Put your walk­ing shoes on for a stroll in Ubud.

Tak­ing a walk along the vast ex­panse of green paddy fields is a beau­ti­ful way to sa­vor Ubud.

The Jakarta Post - Magazine - - Contents - Words Kadek Pur­nami

The ex­hil­a­rat­ing breeze am­pli­fied by the sway­ing co­conut trees, the sounds made by ducks as they swim and feed, and the sim­ple smile of a farmer whose face has been carved by years of hard work and per­se­ver­ance, will take the vis­i­tor to a dif­fer­ent realm of Ubud, a small town fa­mous for its mu­se­ums, up­scale eater­ies, art gal­leries and frus­trat­ing traf­fic jams.

Sit­ting on the green grass, while sip­ping from a freshly picked co­conut and chat­ting with the lo­cal farmer, is the crown­ing glory of that re­fresh­ing walk.

A vis­i­tor could start the walk from Ubud mar­ket and head 500 me­ters west, pass­ing the famed Puri Luk­isan Mu­seum and the Dalem tem­ple be­fore turn­ing right un­der the iron ir­ri­ga­tion wa­ter pipe that runs trans­versely above the road. The lo­cals call that con­duit Aban­gan, hence, the name of the area.

The vis­i­tor would then take an up­hill path lined along both sides with bun­ga­lows. Around 100 me­ters af­ter leav­ing the main road is the first glimpse of the lush paddy fields. Nat­u­rally, the path gets nar­rower along the way and the space be­tween man­made build­ings wider. The paddy fields are cul­ti­vated by 80 lo­cal farm­ers.

There are sev­eral places along the path to take a brief break. One of them is Bodag Maliah, a restau­rant run by Sari Or­ganik, a com­pany ded­i­cated to or­ganic farm­ing and food pro­cess­ing. Bodag Maliah of­fers a cool am­bi­ence and fresh sal­ads and juices. It also sells fresh veg­eta­bles and fruit, a per­fect thing to bring home from the walk.

Another fine es­tab­lish­ment is Café Pome­gran­ate. It is eas­ily spot­ted due to its white canopy roof that stands in stark con­trast against the green paddy fields. Its comfy couches are the per­fect place to rest and watch the fleet­ing sun­set. It of­fers sim­ple Ja­panese fare and fab­u­lous Chai tea with a hint of cin­na­mon, which would sooth that melan­cholic mood set by the fad­ing sun.

Visi­tors who want to see fire­flies danc­ing in the night sky could sim­ply book a room in one of the home­s­tays along the path. Stay­ing in th­ese home­s­tays also gives the chance to sa­vor sev­eral spe­cial per­for­mances; the mid­night cho­rus of the frogs and ci­cadas, and the early morn­ing con­cert of the birds.

Don’t for­get to take a torch and to wear com­fort­able shoes since the path has no street lamps and at sev­eral points is a bit rough for those high-heeled de­signer shoes.

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