Early in the morning, our good driver Made was already waiting for us at the guesthouse lobby. We went directly to Tanah Lot temple before it gets too hot and too crowded. When we reach there, we almost have the whole place to ourselves, except that the sea around Tanah Lot was full of surfers! There are 2 temples in Tanah Lot, one on an island maybe 20m off the shore and none of them permitted tourists to its interior.
During low tide, visitors could walk to the island from the shore and receive a blessing ritual from the priest, of course, with a price.
From Tanah Lot, we continued our journey to Tegalallang to see the tiered padi fields on hills. It was not worth the trouble to go all the way to see this. I would recommend to skip this. Our next stop was Ubud, where we had one of our best meal in Bali - roasted pig rice. This humble shop was recommended to us by our driver Made.
Ubud is a relaxing village filled with artists. There are many world-class hill resorts around this area. Central Ubud which is bustling with handicraft market/shops, nice cafes/restaurants is best covered by foot. Souvenir shopping in Ubud is very rewarding. It is the cheapest in Bali and full of varieties, definitely a heaven for shopaholics. Ubud also boasts of many Balinese spas that fit every budget, from the very high end Kirana Spa to low key spas even backpackers can afford.
Of all the places I visited in Bali, I love Ubud the most. The unmistakably Balinese relaxed pace is felt here, even in bustling Central Ubud. Just 1 or 2km outside the town centre, lush green countryside welcomed us with open arms. I would definitely return to Bali again, not for the sights, but for the lovely people, the relaxing atmosphere, and for the love of Balinese handicraft!