Thursday, May 1, 2014

Vegan travel in Ubud, Bali

Someone lost their banana flower!  I found it floating down the subak system north of Ubud in Junjungan.  Please enquire within if you would like it back.  Thank you.   

Travelling as a vegetarian or vegan can be stressful at times.  Before I go on a trip I mentally prepare myself for the possibility of eating nothing but fruit for a stint of time until I can find a vegetarian restaurant.  But wouldn’t it be nice if fruit was only an option because the place you are visiting is saturated with vegetarian and vegan restaurants?  Welcome to Ubud, Bali’s cultural centre.  
Ubud is in central Bali and is surrounded by a lush tropical jungle and an endless sea of emerald green rice terraces.   From the airport, hire a cab and take the one-hour drive north to Ubud.  Don’t worry, taxi service is inexpensive and a one hour trip will only cost between $20-$30, depending on the mood of the driver. 
The vibrant town of Ubud is a favourite stop for travellers interested in Balinese culture, yoga, art classes, hiking, gamelan music, and eating!  Lets talk about food.  Indonesian cuisine is loaded with a multitude of vegetarian dishes, making it easy for the vegan traveller, and best of all, eating out usually costs less than $10 per day! Restaurants that serve meat will have an extensive vegetarian menu making eating out with non-vegetarian friends easy.  
Nasi Pecel - Javanese vegetables with peanut sauce on rice:  One of the standard "vegetarian" dishes available in Ubud.  (the sambal smelled of fermented shrimp so I never touched it)
Tempeh (Rectangle slabs pictured above) is found everywhere and is a common, and delicious source of protein and flavour.   A favourite local dish is “Nasi Campur” (Nasee Champoor) which is comprised of a small assortment of tempeh, tofu, and veggies arrange around a mound of rice.  Almost like an Indonesian version of tapas, or antipasto.  You get a taste of everything. 
The electric green rice field that surounds Sari Organik. 
A multitude of organic grocery stores are found in Ubud and often will deliver for free or a small fee.  Sari Organik, a restaurant/garden located in the rice fields north of Ubud will deliver fresh produce picked at the time of your order and usually will be at your door within an hour or so.  To our amazement, the organic produce costs less than the non-organic produce in a local grocery store!  So why not eat organic in Ubud? Apart from Sari Organik, Juice Ja and Sopa also serve and sell locally grown and produced goods.   You will notice that compared to living in many countries, quality vegetarian and vegan food costs significantly less in Bali, and if you visit, you will fall in love with the richness of flavours, sounds, smells, and culture, it is truly paradise.  

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