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Things to see and do

  • How to make the most of the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival
    4 stars

    The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival is one of Southeast Asia’s most popular literary events. The festival is usually held in October, and in 2015 it kicks off October 28 and runs till November 1. Here are our suggestions for getting the most out of it. ... read more

  • Big Tree Farms Headquarters/Bamboo Chocolate Factory
    3.5 stars

    Bali‘s Big Tree Farms has been around since 2000, starting small but then developing into one of Indonesia’s top growers of sustainable produce ... read more

  • Balinese dance in Ubud
    3.5 stars

    Maybe I’m just getting older, but while I used to find Thai and Cambodian traditional dance dull when I lived in the countries that produced the style, I find myself these days enjoying the slightly less staid Balinese dance ... read more

  • John Hardy workshop
    3.5 stars

    You’re thinking jewellery, ka-ching, can’t afford to buy jewellery in Bali, bananas, are you crazy? But this isn’t really about buying, necessarily ... read more

  • Ubud in a day, the lazy way
    3.5 stars

    This isn't a piece about seeing all the sights around Ubud at a cracking pace, but rather about suggesting some tips on doing what one can really do best in Ubud: chill out, eat, relax, eat, take it easy, eat, hang out… eat — you get the picture. ... read more

  • Yoga in Ubud
    3.5 stars

    When you say Ubud, some people may think “Yoga!” — or, even, “Hippies!” — yet the offerings may not be quite as extensive as the tourist-town’s reputation would have you expect ... read more

  • A Fivelements afternoon
    3.5 stars

    There was a stuff up the other day when I headed to Fivelements outside Ubud for what was supposed to be a very special treat for myself and my four-year-old daughter: a spa treatment, an afternoon tea and a puppet show ... read more

  • Cheapie spas in Ubud
    4 stars

    All this hard travelling got you down? No better way to recharge those batteries than by indulging in an hour (or two) os massage. You deserve a break right? ... read more

  • Ubud Monkey Forest
    4 stars

    The shaded Monkey Forest in Ubud is a pleasant place to stroll around to observe the hundreds of cheeky monkeys who live here -- beware of simian thieves! The Monkey Forest is a highlight for many first-time visitors to Ubud, but personally, with a strong fear of monkeys, we much prefer the ... read more

  • Ubud market
    3.5 stars

    Ubud's central market featured in the Julia Roberts film Eat, Pray, Love and looked to be awash with tourist trinkets and souvenirs, but there's an entire other section of it that many miss. There's a basement level to the market that has all the grime you'll need for your authentic Ubudian ... read more

  • Threads of Life
    4.5 stars

    Threads of Life is a small Indonesian textile arts centre located half way down Jalan Kajeng, a 10-minute walk north of the Ubud market. The Centre commissions textile makers and basket weavers across Indonesia to support the continuation of local traditions and create an environment in which ... read more

  • Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA)
    4 stars

    The Agung Rai Museum of Art, otherwise known as the Arma Museum, was officially opened in 1996 to display the artwork collected by local man Agung Rai. The museum is made up of a series of buildings used for the display of a permanent collection of artwork, temporary exhibitions and as the venue of ... read more

  • Museum Puri Lukisan
    4 stars

    This museum is an absolute must for lovers of art and of some interest to everyone else as the artwork here provides a glimpse into life, culture and mythology as it was in Bali prior to World War II. The museum is the oldest art museum in Ubud and has three pavilions dedicated to pre-war art, ... read more

  • Pondok Pekak
    4 stars

    Pondok Pekak was originally set up as an adult lending library in 1995 and now boasts a collection of more than 10,000 books in more than ten languages. The library lives on and for an annual fee of 250,000 rupiah you can borrow an unlimited number of books. As the library has grown, so have the ... read more

  • Rio Helmi Photo Gallery
    4 stars

    Rio Helmi is a world-renowned professional photographer who in 1978 moved to Bali and commenced a career photographing sites and events around the globe. Helmi now has a gallery displaying his best works in a side street in Ubud, located about 100m north of Ibu Oka on Jalan Suweta on the left side ... read more

