Jan 09 2011
The Ubud Botanical Gardens had its “soft opening” in mid 2006 and from the look of their website and the pics on the wall at the main reception area, it must have been quite a place through the next year or so…
Fast forward to early 2011 and the gardens are, well, a bit the worse for wear. We visited with our kids on the recommendation of a friend (who must have visited in, oh, November 2006) and while the grounds are indeed sprawling, the entire place is pretty rundown and in definite need of serious upkeep.
Throughout the walk (it took us about 45 minutes to reach the bottom when walking with two children — and longer to return as one of the kids inevitably wanted to be carried) what we saw was long in vision, but short in follow through.
A rest sala had dangerously creaking floors, lawn areas needed trimming, the maze was badly kept and overgrown, pathways were broken and moss-covered, wooden sleepers were rotting and a bamboo bridge railing precarious. Signage was confusing, too: we gave up trying to find the Island Garden and Herbal Garden.
But take a breath and put that all aside and the gardens themselves were quite enchanting and a tad magical. I found it to have a slightly eerie “Lost” feel to it. Yes, overgrown, but nevertheless a pleasant, dreamy area to wander through. We camped on a lawn area while the kids chased butterflies and lizards — but they could do that in the rice fields on a Victor Mason bird walk, which is probably the main reason we won’t be returning.
Admission 50,000 rupiah for adults, kids free.
Travelfish.org always pays its way. No exceptions.