We began with the district of Ubud, otherwise known as the Art Village. Ubud is home to Bali’s most talented artists—here, art is life, not just a form of expression but also a livelihood.
One can be overwhelmed with the parade of artistry exhibited on every street. There are women hand-painting batik fabrics, craftsmen carving wood furniture with precision, local painters doing free-hand artwork on canvas, artists creating silver jewelry, painting kites or making masks: these are the daily routines of Ubud residents.
Ubud is also central to eminent yoga schools and is home to the Green School, which aims to give its international and Balinese student body a “natural, holistic” education.
Tourists who fancy this area have a penchant for meditation, tradition and the arts. The town itself, aside from its innumerable museums and workshops, is lined with temples honoring the gods of Balinese Hinduism. As an added bonus, there’s always slight scent of incense in the air.
Where We Stayed
KajaNe Mua was perfect! A friend of ours recommended KajaNe when we were looking for a villa in Ubud. We did a little research and the reviews were all glowing. We had high expectations of the place, and were not disappointed.
Located strategically on Monkey Forest road, it is opposite a mini mart. There are restaurants, shops and spas along the road. Everything is within walking distance, including the Ubud market which is a shopping haven! They even offer free shuttle services around the area.
Where We Ate
- Warung Babi Guling – Babi Guling is a specialty of Bali, consisting of roasted suckling pig, its very crisp skin, deep fried pork, coconut salad, rice, and sausage. It is divine and so rich. Mix everything together for the perfect bite. If you’re still hungry, order the Separate, which comes with a side pork soup which is also so good. If you want just the plate, get the Complete without soup. The service is quick and friendly.
- Naughty Nuri’s – Come in comfortably, airy clothing as the place is a warung – it’s very small and is al fresco by the side of the road. Though humble, the food is excellent. We loved how they grilled the ribs in front if their warung – we smelled of BBQ after but it was enticing. The ribs were marinated in their signature BBQ sauce.They also have burger, steak, nasi goreng, and sausages on the menu.
- Bebek Bengil Dirty Duck Diner – The restaurant served reasonably priced duck that was very crispy! However, the staff was slightly inattentive, though that wasn’t much of a problem because the environment was really relaxed and chilled out.
Activities in Ubud
- Casa Luna Cooking School – Some of us opted to do something flavorful. The Casa Luna Cooking School was a great way to learn fascinating insights into Balinese life, beliefs and culture through learning about its food, cooking and culinary myths. Class discussions were relaxed and friendly while held in the elegant grounds of the Second Honeymoon Guesthouse. They included specific references to the role of food in Balinese society, its ceremonial use and religious importance.We learned about the exotic herbs and spices used in ceremonial and everyday Balinese dishes and were encouraged to actively help prepare our lavish Balinese feast to be enjoyed with a glass or two of the local rice wine or homemade hibiscus tea.
- Yoga Barn – Being the Yoga fanatic Rone is nowadays, she had to set a date for this – with or without casual company. That was a serious morning of good practice in SE Asia’s full service yoga studio, holistic healing retreat center.
- Spa – Ubud has a myriad of spa and massage salons that will make you feel relaxed. A treatment can be anything from half an hour to a week program including fasting and natural juice drinking.We didn’t have to look far in Ubud to find a spa and massage place because it’s available everywhere unless you’re very particular about the views and products used. We came across a simple one beside Casa Luna called Lily Spa – it was nothing classy but it served the purpose that afternoon. Some of us even had a manicure and pedicure after.
- Monkey Forest – The Monkey Forest is the home of a group of Balinese long-tailed macaques.They are not shy, so hold on to your belongings .Apart from the monkeys you’ll also find three temples within the forest, including Pura Dalem Agung (the temple of death) which has some interesting carvings.
- Kecak Fire & Trance Dance – The Kecak Dance is the traditional Balinese dance which narrates the small parts of Hindu mythological story of Ramayana. The show is generally held in the Evenings and lasts for almost an hour . The performers are local people. The show cost us around 175,000 IDR each. The humming sound and the graceful dance made it worth while. Arrive early to get the best views.
What better way to maneuver your way around Ubud’s shopping havens by coming prepared with this article. The Art wasn’t really to our palette but it was certainly worth a check out. We were partial to the beach and loungewear, as well as accessories.
Hoard while you can because the prices for the same products were cheaper than those featured in Seminyak.