Everytime I heard of Bali, I always thought that it is all about beautiful beaches and surfing, not until I saw the movie Eat, Pray, Love. Bali has a strong culture which is the other charms of it, and you can feel it mainly in Ubud. Located in the center of Bali, away from the busy cities of the south. It sit on the gentle slopes leading up towards mountains. During the time I was in Bali, I noticed that Ubud attracts travellers because it keeps the charm of the old Bali days in its myriad forms, compared to Kuta, which is so famous for beaches and surfing.
While I was in Ubud, I learned why many people plan to come here for a day or two and end up staying longer, maybe just like me, they are drawn in by the richness of Balinese culture and by daily activities where each was associated in their cultures, traditions, spirituality, natures and the relationship between human beings. As I witnessed some of these traditions, I can say that each activity in Ubud defines them and was able to give the impression of how deep and rich their culture is. It provides lasting memories from everyone who came to visit.
Ubud is considered as the center for arts and culture of Bali. Around here are temples, ancient sites and most of the villages here produce handicrafts. I saw art studios in every corner of the streets, paintings, jewelry business, wood carvings, fabrics with colorful and intricate designs that hang from every stand. To add to this energy, I also heard sounds of music coming from ceremonies happening daily in the temples or in the streets. Although the growth of Bali has engulfed several places, leading to urban sprawl, Ubud remain unspoiled, with lush green paddies, towering coconut trees and temples in every house. It is a good example of the place where tourism is harmoniously integrated in to the village life.
Although there are lots of things to do here, I'm content with simply walking the streets while seeing array of extraordinary arts and crafts being made in front of my eyes. Heading out of town is where ancient sites are located like Gunung Kawi, home to a massive 11th century tomb surrounded by paddy fields; Goa Gajah, a UNESCO world heritage site; Tirtha Pura Empul, an ancient and revered temple; Monkey Forest, a sacred place for the Balinese and many more.
Inside the Sacred Monkey Forest
Tirtha Pura Empul
It's difficult to leave the relaxed and quiet atmosphere of Ubud. With lush green scenery, calming and tranquil atmosphere, peaceful and friendly locals, life in Ubud flows in an unparalleled world.
Most of the locals I've met here says that there is magic here as the spirits guides this paradise. No wonder because Ubud means 'Medicine' and it's trully a cure for the heart, a cure for the mind and a cure for the soul.