Exploring in and around Ubud

By Matt Tewhatu

Exploring in and around UbudA favourite with those from down under, Bali has really asserted itself as one of the best tourist destinations in south east Asia. And while the hustle and bustle of Seminyak and Kuta attract throngs of tourists, those looking for perhaps a more authentic experience literally head to the hills to Ubud, a quieter and more low-key region.

Nestled in the hills about an hours drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport, the main airport that services the region, Ubud’s serenity and the fact it’s tucked quite away from the quintessential tourist trails has seen it skyrocket in popularity. Not too familiar with it? Take a look at the destinations we recommend whilst on your personalised Bali holiday.

Visit some rice fields

Unlike other tourist trodden areas, Ubud is home to many working rice fields and the Tegallalang rice terrace is one of the most scenic paddies you’re likely to see on your travels. Situated on the side of a hill in the formation of a eye-please wave, visitors are afford a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding countryside as well as farmers working in the field.

Goa Gajah

Translated to English as the ‘elephant cave’, there have been various disputes about its age but rough estimates date it back to approximately the 11th century. Built for prayer and meditation, the cave has been built where the Petanu and Kali Pangkung rivers meet as the idea of mixing water is considered magical by the Balinese people. Though mostly Hindu there are other relics surrounding the cave that have significance in Buddhism.

Sacred Money Forest

Conserving the area based on the concept of Tri Hita Karana, the Sacred Monkey Forest is located in the village of Padangtegal and is home to three temples and around 600 long-tail Macaques monkeys. Very easy to get to, just off the main street of Ubud, it is not only a spiritual site but one used for research and conservation. 

Whilst many monkeys in south east Asia are said to carry a plethora of diseases, visitors are recommended to interact with them but do so very carefully.

Local Coffee Plantation

For visitors who worship coffee, this is a must visit as it is a real-life coffee plantation and is where coffee beans are roasted and brewed into incredible coffee with different flavours. With Bali being famous for being the producer of one of the world’s most expensive coffees, Luwak coffee or Kupi Luwak, it is definitely a sight worth visiting, particularly if you wish to gain more knowledge about how its created.