From Ubud to Lovina: a driver, luwak coffee and rice terraces

The drive from Ubud was about 3.5 hours and we paid 600,000 rupiah for a driver who took us by a luwak coffee plantation and the Jatiluwih rice terraces. The driver was arranged through our Ubud hotel, Sri Ratih Cottages. Luwak coffee is touted as “the most expensive coffee in the world. “Luwak” is the local name for the palm civet, a raccoon-like animal that likes to eat coffee beans. Beans processed through the digestive system of a luwak are the basis of luwak coffee. That’s right, they collect civet poop to get the “specially treated” beans that are then roasted to make luwak coffee. You’ve got to wonder who first thought they’d give that a try! read more

Ubud Restaurant Faves

Traditional Indonesian lunch at Cafe Lotus, overlooking a lotus garden and Hindu temple

Just a quick post with a few of our favorite restaurant finds in Ubud. First off, we didn’t find any air conditioned restaurants, so prepare yourself for that and focus on the food, a breeze and great atmosphere and/or view. We also wanted Indonesian/Balinese food while in Bali so no pizza recommendations here.

I’ve already mentioned Café Lotus, but in my last post, but it bears repeating. Choose from regular or traditional low tables where you sit on cushions on a raised floor. The traditional tables have the best view of the spectacular lotus water garden in front of a beautiful Hindu temple, Pura Taman Kemuda Saraswati. The food was fresh and good and reasonably priced, if a touch more expensive than other, less-spectacular restaurants. read more

Bali Beginnings: First up, exotic Ubud

Hindu ceremony in progress at Pura Gunung Lebah in Ubud

In making plans for our 2+ weeks in Bali, I chose 4 very different locations and accommodations to try to give us a real sampling of the island. Our destinations included 2 interior locations: a boutique hotel in cultural-center Ubud and a homestay in rural Munduk for its waterfalls and rice terraces; and, 2 waterfront spots: a little beachfront hotel in backwater Lovina in the north for narrow black sand beaches, dolphins and scuba diving and a sprawling resort in gated-enclave Nusa Dua for wide white beaches and a little luxury. read more