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JBR UBUD - Walking/Hiking Ubud area

Maleny, Australia
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84 posts
32 reviews
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JBR UBUD - Walking/Hiking Ubud area

We have recently returned from Ubud. We have done a few walks around Ubud on previous trips, however, we had always wanted to do The Ayung River Valley Walk and had found it difficult to organize. Finally we found a wonderful guide who was recommended to us by an Australian couple who own a home in Ubud and spend many months of the year there.

Yandira has had many years' experience as a walking guide and he is also a driver. Prior to leaving Australia I emailed Yandira with what we were interested in doing and he was so helpful with advising us about the walk, what we would see along the way etc.

Yandira met us at our hotel and we immediately sensed that he had a lovely manner - professional, but friendly. We then drove to Sayan where we commenced the walk. Within a few minutes we were looking down at the amazing Ayung River. The countryside was beautiful, coconut groves, farming and jungle areas. The track was easy to follow and along the way Yandira explained to us about the cultural aspects of Bali and family life. He was very knowledgeable about the different types of farming, irrigation systems and was happy to answer all of our questions. We saw women taking black sand from the river and this is used for roads and building work - the sand is then put in a bucket type system and taken to higher ground by a pulley system - all done manually - very hard work! We crossed the river via a wooden bridge and then went through some rice fields to get to Bongkasa Village which is where Yandira and his family live. This is a lovely area and our walk ended at Yandira's Family Compound. We were shown around the compound and Yandira explained the layout of a Balinese Family Compound - the cultural, religious and family aspects. There was a large area where the cattle, chickens & vegetables gardens were. At the end of the compound was a steep drop down to the magnificent Ayung River. I have been to many Family Compounds in Bali and this was the nicest, most well organized one I have seen. It was a pleasure to meet Yandira's family and his lovely wife had made a delicious lunch for us - a great selection of chicken satay, pork, gado gado - this was then followed by a selection of Balinese desserts - one of the best meals we had during our stay in Ubud.

Pick up was at 8 and we were back at our hotel by 1.30. The cost was 300,000 IDR each.

I wouldn't normally post a report on TA, but I do believe there is a lack of information on walking/trekking guides in the Ubud region. This post may help people who like walking/trekking. The Ayung River Valley Walk was a real highlight of our last trip and this was due to the stunning scenery, and also having an excellent guide who is professional, personable and knowledgeable. There are other walks/hikes Yandira does. If you wish to contact Yandira his email is: yandira77@yahoo.com

Happy walking/hiking!!

Newcastle, Australia
1 post
1 review
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31. Re: JBR UBUD - Walking/Hiking Ubud area

On a trip to Ubud in November 2013, I met with a wonderful guide & driver, Yandira and his beautiful family and was able to take in the beauty of the Ayung River Valley Walk. This trek was thoroughly enjoyable, through beautiful countryside, sampling fruits, overlooking the white water rafters whilst Yandira explained the farming and balinese culture along the way and with the option of going at our own pace.

In May 2014 I was able to return to Ubud and contacted Yandira to drive us from Candidasa on the East Coast to Ubud. I arranged this via email before I left Australia, suggesting a few places of interest to visit along the way. Yandira arrived at our place of accommodation in Candidasa, at 9am as arranged, on time and I instantly felt like I was meeting with an old friend. He had taken into consideration our suggestions and this combined with a few ideas of his own made for a very personal, informative and really fun day in the timeframe we had allowed.

We travelled via Pura Goa Lawah - The Temple of the Bat Cave, a unique natural cave filled with hundreds of bats, before our next stop in the town of Klungkung, famous for its exquisite, traditional hand woven fabrics and Klungkung’s Ancient Court of Justice to view the most unique paintings on the ceiling of the temple building. We then went onto Gunung Kawi Sebatu, a small, very pretty temple enclosed by forest and without the many tourists that you will find at Gunung Kawi. Lunch was at a delightful local restaurant chosen by Yandira, before moving on to the most spectacular Coffee Plantation “Bali Pulina Agro Tourism at Pujung Kelod”, approx 15 minutes from Ubud”. This plantation overlooks the most magnificent rice fields and jungle below and the view is one of the best you will see from a coffee plantation. Our last stop was an 11th Century Elephant Cave - Goa Gajah of which you enter through the carved mouth of a demon and is surrounded by lots of beautiful vegetation, paths & fountains, before arriving at our accommodation by 3 pm as requested.

