5 amazing things to know before you visit Ubud, Bali


[Photo: Alexis Cozic]

Are you thinking about visiting Ubud, Bali? Well, we have five amazing things you need to make sure you know before you go. Whether you’ve been there before or this will be your first visit, the amazing facts below are going to make you want to get there soon. When it comes to travel – which can be expensive – it’s important to make sure you’re going to enjoy your destination when you arrive. And that’s why we’ve put this article together for you.

Five Amazing Facts About and Destinations in Ubud, Bali

As promised, here’s a look at five specific (and amazing) facts about Ubud, Bali that you should know about before you plan your visit. The more you know, the better trip you’re going to be able to plan in advance.

Neka Art Museum – The Beautiful Hofker drawings are a must-see if you’re into art or history at all. This is probably the best museum in all of Ubud, Bali, so make sure you plan to spend some time here if you love art.

Kecak Fire & Trance Dance – If you like a little more action and adventure, you’re going to love the Kecak Fire & Trance Dance shows that are available. Make sure you go early so that you can get a good spot to see the entire performance. You’re going to be blown away.

Campuhan Ridge Walk – If nature is more your thing, you’ll like the Campuhan Ridge Walk in Ubud, Bali. While not the only place you can get out and see nature up close and personal, this is a favorite destination of many travelers.

Pura Saraswati – This is a small temple, but don’t let its size fool you. When you see it up close and personal, you’re going to be amazed by the spiritual feelings you have in your body. And even if you don’t think of yourself as spiritual, you’re still going to be able to enjoy the history and culture.

Don Antonio Blanco Museum – The Dali from Bali is a well kept secret in the art world. If you’re a fan of Salvador Dali, you’re going to love this museum that features another artist who’s a lot like him in more ways than just one.

There’s a lot of other things you’re going to need to know – like not feeding the monkeys – but the five things above should have you wanting to visit Bali in the near future. From the people to all the great attractions, there’s a lot to keep you busy. Just make sure you bring your digital camera and plan to spend enough time there so you can see everything you want. Once you go to Ubud, Bali, you’re going to want to stay or go back soon.

Written by: Sara Xiang is interested in Thailand MICE because she’s heard so much about it from other writers that she knows. She’s been writing travel articles for a long time now and loves to share her world adventures with others.

Top 5 reasons to Visit Bali

Seminyak Beach Bali
[Seminyak Beach Bali by balilogue, on Flickr]

You’ve heard a lot about Bali, also referred to as the Island of Gods. You’ve heard of its beauty that touches the soul. You’ve seen enough pictures to bowl you over and you know its probably the most exquisite destinations to be at. But there is more to Bali than just its picturesque scenes you get to see on travel websites. Read on to know the top 5 reasons why you need to travel to Bali.

1. Beautiful Locales

It isn’t something that’s unknown to anyone anymore. Bali is an abode of great outdoor locations. Beaches that make you go Oh-My-God with every kilometre you explore, Bali over delivers when it comes to natural beauty and its locations. The long curvy beach lines, sand beds that turn with every curve and people buzzing with joy and enthusiasm all over it; thats an everyday affair at almost every beach in Bali. One would kill to sit calmly at the setting sun there. To top it all there are the rice fields and the volcanoes that make for beautiful shots for photography ethusiasts as well as professionals.

2. Scrumptious Food

Bali has a rich food scene. Influenced by the outside seafaring cultures, the eateries in Bali house a blend of Indian, Malaysian, Chinese and Thai flavors in addition to the basic Indonesian style of cooking. The variety in the food styles and growing variations in the menus is also greatly rooting from all the growing tourism that has sprung. You can now find a lot of delectable French, Japanese and Italian cuisines to add to your eye candy experience.

3. The Balinese people: Welcoming and warm

The locals of Bali are one of the most welcoming people you’d find across the globe. Its pretty common for the local residents to sometimes become harsh or unhelping towards tourists when you look at the extremely travelled places otherwise. But when it comes to Balinese people, you can expect them going out of their way to make you feel at home. The best part is that it comes very naturally; nothing fake about them. It is probably their simplicity that connects with everyone very well!

4. Culturally Rich Land

Indonesia as a country has a rich cultural history, but Bali is unique in its own ways. At one point in time, residents of Bali were a mix of Hindu and Buddhists; now its majorly Hindus that you find here. The Hindu culture is evident by daily practises of offerings you’d notice while you are staying there. The rituals, customs and ceremonies add color and grace to the place and if you get to attend some, you’re bound to get amazed by the grandness.

5. Spas and Natural Massages

Like Thailand, Bali is also a great destination for experiencing luxurious spas and massage parlor services. With some of the best, natural and most effective scrubs, the massages relax you from the inside to the out. The very idea of a vacation gets its true meaning once you’ve had yourself relieved of all your worries by a single massage under the gorgeous set up most massage parlors are based in.

Author Bio:

Sheila Kurdinger is a business development and brand management consultant for http://www.casamundo.co.uk/. She likes to blog about self catering holidays and holiday destinations.

