What is so great about Ubud, Bali
Bali, an unassuming landmass in a string of Indonesian islands, and simultaneously the crossover point for so many life paths making their journeys around this globe. People come in search of themselves and people come to get away from themselves. They come for cheap thrills and for the luxurious Bali villa experience. Where better to begin a voyage to such a magical destination than the beating heart of this fertile land, Ubud.
Ubud, in fact, is not one small town but rather a collection of fourteen villages in the uplands of Bali each with its own Banjar, or committee. Roughly 30,000 residents live in these villages amongst the thriving forests, rice paddies and local farms, not to mention the swaths of travellers who have heard the Ubud call.
The name Ubud comes from a traditional term for medicine as this location was known as a source of medicinal plants. It is an auspicious area due to its foundation by a Javanese Priest where the two rivers meet in Campuan and is therefore the destination for many a pilgrimage. This hub of traditional arts and spirituality has much to offer, even for the culturally unaware tourist. We’ve put together a snapshot of some classic Ubud experiences you can access from your very own Ubud villa.
From Jalan Raya Ubud, the main street, you can ride 5 minutes on a scooter out of the downtown area into the elevated, cooler village areas where fireflies flit about and chickens stroll through the backyard of your luxury Bali accommodation.
Or perhaps you choose an Ubud villa in the centre of town and enjoy seeing elders place daily offerings at the altars at the dawn of each day. Either way, visitors seem to agree that the best thing about Ubud is it’s abundance of healthy food, massages, yoga, and its access to beautiful mountains and natural landscapes. Let’s take a look.
Yoga studios in Ubud
Ubud is absolutely one of the most sought after yoga centres in the world. Here are two of the most popular studios.
Jalan Raya Pengosekan
This spot is definitely the most frequented. They offer all ranges of classes, meditation, kirtan singing, teacher trainings and have their very own juice bar and health food cafe. They run over 10 classes a day but be prepared for it to be busy! Some classes fit up to 60 people in their upstairs open-air studio.
This studio is slightly less crowded, with slightly fewer classes on offer, at similar price point. Classes are in Aussie/American style with faster paced vinyasa and modern music and tend to be for the more experienced student. It is located just near the popular Bali Buda restaurant.
Healthy food & healthy eating in Ubud
Possibly as a result of the yoga scene, Ubud has become a mecca for health food. There are a plethora of cafes with juices, superfood salads, macrobiotic menus and gluten free options. You can eat from $2-$20 a day depending on whether you choose local Indonesian or full Western feast at the trendiest spots.
Some of the local favourite dishes include: Nasi Goreng, Mie Goreng and Gado Gado which can all be made vegetarian and often come with Tempeh. All of these can be found at the local warungs or some of the western style places.
UBUD food delivery and Zomato can have your favourite meals delivered right to the door of your Ubud villa.
A couple local favourites to get you started:
This spot has a healthy, western-style menu with appropriately western-style prices to match. You can opt for raw desserts and organic smoothies or fresh cocktails and hamburgers.
Jalan Goutama Selatan
These guys are all about the high-quality, whole-food, organic diet experience. They offer an extensive menu as well as an accompanying shop to buy all of your conscious supplies to use at home or at your Ubud villa. They also host and organise many events related to conscious consumerism and veganism.
Massages in Ubud
If you stroll out of your luxury Bali villa and waltz into any local massage spa in town, you will likely be able to have a lovely, no-frills massage for under ten dollars. Ubud is known for its quality, full-body treatments and you can absolutely opt for the bells and whistles treatments if you’re that kind of traveller. Some services will even send a masseuse out to your villa!
Favourites spas from frequent Ubud visitors are:
This is the place for the true romantic Ubud experience. You can have anything from a flower-filled bath with a jasmine oil massage to a vegan turmeric scrub and clay mask. Make sure to book ahead of time as they do fill up.
Jalan Raya Ubud
These guys definitely aren’t the place to go for cheap and basic but many visitors have claimed it’s the best massage they’ve ever had. The rooms are clean and the products used are of the highest quality. They even set you up with a plate of local fruit and hot tea while you are in between treatments.
This wouldn’t be a post on Ubud without a few mentions of natural beauty and religious infusion. We could write a post a thousand pages long on this topic and it still wouldn’t cover all of the mystical musings available, so we’ve just included three to get you going.
This is the Holy Spring Water Temple where locals and tourists go for self-cleansing and religious ceremonies (pictured at the top of the article). You’ll need to bring a sarong for appropriate bathing etiquette.
Jalan Monkey Forest
This nature reserve is nearly in the downtown area and you can likely walk their from your Ubud villa. $5 will gain you entry to this Hindu temple cross monkey sanctuary. Monkeys often will climb on yours arms and even your head so make sure you don’t bring any food in that you don’t want stolen!
Campuhan Ridge Walk
Jalan Raya Campuhan
This is a popular paved, but very scenic, walk through picturesque forest and fertile jungle scenery rather than the usual rice paddy views. If you are leaving from your villa you can walk to the Ubud Traditional Markets on Jalan Raya Ubud. Leave by 7am to avoid the heat! It will take about two hours and it is advised to bring water.
So… what are you waiting for? Book your Bali villa and immerse yourself in the cultural heart of this auspicious land.
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