Ubud is like a tourism heaven. It has plenty things to offer. The amount of tourists visiting the city is very high in every season, especially during big holiday such as Christmas and New Year. Before you set your flight to Ubud, it might be better if you do a little research of tourism objects in Ubud, especially if your visit is just for a short period of time. This is because Ubud has so many objects to visit. To ease you up, we would like to recommend 8 attractive objects in Ubud for your reference. These objects are highly popular amongst tourist so we think you might enjoy it as well.
1. Balian : Traditional Spa and Wellness
What can make you relax better than a day spa and wellness treatment? If this is one of your favorite activities, then you must try this one out in Ubud. What makes it unique in Ubud, they do not use modern science and products. They have their very own traditional methods and approach. People who perform traditional spa and wellness treatment like this are called Balian.
Balian methods are mostly using local herbs and spiritual approach such as meditation and massage. Although very much traditional, this treatment really works. That is why many tourists would try it at least once if they visit Ubud. There are many Balians in Ubud. Some famous Balians are Ketut Arsana and Ketut Liyer with almost 25 years of experience. Ketut Liyer featured in Julia Roberts’ movie “Eat, Pray, and Love” as Julia’s balian. Since then, he became even more popular.
2. Wanara Wana Monkey Forest
Wanara Wana is a tourism located on the Monkey Forest Street. Just like its name, the forest is a habitat for more than 500 Ubud monkeys. The monkeys here are not as wild as the monkeys from Uluwatu but they are still easily attracted to foods and drinks. So you better be careful with the foods and drinks you are carrying. If they see it, they will snatch it away and quickly run away from you with it.
Inside the forest, there are several beautiful Puras (religious building for Hindu people to pray). Local people sometimes come there to pray. Besides that, there is also a sacred wellspring where people (mostly tourist) would say their wish and throw a coin.
3. Nyuh Kuning Village
Ubud is unique because of its culture and beautiful nature. To preserve this, the government of Bali purposely keeps some villages for being traditional still. One of these so-called villages is Nyuh Kuning Village in Ubud. The village is located behind Wanara Wana Monkey Forest and is quite far from developed modern tourism in Ubud. All the buildings there are built using traditional architecture and traditional wisdom.
To really enjoy the atmosphere, it is recommended to explore the village using a bike. You can ride on a small path between farms just like Julia Roberts did in her movie, “Eat, Pray, and Love”. You can also enjoy the local people’s hospitality as you are passing by.
Sometimes, you can even meet some monkeys wandering because their habitat is just right behind this village. For a long stay, there are several resorts and restaurants to accommodate you. All of them, of course, are architecturally designed to be as traditional as possible yet it is very exotic and comfortable to visit.
4. Ubud Art Market
No matter how short your visit to Ubud, shopping for souvenirs is a must-to-do. That is why you need to make a visit to Ubud Art Market. In the morning, this is just a normal traditional market where basic goods are sold. But sun goes up, the market transforms into an art market where local souvenirs and arts are mostly offered.
Located in Monkey Forest Street, Ubud Art Market is very close to several art producer villages such as Tegallalang, Pengosekan, and Payangan. Thus, the goods sold at this market could be really cheap. But, as every traditional market, bargaining is quite important here. If your bargaining skill is not good enough, you can get cheaper price by comparing the price of same item to several stalls. The whole market is so large and consists of two floor levels so you really have plenty of choices there.
5. Art Museums Everywhere
Besides culture and nature, Ubud is also famous for its art, especially paintings. Ubud has become the inspiration for famous artists in the world such as Affandi, Antonio Blanco, I Gusti Nyoman Lempad, and much more. Their masterpieces are mostly kept in Ubud because they mostly made it there. Thus, there are several museums in Ubud you can visit to see those stunning artworks.
There is Antonio Blanco Museum where all the paintings from famous maestro Antonio Blancois kept. Although he was Spanish, Blanco spent most of his painting life in Ubud. That is why he decided to build a museum in Ubud to keep all of his works. Antonio has passed away and the museum is now managed by his son who is also a painter, Mario Blanco.
Puri Lukisan Museum keeps a brief history of painting art development in Ubud. The museum shows how the traditional pattern is firstly made in Ubud, how the patterns slowly adapted to modern technique and style, and what kinds of painting style exist amongst the Ubud painters.
There is also Neka Art Museum which is owned by art collector Suteja Neka. The museum has various piece of art, including paintings. While most paintings are just to be showcased, there are also many paintings to sell. Some tourists like to visit this museum to buy one or two paintings home.
Puri Lukisan Museum is located on Ubud Avenue. Neka Art Museum is on Sanggihan Campuhan Road. Antonio Blanco Museum can be visited on Campuhan Street. Beside those museums, there is also Agung Rai Museum of Art on Pengosekan Street and Rudana Museum on Peliatan Street.
6. Rafting in Ayung River
While most cities in Bali offer beaches as their main tourism spots, Ubud is very different than that as Ubud is not located on coastal area. But you can still get an amazing water sport experience here in Ubud. Simply go to Ayung River and pump your adrenalin by doing rafting. Tips: Do not forget to bring waterproof camera to capture your rafting moments.
Ayung River is the biggest river in Bali. It is located about 4 km from Monkey Forest. The rafting path is about 9 km long and it will take about 3 hours for you to finish it. The wave is not so swift so it is very safe for non-advanced rafters.
Rafting in Ayung River is very different and unique because they have a long relief on the wall besides the river. So while you were rafting, you can also see the history of Ramayana through the one kilometers of huge relief at the sidewall.
7. Kecak Dance Performance
Bali is also famous for its traditional dance such as Kecak. Kecak dance is choreographed by famous Balinese traditional dancer, I Wayan Limbak. He adapted it from Hindunese Sanghyang ritual in 1930. The dance then is showcased on international art performance evens around the world.
Kecak Dance tells a story about Ramayana. The show takes about an hour to finish and is practiced by 50 to 150 men. There is no musical instrument used in this show. Instead, the performers are chanting “cak, cak, cak” in rhythm and unison. The dance consists of fire dance, Shanghyang Dedari rituals, and Shanghyang Jaran rituals besides the story-telling itself.
Ubud is like the center of Balinese art so it is not going to be difficult for you to find a Kecak Dance Performance. But we would like to recommend watching the show on Pura Dalem or Puri Agung Saren as they are well known for presenting breath-taking Kecak Dance Performance. The show starts at 07.00 PM and ends at 08.30 PM. The ticket for one Kecak Show is about $6.75.