For day two in Ubud we hired a taxi to take us around for the day to see many of the sights that are just outside Ubud. Our driver was called Dewa. He was a very sweet guy with good English.
Our first stop was Goa Gujah, the Elephant cave temple. No idea why it’s called the elephant cave or really any history behind it as unfortunately there were no signs telling us any information.
All the Temples in Bali seem to have two main rules:
1. You must be appropriately dressed.
Women and men must have their legs covered, and often they like everyone to wear a sarong to do so.
2. Women during menstruation are forbidden from entering.
Not sure why or how they would know, but ladies if you’re planning a trip to Bali pick the time of the month you visit carefully!
Once we were fashioning our grubby rented sarongs, we headed down the many stairs to witness the many praying women amongst the fountains and temples. One old local took us under her wing to teach us how to pray. It involves holding a flower between your hands in the prayer position, being sprayed with the holy water, drinking the holy water and putting rice on your foreheads. The cave itself is very small on the inside and is full of incense, creating a weird claustrophobic steam room feeling.
Tegallalang rice terrace
I have to thank Stephanie for persuading me to come to the rice terrace. I personally wasn’t too bothered by the idea as I felt like we’d seen lots of rice fields in Bali and essentially it just looks like grass. I’m so glad we went as it was absolutely stunning! It’s such an impressive view, to think it’s all created just to farm rice. We clambered down to the bottom using some very dodgy paths and steps and then back up the other side, then down again and back up to where we started passing a few mandatory ‘donation’ points along the way. The pictures speak for themselves really as I can’t really describe what an incredible vast view it was.
Our third stop was Tampak Siring which is a holy water temple. Before entering the temple it is considered respectful to get in the holy water wearing your sarong and go along each fountain. At every one you have to say a hymn three times, drink the water and spit it out three times, drink the water and swallow three times, then wash your head for as long as you like. I think there were about 20 fountains in total. The holy water was very busy with people doing this ritual and it was fascinating to watch. We decided not to get in as we didn’t fancy spending the rest of our day soaking wet so just blessed our heads with the water instead and explored the grounds of the temple. There was a ceremony going on at the time with lots of traditional music and Balinese dress for us to witness.
For the final stop of the day we decided to go to The Big Farm chocolate factory. There’s only one tour a day at 2pm and without knowing this and by a stroke of luck that is when we arrived. Not sure what we would have done if we’d gone in the morning as without the tour there wasn’t much to see. The building itself is a sight to see as its made 80% from bamboo, including all the furniture inside which is made on site. It’s a pretty impressive structure. All the chocolate and sugar they make is organic and free range so pretty different to a visit to cadburys world. The lady giving us the tour was so sweet and enthusiastic about what she did. She taught us all about how the process works and how they only put products they make themselves into the chocolate so it is all organic and taken from the cacao bean. Most of the machines weren’t working when we visited though as they were focussing on their sugar production which they sell more of. Was feeling a little ill on the way back to the hotel as I think I ate too many of the tasters!