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Ubud: The Cultural Heart of Bali


Due to the traffic in Bali it can take significantly longer to get around the island then what Google maps or common sense will tell you. It can be frustrating and time consuming if you're not prepared. I found the best way to handle this was to organize my sight seeing by geographic location, to really avoid as much traffic as I could and spend more time exploring. Here are a few of my top highlights when visiting the Ubud region and the north of Bali Island. 


Pura Taman Ayun Temple 

Taman Ayun literally translates to "beautiful garden", and it's a fitting name for this ancient temple that was built in 1634. Located in a beautiful park near the Village of Mengwi, approximately 8km southwest of Ubud, Taman Ayun is a family temple where the ancestors of Raja Dynasty of Mengwi and important Gods are honored. Boarded by canals, the temple can only be entered via a bridge which gives access to the outer courtyard of the temple. If you're not a worshipper you are able to walk around the grounds and look in, but you are not able to go into the temple at all out of respect. 

Pura Taman Ayun 
Jalan Ayodya, Mengwi 
Kabupaten Badung, Bali 


Mount Batur 

Mount Batur is an active volcano in Batur Village in the northern region of Bali. It is a highlight for visitors offering both beauty and tranquility as well as fantastic hiking opportunities, including the option to trek to the top to watch the sunrise. If you're not into hiking you can have lunch with an incredible view to take in all the scenery and just kick back and enjoy being in the mountains. 


Alam Bali Agrowisata 

One of my favourite experiences in Ubud was visiting a tea and coffee plantation. It wasn't something we had asked to do, but our driver pulled up and told us we would enjoy it, so we thought why not! One of the farmers showed us around the plantation, pointing out all the different types of beans, leaves and herbs that were growing around the gardens. As well as coffee, Alam Bali also produces high-quality tea, cloves, avocado and vanilla. We were able to meet some Asian Palm Civet, the famous little animal who's coffee bean poop is used for the very high-end expensive Kpoi Luwak Coffee. I am not really a big fan of hot drinks, but some of the tea flavours at Alam were just amazing. My favourite in particular was the Lemon Grass Tea that I am now running out of, so I'm trying to only have it as a treat! 

Bali Kopi Luwak 
Jalan Raya Tegal Suci
Desa Tegallalang
Kec. Gianyar, Bali


Sacred Monkey Forest Ubud 

No trip to Ubud would be complete without a trip to the Sacred Monkey Forest. Home to hundreds of Balinese macaques who are as cheeky as you can imagine, the beautiful grounds of the forest are a sight all of their own. In the forest you are able to feed the monkeys, but make sure to be particularly careful around them as they are known to be naughty and sometimes aggressive if they think you are teasing them or hiding food from them.

Read more: The Sacred Monkey Forest, Ubud


Ubud Monkey Forest
Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud


Tegalalang Rice Terraces 

These famous rice terraces in Tegalalang are an iconic part of the Balinese landscape. There are rice fields located all over Bali Island, but Tegalalang is known for being one of the most beautiful. Unfortunately on the day we were visiting it was raining so heavily that our driver didn't want to stop (he was quite bossy tbh, I'm annoyed at myself that I didn't insist), so all I could do was snap this quick picture from the car as we passed by. Tegalalang looked like a very cute little town and I wish we could have stopped to explore. Arts and craft market stalls line the streets along with traditional foods and gifts. The Rice cycle is three months in Bali, so if you're visiting a few different rice fields you are more than likely to find one that is completely green and luscious. 

Located between Tegalalang and Ubud, Indonesia 


Tegenungan Waterfall 

Located at the sacred river of Petanu River is the Tegenungan Village, the southern part of the Kemenuh village. Again, we were unfortunately visiting on the rainiest day Bali has ever seen, which meant that the water was significantly murkier than we had hoped for, which was a little disappointing. Never the less, the falls were quite remarkable, smashing into the rocks and the river below. There is quite a steep flight of stairs to get down to the falls, so be prepared with water and light clothes, especially if you're visiting in high humidity like we were. Entrance to the Tegenungan Waterfall is 10,000 Rp per person. 

Kemenuh, Sukawati
Kec. Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia


** Disclaimer: We were visiting Bali during the wet season, and boy was it wet. Avoid travelling in February/March for much sunnier skies, cleaner waterfalls and the ability to walk outside without being hurt by torrential rain!

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