Villa Awang Awang: gay friendly heaven in Ubud, Bali

Stefan Arestis

Villa Awang Awang is a beautiful retreat located in the heart of the Balinese countryside, near Ubud.

The name Awang Awang means floating in the space between heaven and earth which aptly describes our experience here: villas perched dramatically on the edge of a deep ravine with breath-taking views of the sacred Petanu River and a lush tropical surrounding jungle.

This is the perfect place to experience the true Balinese culture and natural beauty of the Island of the Gods.

Beautiful lush green countryside Ubud in Bali, Indonesia
The beautiful lush green countryside and paddy fields surrounding Ubud


Awang Awang is located in the tiny village of Melayang, just 10 minutes away from central Ubud.

This makes it ideal because you are close enough to Ubud to be near the major sights, shops, bars and restaurants, but away from all the noise and traffic making it an ideal base for a romantic getaway.


The villas at Awang Awang were designed by Balinese architect, Ida Bagus Wiadnyana and completed in 2005.

They were built using local materials such as hand-carved stone and hand-made terracotta floor tiles made from clay.

Villa Awang Awang interior in Ubud, Indonesia
Stefan embracing the interiors of our villa at Awang Awang

We stayed in Villa Melah, an antique house made of teak wood. The main living area has a large wooden four poster bed with mosquito nets and beautiful carvings. Attached to it is a semi-outdoor bathroom with a copper basin and a brass rain shower.

Four poster bed in our Awang Awang villa in Ubud
Our 4 poster bed in our villa at Awang Awang


Our Awang Awang villa featured a beautiful veranda overlooking the jungle and a luxurious infinity pool.

This was the highlight for us! We spent hours just basking in the sun in our pool and taking in all the jungle scenery and wildlife around us. You can (and will!) spend hours here enjoying the peace and serenity of the Balinese countryside.

Sebastien enjoying our infinity pool at Villa Awang Awang in Ubud, Indonesia
Sebastien admiring the lush green jungle surroundings from our infinity pool at Awang Awang


Villa Awang Awang prides itself on being eco friendly: they recycle their waste water for the garden, use hydro energy from the nearby river, give food waste to the animals in the village and use no air con.

Rest assured, there is plenty of ventilation that you just don’t need any air con anyway.

Eco friendly breakfast talk at Villa Awang Awang in Ubud
“Yes that's right Seby: no air con is needed here!” said an eco minded Stefan over breakfast


Ubud town is a 10 minutes drive away and Awang Awang offers a shuttle service there and back for its guests.

#1 Culture Culture and Dance!

Ubud is well known as a centre for traditional crafts and dance. Balinese dance is in fact one of the most popular attractions. We first experienced it at the Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuching earlier this year where the Balinese Kobagi Kecak band performed their monkey chant trance ritual.

The Kecak monkey chant is unique because the dancers use their own body as percussion along with pieces of bamboo as stamping tubes. You can watch a live Kecak fire and trance show in Ubud, which the staff at Awang Awang can arrange for you.

Balinese dance monkey chant ritual Ubud
The Balinese Kobagi Kecak band performing their monkey chant ritual using their body as percussion

#2 Shopping, spas and restaurants

There are plenty of boutique shops in town as well as excellent restaurants and spas like the newly opened raw vegan Fresh restaurant of Taksu Spa.

Stefan with vegan food at Fresh restaurant in Ubud, central Bali
Stefan about to tuck into a vegan Living Lasagne and Tempeh toast salad at Fresh restaurant of Taksu Spa in Ubud

#3 Outdoor activities

There are some exciting outdoor adventures near Villa Awang Awang, which are ideal for immersing yourself in the countryside and paddy fields scenery of Ubud.

We did a quad and tubing day tour with Bali Quad Discovery Tours, who we highly recommend.

Quad biking in Ubud countryside in central Bali
Quad biking through the Balinese countryside in Ubud

#4 Cooking classes

Ubud is the place in Bali for foodies to do excellent cooking classes.

We spent the day with Be Bali Day learning to cook classic Indonesian specialties like satay stuffed in lemongrass sticks, pisang goreng (fried banana snacks) and perkedel jagung (sweetcorn fritters).

Cooking class Ubud Seb with perkedel jagung sweetcorn fritters
Sebastien stealing all the perkedel jagung sweetcorn fritters at our cooking class in Ubud


The staff at Villa Awang Awang made our stay very special. Nothing was too much trouble for them and they welcomed as a gay couple.

They were genuine, happy to help and eager to show us the Balinese culture.

Dressing in traditional Balinese sarong udeng at Villa Awang Awang in Ubud
Wearing the traditional Balinese male sarong with udeng cloth hat with the super cute and friendly staff of Villa Awang Awang

On one evening, they took us to a ceremony taking place at the local temple in Melayang village.

They dressed us up in the traditional Balinese male sarong with udeng headband and together we visited the local temple to watch and take part in the Hindu ceremony taking place.

This experience was one of the most memorable and unique encounters in our travels in Bali: we were the only foreigners there, but they embraced us like we were family.

Hindu ceremony at the Melayang village temple in Ubud, Bali
The Nomadic Boys at a Hindu ceremony at a local temple in the Melayang village

To book your stay at Villa Awang Awang, check their website to contact them and make your reservation. Prices start from 3,000,000 rupiah (Β£145 / $220) a night.

Happy travels are safe travels

We recommend you always take out travel insurance before your next vacation. What happens if you suffer from illness, injury, theft or a cancellation? With travel insurance, you can have peace of mind and not worry. We love World Nomads travel insurance and have been using it for years. Their comprehensive coverage is second to none and their online claims process is very user friendly.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation, an activity or your insurance, we’ll earn a small commission. There is never an extra cost to you for using these links and it helps us keep the site going.

Stefan Arestis

Stefan is the co-founder, editor and author the gay travel blog As a travel nerd, he has explored more than 80 countries across 5 continents. What he loves the most about travelling is discovering the local gay scene, making new friends and learning new cultures. His advice about LGBTQ travel has been featured in Gay Times, Gaycities, Pink News, Gay Star News, Attitude and Towleroad. He has also written about gay travel for other non-gay specific publications including Lonely Planet, The New York Times, The Guardian and The Huffington Post. Stefan is also a qualified lawyer, having practised as a commercial property litigator in London for over 10 years. He left his lawyer days behind to work full time on Nomadic Boys with his husband Sebastien. Find out more about Nomadic Boys.

17 thoughts on “Villa Awang Awang: gay friendly heaven in Ubud, Bali”

  1. Looks like a great spot! I would love to take a cooking class there and go on the quad and tubing day–lots of fun adventures. And, the scenery is gorgeous, as well!

  2. A wonderful villa, I love the meaning of Awang Awang. It’s wonderful to know how welcoming the staff was, it’s the most important aspect of any accommodation. Also, the food looks absolutely delicious!

  3. Seems like you had so much fun. I’m sending this to my friend, this would be a perfect getaway for him and his friend. Thank for sharing.

  4. Looks like you had so much fun! Love those flowers but on the left ear means you are taken and on the right means you want to be taken, or vice-versa. So one of you has it wrong, I guess.

  5. Your pictures are awesome! Love the facial expressions! This place looks incredible! The views are spectacular and I love what the name represents- floating in the space between heaven and earth.


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