The small town of Ubud is located in the centre of Bali and is regarded as the cultural centre of the island and far removed from the nightlife of Kuta. There are some wonderful tourist attractions here so read on to discover some of the best things to do in Ubud.
#1 – Tegenungan waterfall
You can easily reach this waterfall from Ubud, it is a delightful 30 minute journey southeast of Ubud along a road with fields of rice on both sides. Once you reach the parking area it is a few minute’s walk along the trail to the waterfall. The waterfall flows all year round but it is at its most spectacular during the wet season between October and April. Bring your bathing suit as you can jump into the tranquil fresh waters below the falls to cool off and refresh.
#2 – Watch a Balinese Dance
There are several places where you can watch Balinese dancing. At Batubulan about 15 minutes south of Ubud where you can catch the performance numerous times throughout the day and night. One of the best performances is at Pura Desa Ubud every Monday and Friday evening which is followed by a fire dance. Just to the east of the Monkey Forest at Puri Saren and Puri Saraswati you can find performances of Balinese dancing almost every evening. Take in the expressive moves of these amazing dancers and the stories that they are telling through their dances.
#3 – Monkey Forest
Spend an afternoon with the cheeky residents of the Jalan Monkey Forest. Take your time exploring the beautiful temple complex paying special attention to the intricate carvings in the stone. A good guest always brings something for the host, so pick up a bag of bananas from one of the vendors inside. Hold that banana high above your head and have a monkey climb onto your shoulder to get it! Be careful though these guys do have very light fingers so keep a hold of your valuables. It is advised to not bring any other food into the forest as it will almost certainly be pinched by the furry residents.
#4 – Views of the Rice Field Terraces
Ubud is surrounded by plunging stepped rice terraces. The road leading north is perfect to cycle as it is not too steep. Motorbikes are also available if you are looking to give your legs a rest. In the areas around Campuhaun and Kedewatan there are impressive gorges full of lush vegetation. Just head out of town and start exploring. The area around Tegallagang has some of Bali’s classic rice terraces. Bring some some small bills if you would like to pick up some souvenirs from the many street vendors in the area.
#5 – Climb Mount Batur
Mount Batur or Batukaru as it is also known is the second highest peak on Bali. Bayukaru is a long extinct volcano and is covered in trees to its peak. It is a breathtaking climb to the top of 2276m. Climbing to the summit to watch the sun shimmer through the low lying clouds at sunrise is certainly something you will want to tick off your bucket list. It is advised that you pick up a guide to help you to the top and always be wary of the weather conditions.
#6 – Visit a Local Market
Ubud market is a two storey warren of bustling market stalls with wooden carvings, shirts, sarongs and many other items designed to attract the tourists. Bring your best negotiation skill as the stall holders will expect you to haggle with them! The stalls upstairs will often give you a better price if you are prepared to haggle. Tagallagang market is full of wholesale items and worth a visit.