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Bali is a popular resort island in Indonesia popular with surfers and Aussies. It is a large island and you'll need to decide how to spend your day here. Outside of shops and homes, you may see Hindu offerings left inside leaf trays on the sidewalk. Don't worry if you accidentally step on one but don't do it on purpose.
Bali really is as alluring as everyone says. This island, slightly bigger than Delaware, has it all: beaches, volcanoes, terraced rice fields, forests, renowned resorts, surfing, golf, and world-class dive sites. But what sets Bali apart from other nearby tropical destinations is Balinese tradition, and villagers dedicated to celebrating it. The hundreds of temples, dances, rituals, and crafts linked to their ancient Hindu faith aren't a show for tourists, but a living, breathing culture in which visitors are warmly received by the Balinese, who cherish their own identities. Snakes in the garden, including commercialism and traffic, diminish but don't destroy Bali's charm.
Bali is a popular resort island in Indonesia popular with surfers and Aussies. It is a large island and you'll need to decide how to spend your day here. Outside of shops and homes, you may see Hindu offerings left inside leaf trays on the sidewalk. Don't worry if you accidentally step on one but don't do it on
Where You're Docked
Cruise ships typically use two ports, Benoa Harbour or Padang Bay. For Benoa, most ships anchor offshore and passengers are tendered to a a small cruise terminal in the middle of nowhere. Smaller ships may dock alongside though the approach is tricky. Kuta Beach is 10km away. Padang Bay is a tender pier located 23 miles east of Ubud.
Local Transportation
You will need to take a taxi to get out of the Benoa cruise port area since there is nothing around. The Bemo (private minvan) drivers have bullied out competitors at the port area so you will need to negotiate for a rate to get out. Keep in mind a metered taxi to Kuta Beach should cost around 10,000-12,000 IRD ($10 USD). Outside the port, Bluebird taxis are abundant, reputable and metered and can take you back to the terminal. Australian dollars are usually accepted. Be aware of copycat taxis. There are buses but schedules are erratic and they only leave when they are full.
Traffic is pretty congested so give yourself plenty of time to get anywhere. Taxi drivers may drive on the shoulder, turn right and then U-turn to bypass the roundabouts to save time.
Things to See
Many people say that Bali is overrated, too touristy and not worth to visit.  it really all depends how you would enjoy Bali. Not only that it has been popular in it’s own right, with post eat, pray, love, is there still the Bali that started it all?
Regardless, as time has passed, and places may have grown, yes Bali is still what it is somewhat but not quite. If you can look past the many tourists especially during peak season and instead of scorning, enjoy instead the many little business dotted around specifically to cater to tourists, you might just fall in love with Bali.
Bali deserves still the attention it is getting, just to list the Top 10 must visit places is enough to see why you should still travel to Bali.
Uluwatu Temple – Pura Luhur
Imagine a large rugged limestone cliff with a temple perched on it, almost like a scene from cliffhanger, to add to it’s dramatic grandeur. It is situated in the island commonly known as Bukit Peninsula, where it also include Bali’s few best beaches like Balangan and also has many good surfing spots. The temple is itself a majestic structure, constructed and expanded by many famous safes since in the 11th Century, it perched at the steep cliff of 70 meters above the Indian ocean. If you go even higher grounds nearby, you will be rewarded with breathtaking view of either side and sunsets over Uluwatu temple itself.
Pura Tanah Lot
Another majestic rock formation that lays as a foundation of a popular pilgrimage temple. It is most popular for its serenity and cultural significance as it is associated with the Balinese mythology as one of the seven temples that form a ring in the southwest of Bali. Try to go there during low tide so that you can experience walking across the water to the temple for the full experience.
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan (Bali’s temple by the lake)
This is the famous temple by the lake in Bali, where instead of like the rest perching on the cliff rock, this one is serenely resting at the edge of Lake Bratan. Imagine beautifully structured temple with double the beauty due to reflections of the clear lake.
Dolphin sightings at Lovina
One of the best place in the world to do dolphin sighting boat trip. You will leave the beach at dawn to seek for the dolphins, though yes it may be quite crowded with other tourists trying to do the same especially during peak season, it is still well worth it when you find a school of dolphins happily jumping by. Lovina itself have a number of other attractions and activities itself, and boasts itself some backpacker scene where you can chill out in cafes and with live musics.
Yes despite that one might be trying to escape the eat, pray, love trail, Ubud is one place you cannot miss. It is still the heart of Bali, where all the action is and all the people and energy are focused on. Ubud is packed and condensed with the best of Bali, ranging from nature, culture and people, temples, museums, rolling rice/paddy fields and man-made gardens and parks. You may take a interesting bike tour around here or take up cooking, adventure activities like whitewater rafting and other outdoor activities, relax yourself with yoga and meditation or have some pampering of spas and massages and also enjoy arts and theatres and not to forget shopping. Just so you see Ubud have a little bit of everything for almost everyone.
