There are many reasons to visit Ubud not least for its unique atmosphere and cooling breezes after a few hectic days in a popular beach location. It is serene and calming, easy to wander around and the major attractions are close together. The Grey Traveller’s top three picks are……
1 Monkey Forest – walking distance from the main thoroughfare and a place you can spend 15 minutes or a couple of hours in. You can choose to buy bananas and feed the monkeys or as I did I just walked through as I didn’t want to get too close up and personal with the primates. They will jump on you if you have food but there are plenty of wardens to help out if the monkeys get too boisterous. It reminded me very much of Disney’s Jungle Book as they roam free around many temple ruins, the temples being just as popular an attraction as the monkeys. There are three entrances and our taxi driver suggested dropping us at entrance number 3 so that we could walk through and exit at entrance number 1 which would lead us back to the main road in Ubud. There are plenty of opportunities to view monkeys without feeding and plenty of chances to take photographs. Entrance fee is minimal.
2 Saraswati Water Temple – Hidden behind some shops and restaurants is this beautiful temple area. The main pathway is edged by huge water lily ponds and the temple is typically ornate with orange brickwork and decorated throughout. Free to enter but not quite so easy to find. Look for the Cafe Lotus and you will see the temple.
3. Ubud Royal Palace – easy to find as it is on the main junction of the thoroughfare leading through the town, also opposite to the market. Free to enter, this palace is typical of many Hindu palaces across the island but not to be missed never the less. Typically ornate in orange brick, amazing carvings and greenery reminding you that after all you are in a tropical climate.