This week, Jen’s cousin is visiting us here Ubud. As we’ve been showing her around some of the sites, I thought it would be fun to share some of the highlights of Ubud, Bali with you, as well.
Ubud has so much to offer to visitors. The surrounding area has incredible natural beauty. Culturally, it’s packed with temples. You can get any kind of healthy, delicious food you want at great prices. And a large expat community means there are tons of local classes and workshops to join.
This video touches on some of the biggest highlights, including the Campuhan Ridge Walk, the Sacred Monkey Forest, popular shopping destinations, and a couple of our favorite restaurants.
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Hi! Brandon Pearce here.
This week, my wife’s cousin Lizzie is visiting us here in Bali. As we are showing her around the town of Ubud where we live, I thought it would be fun to also give you a little glimpse into what this town is like and why we’ve chosen to call it home for part of the year.
Ubud has so much to offer.
Culturally, it is packed with temples. I’m standing here in front of the local village temple where there are constant ceremonies. And that’s the case all over Bali. Just as I was driving today, I saw several people dressed in ceremonial garb or wearing fruit baskets on their heads. There is always something going on for Balinese Hinduism here.
There are tons of nature activities and amazing restaurants. There is incredible shopping, as well as lots of unique boutique shops.
This video is a quick snapshot of a few of the things that we are doing around Ubud this week, just to give you a taste for it.
Campuhan Ridge Walk
This is the Campuhan Ridge Walk. It is about a 4- to 5-minute drive from our house. It has some lovely views. It is a great place to walk early in the morning, before it gets really hot.
We are going to have our driver drop us off on one end and then pick us up at the other end, where there is a lovely café where we will get breakfast. There’s a spa there, too, where you can get a massage. This is one of the fun nature activities to do in Ubud.
Sacred Monkey Forest
This is the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud. As you can see, there are lots of monkeys and beautiful trees. It costs around $2 or $3 to get in. It is a great place to spend an hour or so around Ubud. Do be careful around the monkeys because they can get aggressive. If you have food, they will climb on you.
Jen, what do you think of the Monkey Forest?
Jen: “This is a fun visit. I usually don’t want to come. But today is good. I had a fun time watching the monkeys jump into the little ponds, attacking each other.”
What are you first impressions of the Monkey Forest?
Lizzie: “Well there are a lot of monkeys here, first of all! It’s kind of an interesting study to watch. Monkeys are so like humans and I always forget that. They are like humans, in the good and the bad ways, I think. It’s a cool thing to look at.”
There really are a lot of monkey here. It is fun because you can get up close to them—as close as you want, really—which is great if you are a photographer and you want to take up close pictures and videos.
But there’s more than just monkeys. It’s beautiful nature. There are rivers and beautiful trees, amazing architecture, and Balinese temples and statuary. It’s quite a cultural experience and more than just a place to see wild monkeys (which really are not so wild). It’s a fun place to spend an afternoon or a morning.
This is a giant cow that the Balinese have built. It is part of a cremation ceremony that they are going to be doing this Sunday. They will parade it by lifting it up with bamboo flooring and carry it along, with other items that they will be building. You might be able to see some of the others behind me.
They will parade it down the street to the cemetery and to several other places. Then, they will burn it. This is a fairly common thing in Bali. It is not like they do it every month, but it depends on someone with the social status for this kind of cremation to take place. Each village will also do their own cremation ceremonies at different times and for different things. This is right in the center of town, right on main street.
Tegallalang Rice Terraces
These are the famous Tegalalang Rice Terraces of Bali.
Food and Restaurants
Here we are at Clear Café, one of our favorite restaurants in Ubud.
They have amazing food and drinks here for very good prices. They also have an amazing view at the moment. They will be moving locations soon, back to their old location where they had a fire a couple years ago.
Here we are at Karsa Restaurant. This is at the other end of the Campuhan Ridge Walk. We are eating our breakfast and enjoying this lovely ridge view.
This is jamu, a drink with turmeric, ginger, lime juice and honey. It says in the menu that it is “a superfood liver detox that reduces inflammation, improves immunity, and fights off bacteria.” And half a glass a day is supposed to keep the doctor away and I’ve had a full glass! This is really popular in Bali, and it’s really good and really healthy.
This dish is called mie goreng. It is a popular fried noodle dish here in Indonesia. I’m eating it for breakfast this morning, along with some fruit and this delicious, young, fresh coconut.
As far as food goes, I have never been to another place like Ubud. Whether you want vegan or organic, Italian, Japanese French, or Indian… Anything you want, Ubud has you covered!
Here is one of the boards at one of the restaurants. There are so many classes—qigong, world meditation day, and transcendental art to yoga. Truly all sorts of different things.
This is the Ubud market. As you can see, there are all sorts of crafts here. From carving statues, clothes, shoes, little instruments, and decorations. It is a great place to pick up souvenirs or something if you’re here as a tourist.
Normally, if you really like to drive up a bargain, you can get things here about a fourth of the price that is quoted. But you’ll really have to want it at that price. Even if you don’t bargain, some of this is still a pretty good deal by western standards.
This is Jalan Monkey Forest, which is one of the main shopping streets in Ubud. There are a ton of boutique shops as well as a few chain stores. There’s all sorts of unique clothing, souvenirs, and decorations shops. Really anything you could want, as far as Balinese art goes. Really artsy and creative stuff.
There was a new ice cream shop that we went to the other night. It has all sorts of hanging decorations and beautiful things in it. There is just a lot of creativity here.
One of the best ways to get around Ubud is by motorbike. If you drive a car, you are a bit limited on the one-way streets and in traffic. But on a motorbike you can weave in and out of cars, and go multi-directional on some streets. It is a good way to get around and this clip gives you a sense of what it is like to ride a motorbike around Ubud.
Here is one of my favorite parts of Ubud. It is a beautiful tree tunnel. I love the vines that hang down from the trees and the beautiful stone work on the sides.
I hope you enjoyed this video. There is a lot more that I could say.
We are going to the beach tonight. It’s about a 40-minute drive to the nearest beach. Last night we participated in a cultural dance which was really fun. Although I’m not showing all of the clips here, I wanted to give you a taste of Ubud and share why I love it.
Thank you for watching and remember to live well and enjoy life now.