Enjoy Ubud on Jalan Sanggigan


Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.” — Bruce Lee

South East Asia is so different this time. When we came to Bali in 2008, we were a couple but still testing our relationship. While fiercely in love, we were flickering as we worked on understanding basic ideas about one another, even after a year and a half together followed by three months on the road. When we left July 1, 2012, our understanding of each other and our relationship had vastly improved. Our marriage is solid full of deep burning coals and we have learned how to communicate and travel so much better, having now spent nearly nineteen months on the road in different continents.

While in Ubud, remembering my first trip to Bali in 2008 and comparing it to now, I remember going to an expat Shabbat dinner and meeting a man who had spent decades in Ubud, who loved every thing about it and wanted to share so much with me. His hand-drawn map led us to Jantilui, where I was mesmerized by the gorgeous rice terraces.

Over the last three weeks traveling around Bali, the rice fields have again entranced me. I was shocked to read recently in the UbudLife, the Jakarta Post and other local papers about issues with the fields. Ubudlife: “After 1200 years of continuous cultivation, [the rice terraces] are now in jeopardy from the twin threats of development and environmental degradation.” I do see how tourists and others in love with the sight of the terraces and fields would want to live, work, open shops, hotels and restaurants near by to share the view and bask in shadow of the vibrant green colors.

I have to admit that when we arrived in 2008 and stayed in Ubud on Monkey Forest Drive, I felt overwhelmed by all the people, shops and being asked repeatedly: “Hello, Transport?” George started to tell people, “My name is not Taxi.” George’s comments now that  the fields seemed to have disappeared from Ubud and been replaced by tourism commerce. I can understand why Pande Putu and two other artists from Kintamani would make a sign, “NOT FOR SALE” in the rice field in Jungjungan north of Ubud and how this could be called “Occupy the Rice Field.” This issue seems to be in its own unique fashion a love growing from a flame into a fire with coals burning. It is all of our responsibility to the Earth and our planet not to squander the areas where we grow our food and get our sustenance literally and figuratively.

I do have to report that the rice fields and relaxed areas do in some instances co-exist! We stayed at Villa Sanggingan on Jalan Sanggingan  and it was fantastic. The staff is incredible. Located near the Alberto Blanco museum where we went in 2008 with Dov Fraser for the Ubud Writers Festival, this area is away from the main tourist strip. The hotel is available on Asiarooms.com, Booking.com and Agoda.com. We stayed five nights and ate at several great warungs, including the famous N as well as Fuzion Café   on Jalan Lungsiakan, where we felt as if we were dining in a rice field. I thought the décor was charming; this is one of the original hotels in the area. and along with the Neka Art Museum, has been there more than twenty years. Bagus (Good) Laundry was great, too. I have to admit clean clothes, fresh from the laundry, are one of my favorite things!

I highly recommend a stay in Ubud. I will write more after our next journey to Ubud and this weekend we are staying on Monkey Forest Drive to be near the Palace to see the ceremony for the King.

Ubud Video

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. Niver is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, Inc. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have over 1.6 million views. After three months on TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels and YouTube Shorts, she had over 500,000 (1/2 million) views. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty times.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2022 Finalist: Book Criticism 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers” Social Media Presence YouTube Channel: We Said Go Travel (1.6 million views) Short form video:TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts Twitter: lisaniver (90,000 followers) Instagram: lisaniver (24,000 followers) Pinterest: We Said Go Travel (20,000 followers and over 70,000 monthly views) Facebook: lisa.niver (5,000 followers); We Said Go Travel (3,000 followers) LinkedIn: lisaellenniver (9000 contacts)

One response to “Enjoy Ubud on Jalan Sanggigan

  1. after I read this article arose a great desire to visit there. India is the country’s most wanted me to visit, from now on I will be raising money for a trip to India. i love adventure, and dreaming explore the world…..

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