Ubud is one of the most popular places to visit in Bali. Tucked up in the hills in the centre of the island, Ubud is green and beautiful. And unfortunately stuffed full of people living out their Eat Pray Love fantasy. Despite that, parts of Ubud are wonderful and it gives you great access to explore the northern parts of the island which are less visited.
Set on the southern part of Monkey Forest Road, large trees and mossy structures house hundreds of little grey monkeys. The Balinese long-tailed Monkey (scientific name Macaca fascicularis) might look cute, but these wide eyed creatures continuously out-wit unsuspecting tourists. This isn’t the sort of place where they will leave you alone if you leave them alone. They have learnt a few scams, like taking your sunglasses in exchange for food, or simply jumping onto your back to steal food from your bag while you’re freaking out. For the short amount of time I was in the forest, heard a lot of screaming and squealing, saw a lot of monkeys being mean to humans and a lot of humans being mean to monkeys. More often that not the monkeys won.
Try Yoga at Yoga Barn
It’s almost a cliché to go to Bali and try yoga but people are obviously into it. There are plenty of classes available with many suitable for beginners.
Roughly £7 per class
White Water Rafting the Ayung River
If you’re looking for something a bit more fast paced look no further. There are a few different operators to choose from which can easily be booked by a hostel or travel agent.
Mount Batur Sunrise Hike
This is undoubtably one of the best experiences in Bali. The hike begins in darkness so you can’t see the shape of the mountain, only little dots of light bobbing up the mountain from the torches of fellow climbers. The path is loose rubble in places so proper footwear is a must. It’s also easier to use a head torch so you have your hands feed to climb the odd part of the trail. Once at the top find a spot with a clear view and wait. The sun rises behind the mountain ahead with spectacular colours. Don’t rush to descend as soon as the sun is up, take the time to walk around the ridge. You’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of tiny villages and the lava flow from the last eruption. Just off the path you’ll also see the evidence at Batur is indeed still an active volcano by the hot steam escaping from the rocks.
Pick up about 4am from Ubud. 1.5 – 2 hour climb. Cost about 270,000 £16
Hire a Car
Exploring by car is the easiest way to see the surrounding area. There are lots of beautiful rice terraces and temples as well as great local food to try. If you’re not keen on driving yourself you can hire a car with driver.
HISTORICAL SITES, MUSEUMS & TEMPLES
- Agung Rai Museum of Art (60,000 £4)
- Museum puri lukisan – lots of Balinese art (85,000 £5)
- Traditional dance: evening ($10 £8)
MARKETS & SHOPPING
There are plenty of shopping opportunities in Ubud.
FOOD & DRINK
The food in Ubud incredible. There are lots of veggie and vegan options.
Cooking class at Cash Luna Cooking School
A cooking class is a great way to learn more about Balinese cuisine.
Griya Sugriwa Backpackers House
I love this place.
Ubud is one hour from Denpasar airport in the south