A Guide to Ubud, Bali

A Guide to Ubud, Bali

Ubud “Medicine” in Sanskrit was once the centre for medicating the body and soul. To this day it still maintains some of this feel as yoga, meditation, natural surroundings and healthy places to eat. Located up in the mountains, and an hours drive north of the airport the scenery around here is just stunning.

How to get there

Ubud is located towards the middle of Bali and is around an hour and a half to two hours drive from Denpasar Airport. You can easily get a taxi at the airport, there is a fixed rate airport service otherwise most hotels offer a transfer service at a charge.

When to go

Bali has two main seasons, the wet season from October to March and the dry from April to September. Peak is usually July and August with the shoulder being May, June and September. Don’t let the wet season put you off though, I have travelled during the wet and we really only got rain late in the afternoon and at night. I’ve also had a huge amount of rain come down on me in the dry season. Bali is great any time of the year.

 

Getting around

Taxi

Taxis are the most expensive way to get around and Uber is banned- you need to be very discreet about using it. Bluebird is the best and should cost you around IDR 300,000 (roughly AUD30)

Hire a driver

There are plenty of drivers in Bali that you can hire for the day, a couple of days, a week or more to take you wherever you want to.

Hire a scooter

Scooters are the cheapest mode of transport in Bali, the traffic can be pretty crazy so if you don’t feel comfortable riding yourself you can ride on the back of a motorbike.

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My friend Dan and I on the way to the rice fields

What to do

Back to nature

Walk Campuhan Ridge Walk

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A beautiful 9km walk amongst the rice fields. The best time to start your walk would be early morning to enjoy the morning sun before it gets too hot.
Jalan Raya Ubud No.35, Ubud

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Waterfalls

Tegenungan Waterfall 

Tegenungan waterfall lies at Tegenungan Village, approx. 5 kilometers, south east Ubud. A short walk down some steps and you’ll reach the base of the waterfall. It is a great waterfall to swim at due to the large amount of water flow. There is also a small temple nearby.

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Tegalalang Rice Terraces

Only a 20-30 minute drive from Ubud, the Tegalalang Rice Terraces are definitely worth a visit. The best time to visit is during the wet season as the fields are nice and green.
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Sacred Monkey Forest

The monkey forest has 3 holy temples and is inhabited by lots of grey-haired Balinese macaques. Be careful of your belongings and don’t approach the monkeys as some can get quite aggressive.
Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud

monkeys forest

Cultural

Visit some temples

Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave)
Goa Gajah isn’t full of elephants but had bathing pools and fountains, rock wall carvings, meditation cave. It was built in the 11th century as a spiritual place for meditation. Located 6 km from Central Ubud.
Bedulu Village, Jalan Raya Goa Gajah, Blahbatuh
15503896518_90f711dfdc_hPhoto credit: Alice (CC license)

Cooking class

Casa Luna Cooking School
With a range of daily cooking classes and market tours you won’t have any issues finding one that suits you. I particularly like the sound of a new class called New Food as Medicine Vegetarian Cooking Class
Enjoy a hands-on cooking class with a vegetarian menu of pumpkin curry, tempe with fresh lemon basil, roasted coconut banana flower salad, organic bamboo shoots, seasonal greens and red rice followed by non-dairy coconut ice cream.
Honeymoon Guesthouses, Jalan Bisma, Ubud Web / Facebook

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Photo credit: Isabel (CC license)

Traditional Balinese dance

The Legong style of dance is performed by girls wearing colourful clothes and uses intricate finger movements, precise feet movements and intense facial expressions. You can watch the Legong and Barong dance performances at Ubud Palace daily from 7:30pm

Ubud Royal Palace, Jl. Raya Ubud, Ubud

11471193664_e3f2bf5d9e_kPhoto credit: Michael (CC license)

Adventure

Hike Mt Batur for sunrise

Mt Batur (Gunung Batur) is an active volcano with a height of 1,717 m. It will take 3-4 hours to hike to the summit to view the sun rise but I think it is worth every step.
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Kayak on Lake Batur

Lake Batur is the largest lake of Bali. To the local people who live in the small villages around lake Batur, the lake is a sacred site. The communities around the lake live mainly on agriculture and fishing.
C-Bali Canoe Tour
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White water rafting

Bali Adventure Tours
If you want a break from meditation and yoga rafting your way down the Ayung River is sure to get your heart racing.
Web / Facebook

Where to stay

Pertiwi Bisma 1
Surrounded by tropical foliage, two infinity pools overlooking the jungle and large, bright rooms Pertiwi Bisma 1 is a relaxing resort that is still close to the centre of Ubud, health cafes and a 20 minute motorbike ride to the rice fields.
Jl. Bisma, Ubud Web / Facebook / Tripadvisor
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Nirwa Ubud Homestay
Nirwa Ubud Homestay is on my list for my next visit to Ubud. Located in the peaceful rice fields this is the perfect location to do some yoga and meditation. They also offer several tours to the elephant cave, temples, coffee plantations and hiking Mt Batur or Mt Agung.
 Jl. Raya Campuhan, Ubud Web / TripAdvisor
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Where to eat

Alchemy
Bali’s first 100% raw vegan café and juice bar. Make your own salads, a big range of smoothies, juices, raw desserts and a pretty large health food store.
Jl. Penestanan Klod No 75, Ubud Web / Facebook / Instagram
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Garden Kafé
Located at the Yoga Barn, the Garden Kafe use locally grown produce for their living vegan foods, juice, smoothies, raw snacks and dessert. A great place for a meal after yoga at the Yoga Barn.
 Jl Raya Pengosekan, Ubud Web / Facebook
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Nalu Bowls

The best smoothie bowls I have ever eaten. I had 3 bowls and the Uluwatu is definitely my favourite.
Jl. Raya Ubud, Ubud  Web / Facebook / Instagram
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Yoga

Ubud Yoga House
A boutique yoga studio overlooking the rice terraces on the path to Sari Organic Restaurant.
15-minute walk through the rice paddies from the main road of Ubud (Campuhan Ridge Walk)  Web / Facebook / Instagram
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Photo credit: Ubud Yoga House
Yoga Barn
The Yoga Barn is nestled amidst rice paddies, an organic farm & a jungle ravine with over 75 classes per week it is probably the biggest yoga studio in Ubud and probably the whole fo Bali. I’ve heard you need to arrive super early to get into classes due to the large volume of people attending.
Jl Raya Pengosekan, Ubud Web / Facebook
13517539_1015232648512167_5279023741523365588_oPhoto source: The Yoga Barn
Radiantly Alive
Over 55 classes per week in 3 yoga shalas classes include Vinyasa, Tibetan Heart, Pilates, Fly HIgh, Yoga Dance, Beginners Yoga and more
Jl Jembawan no.3, Padang Tegal Kaja Ubud Web / Facebook Instagram
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Photo credit: Radiantly Alive
Intuitive Flow
 Intuitive Flow yoga has around 6 classes per day, a few less on the weekends and is situated amid the rice fields and has floor to ceiling windows which overlook the beautiful trees and Mt Batur.
Penestanan Kaja, Ubud Web / Facebook / Instagram
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Photo credit: Intuitive Flow
Have you been to Ubud? I would love to hear what you thought.

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