Planning a day trip from Ubud by scooter? In this article on our travel blog, we tell you which places we went to and what you have to consider when riding a moped.
Yes, Bali is touristy. Very, very touristy. And Ubud is unfortunately no exception. Nevertheless: Bali is great! What we like about Bali every time we visit – or rather, it really blows our minds – is the impressive landscape: lush green, rice terraces, volcanic landscape. In our opinion, Bali’s uniqueness lies in nature and not – as is often assumed – in the beaches.
Almost every time we are in Bali we make Ubud our home base and explore the central island from there. Our tip: rent a scooter for this. Honestly, this is the best you can do.
Forget taxis and private drivers – unless you want to be comfortable. They are expensive and rob you of your freedom to stop whenever and wherever you want. Rent a moped and enjoy your freedom, enjoy the wind, enjoy the light-heartedness.
1. A Day Moped Tour from Ubud: Stops & Route In this blog article we will tell you about our Ubud Surroundings Moped Route. The landscape there is so breathtakingly beautiful that we are at a loss for words every time. Add to that the feeling of whizzing through the rice field-lined landscape on a moped – our hearts weigh a little bit as we write this blog entry.
Overall, you should really plan a whole day for our route. If you prefer to take it a little easier, we recommend dividing the day tour into two days.
Campuhan Ridge Walk at Sunrise Start early in the morning – preferably before sunrise. The Campuhan Ridge Walk is not an insider tip in Ubud. Nevertheless, we believe that a visit is definitely worthwhile. The short hiking trail takes you through the beautiful countryside of Ubud. In all directions you can enjoy wonderful views of the lush green nature.
It is about two kilometers to the well-known Karsa Café. If you only have a short amount of time, you can only walk the first part of the way. After about 15-20 minutes on foot you will reach a well-known photo spot.
There is a lot going on here during the day – but at sunrise you can enjoy the magical atmosphere of Ubud in peace.
Arrival & Parking: We have marked the starting point of the Campuhan Ridge Walk on the map. You can park your scooter almost at the entrance.
Tegalalang Rice Terraces The Tegalalang Rice Terraces are one of the most famous attractions around Ubud. The sooner you get there, the better. Quite apart from the fact that, with a bit of luck, the light at sunrise is fantastic, you can still visit the rice terraces in the morning in peace and quiet.
Depending on the stage of growth, the rice terraces always look a little different: from mini plants in standing water to lush green nature, everything is possible.
Our tip: take a little more time here and also walk down the terraces. There is no entry fee. Just so you won’t be disappointed: There are an incredible number of souvenir stalls here, as well as restaurants and cafes. We made the best of it, treated ourselves to a delicious cinnamon ice tea in a café and enjoyed the view.
Getting There & Parking: From the Campuhan Ridge Walk, several trails lead north to the Tegalalang Rice Terraces. We prefer to stay on the side streets (e.g. Jalan Suweta) and avoid the main street. There is no problem parking at the roadside at the rice terraces. We have never had to pay a parking fee before, but have heard to the contrary.
Gunung Batur – spectacular volcanic landscape We continue north. Gradually, the traffic is significantly less – and the temperatures are falling. Our destination is the mountainous region of Kintamani, where the Batur volcano is also located. Admittedly, we hadn’t initially planned to drive to Gunung Batur. But when we had come this far, we really wanted to see the imposing active volcano with our own eyes.
Along Jalan Raya Penelokan you will find some viewpoints. No wonder some restaurants have settled along the street. If you want to enjoy lunch with a view, you’ve come to the right place. (However, the prices are usually a bit higher depending on the location.) You can also drive down the street to the crater lake on a scooter, which we didn’t do.
We would like to point out that the section from Tegalalang to Gunung Batur takes a comparatively long time and that it is not exactly comfortable to sit on the moped in the long run. Nevertheless, we don’t regret it for a second. The view of the volcanic landscape is simply magnificent.
Climbing Gunung Batur at sunrise should also be very worthwhile. If you plan to do this, we recommend booking a tour with pick-up from your accommodation. It usually starts at around two o’clock in the morning.
You can book the tour here: Mount Batur volcano at sunrise
Arriving by moped: The driving time from the Tegalalang Rice Terraces is approximately one hour. There is a fee of IDR 30,000 per person in Kintamani. You can usually park on the side of the road.
Pura Tirta Empul – the sacred water temple The water temple Tirta Empul is one of the holiest temples in Bali. With its magical, spiritual atmosphere, it is still one of those places in Bali that exude something special. Others think so too, which is why the Pura Tirta Empul is enjoying increasing popularity. You can see that at the latest from the numerous souvenir shops that have now settled at the exit.
We are not surprised that the Pura Tirta Empul is a magnet for visitors: Here you can be there up close when Balinese people carry out their ritual purification with the holy spring water. If you are interested, you will love the temple.
Personally, we find it incredibly fascinating to watch people do it. It is also possible to borrow a sarong and enter the pools yourself. However, we believe that this ritual should be reserved for devout Hindus.
Getting to Pura Tirta Empul: From Gunung Batur, Tirta Empul is practically on the way home. We have marked the exact location on the map at the end of the article. There is a large parking lot where you can park your scooter (IDR 2,000). Admission to Tirta Empul is IDR 50,000 (as of January 2019). Note: the temple closes at 6 p.m.
