Ubud, the cultural capital of Bali

Ubud Bali – a story about an amazing part of the island

Ubud of Bali. Bali is a mystical, unusual, highly spiritual area of the island. In our blog, we have never once shared with readers our experiences about this amazing place, and all because Ubud, in our opinion, is already very much advertised on the Internet. But its whole meaning and strength is not in the two or three most popular places, but in a special atmosphere of changing and soothing our minds, tortured by everyday worries and household problems. Believe me – Ubud in Bali is a special place!

This is a seemingly complicated introduction. In fact, let’s try to explore Ubud from all angles. I am sure that any place can make a strong impression on a person. Very often we are attracted to wild places, untouched by human hands natural riches. But it is no coincidence that this area attracts thousands of tourists, and everyone finds something interesting and unusual to his taste. Dozens of interesting and useful cafes, spas in the middle of the rice fields, spiritual practices, museums, rainforests and much more, is not a reason to visit at least once in Ubud?

Where is Ubud, map

Ubud is located in the central part of the island, away from the ocean, so for fans of beach holidays here will not be as interesting and comfortable, but to visit this place is worth all without exception, and will be a short one-day trip or more detailed acquaintance, everyone decides for himself. We recommend that you stay at least one night in Ubud, feel the unity with nature, perhaps hear the voice of the ancient spirits, and with peace of mind, go back to the ocean and the sunny endless summer on the southern coast of Bali.

From Bali Airport to Ubud drive about 1.5 hours, depending on traffic congestion. At a cost of about 200,000 rupiah by cab. You can get to Ubud by moped, cab, or try to hitch a ride, not at all common in Bali, but still possible. On the way to Ubud by your own transport be ready to meet a couple of local “helpers” who will desperately try to impose their society on you, pointing the way to a bird park, a local farm, an art gallery, etc. It is better to tactfully answer that you use a navigator, find your own way and are grateful for their assistance. Otherwise you will be tricked by a local expert of places of interest, of course, not for free, or you will be involved in an intrusive assistance, which you probably do not need.

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What’s so special about Ubud?

Ubud is first and foremost the cultural capital of Bali, but in addition to this virtue, it has other equally valuable secrets, learning about which it is impossible not to fall in love with the place.

We first came to Ubud over three years ago when we were in Bali on our honeymoon. We arrived by bicycle and looked for accommodation on our own, carefully going through the options offered. About the accommodation I will tell a little later, but I want to note that then our choice fell on a beautiful place Devi’s place and although we were limited in terms of finances, we decided to pay $ 60 a day (now I think the prices are more expensive, yet it was 3 years), and have no regrets, although originally planned to take housing at half the price.

Villa Devi Ubud Villa Devis place Ubud Bali

The owner of this wonderful place is a woman who looks 60 years old, originally from Australia, very intelligent and good-natured, well, the place itself is just magical! 4 mini villas, including the master house, surrounded by green rice fields. There is a swimming pool. Each villa, consisting of one spacious room and an open-air shower room, has its own library, lovingly put together by hostess Devi. A fresh fruit breakfast, a swim in the pool, and very detailed advice from Devi on where to go and what to see from the sights awaited us in the morning.

Probably because of her advice, Ubud left its special impression and took its honorable place in our heart. We stayed in the district of Panestanan, which is probably the most interesting. Our hotel is very close to the center, just 15-20 minutes walk, the area is buried in verdure, and the variety of cafes and places of interest, in my opinion, is off the scale. I would like to say that all Ubud in general a pleasant walk. Unlike other parts of Bali, where bikers and cars come and go, the traffic is dense, and even if you want just to walk around you’re limited to a narrow alley and a tiny sidewalk, here, you can see tourists traveling not only on bikes, but bikes, and just leisurely strolling past the rice paddy.

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The main sights of Ubud

Ubud is interesting not only for its unique atmosphere, but also popular tourist spots, which should not be missed.

Monkey Forest or Monkey Forest

The Monkey Forest is located on Jl. Monkey Forest Street of the same name in the heart of Ubud, it is easy to find from the signs, and the monkey forest is also found in every guidebook to Bali. The entrance fee is only 20 thousand rupiah. It is better to come here in the morning, when it is not so crowded, and the monkeys are not yet tired of camera flashes and are ready to treat you to a banana.

The forest of monkeys is very beautiful, unusual, dense crowns hide the sunlight and the walk is easy and pleasant. There really are a lot of macaques, but not all of them are friendly! You should be wary of jumping and paying too much attention to the monkeys, often they bite tourists and we have repeatedly witnessed when their game ended unpleasantly for visitors to the park. Still afraid of wild animal bites, although we have not heard about any health problems.

