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​An A to Z of Travel: Ubud

Maddy Faulkner by Maddy Faulkner

​An A to Z of Travel: Ubud

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Bali has recently become a thriving tourist spot, attracting visitors all over the globe each year. It’s easy to get lost amongst the tourist traps in this country - but, if you’re looking to immerse yourself in authentic Balinese culture, Ubud is the place to do it.

Ubud is a great place to base yourself if you’re heading to Bali. Rolling green hills, ancient temples and utter serenity are just some of the things that make this place incredibly special indeed.

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What to Do:

Ubud is renowned for being peaceful and serene. It’s no surprise that many venture there to practise yoga and learn local meditation techniques. There are many teaching centres offering classes to tourists at affordable rates. Don’t let the opportunity pass as there are few places in the world with such a picturesque setting where you can fully relax and unwind.

There are many temples scattered around Ubud, offering a glimpse into the history of Bali and its people. The Tirta Empul is a water temple which has been drawing people in to bathe in its refreshing blessed water for over a thousand years. Remember to be respectful of the culture and cover yourself with a sarong when visiting.

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Ubud’s Monkey Forest is a sanctuary where tourists can marvel at the cheeky macaques and explore hidden temples. Guides are on hand to provide info about the cultural and historical significance of the temples, and the conservation work that is undertaken there. They’ll also help you to retrieve any items stolen by the monkeys! Try to keep bags close to you and jewellery to a minimum to deter them from stealing your things.

The Tegalalang Rice Terrace is one of the most famous areas in Bali, only 20 minutes’ drive from the centre of Ubud. Spend time walking amongst the paddy fields, chat to locals who maintain them and obviously take plenty of pictures.

If shopping is your thing, visit Ubud’s Art Market for handcrafted, unique goods such as clothing, bags and accessories. It’s a great place to shop for souvenirs, too.

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Where to Eat:

Expect plenty of organic food, vegetarian and vegan cafes and juice shops in Bali. There’s a huge focus on good nourishment and locally grown produce. Earth Cafe is a cafe and wellness store offering acai bowls, raw snacks, smoothies and teas to name just a few. Expect colourful plates and plenty of nutrition!

Swept Away is a restaurant with a terrace just inches from the river in the forest. Enjoy a light lunch and refreshing cocktail and watch as the forest begins to light up with dazzling candles as the evening draws in. It makes for the perfect romantic date.

Where to Drink:

Ubud isn’t known for its raging nightlife like other islands such as Gili Trawangan. However, you can pick up an ice cold beer or a cocktail in a few intimate bars in the town centre.

Locals prefer to drink coffee and tea - Ubud is renowned for its thriving coffee scene. Visit Seniman Coffee Studio to watch friendly staff show you the in-house roasting process, crushing of beans and brewing. Enjoy a herbal tea, coconut coffee and more delicious drinks.

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Where to Stay:

Zen Hideaway is a collection of huts located in a traditional Balinese village about 20 minutes from the centre of Ubud. The rooms are nestled amongst the trees and are semi-open, allowing guests to truly be at one with their surroundings. Guests will find an impressive swing over Ayung River, offering views of the surrounding forest and a waterfall. From £202 per night.

The Stone House Hotel is a contemporary bed and breakfast hidden away from the bustling town centre. It’s a quiet sanctuary of only three villas filled with beautiful pieces of art and handmade furniture. There is a tranquil swimming pool and the in-house chef cooks all dishes to order. From £39 per night.

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