I have been wanting to write about Ubud for so long now! Ubud is one of my favourite places in Bali so far because it has so many things to offer. Whatever you feel like doing – you can do it in Ubud (apart from going to the beach because you won’t find that there:) ).
On top of that Ubud is probably the most artistic place that I have been to in Bali – There is a lot of artsy places to see, you can do a whole lot of workshops around art and it is a great place to meet artists and buy their art.
I could ramble on about art all day so lets just jump straight into all the things I suggest you do when you go to Ubud!
If you are a Yogi or you just want to get into it and get some mindful time during your holiday you are in the right place! Ubud has a few places you can go to and also events that are on weekly for yoga, meditation and anything around mindfulness. All places I have been to in Bali had places for Yoga but Ubud is the place that a lot of people go to just for Yoga.
Prices are almost the same they are in Perth, WA which is around 8-14 AUD. I assume this is the case because Yoga has really been hyped in Bali, especially Ubud! I can highly recommend it though – for me it was a completely different experience compared to any class I have done at home!
We were outside on a terrace surrounded by beautiful green trees and flowers, you could hear the birds sing and there was no loud music during class like there is in a lot of those typical gym classes at home. It was so peaceful, grounding and super relaxing. I personally loved the early morning classes because I felt like I was ready for the day after – but if you are not an early riser there are classes for you, too. 🙂
Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Ubud is famous for its massive, green rice terraces and if you are in Ubud you shouldn’t miss out on those – the view is beautiful and you can go for either a short walk or go on a longer one! We spent about an hour walking through them and stopped here and there to enjoy the view. There are swings you can go on to swing over the river that is at the bottom and a lot of people were brave enough to get on and swing off the cliff. It looked pretty cool but the swings are one of those things that are a bit hyped to be honest – it would definitely make a good insta pic though!
As we walked through the fields we walked past locals that were working and let me tell you, they must be super fit and healthy! The people we saw were pretty old and carried some heavy stuff on their backs. They are super friendly and keen for a chat (as much as you can communicate with the language barrier).
Sunrise Hike to the top of Mount Batur
It was 2am in the morning when we crawled out of bed and went out to wait for the driver to pick us up. Mount Batur is one of the volcanos you can climb in Bali and I would say from what I have heard it is probably the easiest one. We booked a tour the day before at one of the stalls on the street and paid around 35 AUD per person. This included the pick up from your homestay/ hotel, a breakfast and tea before the hike, a snack for when you get to the top and a coffee tasting afterwards. When I say breakfast I mean a fried banana, they were pretty good! It takes about 2 hours to hike up and I would say you have to be quite fit to go up. There were loose rocks along the way, a few parts of the path you had to sort of climb up some rocks and it goes up pretty steep. We met a few cool people along the way and it definitely doesn’t get boring! When we got to the top we got ready to watch the sunrise – all we saw was a glance of sunlight and looots of clouds. We didn’t pick the best day, nonetheless it was still good fun and not a bad view. We got a sandwich and a banana up the top while we waited for the sun to go up and had great company – The monkeys that met us up there were definitely hungrier than any other human!
On our way down we went through a little village where they grew chilis and other vegetables. Once we got back to the car we made our way back towards Ubud centre and stopped at a coffee plantation where we tried different types of coffees and teas – it was super interesting and definitely a bit of an adventure! We tried everything from sweet to savoury to super spicy. Bali is famous for Luwak coffee which is basically made from coffee beans that have been digested by a cat-like animal (Luwak or Civet in English). It sounds disgusting but is actually not that bad! The trip is definitely worth going, I just hope you get a better day for the sunrise than we did! 🙂
I was super keen to see a waterfall so when we were actually not in Ubud anymore we decided to drive up again to see one! This is definitely a trip you can do even if you aren’t staying in Ubud. Before we got to the waterfall I imagined some sort of paradise with not many people around, green beautiful bushes and colourful flowers with a massive beautiful waterfall and water around it to swim in. Let me tell you, it is nothing like that here, sorry to crush your dreams! The waterfall did look beautiful but when you get there you’ll see it has become a massive tourist attraction – there is loads of shops and restaurants on the way down, you have to pay to get in and see the waterfall and it is packed with people. That part of it was a bit dissapointing so I will definitely check out some other waterfalls next time I am in Bali!
Be prepared to walk down heaps of steps to get to the waterfall – I stopped a few times to take my photos and enjoy the view, that was a good excuse to get a break and cool down from my sweatiness. :)) Once we got down there we went straight to the water to cool off. The waterfall had a pretty small area filled with water around it that you can go in. Just enough for a quick dip!
Markets in Ubud centre
If you like shopping and are good at negotiating prices you will love it here! There is a few stalls along the main road but also one lane that is full of stalls with all sorts of things – clothes, bags, jewellery, kitchen items, decoration and so much more! The people at the stalls will want to charge you way more than you should pay so make sure you negotiate. This is the best place for presents or if you would like to bring something home for yourself. I bought pants and a Ukulele with awesome carvings on it and I love both items!
You can walk to the monkey forest from the centre of Ubud as it is not far out at all. If you love animals you will love this place! We walked through it and were literally surrounded by monkeys! If you are brave enough you can get close and they might jump onto you to say hi (or because they hope you have food) – but hold onto your belongings because monkeys are excellent thieves!
I did all these things the first time I went to Bali within 2 days so that is totally doable without stressing. There is so much more Ubud has to offer and I can’t wait to be back! The second time I went to Ubud was for Volunteer work at BAWA which I will be talking about in another post – it was an amazing experience and if you love animals I recommend you look into that. BAWA is constantly looking for volunteers to help out.