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Bali Belly | A Review of Ubud’s Famous Paon School of Cooking

Overdue but not at all unappreciated.

My reminiscence of my Balinese adventure fills me with such love and adoration for this tiny island. At a time when I very nearly packed it all in; Bali rekindled the wanderer within.
For me, it’s the little things that really count. It’s the things that we so often overlook that I latch on to, in times of need…

Ubud, Bali

Compare this to your regular street, in the country
where you are from. Compare the differences and similarities...

Wanderlust isn’t about luxury yachts in cornered off, far flung places (if that’s your kind of thing I apologize). It’s about connecting with people from all walks of life. It’s about – even if only for a brief moment – touching another human soul and experiencing life, in all it’s highs, lows and complexities; through another.
That’s what I get out of travelling.
Too often I see people ravenously head straight for landmarks, mindlessly snapping selfies, as if on a treasure hunt. Don’t get me wrong, were I to find myself in Paris anytime soon, I too would still go to the Eiffel tower. But if being honest, I’m more interested in finding out who built it, how the locals interact with it, and more intriguingly, what it truly means to the people who live in its wake.

Temple, Bali

Ubud especially, if filled with temples, testament to their deeply
religious connection with their land.

That’s why I chose Paon school of cooking.

It started off with a brief market tour.
We came during a Balinese festival, so the usual stalls and sellers had unfortunately packed up and returned to their respective villages, but I still had fun wandering around, imagining what it would look like in full bloom.


Even in its quiet moments, the market still teamed with colour and vibrancy.

Up next was a brief and enlightening tour of a rice field.
Our guide and owner of the school, Wayan, took us to his very village and showed us his family farm. Without even realizing, he gave me a unique and illuminating view into Balinese life; I felt connected from the very first word.

Rice, Bali

Rice is the lifeblood of Bali. Eaten three times a day, most families
in Ubud actually own a field, where they grow the rice they eat.

In his home, his charming wife, Puspa, began the lesson.

Puspa, Paon School of Cooking, Bali

Their honest joviality was infectious.

The lessons had the right mix of information, fun and interactivity – it felt like a group effort. And by the time we all sat down to eat the masses of food prepared that day, whether it was true or not, you felt as if you had accomplished something.

Paon school of cooking, bali

Everything was beautifully arranged and well thought out.

Paon cooking school, Bali

From soups to skewers, you leave with a good grasp of the creme de la creme of Balinese cooking.

Food display, Ubud Bali
I know I’ll be going back.

Classes start from only Rp 350,000 [£15+ pp]
Morning Classes ( 08.30 AM ) and Afternoon Classes from 04.00 PM
A: Laplapan Village, Ubud Gianyar, Bali, 80571, Indonesia
C: +62 81 337 939095

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