One thing not to be missed is to have a balinese massage. Most hotels and resorts in Ubud usually have spa facilities. But if yours is not the case, there are plenty of nice and inexpensive spas in Ubud center.
I had a wonderful massage followed by a flower bath while drinking some ginger tea in a very nice spa , the Spa Hati. It's situated in the center of Ubud, close to the main road. A one hour massage here will cost you around 14 USD, which is ver cheap.
If you like Indonesian food, what about having a cooking lesson at Casa Luna? Besides being a guesthouse, the Casa Luna has cooking classes.
Usually the classes begin with a visit to the Ubud food market followed by the lesson. It's a fun way to spend some time while you learn how to make tasty balinese food.
If you're a shopaholic like I am, you will be thrilled with shopping in Ubud! There are small shops everywhere, plenty of crafts. Baskets, table mats, trays, boxes, incenses, massage oils, sarongs, and many, many beautiful things to buy. And usually very inexpensive.
You must bargain a little and if you're lucky to be the first customer of the day maybe you will get a big discount. The balinese say that the first customer of the day brings them luck!
One thing you shouln't miss when you go to Ubud is to go and see the beautiful rice fields, which characterize Ubud . Drive through to see them and watch the people working there.
If you have a driver , ask him to stop so you can take a closer look.
Very picturesque. It's an amazing sight!
One of the pillars of Ubud's reputation as Bali's cultural capital is the presence of numerous museums devoted not just to Balinese but also to Indonesian and international art and culture. One of such museums is the Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA).
ARMA features collection from the works of German artist Walter Spies and Javanese Raden Saleh. It also has a good collection of classical Kamasan paintings, Batuan-style creations from the 1930s and '40s as well as works of Lempad, Affandi, Sadali, Hofker, Bonnet and Le Mayeur.
The collections are housed in two main buildings set amidst a sprawling compound of beautifully lanscaped gardens, pools, ponds, and an open air theater. One of the interesting times to visit ARMA is during dance and theater rehearsals, mostly of child performers.
The huge carving is sometimes very huge ...make sure you buy from the shops because those sold by street peddler are made of bad wood...not only they break easily , they will have some fungus on them after sometime, and these fungus will come again after you clean it .
Its better to get from the shop but bargain hard !
The Balinese legend of Rangda the witch originated in the Ubud area at this time, when the half-Balinese King Airlangga ruled Java And Bali, with its capital located then in Batuan, southeast of Ubud. The Barong and Calinarong dances which visitors still enjoy derived from the story of Airlangga's struggle against the plagues and evil spells cast by Rangda, who is purportedly buried in a tomb near Kutri, southeast of Ubud
The marriage of Balinese Prince Udayana of the Warmadewa dynasty to east Javanese Princess Mahendradatta in A.D. 989 led to even closer cooperation between Java and Bali. Airlangga (991-1046) was born to the royal couple around 1001. As a young man, the prince was sent to Java for his education. There, Airlangga married a princess and became a local chief in the kingdom of his uncle Dharma Wangsa. Shortly after Airlangga's arrival, Wangsa was attacked by the forces of Sriwijaya and murdered. Airlangga ascended to the throne, becoming one of the most glorious monarchs in Java's history. The dynasty he put in place—more centralized and less Indianized than any up to that time—lasted for more than 300 years. As befits an Indic hero, Airlangga ultimately renounced the kingdom he'd made great and died a hermit under the guidance of his spiritual adviser.
A fascinating legend relates how Airlangga's kingdom was nearly destroyed by a plague supposedly brought by the dreadful witch Rangda, queen of evil spirits. According to some historians, Rangda was Airlangga's own mother, Mahendradatta, whom her husband had sent into the jungle for practicing black magic. Other theorists maintain Rangda sought revenge against Airlangga because he did not side with her when his father took a second wife.
I saw this in VT Goldenboy's page previously but we accidentally chanced upon it on our way to some Ubud art gallery .
The statue is quite huge and sits on aroundabout. People said that the statue was erected after villagers heard the sound of crying baby. Perhaps a spirit of a baby. But its stops after the statue was built.
You can see people offering flowers etc near the statue. Something off the beaten path actually becoz my tourguide didnt even mention it when we passed .
