Ten Things to Do in Ubud
If you drive for about an hour and a half north-east of Kuta you will find the bohemian cultural centre of Bali, Ubud. Famed for its arts, Ubud is a cool area of Bali and home to many expats. Located in the district of Gianyar, the town of Ubud is central and surrounded by a group of villages: Padang Tegal and Nyuhkuning are to the south, Peliatan and Kutuh are to the east, Campuhan, Penestenan and Sayan are to the west and Sanggingan and Kedewatan are to the north-west.
Ubud is peaceful. It is a place where you could spend your entire holiday in Bali and it is also a great place to base yourself for exploring the rest of the island. There is so much of interest on offer in Ubud and the surrounding areas. Being a relatively tranquil place, it is a haven for tourists, lovers of art and a delightful area to spend a whole day. The centre of town is Jalan Raya Ubud and it is along this stretch of road where you can find some fabulous restaurants and warungs, and, great places to shop.
One of my favourite places in the surrounding area is the village of Petulu. Set in one of the most scenic areas on the island and directly north-east of Ubud, the village of Petulu is famed for its artists, dancers and carvers of wood and stone. No one really knows why the Herons, who first began roosting there in 1966, chose Petulu as their nesting site. Ask any of the elders in the village and they will tell you that the birds are in fact reincarnations of the tens of thousands of men and women who died during the civil unrest throughout Bali in 1966.
There are so many places to visit and here are a few things you could do:
1. Take time to check out a few of the great museums – Neka, ARMA, Seniwati – and learn about traditional Balinese art.
2. Visit the Ubud Monkey Forest but be aware that the monkeys are not as friendly as their relatives in the Sangeh Monkey Forest.
3. Take a dawn rice paddy hike along one of the many routes on the outskirts of town. If you like cycling then take one of the many tours available in the area.
4. Sample the fine food available in places such as Casa Luna, Ary’s Warung and Murni’s Warung. My favourite is Café Wayan!
5. Indulge in adventure white water rafting with one of the many reputable companies such as SOBEK in Sayan.
6. Watch an evening dance performance at the Ubud Palace on Jl. Raya Ubud.
7. A visit to Pasar Ubud traditional market is a must-see and an ideal place to find that cool souvenir that might have eluded you.
8. Do visit Museum Blanco. This magical place will astound your cultural senses.
9. Visit one of the many temples in the area of Ubud.
10. Take a walk to Nyuhkuning and see some of the most beautiful rice terraces on the island.