When in Bali you may have the opportunity to get away from the beaches or the crowds in Ubud and a visit to Seribatu village and Mount Batur; a volcano is a nice option.
The villagers here, plant coffee, chocolate, cloves, vanilla, jackfruit, snake skinned fruit, durian, and pineapple, among other items. My brother in law is a chef and he wanted me to buy some vanilla pods for him, which are apparently quite cheap here and horrendously expensive in Australia.
So off we went….. of course my dearly beloved forgot to actually ask anything sensible, like how far away is it ? (2-3 hours from Kuta) and we had a plane to catch in the afternoon, so we drive all morning, stopped for 30 mins and then drove like maniacs all afternoon to get back to airport in time, which made this a rather flying visit.
At the coffee plantation, one can avail of the free coffee tasting. We tried Bali coffee, ginseng coffee, hot chocolate, ginger tea, lemon grass tea. They also grow tobacco here and thus the jar contains some and they also included free cigarettes for ‘tasting’. (it is Indonesia, after all!)
I was at the same spot,some years ago, although with a group so our time was limited to what the agenda for the organized outing allowed us. Anyway, interesting to see how spices grow and the origins of the tremendous wealth that the Eoropeans gathered by trading the spices to the rest of the European continent. Too bad that Indonesians got so little benefit but mostly heart ache out of of that period. The rice fields are just fantastic and so ingeniously built and used: truly environmentally responsible, labour intensive, and beautiful.
I’ll (finally) visit Bali later this year and this sounds like an interesting experience! Would also like to go hiking, maybe at Mount Batur 🙂
When I visited I used a private driver rather than a tour company, that way you can choose where and when you want to go and how long you’d lke to stay. The European spice trading history of Indonesia is very interesting.
There’s certainly opportunities to go hiking in Bali, but I dunno if you can hike on Mount Batar or not. There’s also some good opportunities for white water rafting and other activities in the mountains of Bali. (Bali has more attractions than just beaches!)