Top Things to See & Do Ubud

Sit back, relax and watch the rice grow in Ubud, Bali.

The smell of burning incense, the constant drone of motorbikes and the huge warm smiles will have you relaxing in no time, however, if you need to be busy, look no further! Below is our top list of things to see and do.
Rice Fields, Ubud, Bali
Rice Fields, Ubud, Bali

Without any further adieu, here is our list of things to do in Ubud (in no particular order):

Jambe BudayaThe Barong & Kris Dance
A cultural highlight! The fight between good and evil – Balinese mythology with traditional dance and costumes
Time: 1 hour, 5 acts;   Cost: 100,000 per person / USD$6.75  /€6
Click the link above for more info and directions.

Barong Kris Dance Incredible Costumes - Bali
Barong Kris Dance Incredible Costumes

The Tegenungan Waterfall
Cost: 15,000 pp / USD$1  /€0.90
Busy place, beautiful waterfall

Tegenungan Waterfall, Ubud, Bali
Tegenungan Waterfall, Ubud, Bali

Tampaksiring (the town) or Pura Tirta Empul Temple – Holy Water Springs, Cost: IDR15,000 pp / USD$1  /€0.90
Be sure to take / wear your bathing suit (under your clothes)
Bathroom cost: IDR30,000 / USD$2  /€1.80
Sarong free – Must wear to enter
May not enter if menstruating
Long, winding exit through shops

Pura Tirta Empul Temple, Bali
Pura Tirta Empul Temple, Bali

Sacred Monkey Forest: Entrance 50,000 / USD$3.50  /€3
A wonderful walk through forest paths with monkeys everywhere.

Hang on Baby - Sacred Monkey Forest, Bali
Hang on Baby – Sacred Monkey Forest, Bali

Alas Harum Luwak Coffee & Swing: Free Entrance – you are given a wonderful tour of the facilities with information and tastings. Bonus: this is where you can go on one of those Instagram swing rides!
Super Extreme Swing (IDR200,000 / USD$13.50 / €12  for 15 “swings”), Extreme Swing (IDR150,000 / USD$10 / €9  for 15 “swings”) and Couple Swing (IDR300,000 / USD$20 / €18 for 15 “swings”)

Beans Roasting over an Open Fire - Coffee, Bali
Beans Roasting over an Open Fire

Eat & Drink: Of course, part of visiting a new place is trying local foods and drinks and Ubud is no exception. Try some traditional Bebek Betutu – Balinese duck, drink Bintang Beer and try a brew at Anomali Coffee – Cool vibe with a huge variety of coffees and teas including Single Origin; expensive yes, but worth a visit. For a list of places we ate, complete with our experience, visit my travel page > Indonesia > Ubud.

Bebek Betutu, Traditional Balinese Duck
Bebek Betutu, Traditional Balinese Duck

Stay: Your possibilities are almost endless! From hostels, to budget rooms to full luxury. The only deciding factor is your pocketbook. We stayed at the SenS Spa Hotel and can absolutely recommend it.

SenS Superior Room - Ubud, Bali
SenS Superior Room

Getting Around: Grab (similar to Uber) or Taxi; beware – at time of publication the taxi drivers were very angry people. We boycotted them (the taxis) based on one bad experience (overpriced, filthy old car with an unpleasant asshole driver). Grab cars are clean with very friendly drivers, at least in our experience)

We hired a man named Agung to drive us around; he actually made a 7 hour tour for us the one day at a very fair price. He drives a 7 passenger, air conditioned van and it was very comfortable. I recommend booking in advance as he keeps himself very busy!
His info – WhatsApp: 081236471884, Email: [email protected]

Sacred Monkey Forest

A sanctuary where Monkeys roam free and cause a little havoc!

Monkey and Statue, Bali
Monkey and Statue, Bali

The Sacred Monkey Forest is a definite attraction you don’t want to miss! At time of publication, the entrance fee is a mere IDR 50,000 which is approximately USD$3.50 or €3.00. The park without Monkeys already justify the cost, but with monkeys, well it is a whole lot more fun!

Entrance, Sacred Monkey Forest, Bali
Entrance, Sacred Monkey Forest, Bali

As you wander the immaculate paths of the forest, you spot the Balinese Long Tailed Monkeys everywhere! About 600 of these Macaques are roaming the grounds, protecting territories and being mischievous. 5 different groups rule the forest and sometimes, you will spot them fighting over territory.

