While we stayed in Ubud, we decided to try the Bali Eco Cycling tour for half a day – because what better way to see the ‘real Bali’ than on a bike?! (This might sound scarily exhausting but the whole bike ride was downhill and involved very little effort – my favourite kind of bike ride!)
Our guide was great and well educated; everywhere we stopped he would explain everything in depth and answered any questions we had. It was a great opportunity to escape popular and busy Ubud and discover rural Bali.
Overview of the day –
$55 adults, $50 teenager, $40 child
–Breakfast with a view of Mount Batur and its crater lake
-Balinese coffee plantation and tasting
–Bike ride down mountain through non-tourist, secret back roads experiencing daily Balinese life and countryside – through small villages and rice paddies
-Stop at Balinese village and see a Balinese home/compound
-Stop at ancient banyan tree
-Stop at panoramic rice fields and see local Balinese at work
–Lunch with view of the jungle and rice fields – Balinese feast
–Drop off back to hotel/villa
Our van conveniently picked us up from our Ubud villa and kindly stopped off at Tegalalang rice terraces on the way for a photo opportunity, it was breath taking!
Started the day with traditional Balinese breakfast of Mie goreng, Nasi goreng, scrambled egg and more – with stunning views looking out over Mount Batur (active volcano) and Lake Batur. I loved how you can see the black rock where the lava from previous eruptions had settled!
Our next destination was a local coffee plantation where we were educated about the coffee and other plants they had growing there; cinnamon, vanilla, ginger etc. We were able to taste the different coffees and even the famous Luwak (cat poo) coffee! I’m not a coffee drinker at all and I have to admit I actually enjoyed some of them – favourites were Ginseng and Mangosteen!
We followed the guide from the top of the mountain all the way to the bottom stopping off at different locations and for photo opportunities along way!
A number of households in this timeless Balinese village allow Bali Eco Tours to show their customers around their family compound. It was so interesting to see how they live, our guide Wayan explained to us the reasons behind some of their traditions. For example, each household has their own temple to worship the Hindu gods, the first born male from every family will stay and look after the parents all of his life (his wife will join him), new born children cannot touch the earth/ground until they’re 3 months old – these are just to name a few.
Next we carried on through many small villages, taking in the sights, receiving hello’s from children and families as we rode past. Unfortunately we had a massive downpour but our guides came prepared with rain macs so we were able to stay dry!
Ancient Banyan Tree
We stopped at an ancient banyan tree that is more than 500years old, this was the most impressive tree I’ve ever seen – with its roots growing downward and the huge twisted trunk, you can even walk through the tree trunk because of the way it has grown – it looked like something from a fairytale!
Lastly we rode further down and stopped off at one of the many rice terraces we had passed to see the local farmers hard at work. Another interesting fact we learnt is that many of the workers are just paid in rice. The rice paddies here are so picturesque!
We were so ready to eat after a long morning of sight seeing. We were given cold face towels to freshen up before sitting down to lunch with a stunning view of the jungle and more delicious traditional Balinese food – rice, noodles, curry, sate and lots of fruit for dessert – I couldn’t fault the end of our trip!
I would 100% recommend doing this tour if you are heading to Bali! It was an amazing experience to take in so much of the Balinese culture in just half a day. I felt like I learnt a lot from our two guides, seeing the non-touristy Balinese lifestyle! What a great educational company, I will definitely be using them again if I ever return to Bali <3
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