There are a swag of fun and cultural activities to in and around Ubud.
Ubud is considered the spiritual hub of Bali but it offers so much more.
These are some cool ideas to try if you have a day, a week or a month.
Situated one hour from the air port and worth the $25USD in an private car is trendy, organic, yoga, arty, find-your-groove-on town Ubud.
To hire a driver for the day will set you back around $80USD.
I have stayed there several times now. I do love it’s vibe, it’s bars, multi-coloured cocktails and lush surrounds.
Many ex-pats chose Ubud to settle down for a while. This gives Ubud it’s wonderful cross section of personalities, nationalities and flavours. It an awesome melting ground for forward thinkers and I can’t recall ever meeting someone and thinking “this is boring”.
It is the mecca for anyone serious about starting a food movement and is the world capital for vegetarianism and yoga.
I only discovered Ubud a few years ago but now it feel very familiar and very “home”.
Funky bars, incredible restaurants and lots of things to see, Ubud is worthy of a holiday. Just be careful of lady-boys on motor cycles. While visiting the first time, we were bailed up and jostled around by four lady boys. They fled when the guy I was with challenged them and I quickly realised what was happening. Fortunately they took off. I went from thinking “this is a funny situation, ugly girls stopping to offer us directions..” to “OMG these girls are guys and they are trying to rob me!”
These are five things you must do when visiting Ubud
Rafting in Ubud
Located on the gentle lush river, the Ayung River, along side Ubud, are many opportunities to take a raft down the river.
When I rafted down the river it was January and the experience was very gentle and relaxing. Rafting is cool. I have been doing it most of my life and worked as a quasi guide in my 20s. This river is soft, calm and quite serene. There are some very funky carvings half way down, a few nice drop falls and some opportunities to stand like a goddess and wash away your sins.
Rafting is always the perfect anecdote and cleanse for a dirty, normal, stressful modern day existence. Give it a go!
These guys have reasonable prices and you will find most of the companies are all similar. Most of them offer a swim mid river, a snack break and a few photo opportunities.
Monkey Forest Ubud
I am not a big fan of monkeys, as they can be unpredictable, cheeky and bordering on being aggressive. They can grab items from you (sunglasses, watches, wallets, etc) never to be seen again. The other thing to watch with these dear little critters is rabies.
I was bitten a few visits back but didn’t have it seen too. Now I would. Now I how prevalent rabies is in Bali I wouldn’t mess around. If they bite you (and trust me every day someone does get bitten), go to a medical centre or hospital and get the jab.
Now that I have slammed the monkey, I will confess that they are cute to watch and Bali has a few monkey forests and reserves. The one near Ubud is called the Monkey Forest and has a few temples to explore. Worth a visit as most people will know it and will have been there if in Ubud…
Everyone will be able to direct you to the Monkey Palace.
Lunch in a Rice Paddy
There is something very “UBUD” about having lunch or dinner in a rice paddy.
There are many places in which you can do this but my favourite; Three Monkeys Cafe.
I go here every time I am in town and haven’t had a bad meal yet. The staff are great, the food is devine and I even love the toilet! Check it out if you are in town and try one of their fish dishes.
Chakra Water Falls
Pura Tirta EmpulThese sacred falls are beautiful and simultaneously cleansing. The correct name is Pura Tirta Empul. Pura means temple and this place is destination for Hindus so very busy.
Once there you have to don a sarong and the idea is to pass under each of the fountains in each of the pools. You can dip, dodge dive… sorry couldn’t help that. It’s best to dip under each one… just follow everyone else around you.
Under each fall make a wish, let go of something that has been bugging you and move yourself to closer enlightenment. Hindus believe in Kharma and this is the place to ask for forgiveness.
Nung Nung Waterfall
Not many people venture to this waterfall but they should! The falls are about 50 minutes from Ubud.
It’s a steep descent down and a rewarding waterfall at the end where you can swim, chill and reflect. I loved it and definitely felt something spiritual shift inside me.
The falls are about 70 metres high and project a big swell and nice mist. It’s all pretty safe.
When you walk down try to notice the cut bark on the trees. These trees are cinnamon trees and you can literally slice a bit off and chew. Cinnamon is now being researched for it blood sugar balancing properties and use in obesity. Me… I just love the taste.
Find this place, take your swimmers and enjoy the peace.
Have fun in Ubud!
There are so many things to do, elephant walks, chocolate farm trips… But these are may favourites so far.