Text and photographs by Mila Shwaiko
Welcome to a totally biased hour-by-hour ramble through Ubud’s streets starting with Jalan Gootama (or Gautama, Gotama). Linking Jalan Dewi Sita and the main street of Ubud, Jalan Gootama’s cheap(er) rents mean some of the best upcoming Ubud entrepreneurs, designers and restaurateurs are making their home there.
Start at the south end (get dropped off or park on Jalan Dewi Sita) at Confiture Michele (www.confituremichele.com ) Fresh crepes filled with jams made of tropical fruit you’ve never heard of. Michele’s has some unexpected combinations to try (Chili Tamarillo comes to mind) and some beautiful boxed gift packs for when you’ve found your perfect mix.
Now take your natural sugar high next door to Skin (www.ubudskinorganic.com ), an organic salon with Ubud’s best facials. It is a two-therapist-only operation, so make your booking ahead of time. The manis/pedis are also fantastic.
If you’ve ever wondered what old, organic dyes look like back in the good old days, don’t go past Dypt’s doorstep. Dypt (www.dyptemporium.com) is a tiny cupboard (as most places on Gootama are) full of stunning graphics on jute, silk, cotton and other natural fibers. Scarves and totes that you won’t find anywhere else.
Hungry again? Choose from Italian or Laotian. Dolce Arancia is a newcomer but offers a good lunch special with window seats to view the passing parade. Or go to Melting Wok, the reigning queen of Trip Advisor, for Laotian curries and noodles.
Back to the perambulating. New shops are opening every month so take your time and explore.
Some of my favorites:
Setia looks like you’re stepping into an earthen kiln and has some of the most simple and classic ceramics in town. Look for painted cup sets, mossie coil holders, a sprinkling of traditional Bali shapes and designs on plates and bowls.
La Boheme has a scooter on the front stoop and elegant linen and cotton tunics, scarves and shorts inside.
Have access to a kitchen? Check out the selection at Ubud’s French Deli at Pignou di Penyu.
Time for an espresso stop at Bar Luna- on Ubud’s coffee trail (someone else needs to write that guide) – and to check their schedule of upcoming evening literary events. Make use of the good WIFI while you hang out for the start of Happy Hour with their signature tapas.
That’s it! As I said, this is a totally biased guide and by no means a catalogue of everything on this lane, so take your time and explore more.