Ubud lies 36 km from the resorts on the
southern coast. The name for this royal village is derived
from the Balinese word ubad (medicine), the moniker of a
herb with healing properties which grows along the nearby
If you aren't interested in overpriced tourist hype but
want comfortable accommodations at good prices, a central
location, and all the facilities in a less hurried rural
environment than the south, the Ubud area is for you. Despite
the bumper-to-bumper traffic, too many loud motorcycles,
and thousands of tourists during Bali's peak tourist seasons,
when it's difficult to find a parking space, Ubud still
shows glimpses of its basically rural character.
The stars over Ubud almost crowd out the sky they're so
bright, and during the day the heavens are crowned with
fluffy cumulus and wispy cirrus clouds. Wandering around
in the crisp night air is pleasant and safe.
Candidasa, Denpasar, and the airport are all only an hour's
drive from Ubud, and beautiful landscapes and historical
sites-Pujung, Gunung Kawi, Goa Gadjah, Tirta Empul, Yeh
Pulu-are within easy reach.
You can enjoy dozens of scenic nature walks around the
village-pick any lane and just keep on walking. The best
time is at dawn. Just east of Ubud is Bali's former capital,
Pejeng, the center of the Balinese Holy Land and home to
the highest concentration of antiquities on the island.
Ever since the German painter Walter Spies made his home
here in the 1930s, Ubud has been a haven for both native
and European artists. In an area of 10 square km in and
around this village live Bali's most accomplished dancers,
musicians, painters, and carvers. Temple festivals, celebrations,
and performing arts-baby's first haircut, dance rehearsals,
even an occasional cremation-are offered somewhere in the
area every day of the week.
Ubud is also the expat capital of Bali. A permanent Western
community resides here because cultural and natural attributes
make it the ideal place for those who wish to stay for any
length of time on Bali. From your 'losmen' or homestay family
you can learn how to make a bamboo mouth harp, study painting,
maskmaking, and 'gamelan', or learn the art of the 'dalang'.