Monkey family. Monkey forest. Ubud, Balis Monkey forest, Ubud

In the forest, you can walk along the river, take pictures of endless banyan trees (huge ancient trees), and, of course, play and follow the monkeys. Of course, the forest of monkeys is a must visit, even if you do not like monkeys, walk through the jungle we are sure you will not leave indifferent.

Banyan Tree, Ubud

Sari Organic Bali Ubud Cafe

A cafe among the rice terraces, Ubud

After the walk you need to refresh yourself and we advise you to do it at Sari Organic. I would even single out not just one café but several at once, because Sari Organic is the most popular café in the chain of establishments among the rice terraces. All these cafes are very different, with different interiors, design and delicacies, but all of them are buried in greenery and enveloped by a special atmosphere. You can find Sari Organic by searching on Foursquare, there is a picturesque path along the rice field, and many tourists prefer to walk and enjoy the nature.

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On the way to the Sari Organic cafe. Natural Cocktails. Ubud. Bali.

On the way you will meet souvenir shops, organic massage, and just locals cleaning rice. In the cafe itself you can try a lot of all natural, such as energy cocktails made of herbs and fruits. In general, in Ubud is very popular theme of all natural, vegetarian and healthy. Almost every other café meets healthy food and raw food. Well, if you take into account that all Balinese food is often fried rice and chicken with various additives, you will feel a real gastronomic paradise! Of course, at European prices. By the way, after the cafe Sari organic has become known on the Internet, prices and quality, in my opinion, unfortunately, have changed for the worse.

But again, this place is worth a visit not so much for the food but for the ambience and interesting atmosphere.

Lala & Lili Warung

Another interesting cafe where the price and quality never fail and the atmosphere is so heartwarming that you want to stay there as long as possible. The cafe is owned by Europeans and is decorated in Balinese style and is filled with warmth and love. How to get there you can see the map on tripadvisor, I advise you to visit Lala & Lili at different times. For example, the evening atmosphere there is very different, but just as friendly and soulful.

Tegallalang Rice Terraces

Tegallalang Rice Terraces Balinese man among the rice terraces. Ubud, Bali

Speaking of the natural treasures of Ubud, we certainly recommend the cascade of Tegallalang Rice Terraces to visit. Thanks to the precipitous slope on the road side, the view of the rice terraces in front of us is insanely beautiful. More than a dozen cafes and restaurants are built on the same slope, so it will be especially nice to have a cup of tea or a cold beer while enjoying the scenery.

The scenery of Ubud The countryside of Ubud, Bali

Tegallalang is located north of Ubud, about 40 minutes by bike.

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Antonio Blanco Museum.

Many tourists associate Ubud with creativity and crafts of all kinds. The memory lingers of handkerchiefs, stores with pitchers, mirrors and plates, art shops, painting galleries, craft villages, workshops on Balinese traditions and culture, and other ornate memories where you were offered a lot, told a lot, and had colorful handicrafts flickering in front of your eyes.

Antonio Blanco’s House Museum is absolutely not about that. Behind a beautiful golden door lies the whole world of an amazing man who found his love and peace of mind in Bali. Antonio was born in the Philippines, and studied painting in the U.S., it so happened that the woman of his life and muse was the dancer Ni Ronji, and the place where he wrote his most famous paintings is Bali.

Exotic Birds at the Antonio Blanco Museum, Ubud Antonio Blanco Museum, Ubud

Blanco Museum is the artist’s garden, where you will be offered cool drinks, and around the trees sit on the exotic birds, as if guarding the museum, this is the museum where the artist lived, and his studio with the last unfinished work, and a viewing platform on the roof, which offers a stunning view of the jungle, because the house-museum was built on the hill. Antonio Blanco’s work made a mixed impression on us, we are far from painting, but the style and execution of the paintings is very unusual and left us enthralled. Antonio prepared and created every frame by himself, that’s why the impression is so strong.

Antonio Blanco Museum, Ubud Blanco Museum, Ubud

Before visiting the museum we recommend you to read a couple of lines about the artist and his life in order to feel the atmosphere of the place better.

Where to stay in Ubud

Villa Ubud, Bali Rice Paddies, Ubud

In Ubud is a very large selection of hotels, gests, rooms and bungalows. You can choose depending on the location, the beauty of the place, the level of comfort. Prices for accommodations start at 150 thousand rupees per night for a room. We like the bamboo bungalows. Here everything you see in the room will be exclusively made of bamboo! Very environmentally friendly and beautiful, plus add a beautiful view of the jungle and birds singing and you’re in a real Ubud paradise. Even go out of such a place does not want to. And in general it is convenient to book a favorite gesture on booking and not to waste precious time in Ubud to search and devote it to a new undiscovered place!

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We really hope you enjoy Ubud as much as we do, and that you will want to come back to this little green place again and again.

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