Tegallalang Rice Terraces
The terraces are located in the villages of Tegallalang around a 20-30 minutes drive out of Ubud centre. Driving here is half the fun, weaving along the tiny back roads through the small villages that surround Ubud, the scenery is amazing. There is a reason the rice terraces are one of the most visited places in all of Bali. Built over two thousand years ago, this UNESCO world heritage site is still farmed to the very day.
The scenery here is just incredible, row upon row of terraces built into the valley; the amount of work and ingenuity it must have taken is awe-inspiring.
We recommend arriving as early as possible, after lunchtime it gets packed with tour groups and insta babes gosling for top spots to take a selfie.
Entrance to the terraces is free but if you have a driver or take your scooter you have to pay a small fee for parking, only a few dollars.
You’re free to roam around most of the area but just be respectful and stick to the designated pathways and bridges. There are some more secluded areas you can visit away from the crowds but the farmers will usually make you pay a “donation” to pass through.
Campuhan Ridge Walk
Campuhan Ridge walk is definitely one of our top things to do whilst in Ubud. With some of the best views of the surrounding valleys and lush green jungle its one of the best ways to spend your morning or afternoon.
It can be a little tricky to find your way here but once you’ve navigated your way you wont be disappointed.
If you’re walking from the markets down the main Jalan Road and you’re walking here you’re almost there.
Just before you get to the bridge on the right hand side of the road you’ll see the sign for the Warwick IBAH villas and spa.
Turn into the driveway and veer to the left and go down the steep hill, once you reach the bottom there will arrive at Pura Gunung Lebah Temple.
There will be a small bridge and some stairs to the right with a sign saying “trekking this way Campuhan Ridge” just follow it around to the right hand side of the temple and just keep walking uphill.
The hike itself is around 2-3kms in length with a paved walkway. The first 1.5km it rolls gently up hill and down until you reach a small village with some shops to get snacks and a cold coconut, local artists studios and a few villas. Most people will turn around after this and head back but if you carry on walking you will eventually end up at Karsa Café with an amazing outlook onto some beautiful rice fields and are incredible to relax at and watch the sunset over the fields.
The walk is very exposed to the elements and can get quite hot along the way. It’s best to do the walk in the early morning or late afternoon to escape the heat of the midday sun. We started the walk around 4pm and took it really easy and reached Karsa café around 5pm. The lighting here at sunset mixed with the setting is beautiful and you can get some amazing shots.
Ubud Royal Palace (Puri Saren Ubud)
Ubud Royal Palace is one of the most prominent landmarks in all of Ubud, as its located right in the centre of town on the main Jalan Road. The palace was built during the rein of Ida Tjokorda Puta Kandel 1800-1832.
Only the front section of the palace is open to the public and is free of charge to enter and view the grounds. The architecture of the palace is beautiful with its archways and ornate traditional carvings and great for a photo op. It can get quite busy so get there early morning to avoid the crowds, which arrive with the tour groups around 10am onwards. In the evening the palace holds tradition dance shows from 6pm and tickets usually go on sale from outside the main gates around 4pm.
Ubud Art Market
Ubud Art Market is located just across the road from the Ubud Royal Palace. The markets have been operating for over 100 years but were made famous by the scene in the film “Eat, Pray, Love” with Julia Roberts. They are open everyday and here you will find stalls filled silk scarves, linen shirts, woven bags and baskets, bohemian clothing, batik camisoles, Moroccan style lamps, carved statues and many other great pieces. Most of the items here are hand made by local artisans in the surrounding villages of Pengoskan, Tegallalang and Peliatan. Also the quality of the items you’ll find here are of far greater quality than what you’ll find in other markets around Bali like in Kuta and Seminyak.
Saraswati Temple is also located right in town along the main Jalan Road. We walked past it quite a few times without even knowing it was there. To find it just turn right on the main road when you exit the Royal palace and walk about 100 meters until you see a sign for Lotus Café.
Walk into the café and through to the back. You will be welcomed by the sight of two huge lotus ponds with and long central walkway leading up to the entrance of this beautiful temple. Locals come here to pray and lay offerings during the day. If you’re lucky the temple will be open and you can wonder around the beautiful grounds.
Favourite restaurants in Ubud
Ubud is a food lover’s paradise with some much to offer from amazing authentic Indonesian and Balinese cuisine to top-notch international fare. We mainly eat local when we are visiting a new location. Its our favourite way to get to know the culture, but like we mentioned earlier Ubud has some amazing international restaurants and we were lucky enough to try a few as well while we were in town. Here’s our list of our favourite places to eat while in town.
Mesari Warung was our favourite place we ate while in Ubud. It’s a really eclectic space filled with beautiful artwork covering the entire restaurant, traditional carvings, a koi pond and waterfall out the back in the garden. Set amongst the rice fields of Penestanan just outside of Ubud town this place is amazing.
The food here was some of the best we had eaten while in Bali and their coffee and deserts were top notch as well.
Getting here can be quite complicated if you don’t know where you’re going so we will add a link here to the restaurant’s website and they have a detailed map of how to find them. But its definitely worth the effort to come here.
Bubu warung is run by the family whose villa we stayed at whilst in Ubud. It’s also located just outside of town in Penestanan on the road running out of town. It’s a small warung but fitted out in a nice modern way. The food is so fresh and so tasty. The best part about this place is the family who run it, they are so welcoming and warm to their guests and you can really taste the love and care put into their food and everything on the menu, link here.
If your looking for some clean eating Alchemy is the place you wanna be. Everything on the menu is organic and mostly vegan and all the produce is locally sourced and made onsite by their amazing chefs. The coffee here is also really good with local beans harvested from the area. They also have a wholefood store onsite and also offer raw food cookery classes run each month for those staying for an extended period of time.
It’s so chilled out and calm here, a perfect place to just sit and relax or do some work. A lot of expats use this place as a co working space.
If you’re looking for some fine dining while in town, look no further. Bridges Bali is casual fine dining at its best, white tables cloths, dim candlelight, the works! We spend my birthday here with a few girlfriends who were in town at the same time and to be honest we weren’t really expecting it to be so posh, but what the hell why not splash out on my birthday.
The food here is outstanding, a mix of local Indonesian with western influences. It’s fine dining so don’t expect huge servings, but what you do get is like I said outstanding! The cocktails and wine list are amazing as well, albeit quite pricy. There is also a dress code so no Bintang singlets and flip-flops guys, pop on a clean shirt and some proper shoes.