Ubud is one of the famous vacation spots in Gianyar Regency, Bali Island, Indonesia. Ubud especially very popular among the foreign tourists since this location is lied down in between rice fields and forest which scattered between the mountain ravines that present an enhancing panorama. In addition, Ubud is known for its arts and culture that is growing very rapidly and developed. The pulse of Ubud community life’s could not be separated from arts in any form. Here, there are many art galleries, as well as music and dance performances arena which held alternately every night in all corners of the village.
As early as the 1930s, Ubud is famous among western tourists. At that time, the German painter; Walter Spies and Dutch painter; Rudolf Bonnet settled there. They are assisted by Cokorda Gede Agung Sukawati, at Puri Agung Ubud. Now their art work can be seen at the Museum Puri Paintings, Ubud.
Ubud as a tourism spot
Ubud has a very diverse vacation spots, ranging from the nature tourism spots to spiritual tourism spots, among of them are:
Rudana Museum and Rudana Fine Art Gallery
Rudana Museum is an art museum located in Ubud, Bali, which was founded by Nyoman Rudana, a collector of paintings that also served as a member of the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) representing the Province of Bali in the 2004, 2009 and inaugurated by President Soeharto in December 26, 1995. This museum houses more than 400 paintings and sculptures of the artist’s work, both from Bali, Indonesia artists from outside Bali and masterpiece of foreign artists who made Bali as a place to create their art work. Being in the area, there is Rudana Fine Art Gallery as well which was founded in 1978 and is the forerunner to the establishment Rudana Museum.
Puri Lukisan Museum
Is the first art museum, which is managed by the private sector, in Bali. Initiated by Cokorda Gede Agung Sukawati, I Gusti Nyoman Lempad as well as foreign artists who settled in Ubud, Rudolf Bonnet. Established on January 31, 1956 under the auspices of the Foundation Ratna Warta, and officially opened by the Minister of Education and Culture, Muhammad Yamin.
In this museum you can enjoy the growth of art in Ubud, either painting or sculpture. Some works of foreign artists who work in Ubud such as: Rudolf Bonnet, Walter Spies, Arie Smit and local maestros such as I Gusti Nyoman Lempad, I Gusti Made Deblog, Ida Bagus Made and others. Also includes works of masterpieces during the Pita Maha.
Puri Agung Ubud
Puri Agung Ubud Krisnakusuma located right in the heart of Ubud. It is the administrative center of Ubud Empire in ancient times, as well as a center of art, culture and customs, which was held in right infront of the castle. Puri Ubud have the layout and buildings which are maintained as the original. On the front page, after the gate, there is an area called the Ancak Saji. Here are held Bali dance performances once a week, for tourists. And every day, conducted gamelan music training of various arts groups in Ubud. All of art activities in this area, thicken the atmosphere of Ubud as an art-minded village.
Monkey Forest or Wanara Wana, is a sacred forest located in Ubud area, precisely is a part of Padangtegal traditional villages, Ubud. As its name, this forest inhabited by hundreds monkeys, who have inhabited the region for hundreds of years. In this area, there is Pura Dalem Padangtegal (Bali Temple) as well, which was founded in the early of 20th century. The temple architecture and ornaments are very ancient and artistic. You can also discover the sacred springs under the hidden dragon statue, if we drink the water, believed can cure all kinds of diseases.
White Water Rafting
There is a river in the Western Part of Ubud named Ayung River.
There are many water tourism activities in this river, including rafting and kayaking. In addition to water tourism, the cliff along the Ayung river offer enchanting natural scenery as well, and there are dozens of star hotels along it. There are many Bali travel agent offer this activity.
Other Places Of Interest
Sukawati Art Market
Sukawati Art Market is a market which mostly offer Balinese art items which are great for souvenir or memento. It is located approximately 20km from the heart of Denpasar. In the art market there are hundreds of vendors who are selling handicrafts and other products, ranging from wooden sculptures, paintings, t-shirts, shorts, bags, sandals, and amny more. The item’s motive are unique and distinctive Balinese.
Ubud Art Market
In the center of Ubud there is Ubud Art Market that sell Bali typical souvenirs as well. This market became one of Bali’s premier tourist destination for domestic and foreign tourists. Fresh products such as fruits, vegetables, poultry and local snacks can be bought from the traditional market which is located in the basement of the building.
Rice paddies near Ubud
The area around Ubud is characterised by gently rolling rice paddies, and these create an impression of greenness which can be quite startlingly beautiful. This is especially true to the south and southeast of the town. Any visitor approaching from the south will appreciate this and it is worth a stop just to absorb the gentle beauty of it all.
Northeast of Ubud town centre the land starts to become more undulating, and this is a good place to view Bali’s classic rice terraces. The village of Tegallalang is very much a tourist trap, but it is worth braving the hordes of trinket peddlers to view the stunning terraces there. From the town centre, take Jl Raya as far east as you can go, and then turn north and continue about nine km until you reach Tegallalang. Look for the picture postcard rice terraces on you right-hand side. For those moving on north to the Kintamani area, this is on route and makes for an easy stop. A small fee is charged to cars entering, at least to tourists in hired cars.
Far more off the beaten path is to explore the rice fields immediately north of town. A good route is to take Jl Raya eastwards from the town centre and turn north up the small road immediately adjacent to the BCA Bank building. Proceed up this road through the village of Kutuh and just keep going, turning where you feel like it. This is a very gentle, rural area with some lovely landscape. A great way to explore is by bicycle as there are no steep hills to negotiate here.
Another very short walk through the rice fields starts as a narrow path at the right side of Puri Lukisan museum and ends as Jalan Kajeng street bringing you back to Ubud center.
Typical Ubud river valley scenery
On the opposite side of town in the Campuhaun, Sanggingan, and Kedewatan areas, the landscape changes dramatically as great gorges have been carved out of the limestone land base by the Ayung and Wos rivers. It’s no surprise that so many five star hotels have made their home in these lush, dramatic valleys. Opportunities for viewing these gorges are many. You can just find your own way and explore by motorbike (it is very hard work by bicycle as the hills are steep). Head west out of town over the Campuhan Bridge and just start exploring. The main road here is Jl Raya Sanggingan, and if you continue heading away from town you will reach the junction with Jl Raya Kedewatan. From that point you can turn in either direction and just keep exploring. Alternatively, you can stop into a hotel or restaurant, have a drink or lunch, and gaze out in very civilised surroundings. If your pockets are deep, the restaurant at the Four Seasons in Sayan probably has the best views of all of the Ayung Gorge. A more budget conscious option is the lovely Indus restaurant in Sanginngan, with tables facing out to the Wos River.
Source : http://wikitravel.org/en/Ubud