Monkey See - Sacred Sanctuary, Bali
Monkey See – Sacred Sanctuary, Bali

When not swinging from tree to tree, they may try to steal your sunglasses, so beware and leave all valuables in your room. Do not feed these adorable animals – you may regret it. They could bite trying to get more. It is very important to follow ALL of the rules posted at the entrance, otherwise you may learn the hard way, and quite frankly, deserve it!

Baby with Parents - Sacred Monkey Forest
Baby with Parents – Sacred Monkey Forest

In addition to beautiful walking trails and monkeys, there are rivers, bridges, temples, statues and a cemetery in this sanctuary which is approximately 10 hectares or 27 acres. Sometimes, there are special shows, so always be sure to check the schedule if you are in the area.

A short Video:

Get There:

WebsiteMonkey Forest Ubud
Entrance Fee:  Adult IDR50,000 / USD$3.50 / €3.00 – Child IDR40,000
Opening Hours: 8:30 AM to 6 PM
Guidelines: General Recommendations

Barong Kris Dance, Bali

A spectacular, traditional Balinese cultural show of dance and music – the Jambe Budaya Barong & Kris Dance.

Barong Kris Dance Incredible Costumes - Bali
Barong Kris Dance Incredible Costumes

A mythological story of good vs. evil comes to life on stage. Just a short 20 minute drive from Ubud, this is a piece of culture you may want to include in your list of things to see and do while visiting Bali.

Evil is Conquered - Bali
Evil is Conquered

This Bali highlight, Budaya Barong and Kris Dance is one of those things you will either love or hate. Mixed reviews are across the internet. Simply put, if you do not like culture, why travel? Seriously, this is a unique piece of Bali mythology passed down for generations – since the 12th century!

Instrumental Ensemble, Barong Kris Dance - Bali
Instrumental Ensemble, Barong Kris Dance – Bali

Time: 1 hour /  5 acts
Cost: 100,000 IDR per person / USD$6.75 / €5.75

Get There:

An age old story of good vs. evil; Bali Mythology through dance.
This cultural Balinese highlight included the evil witch Rangda a demon queen fighing the good lion Barong. Who wins in the end?

The Barong Kris Dance plays out through 5 acts which come to a dramatic climax before calm is restored. Sometimes a little funny, sometimes intense, always colorful and magical. Balinese dance with traditional music and great acting by professionally trained actors. This is Bali culture at it’s finest!

Where can I see it? Jl. Pasekan, Batubulan Kangin, Sukawati, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80582, Indonesia
How long is it? Approximately one hour
Tel: (0361) 2770291
Opening Hours: 9:30 AM – call for show times

Canggu Bali – See Do Eat Drink

Simply because there is never enough info about this luscious area in the incredibly popular Bali.

What is it about Bali that makes everyone want to rush there and never leave?  Canggu was one of my personal favourite spots in Bali and although it is not everything the hype would make you believe, it is a great place.

Here is a general outline of our experience.  Please feel free to add your comments below.

Dubbed the quieter Kuta / Legian, Canggu is simply not as drunk, or I mean the tourists. The vibe here seems to be self important, I’m so pretty and do you know who I am. Heads turn the other way to avoid eye contact with non-conforming fellow travellers. Six packs, veganites, long hair, tattoos, beards, bikinis and the list goes on with the youthful beautiful wanderers.  Before you tie your? in a knot and starting posting nasty comments below, question whether this applies to you and if it does not, then it does not ?? !

This wandering arrogance is so disheartening when compared with the Balinese locals who are such friendly, outgoing people pleasers with true belief and understanding of karma – the very thing the tourist masses claim to be here for.

Definition of  karma: noun 1.(in Hinduism and Buddhism) the sum of a person's actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences. 2.Informal, destiny or fate, following as effect from cause.

At the bottom, I will post links to the places we ate, happy hours and where we stayed.  Again, if you have recommendations or favourite places, please post them in the comments for others to find.

Beaches:  The surf is up and this is the perfect opportunity to learn how to surf or to hone your skills.  The two main beaches in Canggu are Echo Beach and Old Man’s Beach.  Both were nice to visit and each has it’s own vibe. I personally liked Echo Beach a little more, but I really can’t point to anything specific to say why.  Is one better than the other for surfing?

The worst thing about Bali is the tourists. The best thing about Bali is the locals!

