Friday 8th July 2016
5 Best Places in Ubud

1. Visit Beautiful rice field

Ubud is home to many working rice fields and Tegallalang rice terrace is one of the most beautiful paddies to see. Located on the hillside, in beautiful wave like layers we enjoyed the gorgeous panoramic view and witnessed the farmers working on the field. The current method of irrigation is know as Subak and goes back at least a 1,000 years, as well as being practical, it has religious significance and rice is seen as a gift from the gods. It was so interesting to learn that rice is not only a staple food in Bali but an integral part of their culture.

2. Take a walk in to Monkey Forest

The Sacred Monkey forest was somewhere that I was really excited, though somewhat nervous, to see. Leaving our sunglasses and anything else that could be swiped in the car we headed gingerly into the forest.
The Monkey Forest is located in the village of Padangtegal and is home to three temples and around 600 long-tail Macaques monkeys. It’s actually very easy to get to as it’s just off the main street of Ubud on Monkey Forest Street. In the forest they sell bunches of bananas to feed the inhabitants
And if you hold a banana above your head, the monkey will climb up your body and sit on your shoulder to eat it! There were monkeys everywhere you looked and I was a little nervous that they’d scratch me, or even worse our cameras! But they were actually pretty cute and friendly, and only a little cheeky!
The monkey forest is really fun but it also has serious cultural significance; monkeys represent both positive and negative forces and are animals to be both loved and feared. However, the moneys in the forest are seen as a force for good as they guard the temples from evil spirits.

3. Pay a trip to Goa Gajah temple (the elephant cave temple)

The history of Goa Gajah or the ‘elephant cave’ is disputable but the Hindu holy temple is estimated to date back to the 11th century, built for prayer and meditation. The cave is built where the Petanu and Kali Pangkung rivers meet as the idea of mixing water is considered magical by the Balinese people. Though mostly Hindu there are other relics surrounding the cave that have significance in Buddhism.
From the outside the cave is pretty scary and the facade is covered with demons and animals and inside are three stones idols. The cave was narrow and dark and claustrophobia hit as I walked in so I headed back into the light pretty sharpish!
There are also large carved female figures in the courtyard outside the cave holding waterspouts to fill bathing pools.
Surrounding the religious site are beautiful rainforests and rivers connected by a network of stairs and bridges. I do warn you that if you have problems with mobility, there are a lot of stairs.
As with other holy sites, sarongs must be warn at Goa Gajah, but these are provided.

4. Check out the Water Temple (Tirta Empul temple)

Balinese Hinduism is also known as the holy water religion and water is used in every single ceremony and ritual. For this reason Tirta Empul, a 1000-year-old temple that encompasses a holy spring, is one of the most important temples in Bali. The Balinese come on pilgrimages to bathe in the water and tourists can too, though Mr S and I were just spectators on this occasion!
The waters at the temple are believed to have magic healing powers and to purify those that bathe in them. As well as the water springs there other beautiful statues, temples and relics to admire around the courtyard.

5. Walking out to Campuhan Ridge walk

Campuhan Ridge Walk is a free and easy nature trek, popular among repeat visitors to the central highland town of Ubud. The area provides a great retreat from the more hectic southern parts of the island, but this trail presents an even more pristine outback to escape from the contemporary boutique, guesthouse and restaurant-lined Jalan Raya Ubud. While the hike lets you enjoy cool fresh air and probably the most gorgeous hillside vista in the region, it also allows you to shed off some calories too with its nine-kilometre hill track.
Getting to the starting point is relatively easy. Those staying at the Warwick Ibah Luxury Villas and Spa have the best starting point to the Campuhan Ridge Walk, as the main access is a concrete path just down from this boutique hotel’s main entrance. Smaller letterings under the signage of the Warwick Ibah, bears “Going to The Hill” with an arrow pointing left, and as soon as you take on this path, the verdant surroundings of the Campuhan Valley immediately come to sight, lined by dense tropical foliage.