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Posted by on Feb 8, 2012 in Asia, Indonesia

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia – Markets, Monkeys & Traditional Dances

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia – Markets & Monkeys

Ubud is a small town in the centre of Bali which is packed filled with beautiful sights. 

Titik, my couchsurfing host from Kota, dropped me off to take a bus up to Ubud. After 5 minutes, Titik came back and said “This isn’t safe, and those guys look sketchy; I’ll drive you to Ubud”. So, with that, Titik drove me the 30 minutes up to Ubud.

I immediately bee-lined it to the central market. I love to shop, and I love the vibrant colours of Balinese markets. I am attracted to all things rainbow and shiny! Just look at those plates – how could you NOT want to buy one?

After viewing all the beautiful art, I started my own collection. Please note: art is NOT the most practical item to start a collection of while backpacking. I found this corner niche in the Ubud market, with its traditional stone carved arches, and beautiful oil paintings on display. Like bees to Honey – I bought 4 small paintings.

In the North of Ubud, there is the Ubud Monkey Forest. It is a sacred nature reserve within the Jalan Monkey Forest, and houses a temple and crab-eating monkeys. If you sat down, the monkeys would come and climb all over you, and they were not as upset as you were when they stuck their feet or their butt in or near your mouth. Highly entertaining.

I had not found a place to stay yet. I was sitting on a bench wondering where to go when a local man sat next to me. He was a tour guide and his group were all shopping in the central market still. We started speaking and he offered me a room at his brother’s hostel. Walking me back down twisty, turny back alleys, we finally arrived at his brothers “Hostel”. This was a small palace. It was STUNNING and for sure the most luxurious place I’ve ever stayed for $3 CAD.

Afterwards, the owner told me about traditional dances available to watch. I went to the Ubud Palace, bought my ticket, and waiting the 2 hours before the show started. I was front row.


For an island like Bali, where Beaches reign supreme, more people should explore inland to small villages like Ubud. Ubud captured my heart with its small town charm, and wonderful experiences.

Have you been to Ubud?



  1. I have and it’s one of my favorite places in the world! :)

    • As popular as Bali is – it is so worth all the hype eh? What was your favourite part of the island?

  2. Yes, definitely worth the hype, particularly if you avoid the very touristy places or all-inclusive resorts like Nusa Dua. I loved almost everything on the island – the rice terraces and exotic flowers, the beautiful temples, the endless rocks by the ocean at Tanah Lot, the Botanical Garden, the lakes, the mountains, the turquoise water, the wonderful sunsets, the colourful silk scarfs, the traditional jewelry, and the food. This place has almost everything and I really can’t pick just one thing I liked about it.
    Oh, and it’s the most hospitable place I have ever been to!
    What did you like about Bali? :)

  3. This is a great post. We are right in the mix of planning out Bali trip. Thanks for the great info.


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