Party at Kuta Beach
Kuta is the most popular beach in Bali, which means you can be sure to find the life and party scene here in Kuta Beach. Head here if you are looking out to socialize, party and have a good time. You be sure to find a range of places for different atmosphere and budget, ranging from Hard Rock cafe to your neighborhood cafe and pub.
Private beach at Nusa Dua Beach
If you have a bit more of a budget to spare, splurge at Nusa Dua beach, where it is dotted with higher end hotels. You will be rewarded with private pristine beaches for you to slowly soak in the sun and the sea. Also ideal for honeymooners or people looking out for a private and relaxing getaway travel.
Hike/Climb Mount Batur at Kintamani
Up in a highland in East of Bali, there lies Mount Batur caldera in Kintamani. A climb to the summit (1700 meters) of this active volcano is a great experience for any active travelers. Many would do the sunrise hike for an ultimate experience, starting from as early as 4am to reach in time for 6am sunrise. This hike is relatively easy and the treks are quite well marked. From the peak of the mountain, there are views in all direction to sweep you off your feet, not literally of course.
An almost zen place for you to sit back and really appreciate your cup of coffee while overlooking the coffee plantation as far as the eye can see. Here you are served with various coffee and tea for tasting. You can also see the process of how the famous and expensive Kopi Luwak are made and even the civet cats themselves. If you are a coffee lover, do come check this place out for the ultimate coffee experience.

So you have it, ten reasons to visit Bali and these are just the highlights. Now you know the reason behind Bali’s popularity, so maybe people can just be right sometimes. Come over with an open heart and open arms, huge ounce of patience and tolerance for crowd, close an eye to all the touristy things glaring at you and just enjoy yourself here. If all else fail, you can always jump on the next available fast boat and escape to Gili Islands or Lombok!
Bali's interior is mountainous and lush. At its edges, it is framed by thick mangrove swamps, sweeping white and black (volcanic) sand beaches, and lively coral reefs. The island also has a variety of ecosystems for wildlife such as mouse deer, monkeys, dolphins, giant turtles, and more than 300 bird species. Benoa Harbor, Bali's primary southern port, is within easy striking distance of southern Bali and is across the bay from Tanjung Benoa, a slender peninsula heading up from the exclusive Nusa Dua resort area.
Bali Bomb Memorial. October 12, 2002 was just another party-hearty Saturday night in Kuta until a pair of bombs detonated in rapid succession, the first inside a popular bar, the second in a van outside an even more popular nightclub across Jalan Legian. The blasts and ensuing inferno left at least 202 dead, 88 of them Australian tourists, nearly 250 more injured, and millions of lives charged. The memorial, located at the site of the first blast, was dedicated two years later with an elaborately carved Balinese motif inspired by shadow puppets towering above the marble plaque listing known fatalities by nationality. Flags of their 23 homelands are raised daily around the monument. Jalan Legian, Kuta.
Bali Safari and Marine Park. From white tigers to rhinos to northern cassowaries, the park's 60 species will fill in blanks on most bucket lists. It's Bali Aga extravaganza (daily except Mondays) has Disney-level production values, for an additional charge. Entertaining animal and elephant shows emphasize conservation themes. Most animal headliners are viewed only on the 30 minute safari tour, but there are elephants, camels, and birds around the park for photos and feeding (for a fee). There's also an aquarium featuring piranhas. Jalan Bypass Prof Dr Ida Bagus Mantra Km.19, Gianyar. Admission charged.
Bedugul-Munduk Lake Country. Bali's lake country highlands present breathtaking vistas at elevations above 1,000 meters (3,280 feet), two to three hours north of southern resort areas. Bedugul overlooks Danau (Lake) Bratan. Lakeside temple Pura Ulun Danau Bratan is rightly among Bali's most photographed spots. Vast Bali Botanical Garden (Kebun Raya Eka Karya Bali), mobbed on Sundays, grows palms to pines to pink roses, thanks to the elevation. Bedugul's market and countless hawkers sell famed local strawberries. The winding 16-km (10-mile) road to Munduk skirts Danau Buyan and Danau Tamblingan, with views of forested mountainsides that reach the sea. Munduk features hiking trails, waterfalls, Dutch colonial buildings, and coffee plantations. Weather ranges from sweltering sun to mountain chill, often changing dramatically within a couple of hours. Bedugul. Admission charged.
