Ubud- 5 reasons Why!
Why Ubud must be added in your Bali itinerary?
I will give you 5 reasons why!
A long time ago in Ubud the modern Balinese Art Movement started when artists expressed their interest and love towards Art, more than just religious themes.
- Neka Art Museum has an exquisite collection of Balinese Art. It is a great place to know and understand the history of Balinese Art and Culture. The place is a creation of Suteja Neka, a private collector and dealer in Balinese art. In the Balinese painting hall you can have a look at the myraiad local painting.
- Museum Puri Lukisan
Rudolf Bonnet, Cokorda Gede Agung Sukawati and Walter Spies set up this museum. This museum displays fine examples of all schools of Balinese art, and all are well labelled in English.
- Ubud Palace, located in the heart of Ubud is the palace and its temple- Puri Saren Agung. The building architecture is a pure example of art meets culture. It is still home to the royal familes. There are a lot of cultural and religious events that are held in the main area.
-Sacred Monkey Forest, is one of the most touristy thing sto do in Ubud. The Mandala Wisata Wanara Wana is a complex located in a dense jungle and houses three holy temples. It is majorly famous for the crowd of long tailed Balinese macaques. They may appear like innocent monkeys but can take away all your food and accessories.
- Pura Taman Saraswati, is a temple in honour of Devi Saraswati- the goddess of wisdom and art. The carvings in the temple are an offering to pay respect to the goddess and a true example of fine ancient art.
If you want to see Bali beyond tourism and party bars, Ubud is an appropriate destination for an inner spiritual journey. There are number of Yoga and Meditation centers that provide services to help you delve deeper into personal transformation experience.
- Melukat or Water Blessing is a cleansing process. The High Priestess chants and pours the holy water over head. It is a process of Aura cleansing that purifies body, mind and emotions. It helps people to remove negative energies and influences.
- Meditation is not a process but an experience. In a candle lit room with aromatic essence you develop a calmer sense erasing all stress. As said by Balinese ancients, there are places on earth powered with profound energy. Yeh Pulu is one of such places, carved in a cliff overlooking clear streams and rice terraces. You can enquire the locals to join a meditation session or retreat.
- There are number of therapies that you can explore for mental and physical stress release such as traditional acupuncture/acupressure, herbal message, home-made phytotheraphy etc. The therapies also include detoxification and immune boosing. Be careful while selecting your Spiritual Master Healer, as some can be fraud.
- At Tirta Empul- the ancient holy spring temple, people practice self-healing and purification. Here, you can meditate and pray among Balinese locals with the guidance of a priest, who will help you begin your ritual retreat. You will bathe in the water from one of eleven fountains to purify mind, body and soul. It is a very old and famous Balinese spiritual activity.
Ubud only gets prettier post sunset. Cafes and bars liveliness lights the streets of Ubud. It has a variety of entertainment for everyone, from cultural dance shows, to jam sessions and karaoke night. You can be as selective as you want, as there would be endless options to entertain yourself.
-Pura-Dalem: is an exquisite site to see a dance performance with flame lit carved stone backdrop and open sitting arrangement. It hosts number of art and culture shows that can be enjoyed with family.
-Agung Rai Museum of Art: If interested in art, it is the only place in Bali to see exceptional arts by influential German artist Walter Spies, alongside many more masterpieces. The museum is housed in several traditional buildings set in gardens with water coursing through channels.
It is usual to see local children practise Balinese dancing and during gamelan practice. There are regular Legong and Kecak performances and myriad cultural courses offered here.
- Uluwatu Kecak Dance: The site of Kecak Fire dance is exciting as well as enticing. Kecak dance in Ubud usually starts at 7pm. There are two famous places in Ubud to watch Ubud Kecak fire dance, and they are:
- Dalem Ubud Temple
- Padang Tegal Kaja Ubud
- Petulu is a village about 2.5kms north of Jl Raya Ubud. It is famous among wildlife lovers to see a large group of upto 20,000 big herons fly in the evening. The tour can be best enjoyed with bicycle ride. Nesting and egg laying begins in November, with the fledglings taking flight in March.
- Stand-up paddle-boarding lesson- a trendy new sport that has recently arrived in Bali from Hawaii. SUP is getting a lot more famous because of it’s an exciting water sport and is also a great cardiovascular training to keep in shape. There are few professional SUP trainers near Ubud. A lot of surfers come to Indonesia because of its clear water and smooth waves. To know more about SUP, you can check http://www.bali-standuppaddle.org/supschool.html
- Agung Rafting Ubud- happens a few kilometers away from Ubud village in Ayung River. It is a water sport that is very safe and can be enjoyed by everyone. Ayung White Water River is the longest river in Bali and is considered the best site for rafting. It crosses dense tropical forest where you can see a lot of wildlife and vast landscapes.
You can check the following link for details: https://www.raftingbali.net/ayung-rafting/
There is not one specific brand/store I can recommend in Ubud as I can’t recall names. But you will not find it difficult to shop in Ubud because of the variety of street shops, boutique stores and multi brand outlets. While I was street shopping, I could find rare home décor products at very cheap price. Also there was collection of bamboo accessories, which are also a hit in fashion right now.
For handicraft or art pieces, you can look at Ubud Art Market and Threads of life. And cool street style clothing you can hunt at Ubud Monkey Forest Road and Jalan Raya street shops.
To know more about my Indonesia trip, follow link: https://www.travelbugbytes.com/home/2018/1/13/indonesia-1-country-10-destinations-15-days
Cover Picture Courtesy: Nitish Waila https://www.instagram.com/nitishwaila/?hl=en