Throughout the day Yandira guided us as to admission prices, appropriate respectful dress, and passed on his extensive knowledge of these temples / plantations and the Balinese culture, always allowing us the option of a guide if we felt we needed further explanation. Yandira is fluent in English and is a kind, warm, honest and knowledgeable man, born and raised in a village near Ubud and appeared very well respected wherever we went. He was a pleasure to speak to, a lot of fun and extremely accommodating in our wishes whilst travelling, be it to stop for a cold drink, a bathroom or to locate an ATM. We never felt rushed and felt very comfortable to take as long or as little as we preferred at each stop. He has an air-conditioned vehicle and his rates are very reasonable. If you are wanting to discover and learn about the region of Ubud and beyond, we can highly recommend Yandira in his capacity as a driver and / or walking guide. You will see more in one day than you could on any bus tour.

On a separate occasion on this recent trip, we were also able to spend some time at Yandira’s family compound after a trek. A big thank you to Sumanis (Yandira’s wife) for that beautiful lunch with the assistance of Grandma and that Balinese cake dessert is something I will never forget. The little girls danced for us and the grandfather generously cut us young coconuts from the tree for us to enjoy. We truly felt as though “we came as friends and left as family”.

Yandira can be contacted via email as follows: on Wayan Dira [mailto:yandira77@yahoo.com]

32. Re: JBR UBUD - Walking/Hiking Ubud area

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Removed on: 14 June 2014, 10:35
Melbourne, Australia
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5 posts
3 reviews
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33. Re: JBR UBUD - Walking/Hiking Ubud area

Thanks Carol, 5 km should be fine - hopefully he is available as it sounds great.

Brisbane, Australia
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34. Re: JBR UBUD - Walking/Hiking Ubud area

OMG HIGHLIGHT OF MY TRIP!!! I did the Ayung River Trek a few days ago. It was amazing. I learnt so much about the REAL Bali. Yandira will not hold back from answering the tough questions unlike so many other guides who want to sugar coat your "Real Bali" experience. It was fantastic to get under the very thin veneer of Bali that only tourists see. His offers a variety of hikes and differing levels so can accommodate everyone. His wife is an amazing cook! His kids are gorgeous and I loved the dance by his daughter and her friends. This is a truely authentic experience unlike others

Tannum Sands...
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135 posts
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35. Re: JBR UBUD - Walking/Hiking Ubud area

Oh B00kgirl. I so want to "like" your comment. I agree. One of the best things we've done :)

Byron Bay, Australia
Destination Expert
for Bali, Legian
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36. Re: JBR UBUD - Walking/Hiking Ubud area

This sounds wonderful! I love walking so I must do this the next time I'm in Ubud.

Maleny, Australia
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84 posts
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37. Re: JBR UBUD - Walking/Hiking Ubud area

My Niece and I did a trip to Bali in May14. Once again, prior to arriving in Bali, I organized a half day trip with Yandira. We didn't have a lot of time (8 - 12.30) so we were a bit restricted with our itinerary. After liaising with Yandira via email, we decided on the following itinerary . We went to a beautiful quiet temple "Guning Kawi Sebatu" which was a fairly small water temple complex - definitely worth a visit. This temple is not as well known as others, and therefore,not as crowded. Yandira was able to tell us about the history of the temple and answer any questions we had. We then went to a small coffee/fruit place called "Bali Agro Tourism" we did a tour of a small crop of fruit and coffee plants, there was a delightful lady who explained the coffee growing and how it is processed. We also sampled the different coffee's. What makes this place special, is that it is very well run (tidy, clean,good facilities etc), and the area where you sample the coffee is at the side of a valley which overlooks terraced rice fields - really stunning outlook. We then went on to the Tegallalang Rice Terraces - at first we were a bit hesitant about doing this, as we knew the main area is very busy (shops/café area). However, the terraced rice field walk was a real highlight for us. Surprisingly, there were very few people on the track. It was really interesting to learn about the method of making/repairing the terraces, and also to learn about the farmers lifestyle. We were able to meet a family that lives in a small hut in the ricefield area during the harvesting time. We felt very welcomed and we were privileged to meet them.

My Niece had not been to Bali before,and this half day trip encompassed things that I felt would highlight some aspects of "the real Bali". She absolutely loved this tour with Yandira and was able the chat with him about different aspects of Balinese culture etc.

Once again, Yandira was a great guide. Reliable, knowledgeable, lovely manner, safe driver etc. This was a relaxed half day trip and very enjoyable. I thought others may be interested in this type of trip.

ballarat
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263 posts
66 reviews
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38. Re: JBR UBUD - Walking/Hiking Ubud area

Thanks for the reports the walks sound great and I think we might do both.

ballarat
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263 posts
66 reviews
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39. Re: JBR UBUD - Walking/Hiking Ubud area

Thanks for the reports the walks sound great and I think we might do both.

ballarat
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263 posts
66 reviews
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40. Re: JBR UBUD - Walking/Hiking Ubud area

Thanks for the reports the walks sound great and I think we might do both.