When it comes to Bali the opinions are quite splitted. Some of the people I’ve met were absolutely crazy about this island. Others had many doubts, like the one the island was quite neglected, despite it had an opinion of the paradise. Well, depands on what are your expectations, you will love it or hate it. For sure, it has an amazing marketing, so it’s hard to estimate if it’s worthy or not, until you won’t try to spend there some time.
I’ve spent a week in Ubud and I enjoyed it. There are many thigs you can do and I’m pretty sure that everybody will find something interesting. This is my list of must do in Ubud:
- Rice Fields
If you like to treck a little, and temperature and humidity don’t bother you, you will enjoy a Rice Field trip. Balinese fields are juicy green and look absolutely beautiful. Especially during the rainy season everything seems to be more green and abundant. If you spend some time on appreciation of the Balinese nature, you will also have an opportunity to see how local people work there to keep everything in order. Around the rice fields you can also find many places where rice is dried before selling.
- Monkey Forest
This place is a must. If you like a wildlife, like I do (and I like it a lot), you will spend a nice time there. Monkey Forest is just a few minutes from the center of Ubud. It is one of the most popular places, but if you go there in a lunchtime it won’t be very crowded.
The place is quite big, so you will have plenty of space for a nice walk around old temples and amazing jungle everywhere. You will find a dozens of monkeys all over the place. Click here to read more about Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary.
- Coffee plantation
I really like this place mostly because it has a nice garden where you can see how the tropical fruits grow (eg. pinapple – I’m always suprised that it looks more like a flower than like a tree), papaya or jackfruit. You can see all kinds of herbs and spices (vanilla, cinammon) and of course coffee. There is also a place where you can take part in coffee tasting (which is free). The biggest attraction is Luwak Kopi tasting, which is the most expensive coffee in the world.
- Holy springs
If you are interested in culture, I’m sure that this place will fascinate you. Holy springs are an important religious place for Balinese people. Tirtha Empul Temple is a Hindu Temple with sacred springs. The local people believe that taking a bath in a holy water melts all the bad influences in the body and purifies the soul and mind. All they long you can watch people who are waiting in a long lines to take a traditional shower. You are welcomed to try and do it as well.
- Balinese Dance Show
As an ex-dancer (I can’t believe that I called myslef like this :D) I am absolutely crazy about all kind of dance shows and performances. That’s why I just had to see at least one famous dance show in Bali. I’ve chosen The Fire Dance, which is probably the most popular show. It involves a group of singing men and dancing women as well as a fire show at the end. There was no music, only a group of man in different age singing for an hour, and it was very hipnotizing. My favourite part was deffinietly a ladies show – Balinese dancers were so delicate and beautiful and their make up was simply stunning. I really appreciated how much work they put to achieve such a perfection in every eye or hand movment. I absolutely loved it and I highly reccomend you to find a time for such a show!
I almost forgot about one of the nicest things on Bali – their SPAs. After a long day of travelling around Ubud, there is nothing better than having a professional Balinese massage or body scrub. It will relax and refresh you and what is the best – it is very cheap (for a traditional Balinese message in a beautiful and elegant SPA I paid only 15 USD). Definietly worthy!