Indonesia

Ubud Center

After relaxing at a very chilled pace in Sanur, we headed to the more popular Balinese tourist mecca that is Ubud.

Ubud center is definitely busier and bustling with more activity. By just walking around you’ll find that you’re not going to run out of things and places to explore. Our Airbnb was actually a part of the royal palace and very close to where all the action was, so it was very convenient. It’s in a compound composed of little villas done in the style of typical Balinese architecture.

Facade of Balinese villa
Girl twirling in front of Balinese pavillion

Just a few steps away, there was already quite a spectacle. Men were building a nine-tier funeral pyre for the ngaben, which is reserved for members of the royal family. We were told it is quite a unique event but we didn’t stay long enough to be able to witness the ceremony, which was happening a few days after we were set to leave. The preparations are already interesting enough on their own.

Men building Funeral pyre in Ubud Bali
Ramp to Balinese funeral pyre for royal family member

In the center, you’ll find the Royal Palace and the Saraswati temple, both beautiful and worth a visit.

Man standing in Balinese style doorway
Man in front of Balinese stone sculpture
Pavillion in Balinese Royal palace
Balinese traditional dance in Royal Palace
Traditional Balinese dance performance at the Royal Palace Ubud
Saraswati temple in Bali with lotus pond
The Saraaswati Temple and its lovely lotus pond. Performances are held here in the evenings
Girl in middle of the pond in Saraswati Temple Bali
Girl with flower in hair in Balinese garden
Girl sitting on stairs in front of Balinese doorway

If you love to shop, a trip to the market should be on your list. Even if you don’t, the place is still worth a visit for all the interesting trinkets and souvenirs.

Market stall selling clothes in Ubud
I ended up not getting anything from this shop 😀
Market stall selling accessories in Ubud Bali
Market stall in Ubud selling wooden decor

There’s the Campuhan ridge walk if you’re up for a little hike. It’s not difficult at all and can be taken at a leisurely pace. You’ll feel refreshed as you pass green rice fields and hills lined with coconut trees. I recommend going before sunset so it’s not too hot and the golden hour adds a little extra touch of magic on the scenery.

Trail to Campuhan Ridge Walk in Ubud
Man walking on trail lined with grass
hills covered with coconut trees and grass
cows grazing in grass
Rice field in Ubud
The green fields is a rejuvenating site
Rice field in Ubud with flowers in foreground
Girl sipping juice from coconut
Cocomut juice to refresh us after the hike
Rice field with setting sun in background
Dewdrops maging the rice fields sparkle
Sunset in Ubud
Lovely sunset as our reward

Of course all that walking and sightseeing must be rewarded with treats! Gelato shops are everywhere in Bali but we recommend trying anything that’s coconut-based, which is perfect for the weather. Try the Indonesian dark chocolate too if you like a rich, earthy, creamy, and intense flavor.

Coconut ice cream with coconut shavings
Everything coconut: coconut ice cream with coconut shavings and coco sugar
Girl holding cup of Indonesian chocolate ice cream
Indonesian chocolate is so good!
Glass of coconut shake
This coconut milkshake is perfect on a hot day! It’s totally vegan too, if you’re into that kind of stuff.
Guy holding vanilla shake
Vanilla milkshake
Gelato and shakes store in Ubud market
Gelato shops abound

Here in Ubud we tried a Masakan Padang eatery, where you can select from a variety of cooked food and load up your choices on your plate. Masakan Padang is a the cuisine of the Minangkabau people from West Sumatra, Indonesia. There are lots of eateries you can choose from, so you’ll never run out of choices. Watch out for stews like the beef rendang because they can be fiery and really spicy.

Balinese eatery in Ubud Masakan Padang
Plate of mixed Balinese food
An assortment of dishes from the Masakan Padang
Plate of turmeric rice, tempeh, eggplant, and egg
Turmeric rice with tempeh, chili egglplant and other garnishes
Guy with a plate of mi goreng or Indonesian fried noodles
Mi goreng or Indonesian fried noodles
Bowl of Indonesian noodle soup with fish balls
Noodle soup with fish balls

Ubud is a great base from which you can explore other places, and so in the next post I’ll tell you about a daytrip we did. Watch out for more Bali stories! 🙂

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