March 28, 2011

Ubud, Bali.

Ubud is known to be the center of art in Bali. Museums and independent art studios and shops abound. It remains the cultural and spiritual center of this island. Dance is being performed almost every night and Hindu-Balinese ceremonies are performed here almost everyday during the summer months.

My friends and I rented an AUV and set off to Ubud on our last day in Bali (we flew back to Indonesia that same day). It took us about an hour to reach Ubud from Seminyak. It was an easy trip. We passed through picturesque little towns and we stopped by art studios along the way.

There are so many places to see in Ubud. Unfortunately, we barely had a day to spend. So we figured, we'll just try their babi guling and then go shopping.

Just beside the Ubud Tourist Information Center is Ubud Market. It is a two-storey maze filled with colorful arts and crafts, souvenir items, shirts, woven bags, and just about anything. My friends and I were able to buy pasalubongs which our families and friends loved.
Things to remember:
  • Bring enough cash. They do not accept credit cards.
  • Take care of your belongings. There are multitudes of people here.
  • Use your best bargaining skills. Haggle. :)
  • Tourist buses arrive from 11am-2pm, if you do not like the crowd, arrive early.
Things to do/ Places to see in Ubud
  • Before reaching Ubod, drop by Tagalalang Rice Terraces. We saw it on our way to Ubud. It is nothing like our Batad Rice Terraces, still, check it out.
  • Visit the museum and learn about traditional Balinese Art. Check out the Neka Art Museum, ARMA, Seniwati Art Gallery, Blanco Museum.
  • Visit the Ubud Monkey Forest.
  • Visit the Ubud Botanical Garden, a lush sanctuary located in the village of Kutuh Kajah. (8am - 6pm daily)
  • Check out Ubud Palace where the Ubud King lives with his family.
  • Try local delicacies and local restaurants. I have read many good reviews about Cafe Wayan over at Monkey Forest Road. Of course, do not miss Ibu Oka's Babi Guling.

Where to Stay in Ubud

There are so many hotels in Ubud and since we didn't stay there, I can't recommend one. Here's a list of hotels instead (with their addresses).

How to go to Ubud from Kuta or Seminyak

My friends and I rented an AUV and I think that it's the most practical thing to do especially if you want to go around Ubud when you get there. Most hotels can arrange your transportation for you.

There are many AUVs or mini vans for rent in Bali. I found this Bali Drivers link and you may want to check it out. But we have not tried their service, so I can't exactly say if they are good.

I certainly would love to visit Ubud again. My friends and I promised we would. There is an amazing creative and spiritual energy about this place that is so calming. I would love to linger here one day and just be consumed by its art and culture.

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Kolkata, India | Part Two.

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