Ubud – for wellness, art and culture

Ubud, is an area about 1 – 1.5 hour from the hustle and bustle of Bali’s prime tourist destinations of Seminyak, Kuta and Legian. It is between the mountains and ocean in a forest location, known for its wellness retreats, cultural and artistic centres.

There’s always a swarm of tourists (the area made famous partly due to “eat, pray, love”) visiting ubud and as such you’ll find there’s plenty of yoga retreats, shops and bustling cafes. Tourists also enjoy visiting the nearby rice paddies and monkey forest.

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We did not stay overnight in Ubud, but there’s plenty of hotels, wellness retreats and villas if you choose from. We took a day trip with a driver, which is recommended if you’ve done your research and know where you want to go. Otherwise booked tours can often take you to an array of craft shops, to try and make a sale or two, which may not interest you. A private driver for ten hours should set you back about $500 000 rupiah (or AUD $50) for the car, driver and petrol. We made a list of where we wanted to visit and he took us there, waited and continued on.

Some places to visit

Handicraft markets

The markets are great to visit, with many stores selling basketry, batik (Indonesian print), ceramics and more

Seniman Coffee

Seniman Coffee is a speciality coffee and design studio selling a range of coffee. From espresso to iced lattes, you name it, they’ve got it. They even do cold brew, pour over, syphon and you can watch the masters at work. If you’re not sure what to have, there’s a coffee tasting platter to try. Seniman means artist and the baristas here are certainly that. Your coffee comes out with some beautiful latte art, water class and shortbread which was nice and buttery. We also tried a “Jamu shot”, which apparently can do numerous things like reduce inflammation, prevention of cancer and cholesterol. Wouldn’t that be good!

Take a sip of your coffee as you relax back on your rocking chair. There’s a free wifi and the staff are super nice too. It’s also a workshop and they sell products like coffee instruments, glasses and beans which they can grind for you.

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Yoga Barn

The yoga barn offers classes, workshops, retreats in a large serene environment, perfectly suited for you to find enlightenment and relax. With five studios catering to a range of levels, accomodation, cafe and spa, this is super popular in Ubud.

Tegalong rice terrace

This area is famous for tourists, flicking to the area for a walk around the beautifully lush green rice paddies, where local workers are busy on the crops. Walking higher than the paddies offers scenic pictures and the opportunity to ride a “giant swing”. It’s only a minimal entrance fee so bring small change, but lots of shops charge a small fee too, for a photo on their swing with the paddies behind. Take a walk through the paddies if you’re keen, just be prepared for for a decent walk and bring that insect repellent.

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Monkey forest

This is right in the heart of Ubud with over 700 monkeys and three temples. Only go if you’re not scared of animals, as they’re very confident monkeys here! It’s possible to buy bananas, but beware they’ll grab anything they think looks appealing from you including jewellery and sunglasses.

Tegenungun Waterfall

Another popular tourist destination for its scenic waterfall. Again, a small entrance fee and numerous cafes and shops around. Walk down the trail and see the cascading falls for a beautiful photo and enjoy the peaceful serenity.

Bebek Tebaksarik Resto

This Balinese restaurant is located in the heart of Ubud in a floating gazebo with a beautiful outlook of the rice fields. The decor is bright and colourful amongst bamboo furniture. Staff are exceptional and provide excellent service. The food is upmarket Indonesian food at reasonable prices and we enjoyed our lunch here. It’s populartlity is evidence alone of its quality. We had the driver take us but you can get a free shuttle bus from the Ubud area.

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In summary

Ubud is a lovely and super interesting place where you can enjoy art, eat, relax and find wellness. This list is really just touching at the surface, so enjoy our tips and read around before your visit.

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