One of the world’s tourist paradise that is located in Bali is Ubud. Ubud Bali is a place that has been known since 1930s. Ubud is located in Gianyar regency that is a center of culture in Bali. Some of the cultures are music, dance, sculpture, painting and carving. Ubud art area is also called as a village for international. Ubud has been a place for the search of love for Elizabeth Gilbert, a writer of Eat, Pray, Love book that has been made into a movie with the same title starring Julia Roberts.
To go to Ubud city, you have to travel from Denpasar International Airport as far as 40 kilometers in less than two hours. It is the location that is in the area of rice fields, forests, rivers, cliffs, and canyons, making this location as one of the most beautiful regions in the world. With its natural charm, culture, and community, Ubud will be one of the loveliest memories traveling in your life. If you go to Ubud, be prepared to fall in love with the magical aura of Ubud (Balinese called it as “taksu” aura) where this aura will make you feel comfortable and yearning to come back.
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And these are what to do in Ubud:
Cycling along the rice fields
Did you know? One of the Julia Roberts scenes in Eat, Pray, Love movie is cycling with the rice fields of Ubud as the background. Cycling is one of the most favorite things to do in Ubud. Along the Ubud highway, you can rent some bicycles with a various package, ranging from cycling around the city to cycling far up to Kintamani. Accompanied by a guide, you will be taken to the rice fields and go into the township residents and you can even also interact directly with the local people.
If you can’t ride a bike, there is a trekking tour that you can take to see the beautiful rice fields and local residents. You can get to know the culture and the life of local people as by interacting with them and their friendly welcome.
Morning Yoga Ubud-style
Ubud is identical with yoga. People from all around the world come to Ubud to learn yoga, from professionals to beginners. The quiet and cozy atmosphere is the best place for doing yoga. You can do yoga while enjoying the view of green rice fields, parks, rivers and the fresh clean air. Some hotels in Ubud also provide yoga facilities, from free to premium grade class are there.
One of the most famous places in Ubud to do yoga is Yoga Barn which is located in Hanoman Road. There are various classes that you can choose while enjoying the sight of Ubud.
Watch Kecak Api dance at night
If you come to Ubud, make sure that you go watching the performance of Kecak api dance. Kecak dance is one of the attractions of the Gods Island. Cak.. Cak.. Cak..! That is such a distinctive sounds that come from the Kecak dancers. Kecak dance is usually done at night starting at 7 pm. The total numbers of the dancers are 50 to 70 dancers and all the dancers are males. Kecak is a Hindu sacred dance as many dancers are unconscious while dancing on stage.
It is really easy to find the location of Kecak dance performance in Ubud. You can find it in the Dalem Temple at Ubud Road or in Puri Agung Saren. In Puri Agung Saren, you can also watch Legong dance performance. Besides of them, you can also watch shadow plays and other performances while in Ubud. Make sure to prepare a ticket to watch the Kecak dance.
Learning to cook Balinese cuisine
Most of all restaurants and hotels in Ubud open cooking classes for the tourists who come. Various menus of Balinese cuisine are available for you to choose, such as satay, lawar or other Indonesian food like mixed vegetables with the peanut sauce, fried rice or yellow rice. If you want to try typical Balinese culinary classes, you can go to Paon Bali in Laplapan who have cooking classes at home. You can also go to Casa Luna restaurant which is famous for its cooking classes as it is the first restaurant that open a cooking class in Ubud. The cooking classes usually started in the morning and all the participants will be taken to a traditional market to buy and choose the ingredients that they will use to cook later.
Exploring the culinary of Ubud
When you come to Ubud, you have to try the local culinary. If you are interested in the typical culinary of Ubud and Bali, you should try the roast pork of Madam Oka which is located next to Ubud Temple, Ubud Bengil duck, chicken rice kedewatan Madam Mangku, or Betutu chicken at Murni restaurant.
Ubud is a tourist area that has been established since before the independence of Indonesia, so various food of Indonesia and also international cuisine can be found here. You can also try Asian cuisine, European cuisine and American cuisine here such as Italian gelato, Japanese traditional cuisine, Mexican taco and burrito and French cuisine. You just have to choose a menu that fits with your taste.
Trying traditional medication of Ketut Liyer
For a long time, local people in Ubud has been used traditional medications using natural ingredients to cure the sick people. Spas and wellness in Ubud are growing rapidly in order to pamper the tourists who come. The traditional medication is just like a spa, using massage therapy and spiritual meditation. The Balinese people called the traditional “doctor” as Balian.
Balian Ketut Liyer is a medicine man that became famous after his appearance in the novel and movie Eat, Pray, Love which do therapy with some meditation approaches. As the most Balian in Ubud is Ketut Arsana. He has given medications with massage therapy and herbal medicine for about 25 years.
Rafting on Ayung River
One of the rafting places in Bali is Ayung River. This rafting has category II and category III so it is suitable for beginners, but there will be a lot of obstacles that you will meet along the 12 kilometers of Ayung River. It takes about two hours to explore it.
In addition to that, you can also see panoramas of towering palm trees, hill trees and the yellow rice fields on the left and right side of Ayung River. There are also Balinese artists’ carvings on the rock cliffs of Ayung River. If you take a tour package, it is usually already included the lunch and dinner delivery service.
Visiting the art museums
Almost all of the museums in Ubud show the beauty and history of art and paintings. There are six museums that you can visit, such as Puri Lukisan Museum which is the first museum in Ubud. This museum displays the collection of Balinese paintings in three eras, from the kingdom era of Bali to the independence era of Indonesia. Other museums that you can also visit are Neka Museum, Rudana Museum, Agung Rai Museum, Antonio Blanco Museum, and Marketing Museum which has been established since 2011.
Shopping at Ubud traditional markets
If you are looking for the center of souvenir stores in Bali, then Ubud is the right place for you. Shopping at Ubud will bring you to some colorful Bali handicrafts. Various Bali handicrafts are already displayed here by some sellers that mostly are native Balinese.
These handicrafts such as wicker, sculpture, beach sarong, trinket, sandals, Balinese traditional clothes, paintings and many other types of handicrafts are available here.You can also try the variety of food in Ubud, but remember, you have to come early as in the daytime it will be very crowded. The parking lot will be full around noon too.
Say hello to monkeys at Monkey Forest
If you want to get a more interesting experience, you should come visit Monkey Forest to meet the monkeys that can roam freely. In this 27 hectares forest, there are a lot of dense trees and the air is really clean and fresh. Upon entering this area, you will be greeted by a giant monkey statue.You have to be careful with your luggage, as some mischievous monkeys will take your luggage and bring it to the top of the tree.
Coming to Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF)
If you come at the right time, do not miss to come to International Literature Festival.This festival is held only once a year and is the world’s largest literature festival. You can meet the authors directly, both Indonesian authors and foreign authors. You can also get to know and learn about the culture, art, and literature or can also enter some of the free events that take place during the festival.
In the fact there are many more things what to do in Ubud Bali, like visiting Pura Taman Saraswati, Watch the herons at Petulu return home, Dine at Mozaic, etc. But that’s some of the most popular destinations and it’s a pity if passed while on vacation in Ubud, Bali-Indonesia.