After staying the night in Kuta, I caught a bus to Ubud with some friends who were also planning to study in the region. Ubud, an artsy town full of Balinese culture, is a place I'll definitely return to again in the future.
When I first got off the bus, it felt chaotic. I had to grab my heavy bag from the bus and once I exited, I noticed there were a lot of hustlers wanting you to stay at their "hotel". It was surreal.
As I was walking, over and over again people would ask, "Do you have a hotel?" If you answer yes, the next question they ask is, "What hotel are you staying at?" to check. It was the strangest feeling ever. I really needed a hotel, but I wasn't sure who to trust since in Hawaii, it's uncommon for people to offer you a place to stay. But in Ubud, I quickly learned, it's common practice and it's easy to find a clean, safe place to stay even if you are traveling alone.
Although I refused many offers out of paranoia, I was eventually convinced. As I was waiting for a taxi, an older gentleman asked if I had a place to stay since he had a room available at his homestay accommodation. It wouldn't hurt to look, I thought to myself. The first thing that caught my attention was the temple and it looked like a safe enough area.
Then, we walked through the area and up two long stairs to find a large room with a beautiful view of the neighborhood.
I had planned to find a hotel I saw online instead to be safe, but I decided to take a look at the room being offered first and I'm glad I did. It was nice and only about $10.00 US a night. It was a great deal and the view from my room was incredible. I was still a bit unsure and paranoid since it's not normal for people to offer you a room, but I decided I would stay because I felt comfortable with the location. There were many foreigners living in the surrounding area too, as well as locals.
Here's my lovely room ...
I'm glad I chose a home stay accommodation because it truly was a great deal. Although I could barely find a place for $40.00 US online, I was able to find a clean and comfortable room for only $10.00 US at a homestay. When I return to Ubud, I will choose a homestay accommodation again.
Of course, a homestay isn't a luxurious resort for those of you who need more "comfort." I'm not a high maintenance girl though, so staying at a homestay was perfect. I had a bed to sleep on and hot water. It may take 10 minutes to get hot water, but it was worth it. In the mornings, I also had breakfast readily available. Fresh fruit, two pieces of toast, and hot tea. What else could I ask for?
Try a homestay sometime!