I arrived in Bali really early on Monday morning, and got a taxi from the airport straight to my hotel in Ubud, where I slept for the rest of the night. Yesterday was then spent chilling around the pool and exploring the town, before meeting the group that I'll be spending the next few days with (I'm doing the Ubud part of the Balintro tour).
Today I went to the market and did some bartering, which I have never done before. I felt a bit uncomfortable at first but was amazed at how low you could get the prices down! Some as low as 25% of the original asking price.
This afternoon we visited the Ubud Monkey Forest, which was so much fun. There were wild monkeys everywhere, including really cute babies, and we were allowed to feed them bananas. One jumped on my head and got tangled in my hair!
I love what I have seen of Bali so far. The Hindu culture here means that there are statues of their gods and flower wreathes everywhere. The Balinese people also leave packages of woven palm leaf, flowers and herbs all over the town, as offerings to the Creator - these are known as canang sari. So you really have to watch your step whilst walking on the pavements!
Ubud has lots of shops and restaurants that are really cheap, and the whole area is really green and pretty. Plus all of the locals seem really friendly (if not slightly pushy when they want you to buy something!).
I am getting up at 1.15am tomorrow morning to climb a mountain and watch the sun rise, so I am getting a very early night tonight. I'm hoping that the lack of sleep will be worthwhile!