Gitgit Waterfall (Air Terjun Gitgit). With five waterfalls at four locations between Bedugul and Singaraja, Gitgit can be a confusing destination. Gitgit Waterfall is farthest from southern resort areas and down the mountainside toward the north coast. The waterfall is nearly 160 feet (48 meters) high and takes about an hour to climb down then up the 150 steps to it, and no guide is necessary. With a guide, it's possible to continue to smaller Colek Pamor, Twin, and/or Multi Falls. Visiting all four requires about three hours walking a hilly 2 miles (3 kilometers) through plantations and rice fields. Jalan Raya Singaraja-Bedugul Km 10, Gitgit, Bedugul. Admission charged.
Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave). This Hindu holy place dates back at least 1,000 years. The T-shaped cave interior has elaborate stone carvings and a statue of the Hindu elephant god Ganesha, which is a tribute to Goa Gajah name but not the reason for it. The courtyard outside the cave has sculptured female figures filling a pair of bathing pools. Jalan Raya Goa Gajah, Ubud. Admission charged.
Museum Le Mayeur. Explore the works of Belgian painter Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merpes, who arrived in Sanur in 1932 at age 52. He shared the remainder of his life on Bali with Ni Nyoman Pollok, the 15 year old dancer that became his primary model and wife The couple's home, on a wide patch of beach, displays 88 of Le Mayeur's works, including early impressionist views of Europe, island watercolors on grass matting, and later rich oils that still influence Balinese artists. Original antique furniture, period photos, and elaborate stone and wood carvings on shutters and walls contextualize the paintings and the Le Mayeurs. Sanur Beach, 165 feet (150 meters) south of Jalan Hang Tuah, Sanur. Admission charged.
Neka Museum. Ubud is Bali's arts center, and this museum traces the island's painting history. Arranged like a family compound in separate pavilions in a garden, the museum illustrates the evolution of painting in Bali, including the influence of prominent foreign and Indonesian artists who have lived here. One wing showcases Java's Abdul Aziz, who evocatively depicted everyday Balinese. Upstairs, there's a veritable greatest hits gallery dedicated to Bali's resident international masters, including Antonio Blanco and Rudolf Bonnet. Jalan Raya Sanggingan, Ubud. Admission charged.
Pasifika Museum. The museum's 350 piece collection, mainly paintings, includes big names such as Adrien Jean Le Mayeur, Theo Maier, Miguel Covarrubias and Donald Friend-the latter two perhaps better known for their writing about Bali. Rather oddly, artworks are arranged by the artists' country of birth, rather than chronologically or by subject or region depicted. Works from Pacific islands and Indochina are also displayed. Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC) Area, Block P, Nusa Dua. Admission charged.
Pura Besakih. Bali's so-called "mother temple" exemplifies island Hinduism and, regrettably, tourism-driven greed. Some 3,000 feet (900 meters) up Mount Agung's southwestern slope, Pura Besakih includes 23 temples, interiors usually closed to visitors, about three hours from southern resort areas. Pura Pentaran Agung dominates, with six stages climbing the mountainside. Equally striking are lines of women worshipers in matching sarong and kebaya (form-fitting long blouse), swaying up temple paths, fruit offerings balanced on their heads, and views to the sea if clouds clear. Besakih hawkers and guides-some knowledgeable, most negligible-throng visitors; steer clear and accept no offers without setting a price first. Jalan Pura Besakih. Admission charged.
Sababay Winery. This local winery uses Bali-grown grapes, part of its commitment to grassroots partnerships. Visitors can see up to a half-million liters (130,000 gallons) of juice being processed into 10,000 bottles a day of its Black Velvet, White Velvet, and Pink Blossom varieties, formulated by Sababay's French winemaker. These so-called New Latitude wines are meant to be poured young, so there's not an oak cask in sight. Sababay aims to revitalize grape growing in North Bali through its Farmer Partnership Agreement, paying higher crop prices to planters that follow its agricultural methods. Visits to vineyards near Lovina can also be arranged. Jalan Bypass Prof Dr Ida Bagus Mantra No. 333x, Keramas, Gianyar.
Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. Ubud's Monkey Forest is home to dozens of Balinese macaques. These long-tailed grayish primates mug it up and dive spectacularly into their pool when not taking refuge in the tall trees. But there's more to the forest than monkeyshines. Guides posted along the paths gladly expound on the site's history and temples, including Pura Perana, dating to the 14th century. Monkeys here are better behaved than their counterparts in Uluwatu, but still can get nasty. Remove anything they can grab (like hats, glasses and earrings) and all food from your person. Obey the many "Do Not Feed" signs rather than the sales pitches of banana and peanut hawkers. Jalan Monkey Forest, Padang Tegal, Ubud. Admission charged.
