Since my trip to Bali if you were to ask me what area should be on anyone’s bucket list it would be Ubud. A real spiritual oasis in the centre of Bali. This gorgeous area of Bali has become that of a sacred paradise for yoga lovers. Ubud however has so much to more to offer than simply a spiritual escape. From the Tegallalang Rice Terraces, cultural markets, temples, the monkey forest and the breathtaking waterfalls it’s set to a be a trip to remember.
We spent four full days in Ubud, and was definitely one of the highlights of our trip, there is no doubt the centre of Ubud can feel crowded and overwhelming at times but this hasn’t caused this beautiful area to lose it’s charm, and local Balinese tradition. Do as Julia Roberts did in Eat, Pray, Love and fall in love with Ubud.
How to get around Ubud
Ubud just like the rest of Bali, is best discovered by motorbike. But word of warning when it comes to driving in Bali. The island seems to have a no rules apply when it seems to driving, you will find locals driving on the pavements, three on a bike, and ever other rule breaker you can think of in a western country. The police are corrupt. And the scooter drivers are down right nuts!
We encountered the most amount of traffic on the roads in and around Ubud. Please remember to only rent a scooter if you feel capable of doing so and have ridden in the past. We saw so many tourists on the roads without helmets, please don’t be reckless wear a helmet and carry travel insurance. We rented our bikes from here. The average price we came across in Bali for a scooter rental was 60,000 IDR / £3.30 per day for 24 hours. Petrol can be purchased at the side of the road, you will see Vodka Absolute bottles filled with green liquid these can be purchased at 10,000 IDR / £0.50 per litre. Besides bikes I would definitely recommend downloading the apps GO-JEK and GRAB on your phone, we used these to cover longer distances between areas.
My top must do’s in and around Ubud
Ubud Monkey Forest
I’ve always had this weird fascination with monkeys, I can’t tell you why I just love them. Therefore I knew a trip to the Monkey Forest was a must. Not only is the Monkey Forest great to visit to see these cheeky little animals roam free, the forest itself is home to 115 different trees and wildlife and provides a perfect escape from the hot sun. The entrance fee is 80.000 IDR / £4.50
Please remember as much as they are cute, they are still wild animals. And during out trip we saw Monkeys snatch glasses straight off people’s faces. The monkey in the photo above, managed to open this guys bag and nearly steal his camera equipment. Luckily he only got away with a packet of Pringles. Please follow the park rules:
– Do not touch, grab, pet or tease the monkeys because of their unpredictable reaction.
– Do not hide any food (The monkeys WILL find it!)
– Do not look at the monkeys in the eye. This is interpreted as a sign of aggression
Tegallagan Rice Terraces
There’s no doubt you’ve probably seen these lush green rice fields all over Instagram. Tegallalang is Bali’s most popular tourist attraction. Therefore it can get very crowded during the day with tourist buses arriving just after 10am, so pro tip arrive early. We arrived just after sunset for 8am. The drive from our accommodation in Ubud took just over 15 minutes, we drove through a few markets with the locals buying their fresh produce and the sun rising through the trees. We read online that there’s a small entrance fee of around 10,000 IDR per person but as we were early there was no one there. You will get asked A LOT! for donations as you make your way round, and they can often become quite aggressive. I found this to be quite stressful but don’t let this put you off from the experience. Simply move away, and politely decline.
Bali is home to a range of stunning waterfalls, and many can be easily reached from Ubud. Some are completely free while others incurr a small entrance fee. We drove around an hour on our motorbikes to a few waterfalls, but another great option is to hire a private driver for the day. (Drop me a message on Instagram for our driver). Top waterfalls: Leke Leke, Nungnung Waterfall, Aling Aling Waterfall, Tegenungan Waterfall.
Campuhan Ridge Walk
A beautiful 2 km walk that’s completely free for everyone. I recommend you do this walk around sunset time, the temperature will be cooler and watch the sun go down between the trees. Sitting on the edge of this ridge walk watching the world go by, and imagining what wildlife is down below by the river is a beautiful experience. The walk is very popular among, tourists, and locals alike. You can find the walk pin pointed on google maps.
Sari Organik Walk
One of my all time favourite sunset walks in Bali. A much lesser known walk in Ubud in comparison to Campuhan. The path is surrounded by rice fields at either sides, restaurants and local communities. Make sure to say hello, to the cute ducks along the way. End your walk with a drink at Sari Organik at sunset, and walk back into Ubud for dinner.
Go Shopping at Ubud Market
Open everyday in central Ubud. Easy to find if strolling around or simply pop into your google maps. Visit early in the morning to avoid mass tourists, and scorching heat. Many of the locals offer early morning deals, as they believe their first purchase is good luck.
Check out Ubud’s best spots to eat here