Ubud, Bali is a backpacker’s paradise that offers stunning scenery, warm hospitality, and an incredible range of activities. From cultural experiences to outdoor adventures, there’s something for everyone in this picturesque region of Bali. To help you make the most of your time in Ubud, we’ve compiled a list of 10 must-do activities for backpackers. Whether you’re on a tight budget or looking to splurge, there’s an activity for every type of traveler.
Explore the Rice Paddies
Ubud is famous for its stunning rice paddies, which are a highlight of any trip to Bali. The Tegalalang Rice Terrace is the most popular and easily accessible rice paddy in Ubud, located just 20 minutes away from the town center. The paddies are carved into the hillside and offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can take a leisurely walk through the paddies or rent a bike to explore the area at their own pace.
Another popular rice terrace to visit is the Jatiluwih Rice Terrace, which is located about an hour’s drive from Ubud. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for its expansive terraced rice fields, which stretch as far as the eye can see. Visitors can take a guided tour of the paddies or hike along the many trails to experience the breathtaking views.
Whether you choose to visit Tegalalang or Jatiluwih, exploring the rice paddies is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Ubud. Not only will you be surrounded by stunning natural beauty, but you’ll also get a glimpse into the traditional farming practices that have sustained the Balinese way of life for centuries.
Visit the Ubud Monkey Forest
The Ubud Monkey Forest is a sanctuary for over 600 long-tailed macaques and is a popular attraction for visitors to Ubud. The forest is located in the heart of town and is a peaceful oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of the surrounding streets. Visitors can walk through the forest and observe the monkeys in their natural habitat, swinging from tree to tree and foraging for food.
While the monkeys may seem cute and cuddly, it’s important to remember that they are wild animals and can be unpredictable. We advise visitors to keep a safe distance from the monkeys and avoid touching or feeding them. While these animals may seem friendly, they are still wild animals and may become aggressive if they feel threatened or provoked. By respecting their space and boundaries, we can help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. We also recommend that visitors keep their belongings close at hand as the monkeys can be quite mischievous and may attempt to snatch your items. By taking care of your belongings and not leaving them unattended, you can avoid any unwanted surprises and ensure a pleasant visit for yourself and the monkeys.
In addition to the monkeys, the Ubud Monkey Forest is also home to several ancient temples and statues, making it a cultural and historical attraction as well. Be sure to take your time and explore all that the forest has to offer.
In conclusion, exploring the rice paddies and visiting the Ubud Monkey Forest are two must-do activities for anyone visiting Ubud. Whether you’re a nature lover or a cultural enthusiast, these attractions offer something for everyone. So grab your camera and your sense of adventure and get ready to experience the beauty and wonder of Ubud, Bali.
Attend a Balinese Dance Performance
One of the most popular activities for backpackers in Ubud is attending a Balinese dance performance. Balinese dance is a unique form of storytelling through dance, featuring elaborate costumes, intricate movements, and traditional music. These performances are a must-see for any visitor to Ubud and provide an authentic glimpse into Balinese culture.
The most popular dance performances in Ubud are the Kecak Dance and Legong Dance. The Kecak Dance is a traditional Balinese dance that originated in the 1930s and is performed by a group of men who chant “cak-cak-cak” while making intricate movements with their arms and hands. This dance tells the story of the Hindu epic, Ramayana, and is a unique and unforgettable experience.
Young girls in Bali are trained in the traditional art form of the Legong Dance, which is a classic Balinese dance known for its intricate footwork, graceful hand gestures, and beautiful costumes. This mesmerizing performance tells the story of a mythical Balinese princess and is sure to leave you in awe. Attending a Legong Dance is a must-do experience while in Bali, as it offers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the island and the artistry of the Balinese people.
Take a Yoga Class
Ubud is a hub for yoga and wellness, with a wide range of classes and retreats on offer. Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a beginner, there’s a class for every level. The lush and tranquil surroundings of Ubud make it the perfect place to relax and focus on your well-being.
Many studios offer drop-in classes, so you can try out different styles and teachers to find the perfect fit for you. The most popular yoga styles in Ubud are Hatha, Vinyasa, and Yin yoga. Hatha yoga is a gentle form of yoga that focuses on breathing and simple postures. Vinyasa yoga, on the other hand, is a more dynamic form of yoga that links movement with breath. Yin yoga is a slower-paced style of yoga that focuses on holding poses for a longer period of time to stretch the connective tissues in the body.
Taking a yoga class in Ubud is not just a physical experience, but also a spiritual one. Many yoga classes in Ubud incorporate meditation and pranayama (breathing exercises) into their practice, which can help you connect with your inner self and find peace and serenity.
Make sure to add attending a Balinese dance performance and taking a yoga class to your must-do list while backpacking in Ubud. These two experiences offer unique insights into Balinese culture and are a great way to unwind and connect with your inner self. You’ll leave feeling rejuvenated and with unforgettable memories of your trip to this magical destination. These experiences offer a unique glimpse into Balinese culture and provide a chance to focus on your well-being in a tranquil and serene environment.