Throughout the Ubud area, you can pick up inexpensive small paintings which make excellent decorative accents back home. Other crafts in the towns surrounding Ubud include weaving (Gianyar area), stone carving (Batubulan), basket making (Bona), bamboo and rattan work (Sakah and Bona), jewellery (Celuk), bone and coconut carving (Tampaksiring), batik, furniture making, bronze casting, and, decorative metalwork. Most guidebooks have a good map showing which towns are centres for which craft.
The entire Gianyar district is densely populated with craftspeople in every imaginable medium. The majority of them are delighted to create works to order, so let loose the latent designer in you. Simply bring along a sketch, sample, or magazine clipping. Alternatively, if you like what you see in a showroom, but have an idea how it could be improved, explain what variation you have in mind. Don't forget to agree on a price in advance.
the setting were superb. both the temple that made from carved stones and the nature around it. terraced padi field in there, small river then the temple from 11th century. situated down to the river, the visitors must take steep stairs to go and this is like an aerobic exercise! said that the kings of ubud and areas nearby like to have meditation and contemplation here.
This is perhaps the best place to appreciate traditional Balinese painting. The museum has an extensive collection of Balinese paintings from various periods, giving the avid visitor a crash course in the development of Balinese painting.
In addition, the museum features works by Western (Louise Koke, Rudolf Bonnet, Miguel Covarrubias, Han Snel, Donald Friend, and Antonio Blanco - well this one is Filipino) as well as contemporary Indonesian artists.
There is also a Photography Archive showing black and white photos of Balin i the 1930s and 1940s.
One thing I like about the museum is that visitors are free to take snaps of the works on display.
Entrance fee as at June 2005: Rp20,000
Outside the village of Bali we attended a cremation ceremomy. This is a funeral rite that is unique to Bali and India. In Bali it is not a solemn event but an occasion marking transition and community spirit. There is a large procession and much noise is made (to keep the souls from traveling back to their houses and help them on their way). Everyone even tourists are expected and encouraged to participate in this event. It finally ends with the burning of a ceremonial bull (for important people) which encases the body. It is a fascinating experience!!!
The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is one of Ubud's major attractions. As the name suggests, it's a sanctuary for a species of grey-haired, long-tailed Balinese macaques.
While they may look harmless, the monkeys are a ferocious creature and are known to attack if provoked or denied food like bananas or peanuts. To prevent this, walk through the park with your hands open to signify you're not holding anything that could be to their liking - yes, bananas and/or peanuts.
It is also not advisable to offer the monkeys food, unless being attacked by a horde of violent creatures is your idea of an Ubud holiday.
Entrance fee as at June 2005: Rp10,000
Ubud is widely known as a capital of culture and art in Bali. And it's probably true. Number of art gallerys and museums is really impressive. It's almost impossible to visit them all. But don't miss Arma - Agung Rai Museum of Art. In a splendid complex of balinese style buildings you can see a huge collection of traditional and contemporary sculptures and paintings, including works of foreign artists who lived and worked on Bali. It's a only place on the island were you can see works paintings of legendary German artist, who has influenced a lot local artists, Walter Spies.
Admission ticket cost 20 000 Rps. Museum is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm.
There is also a hotel (Kokoan Hotel) within the museum grounds as well a very pleasent bar - Cafe ARMA.
One of the great joys of traveling alone and independently is the opportunity to really get to know the people and the local culture.
In Ubud, I had the opportunity to be invited to the homes of two artists - a painter and a dancer. My visits to their homes are featured in separate travelogues.
Other than these two great individuals, my days in Ubud are spiced by conversations with local people, like this auntie selling peanuts at the community hall in central Ubud (across the Ubud Tourist Information Center). Although I don't speak the local language, I had a great time snapping pictures of her and her companions' . She also sells some of the best tasting peanuts I've tasted in my life!
The joys of mingling with the locals are made even more special by the Indonesians' seemingly close affinity to Filipinos (their eyes sparkle with great interest when you identify yourself as Filipino) - perhaps because we share the same hardships, the same problems, the same concerns in our part of the world (vs. our more affluent neighbors in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia)?
Maybe, or it might just be our shared resilience against life's odds and our zest for life, and the capacity to smile at even the most daunting (and miserable) of circumstances?
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