Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Sat January 16 2016

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  • Shannon Wolf | January 16, 2016 11:00 PM ET

    Ubud: The Yoga Capital of Bali

    Ubud: The Yoga Capital of Bali

    PHOTO: Wandering through the countryside of Ubud at sunset will show you a serene side to the busy streets below. (photos by Shannon Wolf)

    When people arrive in Bali, first stop is usually the party city of Kuta. However, fellow travelers who had been there, done that, recommended that I skip it and head straight to what I love most — a more relaxed, peaceful area known for an abundance of yoga studios; healthy restaurants and warungs; Hindu temples and shrines; and captivating landscapes: Ubud.

    I planned to stay for a week and ended up doubling it. (Which I’m not surprised by any means.)

    I did yoga up to four times a day, tried Indonesian cuisine for the first time — which blew me away — pampered myself for my 27th birthday and explored the eye-catching countryside, all while learning for the first time how to drive a scooter!

    RELATED: The Hottest Trend in Air Travel? Yoga.

    Ubud was far more built up than I had expected, but it did not disappoint.

    Not-So-Best Accommodation:

    Balibbu Hostel was great at first and would have been recommended. However, the female staff member is incredibly rude to female guests and reportedly made male travelers feel uncomfortable. Not to mention, my drivers license mysteriously went missing which I never got back nor did they seem to care. (Which I also found out, isn’t the first time that it’s happened there.) Needless to say, I wouldn’t go back again.

    Cheapest Budget Accommodation: Happy Mango Tree ($10 a night)

    Not a great atmosphere but a place to rest your head and within walking distance to everything you need! (No scooter necessary!)

    Best Budget Accommodation: In Da Lodge Hostel
    For $2 a night more, a better ambiance, pool, hangout lounge, two bars and charmingly decorated, you can’t really beat it!

    Best Bar: Bamboo Bar

    Great atmosphere and live music every night until 11 p.m. Skip the food here, though.

    PHOTO: Radiantly Alive, one of the many wonderful yoga studios in Ubud.

    Best Yoga:

    • Yoga Barn — lots of options and free community class on Fridays at 5:30 p.m.

    • Radiantly Alive: Smaller class sizes, more guidance and better pricing ($55 for a week of unlimited classes).

    RELATED: 8 Mesmerizing Things to Do in Bali

    Must Do’s:

    • Visit the rice paddies (but don’t pay to walk further in — it’s exactly the same).

    • Sample eight varieties of coffee and tea for FREE at Satri coffee plantation.

    • Trek Campuhan Ridge — An easy mile-long trail — beautiful!

    • Walk behind Starbucks on the main street and see the hundreds of lilies leading up to a tucked-away temple.

    • Try different yoga classes such as Fly High Yoga at Radiantly Alive.

    • Hike Mt. Batur or Mt. Agung for sunrise.

    • Treat yourself to a spa day at Taksu or Bali Botanica.

    PHOTO: After wandering through the rice paddies, you can quench your thirst with the world’s most expensive coffee!

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Shannon Wolf Tales From the Leap

Shannon Wolf Shannon Wolf is a freelance photographer and writer, traveling across the globe with an open itinerary and no intent of stopping. Originally from Toronto, Canada, she left behind a fast paced life to truly live and not just exist in an attempt to inspire others to follow their bliss. At age 26, Shannon has visited 20+ countries on four continents around the world. She has travelled overland by chicken-bus and tuk-tuks, hitchhiked by fruit trucks and through islands on horse and buggy. She has slept in the jungles of Nicaragua, on benches in London, secluded hidden beaches and she’s only getting started.
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