Set among the gentle slopes that lead up towards the central mountains, Ubud is the heartland of Balinese culture.
A hive of artistic activity, it offers endless rows of craft shops and workshops, excellent art galleries, nightly dance shows, a central market and numerous temples and museums.
While the centre of town is a great place to base yourself, Ubud's verdant backdrop of shelving rice paddies and towering palm trees accommodates a number of world-class retreats where those looking to escape can eat, pray and love.
There are wonderful restaurants in all parts of town and a number of courses in dance, music, cooking and art that let those with the time embrace Balinese culture in all its rich forms.
Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
A must in Ubud is a stroll through the temple-dotted Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, so named for the 300 or so long-tailed macaques that inhabit the forest.
The most interesting of the temples is Pura Dalem Agung, the Temple of Death, whose inner sanctuary depicts a demon queen devouring children.
Paved trails lead through the forest, which contains more than a hundred different species of tree - including the Pule Bandak, which is used in the making of masks.
Arts & crafts
Ubud has been home to a vibrant arts scene ever since the German artist Walter Spies arrived in 1928.
International artists continue to visit and Ubud is dotted with galleries and craft shops selling woodcarvings, fine art, jewellery, batik, sculptures and textiles.
Besides the street-side stalls, Neka Gallery, Adi's Studio and Ketut Rudi Gallery are all well worth browsing.
Rice paddy tours
The area around Ubud is largely characterised by the rice paddy terraces carved into the sides of the surrounding slopes and valleys.
These emerald-green farmlands produce the staple ingredient of Balinese cuisine, and taking a tour of the paddies on foot allows visitors to walk among picture-postcard views while gaining an insight into local farming life.
Top itineraries in Ubud
Bali may seem like paradise with its stunning golden beaches, whipped surf, lush green rice terraces, charming people, enchanting temples and exotic dances, and sometimes you will find that it is.
Alternatively, call one of our experts on 020 7590 0613. We are open tomorrow from 9:00 am.
Top places to stay in Ubud
This boutique spa retreat is close a short walk from Ubud, the cultural heart of Bali, and offers a full range of yoga, massage and health-and-beauty treatments set among gently rolling hills and rice fields.
Culture vultures and nature lovers will relish staying at the Komaneka Resort at the Monkey Forest in the heart of vibrant Ubud. As one of Bali’s major arts and cultural centres, there is plenty for you to explore from Balinese traditional arts and crafts to temple hopping to Ubud’s natural beauty,…
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