Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Mon March 28 2016

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  • A Cruising Couple | March 28, 2016 9:00 PM ET

    8 of the Best Ways to Experience Ubud

    8 of the Best Ways to Experience Ubud

    Photos by A Cruising Couple unless otherwise noted

    If we’re being honest, we had very low expectations for our visit to Ubud. Before arriving, we’d heard the Balinese town was not what it once was — now an overdose of yogis, digital nomads and tourists seeking out long-lost magic and meaning in their lives. But despite these claims, it didn’t take us long to fall head-over-heels in love with Ubud.

    Between the spectacular surrounding scenery, fascinating local culture and plethora of things to see and do, there’s a reason why Ubud is touristy: the town is simply as wonderful as can be.


    Photo via Flickr/Bernhard Huber

    While many go to Ubud to find peace and stillness, there is plenty to keep you busy. Here are our top eight suggestions for the ultimate adventure in Ubud.

    READ MORE: Ubud Wellness Centers: Which One is the Best?

    1. Get Lost In The Surrounding Countryside

    While Ubud’s city center is undeniably chaotic and congested, quiet, captivating magic awaits in the outskirts. The easiest way to take in the countryside is to rent a scooter and just start exploring. If you’re not comfortable on two wheels, there are also a few walks that will take you past rice paddies and green valleys. Live Love Raw has an excellent guide to accessing the lush Campuhan Ridge Walk.

    If you prefer to get lost in the countryside without having to move a muscle, you’ll have no trouble finding local accommodation in secluded settings. We stayed at a lovely guesthouse surrounded by verdant rice fields, where our favorite activity was sipping coffee on our private porch while taking in the view.


    2. Get Your Yoga Flow On

    Find your inner Zen with a peaceful yoga practice in Ubud. Whether it’s your first or fiftieth Downward Dog, you won’t have any trouble finding a yoga class that fits your expertise and interests. The Yoga Barn is perhaps one of the most popular choices, with numerous classes throughout the day and occasional community events in the evenings.

    3. Visit The Tirta Empul Holy Spring Water Temple


    Local Balinese go to this Hindu temple to bathe in the holy, healing waters. Tourists are welcome to explore the beautiful temple and fresh water springs, but do remember the site is considered sacred to practicing Hindus, and has been for over a thousand years.

    4. Watch A Traditional Balinese Dance


    Bali is known for its traditional ceremonial dances, and Ubud is one of the best places to take in a show. There are live performances most nights of the week outside of the Ubud Palace. We watched a special Legong Dance in this outdoor theater and spent the entire show fascinated by the intricate movements, dramatic facial expressions and extravagant costumes.

    5. Take A Cooking Class

    Ingredients Ubud Bali Cooking

    Take a personal cooking class in the home of a local family in Ubud. Our experience included a trip to the local market before we were taught the art of making base gede, sticky rice, fried tuna, tempeh and sardines steamed in banana leaves. The food was mouthwatering, but the insight into local culture in such an intimate setting is what we will long remember.

    6. Gorge On Great Cuisine

    Whether you’re after vegetarian masterpieces, cool cafes or gourmet grub, you’ll find a little bit of it all in and around Ubud. Sari Organik is always a crowd favorite, memorable for its idyllic location and wholesome meals. If you’re trying to satiate your sweet tooth, Room4Dessert is the obvious choice.

    7. Explore Pura Gunung Kawi

    Pura Gunung Kawi Sebatu

    Photo via Flickr/Eugene

    This 11th century temple complex is a short drive from Ubud and a must-visit to experience one of Bali’s oldest and largest ancient temples. Here you’ll find 10 rock shrines cut out from a dramatic cliff. There are also various mesmerizing monuments and fountains throughout the grounds. It’s worth exploring with a guide to learn about the legends and history surrounding the temples, but leave plenty of time to wander in awe.

    READ MORE: 8 Mesmerizing Things to Do in Bali

    8. Indulge In An Ayurvedic Chakra Massage

    For the ultimate in relaxation, try an Ayurvedic Chakra Massage. A mix of massage and the application of warm oil over various chakra points, if Ubud doesn’t transform you into a new person, this three-hour massage will. We chose Bali Botanica for our Ayurvedic massage and still vividly remember the luxurious sensation of warm herbal oil balancing our energy flow and revitalizing our entire being.

    These were a few of our favorite memories from our trip to Ubud, but that’s just the start of all there is to see and do!

More Bali


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A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
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