  • The Blanco Renaissance Cultural Museum
    3.5 stars

    About 1km west of the Ubud market is the Blanco Renaissance Cultural Museum, a collection of works by the Spanish artist Antonio Blanco who lived in Ubud until his death in 1999. After consuming your complimentary drink on arrival, you are greeted by an enormous marble gate in the shape of the ... read more

  • Neka Art Museum
    3.5 stars

    Created in 1976, the Neka Art Museum is a big property housing numerous pavilions displaying all types of Balinese art from the late 1800s to present. The museum is extremely popular with tour groups and you will often see hordes descend and disappear as quickly as they arrived. If you can fit ... read more

  • The Yoga Barn
    4 stars

    As well as being the cultural heart of Bali, Ubud also claims to be the spiritual heart and for years has attracted visitors interested in energetic healing, massage and yoga. Yoga Barn is one of the most popular venues. Located at the southern end of Ubud, the Yoga Barn has drop-in classes ... read more

  • Cooking schools
    4 stars

    A way for many visitors to a country to connect with the people is through food and Ubud offers a range of cooking schools for you to take a piece of Bali back home with you. The most popular cooking school in town is operated by Janet de Neefe's Casa Luna on Jalan Raya Ubud. It's been operating a ... read more

  • Dance performance
    4 stars

    A great way to immerse oneself in the culture of Ubud is to attend one of the many dance performances that take place every night of the week around town. The most popular dance performance is held in the Ubud Palace and is usually in the Legong and/or Barong styles. These are stunning performances ... read more

  • Shadow puppet performance
    4 stars

    Shadow puppet performance is an important ceremonial art form and is rarely undertaken in local villages due to the expense of hiring a dalang, the expert puppeteer. However, this intriguing performance is possible to view three times per week at the Oka Kartini Bungalows on Jalan Raya Ubud, just ... read more

  • Goa Gajah
    3.5 stars

    The incredibly popular Goa Gajah is both a place of archaeological and cultural significance to the people of Bali and was first reported to the West by the Dutch colonial powers in 1923. Dating from the 10th or 11th century, this complex contains a cave, a couple of temples, some ancient bathing ... read more

  • Yeh Pulu
    3 stars

    Yeh Puluh is less than 1km further east of Goa Gajah and receives very few visitors compared to its big brother. It's a 20m long and 2m high cliff face reputedly carved in the 14th century with some immediately recognisable figures such as horses and people working, and then some other figures that ... read more

  • Gunung Kawi
    3.5 stars

    A popular tourist attraction in the Ubud area is the 11th century Gunung Kawi, 15km north of town. The reason for visiting is to see the 10 impressive shrines which are carved into the enormous rock face. The punishing walk down the steps towards the river and the shrines takes you past the usual ... read more

  • Tirta Empul
    3 stars

    Tirta Empul is the site of Bali's holiest spring. Located in Tampaksiring 18km north of Ubud, the waters from the spring are believed to cure a range of ailments and help with bad dreams. Upon entering the complex, you'll notice two crystal clear bathing pools which are used by local people for ... read more

  • Sangeh Monkey Forest
    4 stars

    Situated midway between Ubud and Tabanan, Sangeh Monkey Forest offers a short stroll through a lush forest which is home to hundreds of macaque monkeys. Quite an impressive scene if you can manage to do it without a guide or tour group around, you're surrounded by thirty metre tall trees that block ... read more

  • Hubud
    3.5 stars

    Hubud is a coworking space in Ubud which outlines some of the benefits of working there as including “Enhanced Motivation, Quality Networking, Accelerated Serendipity, Collective Brainpower, Social Stimulation and Modern Facilities”. Hubud is set on Monkey Forest Road, about 100 metres (not ... read more

  • Bali Zoo
    3.5 stars

    Bali Zoo is a pleasant way to spend half a day — we recommend that be the mornings, from 09:00 sharp, as it gets very crowded later. The enclosures for some animals do seem too small, but this zoo is pretty good by Asian standards, being reasonably well maintained and in the mornings, at least, ... read more

  • Bali Bird Park
    3.5 stars

    Bali Bird Park is a great half-day trip with kids, though as for the zoo, best to get in as early as possible to beat both the heat and the crowds. Check the timetable for various activities as soon as you arrive and plan around that — make sure you see the bird show as this is a definite ... read more

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