Ubud is the perfect destination to experience Balinese culture, art, architecture, and crafts. Home to amazing artists and art galleries, Ubud also has impressive temples and palaces. Its attractions extend beyond the man-made, however, and other interesting sights include its monkey forests, parks, and animals, particularly its elephants. Head to Ubud and you will have the opportunity to select from dozens of great destinations that will make your trip even more memorable.
Tegallalang Rice Terraces
The rice paddies of Ubud are an amazing sight, and the rice terraces of Tegallalang are some of the most impressive in Bali. Built with the subak irrigation system, these terraces spread across the hills down to the valleys below. Tellalang’s appeal lies partly in the fact that it offers a better and larger view than many areas. There is a particular spot by the road that offers a striking look out at the terraces from a breezy, elevated vantage point.
Pura Samuan Tiga
This temple was once the royal temple of a tenth century king and it has fantastic architecture to match its interesting history. The Tegending and Pande rivers flow on either side of Pura Samusan Tiga, which is situated among sacred trees and has an altogether spectacular views. The architecture of the temple itself makes for wonderful view. It has multiple courtyards, a large staircase leading to the most sacred of these. Visitors can see the Siat Sampian ritual (the oldest known among Balinese Hindus) during the Purnama Kadasa full moon in April. This ritual features hundreds of performers acting out a war with impressive choreography. The ceremony is about seven hours long, lasting from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sangeh Monkey Forest
The Sangeh Monkey Forest is home to the long-tailed grey macaques who live among amazing trees (including giant nutmegs) and are considered sacred. They live partly within a temple located in the forest, Pura Bukit Sari. Here they scamper and play amid the building and the forest. The Sangeh village is about twenty kilometers from Denpasar. The monkey sanctuary itself is also known as Obyek Wisata Bukit Sari Sangeh. It is open from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Go to Bali Agung’s Bali Theater to experience wonderful cultural dances accompanied by beautiful costumes, impressive music, and real Balinese legends. The theater is part of the Bali and Marine Park, located in Gianyar. This modern, comfortable theater is the perfect place to witness this impressive show of storytelling through choreography.
Taro Elephant Park
Taro Elephant Park is located in a beautiful national forest untouched by development. Twenty-seven elephants live here, where they are cared for and protected. You can feed or ride these amazing creatures, or just observe them performing talents in the shows that are put on each day. These are Sumatran elephants native to this land. In addition to the elephants themselves, you can enjoy the unique Elephant Museum or take a walk through the forest. With a restaurant, souvenir shop, and a lodge, you can truly enjoy the elephants of Bali here.
Museum Rudana hosts an admirable collection of paintings from Indonesian and international artists. This multi-story art gallery of fine arts in Ubud is filled with works by some of the country’s most famous artists as well as up-and-coming creators who are set to make a name for themselves in the world of fine art. You can also see art done in the Batuan and Classical Ubud style, showcasing Bali’s long history as an artistic center.
Taman Nusa Cultural Park
If you would like to explore Indonesia’s history and heritage while in Gianyar, head to Taman Nusa Cultural Park. This enormous park has numerous displays including traditional houses set up in village fashion. These exhibits are all designed to allow visitors to better understand Indonesia’s past. They introduce the public to the lifestyles, arts, and culture of many of the country’s islands. You can visit the park from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is located in Sidan village about forty-five minutes from Ubud.