Ubud is one of those places that I seem to return to like a boomerang. Nestled in the highlands of Bali, the city has a relaxed atmosphere and is a firm favourite for vegetarian yoga lovers. However, even if you can’t touch your toes, there is still plenty to do in the city. Here are some of the best bits.
Also Read: 91 Fun and Unexpected Things to do in Bali
Ubud is packed full of boutique shops offering clothing that caters for every type of traveller. It’s the perfect place to buy yourself a nice treat or get something for friends and family back home. You can spend whole days browsing through these stores and as long as you have enough money you definitely won’t be bored.
There are as many galleries in Ubud as there are boutique shops. Though a lot of the paintings on offer can be found in almost any of the towns galleries, some of the paintings are truly unique, which is why it pays to shop around.
In a country where green space is so often turned into high rise apartment buildings, Monkey Forest is a breath of fresh air. The park is a cacophony of noise, excitement and culture. You will see children screaming, monkeys scampering, women jumping and locals praying. It’s without a doubt worth the Rp 20,000 entrance fee.
Signature Street – or Kajeng Road – is Ubud’s version of Hollywood’s Star Avenue, except that you won’t find any famous names inscribed in the concrete tiles of the road. Still, it’s a pretty road and a nice concept, which makes it good fun to walk along.
Hike Campuhan Hill
Campuhan Hill is located by Pura Gunung Lebah. It is a short hike to the top of the hill and from there you can follow the ridge to the artists village of Bangkiang Sidem. Set some time to explore the villages art galleries and maybe stop for a bite to eat before returning to Ubud.
Pura Taman Saraswati
Pura Taman Saraswati is a beautiful complex of ponds with restaurant (and Starbucks). Set in a picturesque location, it is one of the prettiest temples in Bali and definitely one of the highlights of Ubud. At certain times of year Balinese dance performances are also staged in front of the temple.
The markets of Ubud are no different from any other market in Bali, but if you’ve never visited one, it can be nice to pop in and get a taste of life on the side street. The best time to visit is in the Indonesian morning – this starts at 6 am – which is too early for most travellers. Regardless of what time you do arrive, make sure to bargain hard if you plan to buy anything. As a rule of thumb, most products are about a half to a third of the price that you are originally quoted.
Getting on a Motorbike
The area surrounding Ubud is famous for the mixture of beautiful terraced paddy fields and rolling hills. Just hire a bike and go out and explore the countryside for a day. Regardless of what you do, it’s going to be an enjoyable day.