So, I found this villa that we’re staying at on the Internet. I googled ‘bungalow in the rice fields’ and this came up. What a find. Villa Tatiapi was created by some American business folk working in Bali who wanted to give back to the Balinese people. They took a traditional Balinese house and renovated it for simple western standards, and proceeds from the rentals go back to the school in the village. It’s hard to put into words how fortunate we feel. Agung and his family live down the path from us on the edge of the rice fields and they have been amazing hosts.
Twenty years ago I stayed in Ubud, which is a ten minute drive from Tatiapi. At the time, Ubud was a quaint artisan town, just discovered by the outside world. It had two main roads, several eateries and guest houses along the main drag, and stall upon stall of Bali crafts for sale – batik sarongs, wood carvings, woven creations, silver jewelry…but very much a small, bustling village plopped in the middle of miles and miles of rice fields. It had already changed quite a bit in 1997 when I returned, and Michael warned me that it was going to be even more of a culture shock for me now. Anyway, we decided to stay outside of Ubud, close enough to be able to easily go in and enjoy the cultural experiences and great dining, but far enough away to be able to capture what I once knew to be Bali. Tatiapi, on the edge of the small village of Pejeng, does it for me.
Our villa is nestled in between two rice fields, and so far, Megan is the only white face I have seen around. Did I mention we have wi-fi in our villa? Crazy.
A perfect balance between being plugged in and….detached.