The town of Ubud has few sights within walking distance, and you’ll need some form of transport to get to the temples in the vicinity. The easiest option is to join a tour, or just charter a taxi/bemo for a few hours.
Visiting a Temple
Pura Desa Ubud. The main “town temple” in the centre, across from Ary’s Warung.
Pura Puseh. The “temple of origin” devoted to Ubud’s honoured ancestors. In Jalan Suweta.
Pura Dalem Ubud. The temple for the dark side of things. On the north side of Jalan Raya before the road descends to Campuan.
Pura Pamerajan Sari C. Agung. The private family temple of the Ubud royal family. On the east side of Jalan Suweta, a little north of the Palace.
Pura Taman Saraswati. Part of the Puri Saraswati complex, devoted to Dewi Saraswati the goddess of learning, literature and the arts, Features a fine padmasana (lotus throne). Beyond the lotus pond in the back of Cafe Lotus.
Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal. Another temple for the dark side, down by the monkey forest.
Pura Gunung Lebah. At the confluence of the east and west branches of the Wos River, below the Campuan bridge.
The odalans or temple anniversaries in Ubud and the surrounding area last well into the wee hours, with dance and music performances, lontar readings, socializing, food and gambling. Perhaps this could considered “nighlife”. There’s no alcohol, and you must dress strictly adat and behave yourself, though.
is now available in the village of Taro, twenty minutes north of Ubud. You can ride an elephant, then feed it and give it a bath. Open 9 to 4 every day, no reservations necessary, just show up in Taro with $27 and choose your mount.
The rivers around Ubud provide pleasant rafting conditions year round — with enough rapids to make the ride fun, but still mild enough for those who tend to be timid when it comes to whitewater. Rafting also provides an unrivalled way to check out the natural scenery, wildlife and exotic plants of Bali, while sitting happily on your rear end! And it’s a good way to cool off if the tropical heat gets oppressive. Call Sobek (Tel – 287059) , Ayung (Tel – 238759) or Bali Adventure Rafting (Tel – 721480) and they will take care of everything for you, including transportation, equipment and food. Your hotel can book rafting for you, if you don’t feel like phoning. Prices for a half day river trip are about US$60.
Botanic Garden, Kutuh Kaja, The recently opened Botanic Garden is a wonderful way to spend a few hours walking around and exploring the valley that it fills. It is best to go in the morning and avoid the afternoon heat.
Monkey Forest, south end of Jl. Monkey Forest; A forest full of ravenous monkeys, so don’t bring any food or risk bites and rabies injections. Stroll through to find Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal, a Temple of the Dead.
Museum Puri Lukisan (Museum of Fine Arts)
Museum Puri Lukisan (Museum of Fine Arts), Jl. Raya Ubud (spot the sign and cross the bridge to enter). Three buildings showcasing traditional and modern Balinese art. The displays are musty and English labeling is a little spotty, but some of the works, particularly the carvings, are quite amazing. Entrance Rp 20,000.
Bali Bird Walks are light-hearted explorations of the Ubud area, seeking ornithological oddities. The program was started by Victor Mason, a famous local character and the former publican at the Beggar’s Bush in Campuan. Please contact us early as advanced booking is essential! And if it’s plants your after we can call Lilir (t – 974865) to allow you to join a Bali Herb Walk, and learn about the many fragrant, edible and medicinal plants that surround you.
Shopping in Ubud
The influx of tourism in Ubud mixed with the proximity of so many artists has caused a great deal of unique boutiques and shops to open. Unlike the tacky, beach-tourist feeling of shopping in Kuta, Ubud provides a much more sophisticated experience.
Be sure to check out the Ganesha Bookstore, considered the best second-hand bookstore in Bali.
Local shops are filled with unique and beautiful crafts, art work, carvings, jewelery, and gifts to take back home. The sprawling, indoor Ubud Market caters mostly to tourists in search of cheap souvenirs. Be sure to haggle prices – negotiation is expected – or you may end up paying triple what something is worth.