Ubud, Bali

Everywhere you look in Ubud there are open air restaurants, bars, and cafes.  Ubud is considered the cultural hub of Bali, and is the place to visit if you want to experience traditional Balinese/Indonesian food, art, and yoga.  It is a fairly busy city with many, varying activities to offer travelers.  

DO wake up at 2:00 AM for the Mount Batur sunrise trek.  Your day starts with a full bus of tourists en route to a local shop for coffee/tea.  You’ll then drive to the base of Mount Batur where you’ll begin the two hour trek uphill by flashlight.  At the top, you’ll be greeted by a few monkeys and the most incredible panoramic sunrise over Lake Batur and Gunung Abung.  You can book this activity through most hotels/hostels or at the many tourist stands throughout town.  We suggest bringing a warm coat for the top of the mountain as it can get very windy and cold during sunrise. 

Take a yoga class (or 5) at The Yoga Barn.  One class is approx. $10 USD, but the cost was worth the authentic experience and beautiful studios.  The entire facility looks like a giant, sacred tree house.  Here you can also find a raw juice bar, food, and lounge areas.  

Spend a few hours swimming at the Tegenungan Waterfall.  There is a very small entry fee, and one large set of stairs you must walk down to reach the waterfall.  It's a fun place to picnic and take a swim.

Visit the Ubud Monkey Forest if you love monkeys, as they will literally climb all over you. Here you’ll also find banyan trees, temples, and a river.  If you're afraid of the monkeys but still want to see them, you can save the entrance fee and just quickly walk by. There are many monkeys on the main road outside the entrance, and they are a little less likely to climb on you.  Beware that both inside and outside the forest they will try to take your bags, purse, food, water bottles, etc.

Take a stroll along the Campuhan Ridge.  It’s a free activity and offers a nice view of the rice fields in the countryside of Ubud.  Go in the morning as there is no shade to cool you off.    

Take motorbikes to Tegalalang and walk through the rice terraces. This is great way to gain experience for beginners on the bikes as there is one main road with less traffic than most other places in the city.

EAT lunch or dinner during sunset at Sari Organik.  The fresh food is grown right across the street.  Note: There are two locations, but we highly recommend visiting the location overlooking the rice field.  (The correct location is: Warung Bodag Maliah - Subak Sok Wayah, Ubud.)   

Grab any meal at Atman Nourish Kafe for affordable, healthy options in an cute, airy location!

Splurge on a large, healthy meal at Watercress Cafe.  The decoration is as trendy as it gets and the rooftop seating area is lovely. 

Enjoy a working lunch or smoothie at Clear Cafe. The atmosphere is over the top (in a refreshing, sound of waterfalls, greenery everywhere kind of way) and the wifi is great!  Try the strawberry mylk shake and dragon bowl or the sunshine tuna with wasabi mashed potatoes.

DRINK anything while listening to live music at Laughing Buddha! Happy hour goes until 8 pm and there is live music 7 days/week with very talented musicians.  Get there a little early as it's popular and gets quite full.

A lot of places will offer happy hour anywhere from 3-9 pm. Drink specials can be bogo, buy 2 get 3, half price cocktails, even free wine with dinner. Which by the way, wine isn't easy to find here. You're much better off sticking to Bintang beer or cocktails.

STAY somewhere with AC and a pool if possible.  Rooms without AC can be quite warm/moist.  When visiting with friends, we rented this Airbnb Villa that was beautiful, centrally located, and open air.

We also stayed at Teba House and really enjoyed the tranquil property, delicious breakfast, close proximity to activities, and friendly staff.  Be sure to pay for a room with AC.  If you end up staying somewhere without a pool (such as Teba House) but would like to pay approx. $2 USD to use one, Ubud View Bungalows offer daily access and the pool is beautiful.  It is one block from Teba House.

In Da Lodge is a great hostel option with delicious/average priced food, and a great lounge/pool area with a view of the rice fields. The location is a little further from main areas (such as the Monkey Forest) but is worth the walk.  

SHOP for souvenirs and barter for clothes at the Ubud Market.  There is also a small area for food and spices here as well.

CRUISE most places near Ubud by foot or on motorbikes.  There aren’t may rules of the road other than to stay left, so be cautious when riding the motorbikes.  

KNOW to watch out for daily offerings (“canang sari”) on ground - you don't want to step on them or over them. And don't be surprised if there are small lizards on the walls inside buildings! 

Michelle Perenchio