maybe we need to find another house, or maybe it would be easier to just go home earlier?” “Let’s look into it.” Read more