The cultural heart of Bali lies high amongst the rice terraces in the northern mountains of Ubud. Here, visitors looking to connect with the spiritual side of the ‘Island of the Gods’ will find themselves in total peace and harmony.
But Ubud is more than just a place to find temples, antiques and yoga retreats – it offers something for everyone willing to embrace the Balinese way of life.
Have you ever wanted to wake up to the dulcet notes of a birdsong and step out onto the terrace of your own private villa, looking out at tropical rainforests and magnificently sheer rice fields? For your own slice of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, Ubud is where you want to be.
Ubud is all about experiencing the authentic Bali, so you’ll want accommodation to reflect the same. Rather than getting out and about amongst Bali’s shopping and nightlife, staying in Ubud is all about slowing down, recharging your batteries and perhaps even visiting one or two of the many day spas.
So with that in mind, our favourite places to stay in Ubud are the Hotel Tjampuhan and Pita Maha. Both offer spectacular views of mountain valleys covered in deep jungle, traditionally styled accommodation and all the pampering you could ask for. While Ubud is also great for families, you may find yourself needing to book two rooms to guarantee you get that all-important peace and quiet.
Just keep in mind that a lot of the town and accommodation is built on hillsides, so be prepared to encounter steps wherever you go.
Things to Do
To experience the more authentic side of Balinese culture, Ubud is where you want to be. Away from the coastal beaches, Ubud is filled with fun, exciting and beautiful things you can only do here.
So what exactly does Ubud have on offer? Our top picks for things to see and do are:
- Puri Saren Palace – smack bang in the middle of Ubud and home to one of Bali’s royal families.
- Yoga - Ubud is a popular yoga destination for seasoned (and aspiring) yogis.
- Goa Gajah or ‘The Elephant Cave’ – despite the misleading name (you won’t find any elephants) it’s a significant archaeological site.
- Monkeys! - Spend an afternoon in Monkey Forest and get up close and personal with a different kind of local. The many long-tailed macaques are friendly and will let you take photos with them.
- Take in the Views - Walk through rice paddies along the Camphuan Ridge and take in the stunning views.
Shopping and Eating
While Ubud may seem a world away from the shopping havens of the central cities, savvy travelers know that Ubud is one of the best places to find Bali’s art and traditional works. Because of its deep cultural ties, Ubud is renowned throughout the island for the quality of its art.
Ubud is the place to go for beautiful and authentic artwork and jewellery, as well as wood carvings and antiques. You’ll find the more traditional stalls amongst the regular markets, and with fewer tourists around than the cities, you’ve got more space to find a bargain.
Eating out in Ubud is made that much better by letting you enjoy some of the most spectacular views in Bali, regardless of whether you’re just grabbing a roadside meal or sitting down at a fancy restaurant. Those looking for traditional Balinese food will find their hungers satisfied, and possibly struggling slightly to climb the inevitable steps to bed later in the evening!
If you’re interested in finding out more about what Ubud has to offer, or looking to plan your next trip to Bali, get in touch with our team today!