I get asked all the time what you can do in Ubud…
‘isn’t it all just rice paddies and healing centres?’
Short answer, NO. There is NO END of things you can do to occupy your time up here, and here are some of my personal favourites.
Experience the REAL Bali (no Bintang Bogans in sight, promise…). Try:
- a traditional Hindu water temple blessing at Tirta Empul (the holiest springs in Bali),
- a photographic tour with Nyoman Silver Abe Do of Hidden Corner of Ubud,
- a wander through the rice paddies,
- the local day and night markets for an assault to your senses,
- a mountain bike trek,
- a herbal medicine jungle walk, and a natural medicine making class with Nadis Herbal,
- hooning around on a scooter,
- a cooking class (so many to choose from, the one at Cafe Wayan Restaurant and Bakery is awesome!),
- a jewellery making class (I did one at Studio Perak and LOVED it),
- a batik class (#12 Jalan Hanoman) with Nyoman Warta, or
- a ridge walk, high above the Campuhan Valley.
Fancy a bit of self care perhaps?
- The Pyramids of Chi for a sound healing that will leave you feeling like you don’t have a care in the world! I’ve witnessed friends go through some profound experiences in those pyramids and go there on a regular basis for relaxation and nourishing food at their cafe that looks over tranquil rice fields.
- SKIN for an organic manicure or pedicure – go the ‘Complete’ option for the full 18 step process – divine! (for less than the cost of an average bottle of wine),
- Karsa Spa for a full day spa experience (the works, 4 hours, under $50…),
- Ubud Wellness for a lomi lomi massage you’ll get addicted to
- Taman Hati for a yoga class held in a local ashram, by the son of a Balinese high priest,
- a range of other health treatments like massage, sound healing, colonics, or acupuncture,
- Campuhan Hotel and Spa for a day spa filled with stone carvings, overlooking a river, and looking out over a temple, where you alternate between a warm spa, cold bath, sauna and steam room.
- Taksu has a range of health treatments and healers; if you’re considering seeing a traditional Balinese healer, please read these articles first:
- A brilliant article about how seeing a healer in Bali has become ‘just another tourist thing to check off your list’, well worth a read: https://www.baliadvertiser.biz/magic-for-sale/
- An explanation of what traditional healers do, and a list of healers you can contact directly:
Don’t get me started on the restaurants…
For local food, you can’t go past:
- Abe Do Organic Warung on Jalan Tirta Tawar, for salads and juices that will have you rethinking any fried food temptations (try their Chicken Salad OMG).
- Green Kubu in Tegallalang; you can’t get better than this place for an amazing array of honest to goodness local food in a stunning setting out in the rice fields (and they’ve got an awesome swing too!),
- Made Becik Warung on Jalan Tirta Tawar for the best grill in Ubud
- Cafe Wayan Restaurant and Bakery on Monkey Forrest Road for the most phenomenal crispy duck and a Nasi Campur that ticks all the boxes
- Rama’s in Nyuh Kuning is legendary for her Nasi Campur
- Puteri Minang on Jalan Raya Ubud for the best Padang food in Ubud (lots of vegetarian and vegan options which is rare!)
- Biah Biah on Jalan Goutama for awesome tapas style Balinese and Indonesian food. Bliss.
There are loads of phenomenal local restaurants that do simple, good Indonesian food but below are my pick when it comes to other cuisines:
- Roots Restaurant in Penestanan for the best Korean food in Ubud (and the most phenomenal burgers on their Sunday night special!)
- Taco Casa in Pengosekan for some seriously fresh Mexican food, or
- Mamma Mia just next door if you’re hankering for some Italian
- Clear Cafe on Hanoman has the most phenomenal cashew nut milkshakes I’ve ever come across and their raw desserts are mind blowing
- Pica South American Kitchen on Jalan Dewisita for Chilean food that is as authentic as it gets
- Bridges or Locavore – if you’re after some seriously next level cuisine, try just google them. Degustation, very high quality, good wine. I’ll say no more.
I could keep writing all day but if you get through this lot, leave a comment and I’ll add to the list! (pictured below is Nasi Campur from Rama’s)
Feel like being a tourist?
There are lots of opportunities to go:
- (window) shopping for clothes, jewellery, knick-knacks, furnishings, – Andong is best for warehouse style household goods, and Hanoman, Dewisita and Monkey Forest roads are best for shoes, clothes and bags.
- out for live music, dinner and a bit of a boogy, (XL is my favourite bar, on a Wednesday and Friday night the best 4 piece band in Ubud plays a selection of completely chilled covers – WOOT!)
- for a wander through the Monkey Forest or up to the Tegalalang Rice Terraces, or if you’re thoroughly bored by all these suggestions, you might be better off going…..
- down to Kuta or Seminyak (not my cup of tea in the slightest, but whatever floats your boat!)
What’s your favourite things to do in Ubud? Leave them in the comments below so I can go and check them out – and add them to the lists! Suksuma! (Thank you in Balinese).