More information  

Pondok Pekak Library and Learning Centre

Our rating:

Ubud is lauded as Bali’s cultural centre to the point of cliché, but what’s culture without books? This was the thought of expat Laurie Billington (1958-2009) when she and her Balinese husband Made Sumendra set up Pondok Pekak Library and Learning Centre in 1995.

Travel better, travel smarter

Save money, receive our latest updates and get the most out of your travels.


As a lover of books since she was “old enough to chew on them” she was dismayed that most Balinese had almost no access to books, as well as being starved for reading matter herself and so the idea of starting a library was born. Implementing a “Robin Hood” approach to fundraising enabled them to buy a small selection of Indonesian children’s books and they began networking with local schools. Kids were thrilled they could read for free, and the crowds began to arrive. Podok Pekak is tucked away on the edge of the football field in central Ubud where Made continues to keep Laurie’s legacy alive.

Not your typical library. Photo taken in or around Pondok Pekak Library and Learning Centre, Ubud, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Not your typical library. Photo: Sally Arnold

As the “victims” in this Robin Hood tale, travellers have access to a terrific local library and a variety of classes for a small fee. We love the smell of an old book, even in this day of downloads and e-book convenience and Pondok Pekak’s lending library is a delightful treasure trove full of page-turning bestsellers in several languages, an extensive non-fiction section with many guide books and rare and esoteric volumes on Indonesian and Balinese culture. More than books, you can even borrow tarot cards (it is Ubud after all).

Read for free in their upstairs “reading sanctuary” (although it was under renovation when we dropped in) — they have free WiFi too, or join to borrow books and read all you can for 50,000 rupiah per month (or 250,000 rupiah per year). You can also rent books for 2,000 rupiah per day (minimum three days). All memberships and rentals require a refundable deposit. Considering it’s hard to find a secondhand book in Ubud for under 50,000 rupiah, we think it’s a ... Travelfish members only (Around 500 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

Don’t miss the boat!

Please subscribe to to read the rest of this article, or log in here.

Subscribing to Travelfish costs A$35 per year and it gets you access to more than 200 downloadable guides to specific destinations, fabulous discount coupons and 50% off our personalised travel planning service. Sign up here.


Pondok Pekak Library and Learning Centre
Across the football field from Jalan Monkey Forest. Entry via the laneway off Jalan Dewi Sita
Daily 09:00–17:00
T: (0361) 976 194
Admission: Free

Location map for Pondok Pekak Library and Learning Centre

Popular attractions in Ubud

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Ubud.

Best places to stay in Ubud

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Ubud.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Ubud.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Ubud.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Ubud.
 Read up on how to get to Ubud.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Ubud? Please read this.
 Browse the web securely while travelling with TunnelBear. Try with a 7–day free trial.

See below for more sights and activities in Ubud that are listed on

Top of page

Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Ubud? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Indonesia.

Top of page