Gunung Kawi Rock
Temple Just a stone’s throw from Pura Tirta Empul is a no less impressive temple called Gunung Kawi. First of all, an important note: There are two temples in the region, both of which bear the name Gunung Kawi and are not too far apart from each other. We visited both, but this blog post is about the larger of the two.
Depending on how long you’ve been traveling, it might be too late to visit Gunung Kawi. It closes at 5 p.m. For the visit of Gunung Kawi you have to plan at least one hour (although that is rather tight).
The reason for this: The actual temple is located in a valley that can be reached via many steps down. There should probably be 300 in total – and of course you have to climb them again. Our tip: take enough water with you. There are also a few shops along the stairs for emergencies.
The rock temple Gunung Kawi is incredibly impressive due to its spectacular location in the valley alone. The scenery with the surrounding rice fields is simply fascinating. In addition, there are fewer visitors than one would expect.
Getting to Gunung Kawi: Only about five minutes by scooter from Tirta Empul. Admission is IDR 50,000 (as of January 2019). There is ample parking (parking fee IDR 2,000).
Furniture Shops Now it’s really time to start your journey home to Ubud, so you don’t arrive after dark. On the return journey towards Ubud, you will drive past countless handicraft shops along the main road. Furniture, wood carvings, sculptures and much more are sold. In between there are workshops where the pieces are made.
Anyone who knows us knows about our weakness: furniture! We love individual pieces of furniture and secretly we would like to immediately import several containers full of dressers, small boxes and other trinkets. So it is not surprising that we are particularly enthusiastic about this section of the route. Whenever we drive past here, we stop several times, admire the pieces of furniture and inquire about the production and shipping.
And, believe it or not, we’ve actually struck it here in Bali before. Since then, some Balinese furniture has adorned our apartment – but that’s another story.
2. Tips for riding a scooter in Bali Rent a scooter We always prefer to rent the scooter at our accommodation. The price for a day is usually between 50,000 and 60,000 IDR. You should make sure that you have a well-fitting (!) helmet with you. It’s usually a joke what you get handed out here.
Important to know: Officially, you can only drive scooters in Indonesia with a motorcycle license (class A). A motorcycle driver’s license is not required when borrowing, but it can very well happen that you get caught in a police check and then have to pay because you don’t have a motorcycle driver’s license.
It is worth having an international driver’s license with you (not a prerequisite for renting), but the police will probably still ask you to pay if you don’t have a motorcycle driver’s license.
Police controls We have read many times now that the police carry out regular controls around Ubud and that tourists almost always have to pay – the police officers always come up with some reason.
Although we really were on the road with the moped for many days and even got as far as Denpasar, we were never stopped or checked. We tried to avoid main thoroughfares, if only for safety’s sake, and preferred to drive on the more remote, less-travelled roads.
Road Conditions & Driving in Bali Indonesia drives on the left – it takes some getting used to. It is therefore best to practice on roads with little traffic before venturing out on longer routes. Away from the town centers there is little traffic, but things are very different in central Ubud! Get out of town as soon as possible.
The condition of the roads is mostly okay, but you have to be prepared for one or two potholes and often for slightly sandy roads. When in doubt, it’s better to drive too slowly than too fast – this is especially true when it’s raining. When it rains (especially in the early stages), the road becomes slippery because the rainwater mixes with the dust. This can be fatal to you, especially in the curves.
We mostly drive in long-sleeved clothing. Quite apart from the fact that the airstream is always fresh, you have a little more protection, at least in the event of minor accidents. It is best to always have a raincoat/rain jacket with you – the weather is unpredictable.
Insurance Most importantly, never assume that damage will be covered by insurance. Insurance is not included with most scooter rentals in Bali. If something happens, you pay. Of course, it becomes problematic when serious accidents happen.
It is also important to know that your international health insurance may not apply if you have ridden a scooter without the proper permit (ie without a motorcycle driver’s license).
There is always a risk riding a scooter in Bali – you need to be aware of that!
3. Staying the night in Ubud: Our accommodation recommendations We have stayed in various accommodations in Ubud so far, and we can recommend these two:
Sri Ratih Cottages: Our Favorite! Beautiful, well-kept, quite extensive complex just outside the town center with a beautiful pool. You can walk to the center in 10 minutes. Very pretty rooms and delicious breakfast. The spa is wonderful: here we were able to enjoy the best massages in all of Indonesia.
Ila Villa Ubud: A nice hotel, but it is quite a bit out of the way (about 5-10 minutes by scooter to the center of Ubud). The rooms are very pretty, but our first room smelled very musty. We were then moved to another room on the upper floor without any problems – that was really great for that. The breakfast is delicious and the staff is very accommodating. There is also a small pool.
4. Travel guide for Bali: Tips We have two travel guides for Bali, which we use alternately. We can recommend them both – which one suits you better is a matter of taste. Both travel guides are well researched and clear and are ideal if you want to travel to Bali and Lombok. Lonely Planet’s is a little newer (the new edition came out in 2019), so we’re leaning more towards it at the moment.
Here you can buy the guidebooks
Stefan Loose Travel Guide Bali & Lombok (July 2018 Edition) Lonely Planet Bali & Lombok Travel Guide (September 2019 Edition)
5. More blog articles for your Indonesia trip Our favorite restaurants in Ubud Indonesia itinerary Climbing the Ijen Volcano Transparency: Affiliate Links This Blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!
Have you ever been to Ubud and taken a scooter trip around the area? Tell us your tips and experiences – we look forward to your comments.