Going to Ubud – 5 Unique Activities For a Perfect Day

Ubud is one of the most fascinating and picturesque villages in Bali. It seems that the traditional Balinese lifestyle has been able to coincide with the many tourists visiting the little village. While travelers walk around amazed about Ubud’s beauty, the local people are still able to do their daily tasks such as placing offerings along the roads and on the paths, or going to the many ceremonies that are held to honor the gods.

I can imagine that once you arrive in this village and you have little time, you will find it difficult to decide what to do; there are just too many sights to see. So to ensure you will experience the wonders that Ubud offers, here are the 5 activities that you can do during a full day there. So go to bed early to prepare for a full day of cultural overdose…

Morning activity: Morning market

First of all, a thing that should be seen and experienced is the morning market. Early in the morning local people head to the market to buy the things they need for the day. This can include fruit and vegetables, but also flowers and flower petals for their decorations and offerings. It is even possible to buy a full bag of ready made offerings, so no hassle with that anymore.

To see this colorful spectacle you do need to wake up early. If you are there by 6.30am the market is already out and about, so you will see enough action that will wake you up immediately. At the market you can buy delicious cakes and fruits too. This will be a good addition to your breakfast at the hotel.

The Monkey Forest

Once you have returned to your hotel and have enjoyed your breakfast, head to the Monkey Forest where you can meet the 300 macaque monkeys up close. The forest is located on the south part of Monkey Forest Road. At the entrance you can buy peanuts or bananas for the monkeys. These monkeys will eagerly wait for their treat, so be careful if they jump on you once they have spotted the goodies.

You can walk all around the forest and across an ancient looking bridge supported by a big banyan tree. There are several temples located there as well which are used during cremation ceremonies. Each village in Bali has their own temple of the death. Here it is located in the Monkey forest. Common characteristics of such temples are statues of the Rangda, the goddess of the death. Her statues show Rangda with bulging eyes, sharp fangs, long finger nails and her lolling tongue.

Afternoon activity: ARMA-museum

From the Monkey Forest you can head over to the Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA). This beautifully set museum exhibits a wide range of Balinese paintings from the past till present. Here you are given the opportunity to see the many different styles and their changes through time.

In the past painters made paintings for the temples only. This style is known as Kamasan style and is characterized by long canvases covered with paintings about religious stories and myths. With the influence of foreigners, especially Walter Spies and Rudolf Bonnet who settled in this inspiring village, the style of painting changed. Balinese started to paint the Balinese daily life. This is known as the Ubud style.

Other influences followed which resulted into the Young Artist style. This style is known for its childish and colorful way of painting.

Rice field walk around Campuan area

In the Northern part of the village, around the Campuan area you can find the rice fields which Bali is famous for. The best time to see stunning views of the rice fields is in the late afternoon. There is an ideal path to walk on that starts at the end of the narrow road Jln. Kajeng and ends at the Campuan temple.

During the 1.5 hour walk you will be able to see many rice farmers at work, men and women enjoying the shade, children flying the kite and many ducks wobbling along the narrow paths. These animals are part of the scene as their droppings provide fertilizers and they eat the pests found in the fields. You will also notice many shrines standing in the field. These are used by the farmers, who place offerings for the rice-goddess Dewi Sri to ensure a successful rice yield.

Evening activity: Performances

Every evening there are many cultural performances. Often, a specific location has another program each day. So if one location does not have the performance planned which you are hoping to see, there are many others that might have it scheduled that day.

The ticket sellers, who are found along the streets all over Ubud, always know when and where the performances are. In their bag they have all the tickets of the performances for that night, so you can just choose on the spot and pay. There are also tickets for sale at the tourist information office at Jalan Raya, who put out signs about the performances every day.

The tickets for the performances are usually Rp.50.000 each but some performance can be slightly more expensive. The performances start at 19.00 and 20.00 at the latest.

The most regular dances that you can choose from are: Legong Dances, Kecak Fire Dance, Women Gamelan and Dance Group, Barong and Keris, Wayang Kulit (Shadow Puppet) and Jegog (Bamboo Gamelan). One thing that is worth mentioning is that ARMA museum is the only place to see the Topeng Jimat performance. ARMA also has Kecak performances but only during every full moon and new moon making the setting even more appropriate.

Ubud has many restaurants and cafés that are beautifully decorated and some even have an amazing tropical garden. So to finish the day, stroll to one of these many restaurants, sit, relax and recollect all the amazing things of your day.

Matt Verbaan loves to give you practical travel insights and his experiences of traveling to every corner of the beautiful island Bali. All his travel stories and tips are found on his website http://www.bali-travel-life.com.

Article Source: Matt Verbaan

The Best Art Museums to Explore in Ubud

PuriLukisan Museum

So you want take some time out of the Ubud villa where you stay for your holiday and wish to see the timeless Balinese art. In this case, Puri Lukisan Museum is the right place to go. This museum was founded in 1954 by Tjokorda Gde Agung Sukawato (the former prince of Ubud) and Rudolf Bonnet, a Dutch painter. Officially opened for public in 1956, Puri Lukisan Museum displays a collection of paintings and woodcarvings as the reflection of the important developments of Balinese art from time to time. Getting to this museum is convenient because it is located right in the central of Ubud, on Jalan Raya Ubud.

