Bali as a whole is great for your traditional white person. But Ubud, located in a more central part of the Bali island, is basically every white person’s paradise. From jewelry classes to raw juice bars, Ubud has many appealing factors for white people.
Inspired by the popular website-turned-book Stuff White People Like, I decided a spin-off “Ubud Edition” was necessary. Moreover, I also spotted this trend where local Balinese tend to take the “stuff white people like” concept to the extreme. Who can blame them, honestly. Especially with the tourism boom after “Eat, Pray, Love” was published. You’ll see what I mean. Some of the stuff is serious. Some satire. All in good fun.
Well, I guess not only white people like alternative forms of medicine. But I think it’s obvious that this “Center of Energy Healing” is geared toward a white crowd. Beyond Kristalmedic, there are many more centers on similar nature in Ubud.
Originated in India Ayurvedic, or “the science of life”, medicine is one of the oldest health care systems. It is an all-encompassing approach to health, including nutrition (obviously) and even social interactions. It’s also really hip among certain white-people communities.
Piggy-backing off Ayurvedic medicine is yoga. But even more white people enjoy practicing yoga. While in Ubud, I took a class at the Yoga Barn. Although I only took one class, a person can literally spend an entire day there. Or even live there because housing available. And a restaurant. And health and nutrition counselors, seminars… you get the picture.
Expensive Yoga Clothes
Obviously you need chic yoga clothes if you’re going to be practicing at hip studios like Yoga Barn and otherwise. Have no fear, Ubud is filled with upscale Yoga gear.
White people love inspirational quotes. White people love yoga. White people love spirituality. Accordingly, these hanging banners are the perfect combination.
Local or Organic Food Marts
Eating “raw”, “local”, or “clean” is so easy in Ubud with a plethora of restaurants, cafes and grocery markets catering to health-minded individuals. Here is just one of the many grocery markets slash restaurants with such food options.
Kopi Luwak Coffee
Okay, so maybe white people are stepping away from this overpriced coffee after recent animal cruelty cases have been revealed. Nevertheless, it can be found all over Ubud. A cup will cost you anywhere between 50,000 to 200,000 rupiah. Perhaps even more. For Indonesia, that’s an expensive cup of joe! Seeing that 200,000 rupiah could probably buy a typical Indonesia family food for a week, this high-priced coffee is probably intended for visitors.
This picture showcases just one of the many juices from Alchemy. Alchemy is this perfect spot for white people. There is vegan chocolate (also seen below), a breakfast/yogurt bar, a juice bar, groceries for take-home and even an upstairs holistic health clinic. In the back of the two-story building there are hammocks (also for white people) and a guitar sitting around free to play. The Alchemy is like the epitome daytime white-person hangout spot.
Upscale, local fare
White people love “eating local”. And it’s even better when it’s prepared for you. At “Locovore” you get to experience the feeling of eating “local” coupled with culinary perfection.
What white person doesn’t love Tex Mex? I don’t care if you’re from SoCal or the middle of England — Mexican food is delicious. A very smart move on behalf of whoever had this idea to put a delicious and pretty Mexican restaurant right in Ubud. By the way, these delicious tacos were consumed at Taco Casa.
Aside from delicious food, Ubud is also packed with adorable, tiny boutiques. Some so small it is basically a closet. They are like the cupcakes of stores—so cute you just want to pick them up and take a bite.
Clothing with a message
Clothing with a message attached to it is common in Ubud, like this tote. Assuming this bag has been crafted with organic materials (I hope), it’s perfect for conveying the message “I care” while still looking cute.
Tie die outfits
This is an “extreme” example, at least in my opinion, of what shopkeepers think white people like. It is probably confusing though, since so many in the “backpacker” crowd wear tie-dye shirts. And loose Genie pants. But I think this combination of tie-dye and genie pants may be taking it above and beyond.
Another instance of what white people like gone wrong. Or maybe they do like it? Fortunately I saw no one wearing one of these risqué top/necklace shirt-things. However, I am not so sure if it is intended for the public eye…
White people love going back to their respective country with a bracelet or tapestry and saying “This was handmade in _______.” Being able to watch silver shaped by hand or the traditional Indonesian Batik spun makes the souvenir even better because now you have photo evidence of said-object being handmade– photo below is a case in point for Batik.
Jewelry making classes
Typically we let the locals do the handcrafting, since you know, they are experts. But now in Ubud us white women (and men, too) can create our own Balinese-inspired jewelry with the help of experts.
“Local” — more like touristy — Outdoor Markets
White people “love” markets. Or so Indonesians and other Southeast Asian inhabitants believe. Actually, I don’t really like markets. They tend to be overcrowded. Shopkeepers heckle. And then you have to bargain for a good price. It can all be tiring. Maybe other white people out there feel similar. Either way, Indonesians in Ubud certainly think white people love shopping at markets.
White people love to cart around on motorbikes in Southeast Asia. Ubud is no exception. Motorbikes are cheap to rent, fun to ride and make it easy to swerve around traffic. With that said, they are also really dangerous — especially for the many inexperienced riders who choose to rent. Still, white people love ’em.
Sitting outside and playing the guitar and/or drums
I don’t know what it is about Ubud, perhaps the laid back vibe, that makes white people want to pick up a guitar or a handheld drum and harmonize — but that’s what they do. Unfortunately this photo doesn’t do a good job capturing the group outside singing-along. Nonetheless, every time I walked by this place I saw some kind of music being played. Not to mention the many other establishments that are so kind to furnish their decor with a musical instrument.
“Ceremony Without Ceremony”
I don’t know what this means. Or what this place is. Yeah, I know I can “Google” it but I kind of like the mystery. But judging by the typography and English, I think white people must like it.
Typically it’s challenging to even find a trash bin in Southeast Asian cities like Chiang Mai or Siem Reap. But unlike other hotspots, there are recycling bins around Ubud. This fact is further evidence of all the white people in Ubud. This recycle bin is at the Yoga Barn. It’s set back on a slope in a pretty way, too. Making recycling even more enjoyable.
Expensive weddings and honeymoons
While getting a pedicure (also an activity for white people) I stumbled across this outdated magazine covering dream destination weddings and luxurious honeymoons in Asia. White people love overspending on weddings. White people also love destination weddings. Furthermore, white people love lavish honeymoons where they can take exotic pictures and make all their Facebook friends jealous.
As I went through this magazine I must admit I began thinking about my future wedding. I even started a list of dream honeymoon destinations, despite not being engaged. Whatever.
Are there any other examples of stuff white people like in Ubud that you discovered while visiting or living in the city? Please share in the comments below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.