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.

The Shambala Fields of Lost Paradise

Lost Paradise, the mind-blowing immersive festival experience held over New Year’s in the enchanted hinterland of Glenworth Valley, has announced its incredible three-day (29 December-1 January) Shambhala Fields programme line-up for 2018.

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With an ever-growing desire for a place for festivalgoers to nourish their mind, body and soul, Lost Paradise’s family-friendly Shambhala Fields programme curated by experienced yogi and doula Catriona Byrne, has doubled in size, and this year indugenous and cultural tent is a dedicated and for the very first time, a women’s only sanctuary. The stream-side oasis will showcase some of the most experienced and qualified teachers from around the world encouraging guests to guests to learn, unwind, and reconnect.

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YOGA & MEDITATION TENT:
Designed by award winning bamboo architects, Lucid will be the calming centre of Shambala Fields.  The space will feature highly regarded and respected international master yogis such as Mark Whitwell – conducting special sessions on how The New Feminine is a collaboration between men and women – and Simon Borg Olivier, who has been teaching for 35 years with masterclasses on spinal freedom, energy gathering, and accessing your unconscious. Renowned local yogis will also lead the program including Truth Robinson’s ‘Secrets of the San Bao’,the resounding heart workshop with Aimee Pedersen and Matt Omo which combines the practices of yoga and sound healing, and Hatha Yoga with Eliza Giles.   With benefits ranging from muscle relaxation, increased oxygen levels, and curing stress-related illnesses, guests can also take part in laughter yoga with Jeevi Ramtel aka the Laughing Chef for one of the funniest types of exercise at the festival.

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TALKS TENT:

The dedicated talks tent is a new area that will immerse guests in new ideas and conversations, challenging thought and inspiration, from neuroscience, and medicinal mushrooms, to urban farming, mental health, drug awareness, and inspiring stories from everyday people who have overcome the odds and made social change.

Dr. Kaushik Ram, a pioneer of research into the nervous system and who leads ground-breaking talks in Australia and across the globe (including TedX), will present his ‘Forbidden Intelligence’ talk, combining cutting edge neuroscience with the ancient intelligence of intuition. His session will challenge guests by blindfolding them and inviting them to trust their primitive instincts and unlock their natural abilities. Entomologist Tanya Latty will present a talk on how social insects such as bees and ants could help town

planners solve bottlenecks in city infrastructure and urban renewal.

There will also be a green panel talk, ‘Lost Paradise’s War on Waste’, opening up the conversation around waste and inspiring guests to be conscious of their footprint on the environment. Festival goers can ask

questions from a panel of experts including Jo Taranto and Corina Seeto from Good for the Hood (featured on ABC TV’s War on Waste), environmental scientists from ‘Green Music’, the ‘EARTH warriors’, and respected elder Phil Bligh who will speak on the topic of sustainability from an indigenous perspective.

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WORKSHOPS TENT:
The workshops tent will feature a range of intensive and enlightening activities that will engage the senses and give festival goers an opportunity to try something new – from belly dancing with Eve White, to drumming workshops with Soul Drummer, sound healing sessions by the Sydney Sufi ensemble, and hoola hooping. For those looking to get creative there will be drawing classes, live art and yoga sessions, cookery classes, spell crafting and forest bathing.

BOARDI INDIGENOUS AND CULTURAL TENT:

BOARDI, meaning ‘placing one’s feet in the earth in a meaningful way’ was the name chosen by the Darkinjung elders for the Indigenous space at Lost Paradise. The space is curated by respected elders Phil Bligh and Dave Beaumont with Shambhala curator Catriona Byrne, and is the spiritual centre of the festival which connects guests to the sacred land and history on which the festival is set. The BOARDI space will have ongoing activities all day, recreating an authentic community atmosphere with talks and and cultural workshops local aboriginal elders. They will be breaking down perceptions of the ‘one dimensional Aboriginal person’ and tackling issues of sustainability, mental health, and disconnection from community and environment from
an Indigenous perspective.   Darkinjung members will host a very special indigenous Opening Ceremony.   The rest of the festival ceases running at this time as a mark of respect, and guests are invited to walk ceremoniously from Shambhala Fields to the main stage for the welcoming. Lost Paradise are proud to work alongside the Darkinjung people, and over the past five years have been building and expanding on a joint vision of sharing culture in an authentic way.

HEALING ARTS SPACE AND THE RED TENT:
The healing arts space will feature creative practices promoting healing, wellness and personal change – massage, body work, psychic, tarot readings, witchcraft, reiki, sound and crystal healing and astrology readings. The red tent will be a first for Lost Paradise, a female sanctuary with a programme run by Jane Hardwick Collins from the School of Shamanic Woman Craft will include women’s circles, Shamanic drum journeys, wisdom of the cycles tutorials, craft activities, and holding space for women who are on their cycle.

HEALTH FOOD:
The hugely popular Holy Cow Chai Tent will be making its debut this year at Lost Paradise with its carnival-themed chill space specialising in edible sweet pleasures and breakfast bowls, alongside their iconic brewed Chai, coffee, super lattes and iced drinks.  Also for the first time, will be the Sacred Cacao Dome,  a geometric dome tent dedicated to cacao elixirs and ceremonies, guided meditation, a cacao party with curated music with different vibrations and beta waves to harmonise and balance guests. The organic cacao bar also provides delicious treats.

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Joseph Lloyd, Contributor
Photo Credits: Gabe Tiano, Jordan Munns, Nathan Bonnici, Tye Winer,

For all ticket and camping details and to purchase tickets visit: www.lostparadise.com.au
Second release 3-day tickets: $349 + bf
Second release 4-day tickets: $399 + bf
All tickets include a general camping spot.

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