Ubud is the cultural tourism hub of Bali. Apart from the tourist attractions in the town itself, there are numerous temples, historic sites and craft centers nearby. The fragrant evenings here are still and quiet and you can literally hear the frogs in the rice-terrains. The life here is leisurely and before you know it, your stay here for days, turns into weeks and then into months. Vacation villas abound and have become home away from home for all those who want to immerse themselves in the local culture of Ubud.
Ubud is famous for the traditional dance performances held here every night for the benefit of the tourists. Hindu-Balinese ceremonies take place in the temples here and marked by dance and dramas depicting the mythological beliefs of the Balinese. There are various museums in Ubud that provide an insight into the rich cultural heritage of the island. White water rafting is possible on the local rivers and if you are looking for diving, you can head for the nearby Tanjung Benoa.
There is a fabulous range of food on offer in Ubud. From European and Indonesian cuisine to sandwiches, pastries and seafood, you can take your pick. For the budgeted traveler, there are the food stalls and warungs; for fine dining, options abound.
This restaurant is highly popular with Japanese visitors and has a dining room perched on the river's head.
The restaurant offers an international menu and is highly popular and so if you are lucky, you may find a table in the evening. It is famous for its breads, pastries and desserts.
Miro's Garden Restaurant
The restaurant has a good selection of vegetarian dishes.
This is a popular haunt for Balinese food. Apart from the food, you also get initiated to the Balinese life and customs.
You can see popular Balinese dances such as Kecak, Legong and Barong, and ballets such as Mahabharata and Ramayana. Then there are puppets and gamelan orchestras played in Ubud and surrounding villages.
Some bars in Ubud have discounted hours in the evenings. You can also enjoy live music sessions here. Most of the bars, especially along the Monkey Forest road, show movies most nights.
Putra Bar: This is a reggae bar with live music on Tuesdays and some other days.
Bali Blues Bar: The ambience here is a bit loud but the live music is pleasant.
Jazz Café: The atmosphere is relaxed and the food is great. There is live jazz Tuesday to Saturday evenings.
Ubud is a much sought out spa destination in Bali. There are a number of health and beauty spas and salons where you can be pampered with massages, facials and manicures.
Kamandalu Resort and Spa: The spa is situated amidst lush green rice terraces, above the rushing Petanu River and provides a blissful sense of seclusion and peace. Here you can pamper yourself to Indonesian and Thai massages, body wraps, aromatherapy, and facials.
Mandara Spa: The special treatments here are designed for the ultimate in relaxation and rejuvenation of mind, body and spirit using the secrets of traditional Balinese self-care knowledge.