EAT, PRAY & LOVE IN UBUD
No vacation to Bali is complete without a trip to Ubud. The town is famously depicted in the 2010 romantic comedy film starring Julia Roberts, called Eat Pray Love. If you have ever seen the movie, you will remember her cycling through the rice paddies, walking down the streets and through the market, and meeting a Balinese medicine man in her search for harmony and balance.
Ubud is popular for an escape from the endless palm tree sandy beaches you will find on any Balinese vacation. It is a cultural heartland in Bali, offering tours of thriving rice patties, traditional Balinese dancing, ancient temples, spiritual and yoga retreats, bustling narrow street markets, and a forest filled with cute monkeys. Weather you plan on an extended stay retreat or a quick trip, no stay in Ubud is complete without a visit to the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Tegalalang Rice Terraces, and Ubud Street Markets.
Tegalalang Rice Terraces
The popular rice terrace region of Tegalalang is a quick scooter ride to the north of Ubub. It is an ancient terrace that still is actively producing rice today. In some regions locals have developed a visitor’s pathway through the terraces where they offer the special Luwak coffee, and other refreshments.
Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is home to roughly 600 monkeys belonging to 5 different families. Well established paths meander through the forest, passing by temples and monkey habitats. The monkeys are cute and friendly, but also can be known to snatch up your belongings, so keep a close watch. The sanctuary is in walking distance of the center of town and has an entrance fee of 50’000 Rupiah (roughly $5 USD) for an adult.
Ubud Street Markets
The street markets are everywhere in Ubud. Take a stroll down Ji Gootama and make a left of Ji Raya. There is a mix of restaurants and vendors throughout the region. It is also a great place to see a Balinese dance, or to get a massage. We highly recommend checking out the Clear Café, a very peaceful place if you are looking for a very tasty breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Travel & Accommodations in Ubud, Bali
Ubud is a one-hour taxi drive north from Denpasar (Ngurah Rai Airport), and costs around 200’000 Rupiah ($20 USD). Get around by walking, grabbing a taxi, and renting a bicycle or scooter. The Balinese like to negotiate the prices, so be sure to know rough pricing ahead of time. When renting a Taxi, we found using GO-JEK, an alternative to Uber, as a good aid for taxi pricing. Scooters are very cheap and can find day prices between 50’000 and 100’000 Rupiah ($5-$10 USD). Hotels are a bang for the buck but be careful not to go to cheap unless you are on a tight budget. When choosing a hotel, we recommend reading online reviews before making your decision.
Ubud is a must-see on a trip to Bali. We highly recommend you add it to your itinerary and experience the spiritual heartland of Bali. We recommend picking up a guide book such as Lonely Plant’s Bali Pocket Guide, and if you haven’t read the Eat, Pray, Love novel, bring it along to. In the novel, Elizabeth Gilbert, the American book’s author (main character) has spent 4 months in Italy, eating and enjoying her life (Eat). Then she heads to India for 3 months in search of her spirituality (Pray). Finally, she ends in Bali, looking for a balance of the two, when she falls in love with a Brazilian business man (Love).
Bon Voyage – Safe Travels