Best things to do in Ubud and sightseeing in Ubud
Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary - Ubud
This place is full of monkeys and yes, temples but mostly Monkeys. There are 3 temples inside and all of them are closed for tourists. Mostly people come here to see the monkeys in the forest and it is fun! Do not go in with bananas else the monkeys will climb on top of you. There are a lot of places in there where you would feel you are on the sets of Indiana Jones! A must visit in Ubud.
The lady at the inhouse first aid center told me all those monkeys had been vaccinated against rabies. Something I’d rather believe than doubt, especially after getting bitten (‘mildly’) by one while feeding it. She said those monkeys send about five people to the first aid center there everyday, and that day I happened to be among the select few. It was a tiny bite but getting clambered over by a ‘hangry’ screeching monkey is not everyone’s cup of tea, so if you do want to pay the monkeys a visit, you’ve been warned.
Ubud Palace - Ubud
All palaces in Ubud are similiar if you are a tourist like me. The architecture seemed the same to me. Ubud Palace was no exception. Right outside the Palace is the Ubud Market which is like a maze with 3 levels. You find everything from clothes to fruits and souvenirs. Steeply priced but feel no shame in bargaining and paying only 10% of the price marked.
MAS - Ubud
Goa Gajah - Ubud
This is a Hindu temple, and a popular tourist attraction. To get there, buy your ticket, and walk (run?) past the numerous vendors selling the usual range of tourist trinkets. Then descend some steps and you are in the temple area. There are numerous Hindu structures, figures and symbols, all in stone. What you are looking for is the entrance to the cave. This is immediately obvious, due to the large, demonic figure carved in and around the cave entrance. Walk in, take a little care as the floor is slippery, and you will come to a T junction a few metres in. At both ends of the T are lingam and yoni statues, and a statue of Ganesha. Feel free to take a photo, everyone else, including the locals does. You can take a short jungle hike on several paths leading from the temple.
Agung Rai Museum Of Art - Ubud
Nothing like a dimly lit lily pond to soothe the nerves. At a uniquely tradition-steeped resort called ARMA, short for Agung Rai Museum of Art. Legong dance lessons in progress at ARMA. Legong is a refined dance form characterized by intricate finger movements, complicated footwork, expressive gestures and facial expressions. Way more co-ordination than I can ever handle, while these graceful six-year-olds seem born into it. In the spirit of preserving culture, free lessons were on offer in the lobby of the museum.
Jati Home Stay - Ubud
Jati Homestay is right in the middle of Ubud. Almost all the places are just walking distance from this location. The people there are very friendly and everyday along with breakfast, the owner will come and sit with us and help us with our itinerary. They even arranged cars for us to go to Mount Batur Sunrise Trek and gave us tickets for the Kecak dance, all at the bare minimum expense.
Ubud Market - Ubud
This is a place you can purchase your souvenirs and reasonably priced clothes. You may realised after walking around for quite a bit, the items which each shop sells are quite similar. Therefore if you are eyeing on something that you would like to buy, please bargain bargain bargain! If the shopkeeper does not agree to the price you quote, just say "no" and walk away. Most of the time, the shopkeeper will give in because there is very fierce competition in terms of pricing.
Ibu Oka - Ubud
Perhaps, the most popular Balinese dish you could find while in Bali. Babi Guling or suckling pig is cooked with many spices and leaves inside the young pig’s stomach and roasted until the skin turns brown and crisp. Delicious! The most famous shop that serves babi guling would be Ibu Oka in Ubud, Bali
Blanco Museum - Ubud
This is an art gallery, which exhibits paintings of naked and topless Balinese women from a half century ago. Great. It is also a restaurant, cultural centre (Balinese dance), and is based around the work of the late Spanish artist Don Antonia Blanco. This guy arrived in Bali back in the 50s (Franco’s Spain), was given land by the local King, and proceeded to spend his life painting nude Balinese women. Now his home is a gallery. His paintings are certainly worth a visit, he could wield a brush, but no photography allowed.
Yeh Pulu - Ubud
This is a 15th century set of rock carvings, which can be reached on foot from the town, though it is a few kilometres. From the entrance, a long walk down, on sometimes broken steps, there and back is maybe 4kms. During my visit in January 2014 I was surprised by the absence of vendors, also by the lack of other visitors. This is not on the tourist trail.At the end of your mini-trek you will seen a ~50 metre long line of rock carvings on your left. These depict scenes from every day life, in the good old days. The carvings are worn, but clearly discernable. The principal feature is a statue of the Hindu god Ganesh. If you wish, you can make (after buying from a little old lady nearby) an offering here.Near the entrance is a good, small restaurant, the Yeh Pulu Cafe. Owned and managed by an enterprising Balinese woman. Both Yeh Pulu and the restaurant are recommended.