Homestay, a great alternative
Posted Nov 30, 2014
I had a wonderful little cottage within a family compound. It was clean and comfortable, wtih beautiful gardens and a great family. While it was quite a distance from Ubud, and from anything, my host was a driver with a vehicle and would take me where I wanted to go (be aware, there is a fee for driving...about $8 USD each way to Ubud). I should have planned to do some activities made available through the homestay program (tours, lessons in music or painting) but thought I wanted to tour Ubud as I only stayed two nights. But I found the town to packed with tourists and not much more than shops. The homestay provides a 15 page document that really fills you in on the experience and gives you lots of choices and prices on what there is to do so read it over and sign up for volunteering to teach English or taking a village walk. These homestays are a big help to the locals and gives you a chance to know each other. I suggest you bring photos of your home, your family, your pets, your school, etc. as its a great exchange to show your host family how you live at home. I also brought a playground ball for the family's kids as even though they are middle class, a new ball or crayons or some small gift is just a nice gesture. I had a great time and highly recommend the experience as long as you understand that this is not a hotel in the middle of the action.