Visit the Tegenungan Waterfall
Tegenungan Waterfall is a breathtaking natural attraction located just 30 minutes outside of Ubud. You’ll find the waterfall surrounded by lush greenery, providing a stunning backdrop for visitors to capture memorable photos. The natural beauty of the area is truly picturesque and offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the enchanting scenery. To get to the waterfall, visitors need to navigate a series of stairs that lead down to the base of the waterfall. Once there, you can enjoy the refreshing mist and take a dip in the cool, turquoise waters.
The waterfall is at its best during the rainy season from November to March when the water flows strong and the waterfall is at its most spectacular. However, even during the dry season, the waterfall is still worth a visit, as the pool at the base of the waterfall remains cool and refreshing.
Explore the Ubud Art Market
The Ubud Art Market is a bustling hub of activity, where visitors can find unique handmade crafts and traditional Balinese souvenirs. With dozens of vendors selling everything from intricate silver jewelry to hand-carved wooden masks, the market is a treasure trove for those seeking one-of-a-kind items.
One of the highlights of visiting the market is the chance to see local artisans at work. Many vendors offer demonstrations of their craft, whether it’s weaving intricate textiles or carving intricate designs into wooden masks. It’s fascinating to watch their skilled hands create beautiful items right before your eyes.
If you’re looking for a specific item, many vendors are happy to customize their products to your liking. Whether you want a piece of jewelry made in a specific size or a wooden carving with a certain design, the vendors at the Ubud Art Market are happy to accommodate your requests.
Soak in the art
As you stroll through the market, you’ll get to fully immerse yourself in Balinese culture. You’ll notice that the vendors in the market usually dress in traditional clothing, and they often make offerings of fragrant flowers and incense at the beautiful shrines located throughout the area. This is a wonderful way to experience and appreciate Balinese culture and customs, and you can take in the sights and smells of the market while learning more about the local way of life.. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the local customs and traditions.
And when you need a break from shopping, there are plenty of small cafes and restaurants in the area where you can relax and refuel. Enjoy a cup of Balinese coffee or a refreshing fruit smoothie while taking in the bustling atmosphere of the market.
Overall, the Ubud Art Market is a must-visit for anyone looking for a unique shopping experience and an opportunity to immerse themselves in Balinese culture. Don’t forget to bring your bargaining skills and a sense of adventure!
Try Balinese Cuisine
Balinese cuisine is a delicious blend of flavors and spices, influenced by the island’s unique culture and history. While in Ubud, be sure to try local dishes like Nasi Goreng, which is fried rice with vegetables, meat or seafood, and spices. Another must-try dish is Babi Guling, which is a roasted pig stuffed with herbs and spices, and typically served with rice, vegetables, and sambal (spicy chili sauce). For a unique experience, visit a local warung and try their specialty dish, such as Bebek Betutu (smoked duck) or Ayam Betutu (spiced chicken). Don’t forget to try some of the island’s tropical fruits like mangosteen, rambutan, and snake fruit.
Visit the Goa Gajah Temple
Located just a few kilometers outside of Ubud, the Goa Gajah Temple is an ancient Hindu temple with a rich history. The temple dates back to the 9th century and is known for its intricate carvings and statues. One of the highlights of the temple is the “elephant cave,” which is a small cave adorned with carvings of elephants, gods, and demons. Visitors can also explore the meditation cave, which is a peaceful and spiritual space. After exploring the temple, take a refreshing swim in the nearby river or relax in the serene surroundings.
Take a Cooking Class:
Ubud is a food lover’s paradise, with a plethora of restaurants and cafes offering delicious meals. But what if you could learn to make those mouthwatering dishes yourself? Taking a cooking class in Ubud is a fun and interactive way to learn about Balinese cuisine and culture. Most classes start with a visit to the local market to pick up fresh ingredients, followed by a hands-on cooking session. You’ll learn how to make traditional dishes like nasi goreng (fried rice), satay (grilled skewers), and lawar (a spicy vegetable and meat salad). Many cooking classes also include a recipe book, so you can recreate the dishes at home and impress your friends and family.
Visit a Traditional Balinese House Compound
If you want to learn more about Balinese culture and daily life, visiting a traditional Balinese house compound is a must-do activity. These compounds are the heart of Balinese family life and consist of a series of interconnected buildings, including a family temple, kitchen, living quarters, and guest pavilion. You’ll get a glimpse into how Balinese families live and work, as well as the intricate and beautiful architectural style of traditional Balinese homes. Many house compounds also have lush gardens and ornate gates, making them a photographer’s dream.
In conclusion, Ubud offers a wealth of activities and experiences for backpackers looking to immerse themselves in Balinese culture and nature. From exploring rice terraces and waterfalls to visiting art galleries and taking cooking classes, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant and beautiful town. So pack your bags, put on your hiking shoes, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure in Ubud, Bali.