Ubud – The Convergence of Culture and Nature

Ubud welcomes visitors with its natural and cultural beauty, with lush tropical jungles, terraced rice fields, temples and shrines, and local art and craft.

Ubud is one of the top ten tourist destinations in Indonesia, recognised for its arts and craft, tourism, and cultural importance. It is on the island of Bali, in the northern part of the Greater Denpasar urban area. Ubud Desa, the town’s main area, gets millions of tourists from around the world every year. There are farms, rice areas, agroforestry plants, and places for tourists to stay nearby.

The name of Ubud originates from “ubad”, the Balinese word for medicine.

Ubud is located in the centre of Bali, and most visitors reach there through Ngurah Rai International Airport or Denpasar Airport, located on the island’s southern point, by flight. From there, one could rent a vehicle or catch the bus to Ubud. It takes between 1 and 1.5 hours to drive from Denpasar Airport to Ubud, based on the type of transport used and the traffic.

The town was formerly a source of medical herbs and plants. Since the late 1960s, Ubud has grown significantly as a consequence of Bali’s tourist boom. The Ubud Monkey Forest, also referred to as Mandala Suci Wenara Wana, is a protected area on Monkey Forest Street that is home to the Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal and a large number of crab-eating macaques. The Campuhan Ridge Walk, a paved-block path connecting two rivers, provides a stunning sunset- view. Goa Gajah, also called the Elephant Cave, is an archaeological location with spectacular sculptures and a serene meditation cave. Both sites provide visitors with unique experiences.

Ubud has several art museums, like the Neka Art Museum, Blanco Renaissance Museum, Agung Rai Museum of Art, and Puri Lukisan Museum. Other sites emphasise local and global crafts, focusing on interactions between local and international artists. The Moon of Pejeng, the largest single-cast bronze kettledrum in the globe, is a renowned attraction for tourists.

There are royal tombs in Gunung Kawi Temple, beside Hindu temples like Pura Desa Ubud, Pura Taman Saraswati, and Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal. Indonesia’s last sovereign king, Tjokorda Gede Agung Sukawati, resides at Puri Saren Agung, a large site near Ubud. This was one of the first hotels in Ubud, and these days, it organises dance ceremonies and shows.

Balinese dances are performed in the region by the Peliatan Dance Group, which includes Legong. Tek Tok is a traditional Balinese dance, which is regularly performed at the Bali Culture Centre (BCC) in Ubud. Also, the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF) draws writers and readers from all over the world every year.

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