September 5, 2007

Upscale Ubud
Ubud (Bali), Indonesia

My my, this once little town has gone and gotten all fancy on us.

The Gods smiled on Tatiana and I yesterday morning—transit timetables lined up perfectly to get us off the island of Lembongan (8:00 a.m.), over to Sanur, and onward to Ubud (just after 10:30). I've got to give a tip of the hat to Perama (shuttle, bus, and boat schedule), who run one of the most organized, efficient, and affordable transport services I've seen in a very long time.

I knew from the sudden rise in artwork for sale in shops and along the side of the road that we must have been getting close to town. I'd read that Ubud was once a community of artists, living in rice paddies, and had only recently become a destination for tourists.

Upscale Ubud

What I didn't expect was how loosely the term "recently" was used. Any quaintness in the town has long since disappeared—replaced instead with posh boutiques, restaurants, hotels, saturated with hoards of motorcycles and Europeans (spending, spending, spending).

The entire vibe of the town makes me uncomfortable—a noticeable level of snobbery in the air, perhaps. Even more so, it's probably the ordeal of living on a budget inside a place frequented by people who need not pinch pennies like I do.

Despite Ubud's ego, there were plenty of positives to keep me smiling for a quick two day, one night reprieve from Nusa Lembongan and Kuta (before our flight to Singapore this evening):

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