The best things to do in Ubud, Bali
Ubud has been the cultural, artistic and spiritual heart of Bali for centuries. This resort is different from the rest of Bali. Ubud is located in a mountainous area in central Bali and is surrounded by green forests. It is more than an hour's drive from the sea and there are jungle-covered hills, rice fields and rivers flowing between the steep banks.
Although Ubud is called a city of 30,000 inhabitants, it actually consists of fourteen villages, each of which has its own administration. The city is growing rapidly and every year more and more tourists come here. Despite the rapid growth of tourism, there are still many quiet and peaceful places in Ubud.
Ubud is not a popular place for going out and nightlife. However, there are many things to do. First of all, take a walk through Ubud and enjoy its beautiful green views, rivers and hills. Also, in Ubud you can do yoga, go to spa centers, take part in Balinese dance lessons, do rafting, visit a real volcano and enjoy many other great activities. In addition, there are about 250 restaurants offering delicious and healthy food in Ubud.
Explore Ubud & Visit Mount Batur Volcano
Explore Ubud village and its main attractions in one day by comfortable air-conditioned car. During this trip you can see the main tourist sights such as Ubud monkey forest, Ubud rice terrace, Luwak Coffee plantation, holy spring temple, as well as visit the famous Batur volcano. There you can have lunch with a picturesque view of valley and lake.
Gunung Batur (Mount Batur) is an active volcano situated on the island of Bali. The volcano is 1717 metres high. Mount Batur is located on the eastern side of the island, in the Kintamani area. It is an area of about 368 square kilometers where the volcano, several villages and Lake Kintamani are located. By the way, the crater of the volcano is the largest crater lake in the world, which is larger than even Crater in Oregon, USA. Batur's waters irrigate local rice paddies. It is forbidden to swim in this lake and use motor boats.
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The journey starts early in the morning from your hotel in Bali to visit Ubud monkey forest, next we have small walk to the traditional market to discover Ubud king palace just in the front of traditional market. Then, move to Ubud rice terrace to see the green of rice paddy surrounded by the jungle. After that, visit the volcano to see a magnificent view of mount Batur with lake. You can also have a buffet lunch at the traditional restaurant just in front of the volcano. After that, stop at the coffee plantation on the way to water spring temple. If you want, at the water spring temple you can do a holy blessing together with locals.
The most famous tourist attraction of Ubud is the Monkey Forest Reserve. A flock of monkeys attracts tourists to this small forest with concrete paths. There is also a functioning "temple of the dead" of Padang Tegala community in the forest. It is considered a place of the strongest magical power and a refuge for evil spirits.
Bali is an island of thousands of gods. And since there are so many gods, there should be enough temples. There are about 20 thousand temples in Bali, including state, municipal, clan and private temples.
Temple of Pura Taman Kemuda Saraswati
This is a Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess of knowledge and wisdom Saraswati. Pura Taman Kemuda Saraswati is one of the most beautiful places in Ubud. Unofficially it is called the Palace of Water, in ancient times the goddess was connected to the river. It is a bright example of Balinese architecture decorated with intricate carvings, bas-reliefs and figures of local gods.
The temple is surrounded by a pond, where lotuses dedicated to Saraswati grow. You can enter it through the Lotus Cafe, which is adjacent to the temple. It is the only place in Ubud where you can watch the barong dance during dinner. The show takes place in the evening at 20:00 or at 21:00 on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
There are ponds with huge number of lotuses on the territory of the temple. You can see them from afar, and in the evening the temple is lit with lit lamps. Entrance is free.
Experience Balinese cooking class
Traditional Bali cuisine is part of Indonesian cuisine. However, the island's main religion, the Hindu, has influenced it. For example, unlike the rest of Indonesia, which is Musalman, pork is allowed in Bali. It is worth noting that pork is quite often used in traditional dishes on the island. Rice in Bali cuisine, as well as in most other Asian countries, is the main product. Therefore, almost all food in Bali is served with it. Generally, rice is eaten with vegetables, meat or seafood.
Bali's cuisine is based on flavorful spices, which are very common on the island. The famous combination of 8 main spices - white pepper, black pepper, coriander, caraway, cloves, nutmeg, sesame and candle tree fruit - is widely used. Besides, Balinese cuisine cannot be imagined without shallots, garlic, turmeric, ginger, chili pepper and palm sugar.
To discover what the Balinese really eat and to try traditional homemade food, visit a Balinese family. During this visit, your host family will show you traditional Balinese cuisine and tell you about its secrets.
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Near your host's home, discover exotic Balinese fruits, herbs and spices such as galangal, cloves, cacao and nutmeg and learn about their medicinal properties. Then, walk 10 minutes to your host's home for a tour of the family compound before joining his wife Jero to cook authentic, home-cooked Balinese dishes using a traditional wood-fired oven. Learn to cook with Jero dishes such as pepes Ikan (grilled tuna in banana leaves), bumbu kuning (chicken in a fresh turmeric and coconut milk sauce), and bregedel (hand-ground corn fritters). Enjoy the delicious meal you helped prepare while experiencing the life of a local family in the lush green of their compound walls. Leave with family recipes, new friends, and lifelong memories.
Bored with the beaches in Bali? Then grab some oars and go on an exhilarating white-water rafting adventure! Be challenged by Class II and III rapids as you traverse the Ayung River and paddle through the dense tropical rainforest and deep jungle valleys. After the thrills, relax as you float under cascading waterfalls and see Hindu shrines and various birds, if you’re lucky, you may even see monkeys in the trees! At the end of your exhilarating 2-hour trip, wind down with lunch at the river cafe followed by a hot shower.
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Start your adventure with a safety briefing from your rafting guide, where you’ll receive your lifejacket and helmet. Then, feel your excitement build and you walk down the jungle path towards the river. After a few more quick safety checks by your guide, you’ll be ready to hop in and start paddling!
Ubud Jungle Swing
Swinging in Bali is traditional entertainment. Why is a swing so popular in Bali? First of all, it's beautiful. While swinging, you can enjoy the views of the jungle, rivers or the sea coast. Also, it's a great idea for a photo shoot. On a high Bali swing, you can get wonderful pictures for your Instagram
Balinese Rice terraces
Rice is the main agricultural crop for Balinese people. It is used to prepare many dishes and is eaten almost every day. Rice is grown both on the plains and in the mountainous areas. There is not much fertile land on the island, so locals try to use every piece of it. The Balinese not only use traditional rice fields, but also build special rice terraces. Their stepped shape provides more space for rice cultivation.
Rice terraces are one of Bali's main natural attractions. They cover thousands of hectares and some are over 1000 years old. Rice terraces are very popular among tourists and are often crowded here. If you want to enjoy the beautiful views alone, come to the terraces early in the morning. There is no one here at this time, only local farmers who work in the fields.
Tegallalang rice terraces are located in central Bali, 9 km north of Ubud. They are located 800 m above sea level, in a river valley. It is one of the oldest and most visited attractions on the island.
Discover Bali waterfalls
Start your adventurous trips in Bali to visit the best waterfalls. They are Tibumana waterfall, Tukad Cepung waterfall, and Tegenungan waterfall. Get an unforgettable experience of swimming and pictures just inside of the waterfall.