Dear Ubud, thank you for EVERYTHING

January 17, 2010

What a day!  One of the best days ever.  God has a funny way of doing things.  Just when I am about to leave this place, he shows me the best time ever.  =)  Maybe it means I am meant to come back again!

I was going to write all about this ridiculously amazing massage that I had today – so incredibly sensual and beautiful and mind-blowingly good.  The draft post read something like this:

I found the most wonderful spa today.  An hour and a half massage costs 15 USD.  My masseuse sent shivers up and down my body the entire time.  A sensual massage is a rare thing to find and what a blessing it was. The entire time on that table, I felt delicate, precious, human.  And I’d like to add that sensual is not the same thing as sexual.  Sensuality is about the senses: the touch, smell, temperature of things.  It is of the body, it is tactile, it is raw.  Lying on the table I thought to myself, “Human beings are meant to touch each other this way.  This is an act of giving, an act of pure pleasure for the other person.”  To be touched so delicately but with the firmness and control of experienced hands was incredibly intoxicating.   I became aware of my body – shapes and contours, hardness and softness, and all the places where tension has collected.  The heat of the afternoon, the spirituality of the place, the music and the touch – all of it left me feeling lightheaded, jubilant and thankful.

And I ranted on and about about the sensuality of things.  Well, I went back for a second massage tonight (because yes it was just that good) and at the end of it, the guy asked me out.  Flattering?  A bit, but it basically nixes the whole ‘sensual not being sexual’ thing, nulls the validity of my original post and once again highlights my naivety.  I laughed the whole walk to dinner about how clueless I can be sometimes.  And instead of being deep and meaningful, the post just ended up sounding funny to me!  In hindsight, I could feel weirded out about the whole thing, but honestly, it was just so good that I don’t even care.  I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care.  I am so full of endorphins that it doesn’t even matter.

Anyway, so the rest of the day continued to be just as great.  I decided that instead of bargaining at the market for cheap souvenirs and stressing myself out in the process (sometimes, I am just not in the mood to haggle and would really rather just give someone my credit card), I went and purchased high-quality locally made products instead.  I shopped for great silks and beautiful jewelry in pretty stores with fantastic service.  Sometimes the experience counts for a lot.  I felt good about spending the money on good craftsmanship and handmade products instead of supporting the big factory that is mass-producing cheap pashminas from China.

And then I met a fellow Canadian just walking down the road, a guy from Victoria who is traveling through Indonesia until the Vancouver Olympics begin, at which point he will go back to work in Whistler for BC Transport.  So nice to meet another Canadian!  We talked about Nepal and India and Thailand and Everest Base Camp and diving and manta rays coming up from the great big deep.

And then I went to this bar where a live reggae band was playing.  A guy from the audience played his harmonica and then another guy rapped in what should have been English but I’m not really sure and all the while, a bunch of 80+ year old women were dancing on stage.  They managed to get the whole restaurant up and dancing on this random Sunday night in warm beautiful Bali.  Cheap drinks, a sticky humid evening and cheesy rainbow lights reflecting off the restaurant disco ball.  So wonderful.

It hasn’t rained in three days, I went for a dip in the pool (it is gorgeous, in the middle of rice paddies), I walked for about 6 hours all around town and now I’m sweaty and happy and tired and getting ready to head to the airport at 3 AM for my flight to Kuala Lumpur.

I keep remembering what my Mom said to me months and months ago:  It is best to leave a place loving it.  Leave on a high.

Well Mama, you’re so right!  I am leaving Ubud on a really great high and can’t wait to come back!

This place has been so good for my body and my soul.  Such gorgeous humbling beauty.  Such sensual humid heat.   Such a great place to heal, to love, to become new.  It is still wild and authentic and unspoiled and I’m blessed to have had the chance to see it this way.  I hope it never changes because I will definitely be back.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica November 3, 2010 at 9:46 am

I’m really interested on this sensual massage…
Where is this located at? I’m going to Bali next month, and really curious about sensual massage.


magdy July 18, 2011 at 4:59 am

iam also doing this type of massage in DUBAI ,I am professional , trained , claen

If you are planning to visite dubai , you have to contact me to try the real sensual tantrc massage

Warm Regards,


magdy July 18, 2011 at 5:00 am
Dr Frank Donovan January 31, 2011 at 4:49 am

I’m sitting here just after dinner up the road a bit from the Palace, and you have just reminded me of all the reasons my wife and I have just leased some land here (Tegallantan, about 10 minutes away) to build a little villa to retire in. Yep, Ubud is all those things you said it is, and I guess that’s why we love it so. We have made great friends very quickly in the last couple of years and we love them too. Hope we meet you here one day when you’re back – and you will come back!!


samee May 15, 2011 at 8:36 am

i m new her and and prfessional in massage arabic guy i looking to single women I’m hoping to meet new people & make new friends whilst there. Any thoughts/advice about where to stay, where to hang out etc would be greatly appreciated. 082122689648


Gary January 26, 2012 at 11:11 pm

I have just been to Ubud and would have love a massage like this, where or which hotel do you operate from?


Denise February 24, 2012 at 12:13 am

Hi Gary. I ended up staying in several guest houses off Monkey Forest Road. They were about $20-$30 / night depending on the place. I suggest you shop around and bargain when you’re there. I booked a hotel online for my first night and then spent the next day shopping around and bargaining for a great deal. Enjoy your time in Bali. It’s one of my favourite places.


indri December 11, 2012 at 11:38 am

Hi Denise,

Would you please let me know the spa you went to?




Mario February 13, 2013 at 12:50 pm

hi indri, u can call me on
then we can talk about it.


toy hauler travel trailers April 17, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Hi there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!


Denise April 25, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Hi Toy Hauler Travel Trailers,

Thanks for the note! Bali does have a very special mood and people who’ve been there will recognize this. Have you ever been?


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Gerard May 8, 2014 at 7:46 pm

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Suckysen June 12, 2014 at 6:22 am

Can you share the COOL WEBSITE. I will be in Bali from 3rd July till 6th July 2014. Would appreciate your help. Thanks.


Nyoman July 1, 2014 at 6:00 am

Thanks for your sharing. If you need anything in Ubud you can come to Monkey Forest Road guys. Monkey Forest Road is the central of Ubud:)


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