Things to do in Ubud?
There are so many things to do in Ubud but there’s also not much to do as well. You can choose to be as active as you like, biking through the rice fields, white water rafting, shopping, bargain hunting, the Monkey Forest OR you can sit in your hotel and do absolutely nothing. This is the beauty of Ubud.
If you are feeling a bit adventurous and want to break the cycle of eat, sleep, read, swim, do nothing, then following are some things to do in Ubud. They are actually quite fun, so enjoy.
- Monkey Forest Everyone who comes to Ubud, comes to the Monkey Forest. This is seriously a mecca for tourists coming to Bali and boy o boy do they come here in big numbers. It’s a crazy mixture of tourist from all over the world, locals looking to sell you something and crazed monkeys looking to steal anything that’s not bolted firmly to your body from you. These monkeys are basically on high alert the whole time waiting for some poor tourist who has their sun glasses, camera, necklace, hand bag or phone and as soon as they see their target..BOOM, they rip it out from your body. You then have to pay a local Indonesian guide to go and salvage it for you. Watch out for the scam. Putting all that aside the Money Forest is actually quite stunning with it’s moss covered temples, old trees and and pathways that seem to wind around old Balinese villages. It is a religious place and seems to have a very tranquil, peaceful energy that is only broken by the shrieks of alpha male monkeys asserting their dominance or some unlucky Japanese tourist yelling out that their camera has just been pinched by a monkey. It’s actually quite scary if you are not used to it as they come right up to you looking for peanuts or bananas and may even jump on you. If it’s one of the bigger ones it can frighten the kids. Be warned. Also note that this is a religious temple so there are strict rules governing what you can wear inside. Mean and women have to be covered so BRING A SPARE SARONG!
- Tegallalang Rice Terraces Picture postcard views are right here at these rice terraces. Tourist buses stop on the side of the road and all you can see are people taking photos.Bali’s traditional farming methods have created a visual masterpiece in the landscape and as soon as you visit you will see why. People come here for a few hours as they really need to take everything in.It is breath taking. The best way to do this is organise a taxi from Ubud and spend the afternoon here in one of the numerous cafes along the side of the road. from here you can have lunch and soak up the atmosphere.
- Puri Saren Royal Palace Near the Ubub market is the home of the royal family of Ubud. This is the most distinguished places in Ubud and is open to the public for viewing every day. The palace has been maintained by the successive heirs and is well worth a visit whilst walking around the streets. It’s traditional Balinese architecture is something extraordinary and so are the well manicured gardens. At night the palace comes alive with Balinese dancers performing. You will see the crowds and hear the noise, just head in that direction. A good place to start the evening with this cultural experience.
- Balinese cooking classes This seems to be the done thing in Ubud. Learn how to cook a dam good Nasi Goreng. There are many places that offer traditional cooking classes so keep an eye out for them. Most hotels in Ubud will have cooking classes as part of their guest activity schedule. Make sure you ask about them when you check in.
- Go to a day spa or grab a massage Bali massages are cheap and great by Western standards and there are heaps of them all around Ubud. Make sure you try a 1 hour massage from a local day spa. It’s relaxing, invigorating and will sooth those tired legs from all the walking you have been doing.
- Grab a bargain Go the the local markets and buy all those presents for your friends back home. Plus get a few souvenirs as well while your at it. These markets are a great way to spend an afternoon shopping. Ubud is an ideal place to go shopping for local arts and crafts. Make sure you bargain as the first price they give you may not be the best.
- Cycle along the rice fields This is the perfect way to see Ubud. Nothing beats this. You can rent a bicycle, grab a map and go for it. Loose yourself, go exploring, pass villages, stop for a bite to eat, chat with the locals, take some incredibly good photos, get off the beaten track. This is what it’s all about. Learning a new culture and seeing different sights and having new experiences. A day trip on a bicycle around the local area of Ubud will deliver all of this. Plus it’s all so cheap. A bike is around $20 per day.
- Eat Pray Love People come to Ubud for the same experience that they saw on this popular film released a few years ago. Basically all you need to do is mix it up with the locals, make some friends and visit a Balinese healer. There are some around Ubud but you have do do your research before you go there. Some are better than others. I know that one Julia Roberts saw is booked solid now for months in advance.