Located in the uplands of Bali only 2 hours from the popular coastal resort, Ubud sits pretty amongst Bali’s most famous landscapes.
Most may recognise Ubud from Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ the picture however is a little different from that you will find when you arrive. Having built on the back of the tourism with the books popularity there now is much more than perceived in the movie, Not that this doesn’t better benefit the local communities it does mean you won’t fall off the beaten track as she does in the movie.
Having recently visited I wanted to share my top not to miss tips to show how you can get off the beaten track!
Tegenungan Village Waterfall
Located only a short drive from Ubud plan a day to visit the beautiful falls, As it is only a short drive and a small entry fee (10,000) plan a full day here to give you time to climb down and spend some time in the waters. Although a steep climb is is not as far as it appears! As we were on a day trip we only got long enough to visit for a photo stop however we’d of liked to spend a long morning there, Taking a slow walk back to the restaurants and stalls along the entrance and car park before we headed home.
Tirta Empul (Holy Spring Temple)
With so many great places to visit in Ubud a couple of days in the town will not go a miss! Tirta Empul or for the tourists known as the holy spring temple is a place where the local Hindus are able to self cleanse the mind and soul using the holy waters in the natural springs within the temple. It was super interesting to obverse each person ‘cleansing’ themselves and there was nowhere I felt as calm while I travelled in Bali.
Entrance was approx 15,000 per person and it does included a sarong hire (bring your own if you wish to use the cleansing pools)
Plan to spend a hour or two to enjoy all on offer, and to capture photos. There is some of the most beautiful architecture I’ve seen and I spent ages trying to capture the intricate details.
On a side note if you were looking to get some shopping done and knick-knack shopping done the market maze on your exit is the place to go! You can enter the markets without having entered the temples so if temples aren’t your thing check out the stores. They have the same produce as the markets in Ubud market but the ladies here see a lot less visitors in the same space of time so get less trade. I brought so much while I shopped I spent my daily budget within 15 mins.
Often seen blazoned across the front of the Bali guide books the rice terraces in Bali are unmissable. Only a very short drive from Ubud you enter into the small village set around the planting fields.
As one of the more recognised this unbelievably is located on the side of the main through road, Surrounded by shops and restaurants, It feels so out of place. When we travelled the fields had just been recently cut back so it wasn’t as spectacular as I’d seen in previous photos and it turns out had we arrived only a day before this wouldn’t be the case (ask your hotel and local drivers as they’ll be able to advise locally the last time it was cropped)
You must pay an entry fee when arriving in the village, and is a per car/motorcycle and less than £2. You then are free to scramble in the fields and capture as many photos as you would like.
Goa Gajah (Elephant Temple)
Located only 6kms from Ubud this beautiful carved cave is not to miss if you are looking to include some culture in your trip to Bali.
Somewhat misleading the Elephant temples name comes from the intricate carvings on the entrance into the medication cave. You can easily spend an hour or two and hire a local guide on arrival to talk you through the history of the temple and it’s historical purpose for the locals of Indonesia.
Entry is approx. 10,000 per person
If you are after shopping the markets surrounding the temple are a great place to grab a bargain. The stall holders get less trade here due to the lack of visitors so make the most of an afternoon and give your money into the local communities and grab your self a treat or two.
Please remember as when visiting any local religious sites and small communities to dress appropriately. This will mean ladies covering their arms and legs while in the vicinity. As the weather can get humid I recommend wearing a t-shirt with a pair of shorts and purchasing a sarong from the local traders to use as a wrap up and cover your legs.
All prices are quoted in local currency and based on an exchange rate correct at the time of posting. £1 is equal to 17,000 IDR