NekaMuseum

Located in Campuhan, only 7-8 minutes from downtown Ubud, Neka Museum was founded with the vision of its founder Pande Wayan Suteja Neka, which is to establish a fine art museum in Bali. The collection of this museum ranges from classical puppet style painting, transitional Balinese style painting, Ubud style painting to contemporary Indonesian art as well as art by foreign artists.

Seniwati Gallery

Seniwati gallery is an extraordinary gallery since it was founded with the aim to support Balinese female artists. Prepare yourself to see the display of artworks created by over seventy women artists with a rich variety of styles and techniques. If you wish to have an activity involving arts during your holiday stay at one of Ubud villas or hotels, Seniwati Gallery has a workshop and studios that organize courses, workshops, demonstrations and performances.

AgungRai Museumof Art (ARMA)

Visitors to this museum can have more to enjoy than only viewing Balinese paintings ranging from traditional to contemporary pieces. Agung Rai Museum of Art is also a center for visual and performing arts that provides you with the opportunity to enjoy theater performances, dance, music and painting classes, as well as cultural workshops. Surrounded by peaceful rice fields, this huge museum is one of the perfect places to visit if you wish to explore Ubud during your holiday stay at your Ubud villa or hotel.

For a wide range of choices of Ubud villas, visit http://www.balivillaubud.com. Have a look at numerous villas to rent in Ubud and find one that completely suits your needs. The most reliable assistance is always available to provide you with the up to date information of the villas as well as information about Bali or Ubud in particular, and the activities that you may wish to do during your holiday in Ubud.

Article Source: Ika Mardianti

Ubud in Bali – An Art Lover’s Paradise

For art lovers, Bali holidays offer the opportunity to uncover a plethora of contemporary artists and unique galleries. The resort of Ubud is literally teeming with art galleries, museums and workshops, with some establishments even selling on the work of their artists. This can be a great way to pick up an interesting souvenir or two on your Bali holidays. Here are a few of the more interesting galleries worth visiting.

Puri Lukisan

The name literally translates to ‘Art Palace’ and if you are an art lover, on your Bali holidays, you’ll want to spend some time walking around this museum. The idea was spearheaded around 40 years ago by a group of artists and patrons from the Ubud Royal Palace. The idea was to create a secular institution for art, which, in turn, would help legitimise the practice on the island. Puri Lukisan is set in a peaceful garden surrounded by beautiful statues and serene lily ponds. As all the paintings in the gallery are arranged in chronological order this also makes viewing them a lot more pleasurable.

Komenka Gallery

Komenka showcases art from young Indonesian artists and can be easily distinguished from Ubud’s other art galleries by its strikingly simple architecture. Whilst downstairs is currently taken up by a group collective, upstairs is devoted to the work of Made Djirna, a young Balinese artist whose work is particularly memorable for representing the position and activities of women in Bali.

Agung Rai Museum of Art

Agung Rai has been an avid art-collector since he was a very small child, so as you can imagine his lifetime collection needs a fairly spacious museum. As galleries go, the place is huge and, although its main focus is on art, it also contains one of Ubud’s best restaurants. However, the museum offers a lot more then just divine food and contemporary Balinese art. It also boasts a gamelan orchestra, regular dance performances and a hip Italian café bordered by rows of neatly rolling rice fields.

Café Tutmak

This funky café showcases the work of one newly emerging artist at a time. Each exhibition lasts between one and six months and runs alongside a permanent exhibition by the installation artist, Lotte Hannetz. Lotte’s famous installation is a number of full-size dangling chairs, swinging overhead in the breeze. The piece is actually a subtle jibe at Indonesian’s excruciating sense of the relative level of things, and also refers to a common Balinese joke about the number of mobiles and windcharms bought by visitors on their Bali holidays.

Ibah Gallery

The Ibah Gallery is located a little on the outskirts of Ubud, and is the showcase for the “Bali Kangin-Kauh Group” a collective of incredibly talented artists. One of the artists, an Englishman, has worked on various album covers for the band, Pink Floyd, and has a resumé that also includes work on the Beatles’ ‘Yellow Submarine’ film. However, the work in this gallery is contemporary Balinese and mainly concentrates on painting the many forms of energy that surround the human form.

Nyoman Sumertha Fine Art Gallery

If you enjoy the work of Claude Monet, then you’ll definitely want to visit this highly respected art gallery on you Bali holidays. The gallery focuses on the work of Jason Monet, a larger than life character, who is alleged to be a descendant of Claude. N.B: Galleries mentioned are likely to change without prior notice.

Peter Vasiliou is a Bali holiday specialist for key2holidays, an online tour operator offering Bali holidays, as well as holidays to other destinations in the Far East; the Indian Ocean, Cuba and the Caribbean, Egypt, Southern Africa, Italy & the Mediterranean, Canada, Australia and the Pacific. key2holidays has a dedicated team of experienced travel consultants to share their knowledge and help you to plan and book your ideal holiday.

Article Source: Peter Vasilou