Perched on the gentle slopes leading up towards the central mountains, Ubud is the other half of Bali's tourism duopoly. Unlike South Bali, however, Ubud’s focus remains on the remarkable Balinese culture in its myriad forms.
It’s not surprising that many people come to Ubud for a day or two and end up staying longer, drawn in by the rich culture and many activities. Besides the very popular dance-and-music shows, there are numerous courses on offer that allow you to become fully immersed in Balinese culture.
Sensory pursuits are amply catered to with some of the best food on the island. From fabled world-class resorts to surprisingly comfortable little family-run inns, there is a fine choice of hotels. Many places come complete with their own spas, for hours or days of pampering packages.
Around Ubud are temples, ancient sites and whole villages producing handicrafts (albeit mostly for visitors). Although the growth of Ubud has engulfed several neighbouring villages, leading to an urban sprawl, parts of the surrounding countryside remain unspoiled, with lush rice paddies and towering coconut trees. You’d be remiss if you didn’t walk one or more of the dozens of paths during your stay.