For my study I had to do volunteer work somewhere on this planet and I really wanted to teach in a kindergarten in Bali. I searched for a project and I got in touch with Greenlion, which is located in Ubud. I never heard of this place before, but after doing some research I found out it should be an amazing ‘city’. After living in Ubud for one month, I can confirm the that it’s an amazing place. When you’re in Bali, you definitely need to visit Ubud. They say it’s the spiritual capital of Bali and even though there are a lot of tourist, it’s not a crowded place.
What to see in Ubud?
1. Monkey forest
The most popular destination in Ubud is the Monkey forest. It’s the living area of a group of Balinese long-tailed macaques. Within the forest you’ll also find three temples. It’s a beautiful place to walk, but be careful with your belongings. Otherwise the monkey’s will get it and you’ll having a hard time of getting it back.
2. Ubud palace
The palace is right in the centre of Ubud. The local royal family still lives in this palace, but you’re able to walk around and admire the buildings. This place can be a bit crowded by tourists, but it’s a lovely place to visit.
3. Pura Taman Saraswati
There are many temples in Bali, and also in Ubud. Pura Taman Saraswati is one of them. It’s also known as the water palace of Ubud, because of its water garden. This temple is in the centre of Ubud, surrounded by many craft stalls. It can be a bit hard to find, but ask locals for directions, because it’s definitely worth a visit.
4. Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA)
Do you love art or do you enjoy a beautiful surrouding? This museum will be perfect for you. There are many paintings, from local painters, from painters inspired by the Balinese culture or nature and just some other paintings. I really liked this museum and the garden is really beautiful to walk around. This museum hosts also a lot of cultural events, like traditional dances.
What to do in Ubud?
5. Drink Kopi Luwak at a coffee plantation
There are not only a lot of rice terraces around Ubud, but also coffee plantations. On those plantations are often small tours about how they grow coffee beans and how they make coffee. A special coffee of Bali is Kopi Luwak, which is also one of the worlds most expensive coffees. Why is this coffee so special? Because it’s made from cat poop. Just try it. It isn’t that nasty as it sounds.
6. Take yoga or pilates class
I didn’t do this, but the next time I definitely will. Ubud is the spiritual capital of Bali, so that’s why it’s the perfect place to disconnect yourself for a couple of days. There are many local yoga/pilates studios and also even in the beautiful rice fields. So give yourself some fresh air, while you get in your lotus position.
7. Stay in a luxurious resort or in a private villa
I’m sure you know this already, but Bali is much cheaper when you compare it to a lot of Western countries. That also means the accommodation of your stay is much cheaper. If you want to spoil yourself a bit, it’s in Bali the perfect time to do it. Are you dreaming of a villa with your own swimming pool? Do it in Bali, because it’s much cheaper over there.
8. Cycle or walk through rice fields
Ubud is known as a spiritual place, but also for the rice terraces. In- and outside Ubud are many beautiful rice fields, which are an amazing place to walk around. Another option is to rent a bike and cycle around the rice terraces. It’s a great way to see a lot of the beautiful nature of Bali.
9. Experience a traditional dance show
There are a lot of different traditional dance shows in Ubud. I went to Kecak dance, which is known as Ramayana Monkey Chant. It’s performed by a circle of at least 150 dancers, who are chanting “cak” while they’re moving their hands and arms. This dance shows a battle from the Ramayana, which is an epic poem from a Hindu poet. The dance is a real experience, because it such a big ‘dramatic’ dance.
10. Take a massage treatment‘
There are many places you can get a massage or another treatment. Most of the times you pay for what you get, but I had two times an amazing Balinese massage for only €6,-. This was for an hour and it was a lovely location, because it’s located in the middle of some rice fields. If you want to relax after a long day, you have to try a Balinese massage.
What are your recommendations of things you need to do in Ubud?