Ubud – City Guide
I spent five days in Kuta, Indonesia, trying to figure why everyone liked Bali so much. It wasn’t until a few weeks later in my trip that I found myself in Ubud and falling in love with Bali. The pace of life here is a little slower than anywhere else I’ve ever been and it’s so refreshing. You can browse boutique lined streets, filled with local art and then slip away down an alley, where you’ll find sprawling views of rice paddy fields. The locals are friendly, warm and embracing. There’s a pretty big expat community here and it’s easy to see why people get hooked on Ubud; visit with caution.
Costs in Ubud
Accommodation in Ubud will vary, a lot – you can find great bargins here, but it’s also easy to find absolute luxury. Hostels are not very abundant in Indonesia – guesthouses are pretty affordable so there’s little need for a hostel. If you look down the lane-ways around Monkey Forest Road you’ll be able to find some basic accommodation for around 75,000-100,000 Rupiah ($8-10USD) per night. If you’ve got a little more money to spend, you can score a comfortable bungalow for 200,000 Rupiah. Hotel prices start at around $40USD and work their way, way up.
Transport - The best way to see Ubud is by foot, it’s pretty small and easily walkable. If you know how to ride a motorcycle or a scooter it is possible to rent one daily for around 50,000 Rupiah. Taxis are really affordable and fine for short journeys – you can go by meter or work on an agreed price, whichever you prefer. It’s possible to hire a driver with car for around 350,000 Rupiah for the whole day – if you split this between a few friends it is a really inexpensive way to travel.
Food – Ubud is a food lovers dream – some of the best meals I’ve ever had were in Ubud. If you’re interested in organic, raw or vegetarian food you will find a wide selection of options to tease your senses. In a fashionable, comfortable restaurant you can expect to pay 30-60,000 Rupiah($3-6.50) for a delicious, well presented main meal. It’s easy to find western style food around, but as usual it’s a little more expensive than eating locally. If you’re in need of something cheaper, head to the markets where you can pick up something cheap for a couple of thousand Rupiah.
Things To Do in Ubud
Slow down – It may seem like a silly suggestion, but you’re in one of the most relaxed tourist hotspots in the world. Take your time to notice and appreciate things. Spend a moment watching the Balinese women preparing her offerings for the Gods – this is a beautiful and delicate ritual. Wander around the gorgeous Art galleries and stores, admiring all the talent and culture on offer. Treat yourself to a spa experience, you are spoiled for choice, both in terms of places to find treatments and which to select.
Monkey Forest - Running through the centre of the town is this gorgeous forest, which is home to a grand temple and many little monkeys. It’s a lovely place to avoid the heat. There are a lot of monkeys and it is best to arrive earlier in the day, when they are less likely to be tired. I would advise against wearing any expensive jewelry or bringing food – they are quite curious. There are neat little statutes around that are worth visiting too. If you want to feed the monkeys you can buy a bunch of bananas for 20,000 Rupiah.
Rice Field Walk - There’s a small sign on Jalan Raya Ubud at Jalan Kajeng that says “rice field walk”. If you follow this sign, you’ll find yourself on a loop surrounded by waterways and rice paddy fields. You can buy fresh coconut juice, from locals who climb the trees to harvest them. The air is incredible, there is a little hill where the views are stunning. This is probably the side of Bali you were wanting to see and here it is. If you’re interested in seeing more you can find tours around the city of other walks you can do, some a little further out of town – but the location and ease of this walk makes it really appealing.
The Yoga Barn – Most people, for whatever reason or another, find themselves in Ubud to relax, recharge or to heal. It’s the perfect place to do some yoga, whether you’re experienced or a beginner. Set amongst terraced rice paddy fields The Yoga Barn offers numerous different classes and schedules. They’re all drop in, so you don’t have to worry about prebooking anything. There’s also a pretty decent Kafe here and the location is really something special.