Laundry: It cost us 75,000 IDR / €5 for 2 bags and was washed, dried and pressed in 24 hours.  It was located basically right across the road from La Pan Nam.

Happy Hour really varies in meaning.  Sometimes it is 2 for 1, or it can be buy 3 get 1, or only beer, or only mojitos.  You get the idea what you get is as varied as the times it happens!  Let us know your favourite place and what they are offering.  Our Happy Hour experiences is linked below.

Grab Taxi Wars – this is a very real and big problem.  Our Grab app was not working when we wanted to return from Echo Beach, so we were forced to take a taxi. Our Grab to the Beach had cost 12,000 IDR / €0.71 / US$0.84; the Taxi wanted 60,000 IDR / €3.55 / US$4.20. We tried to barter, but they ALL insisted 60,000 IDR or walk. We agreed to their mafia structure and got in the cab. Not only did the cab stink, the driver asked again where to and we told him. He asked “where” again before we figured out he didn’t speak any English. Finally we fired up our phone and showed him where to go. We have never had any of those problems with Grab.  What is your experience?

Which brings us to Motorbike Rental.  Of course, after that experience, we decided to lower the risk and get our own transportation.  Super great way to get around and very affordable at 50,000 IDR / €3 / US$3.65 per day. Freedom!

We rented the bike from our Guesthouse, but we did see places renting all over.  Bring on your favourite rental places and prices in the comments!

Now you have the freedom to go where you want, but where do you go?  Just touring around can be fun.  Stop for a smoothie here a coffee there, check out the beaches and the surfers, take in the rice fields, but do not forget visit
Tanah Lot & Batu Balong, it really has a wow factor.  Again, I have the link below.

To sum it up, basically, the worst thing about Bali is the tourists. The best thing about Bali is the locals!

….⇒ Stay: Sleepy Gecko Guest House
    …..→Eat: Breakers Tavern 
    …..→Eat: La Pan Nam Warung Restaurant
    …..→Eat: My Wahrung
    …..→Eat: Wahrung D’ Pererenan
 …..→Drink: Where to Drink / Happy Hour
…..⇒ Go: Temples Tanah Lot & Batu Balong
…..⇒ Do: Top Fun Things to Do 

Location: Asia > SouthEast Asia > Indonesia > Bali Island > Badung > Canggu

Temples Tanah Lot and Batu Balong, Bali

The most Popular Must See Ancient Hindu Temple of Indonesia

Not just another great Instagram moment, Pura Tanah Lot on the famous rock formation of the same name (Tanah Lot) and Batu Balong are something you do not want to miss if visiting Bali. It is a perfect blend of history, culture and beauty.

We hopped on our rented Motorbike and took the scenic 10 km (1/2 hour) drive from Sleepy Gecko Guest House in Canggu to the unforgettable park.  Although it is not called a park, the setting is indeed a huge park area.

Also known as the floating temple, Pura Tanah Lot is a holy place where Hindus worship the Balinese sea gods and is protected by venomous sea snakes, or so the story goes.

The entrance fee is 60,000 IDR / €3.60 / US$4.40 per person and includes parking.  After finding a parking spot in the motorbike designated area, we came to a second entrance where you show your ticket.

From there, you basically walk through a small “town” which is blocks of souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants before finally getting to the park setting.

Cement walkways allow easy access along the cliffs above the sea.  To the right is Batu Balong Temple and to the left is Pura Tanah Lot Temple.  Lots of people are sitting on the grassy areas with shade trees, or on the many benches placed throughout.  A huge Gazebo like building further up the hill allows for some great views and shade.

Getting to the temples was not as smooth of a walk, but certainly worth it, even with the pressing heat and the pushy tourists.

Tips:  Dress respectfully, take sunscreen and wear sturdy shoes.

Opening Hours:  7 days a week from 7 am to 7 pm.

Get There:

Other Canggu Links of Possible Interest:
….⇒ Stay: Sleepy Gecko Guest House
    …..→Eat: Breakers Tavern 
    …..→Eat: La Pan Nam Warung Restaurant
    …..→Eat: My Wahrung
    …..→Eat: Wahrung D’ Pererenan
 …..→Drink: Where to Drink / Happy Hour
…..⇒ Do: Top Fun Things to Do 

Location:  Asia > SouthEast Asia > Indonesia > Bali Island > South Coast > Kutu Utara > Canggu > Beraban > Kediri > Tabanan > Tanah Lot > Pura Tanah Lot