For digital marketer Clarinta Subrata, there is no place quite like home as being back in Bali. Despite growing up in Jakarta, Bali has always held a special place in her heart, evident from her gazillion travel photos of the lush tropical island on her Instagram feed. This Indonesian may love pristine and secluded beaches, but she readily trades her aviator shades and swimsuit to soak in the cultural atmosphere of mystical Ubud. Clarinta names her top outdoor activity to do in Bali, where you can get Luwak coffee for $1.50, and her love for Nasi Campur.
Photo: Clarinta Subrata
Which part of Bali do you love the most?
My favourite part of Bali has got to be Ubud. There’s a reason this special place in Bali was featured in Eat Pray Love! To me, it is the most spiritual and most beautiful part of Bali. It’s full of beautiful lush green paddy fields, gorgeous Yoga studios with great classes and yogis, countless tasty organic restaurants, and an endless supply of amazing temples. I cannot get enough!
How is Balinese food different from other parts of Indonesia?
While the majority of Indonesia is Muslim, Bali is predominantly Hindu. This means, unlike other parts of Indonesia, pork plays a large part in Balinese cuisine. Their most famous dish is Babi Guling, which is crispy roasted pork with rice and spices. Apart from that, I’d say that those who love Indonesian food will also love Balinese food – there is just so many similarities!
Name one local dish you feel travellers can’t leave Bali without trying
Definitely Nasi Campur! Nasi Campur, literally translated, means ‘mixed rice’. It’s a plate of everything – rice, meats and vegetables cooked in various different ways. It’s the perfect way to try 6 to 8 different types of side dishes in one meal. The best place to get this is at Warung Made, which has 2 branches, in Seminyak and in Kuta.
Vegetarian Nasi Campur. Photo: Clarinta Subrata
Name one Balinese dining etiquette most travellers miss
Eating food with your bare hand is normal and traditional. The right hand is always used, while the left hand is considered ‘unclean’ and never used to eat or pass food with.
Where are your favourite eating places in Bali?
There are just so many! Bali is a food heaven. Firstly, Bebek Tepi Sawah’s crispy duck is to die for. As mentioned earlier, Warung Made is an institution, and the Nasi Campur is not to be missed. If you’re after delicious, healthy and organic food, KAFE in Ubud has lots of vegetarian options. In Seminyak, upscale French restaurant Metis has amazing ambience. Lastly, Kilo in Kuta has extremely chic fusion food. Everything on the menu is always delicious.
Food at KAFE. Photo: Clarinta Subrata
Photo: Clarinta Subrata
What is one must-do outdoor activity in Bali?
Cycling the Ubud countryside! The full-day cycling tour invites you to relish Balinese landscapes and daily life on two wheels with a local guide.
They start by picking you up from your accommodation, where they will then ascend by car to the top of Mount Batur. You will then enjoy a stunning sunrise over the mountain while enjoying a simple yet delicious Indonesian breakfast.
Afterwards, you’ll each be given a mountain bike, and begin your descent for about 90 minutes. These 90 minutes are one of the richest experiences in Bali that you’ll ever have. First, you stop at a Balinese coffee plantation to discover tropical coffee and taste about a dozen different types of coffee beans. This includes the Luwak – the most expensive coffee in the world! Don’t worry, here it costs just $1.50 for a glass. After that you cycle through paddy fields, art galleries, and traditional villages. You’ll stop at a traditional Balinese compound and understand more about how the locals live. The entire trip then cumulates into a satisfying lunch by the rice fields – a charming buffet style Balinese food galore that is sure to hit the spot after 4 to 5 hours of cycling.
Photo: Clarinta Subrata
Name one hotel you fell in love with in Bali
Maya Resorts, Ubud. What I love about it is how tranquil and lush the entire compound is. Every staff you meet offers you a warm smile, and no request is ever too much.
There are two extremely picturesque infinity pools. One with a serene view of the forest, the other, a terraced one, with a calming view of the river. A stay at Maya Ubud will even include lots of free activities such as free yoga classes, free access to the golf course and tennis court. Stay in the villas, not the rooms, for a completely serene experience.
Infinity pool at Maya Ubud. Photo: Hugo Kruip
What would you recommend travellers do in Bali to experience the area as a local?
Rent a motorbike. Only when you ride like a local, will you see things as a local.
WHERE TO EAT IN BALI
Region: Seminyak and Kuta
Where: Jl. Raya Seminyak, Banjar Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia (and more)
For: Nasi Campur
Where: Jalan Raya Goa Gajah, Br. Teges Peliatan, Ubud, Bali 80571, Indonesia
For: Crispy duck
Where: Jalan Hanoman 44B, Padang Tegal, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
For: Organic food and vegetarian options
Where: Jl. Petitenget No. 6, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
For: High-end French food
Where: Jl. Drupadi No.22, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
For: Fusion food