For over a century, Ubud has been the island's foremost center for fine arts, dance and music. Home to artists' workshops and galleries, the Sacred Monkey Forest, temples, shrines, and monasteries also dot the area. Ubud considered the cultural center of Bali with many temples and museums. There is a monkey sanctuary here. If you want to take a taxi to Ubud from South Bali, it is best to charter the vehicle for a return trip, otherwise, you'll be hit with a 30% fee for going out-of-town. Metered fares, one-way and not including surcharge, are around Rp 100,000 from Denpasar and Rp 200,000 from Kuta.
Craft Villages
Admire the handiwork of skilled artisans in Mas Village, renowned for woodcarving, Celuk, Bali's gold and silversmith capital, and Tohpati, the center of Balinese hand-weaving and batik-print making.
Denpasar - The largest city and capital of Bali. There are temples and a central market here. In addition to sandy beaches and surfing, Bali's capital city also offers an art center, a museum, department stores and restaurants.
Ubud Monkey Forest
Approximately 340 Balinese long-tailed macaques live within the Sacred Monkey Forest. Many of the trees are considered holy and used in various Balinese spiritual practices.
Elephant Safari Park
An official Member of the World Zoo Association, the Park offers visitors an opportunity to feed, touch, and ride atop one of these gentle giants through their the cool forest.
Taman Ayun Temple
One of six royal temples in Bali, the Taman Ayun Temple, translated as "Garden Temple In The Water," is surrounded by a moat, which is filled with beautiful lotus flowers.
Ayung River Rafting
Experienced guides take visitors on a thrilling class II and III white water rafting along the Ayung River, Bali's longest river.
Rice Terraces
The history of these stunning emerald-green landscapes date back over 2,000 years when hard-working farmers with primitive hand tools began carving the stepped terraces out of steep hillsides.
Sanur - This beachside resort town is more upscale and popular with older families.
Nusa Dua / Tanjung Benoa - Across the harbour from Benoa port, this area has a long beachfront with plenty of resorts. You will need to go all the way around the harbour to get to this area. There is a public beach at Geger.
Seminyak - An upscale resort area north of Kuta. There are high end boutiques and spas in this area.
Dining Out
Eating Out in Bali is amazing! There are many places to eat out in Bali. It is hard work to experience all the dining experiences in one trip, especially if your staying in one of our villas where the staff can cook up some great meals for you in-house. We have detailed places below that we really like and that are easy to reach from the villa. You will find all restaurants are casual and welcome kids.
The Beach house is our local. It is 5 minutes in the car, in fact you could walk there in the same time. It is casual, cheap, has a great selection of local and western style dishes. Good wine list and the sunset is fantastic. BBQ seafood overlooking the beach every evening - the BBQ lobster is a favourite. Live music on Sunday nights.
Hotel Tugu Also 5 minutes from our villas. IIt is in a beautiful setting and is just the place for a special evening. Specialises in Balinese and Indonesian style dishes. There are special rooms and menus that can be booked for special occasions. Great for celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and marriage proposals!
Kudeta The place to be seen in Bali. A very contemporary designed restaurant on the beach at Seminyak 25 mins from the villa. It is a great place for lunch, daytime is very relaxed, kids are welcome. The evening changes into more of an adult affair with a great cocktail bar overlooking the beach at sunset with bar menu available. The main restaurant has a great menu and good wine list. A little more expensive in price.
Sardine -- New! Beautiful French asian style restaurant overlooking the ricefields. Mainly seafood, but some meat dishes also. Great decor and in the upper pricing range but still very reasonable for the standard of restaurant. Seminyak – 20 mins from villas.
Metis --French Mediterranean food. Great rice field views and great cocktail bar. Seminyak – 20 mins.
La Lucciola-- Beautiful open aired restaurant on the beach. A favourite for brunch. Specialises in Italian style food. Big grass area out the front for kids. Near Kudeta, 25 mins from our villas.
Sarong - Seminyak – 25 mins from villa. The food here is amazing and usually requires a booking to get in. A Thai, Indian, Indonesian menu, the food is fantastic, well worth the extra cost. Great cocktails also.
Kori’s -- Poppies Lane, Kuta. If you have just stocked up on DVD’s then this is right next door. Casual restaurant offering local and western food.
Dirty Duck -- Bebek Bengil in Indonesian. Located in Ubud. Great place nestled around rice fields. You can sit on cushions in your own bale and eat your crispy skinned duck. Beautiful setting and the kids will love the casual eating table within your own bale.
Locavore Restaurant has caused a massive buzz throughout Bali’s dining scene since it opened in Ubud early 2013, owing much to its unique approach, using local produce to create outstanding cuisine. It continues to awe first-time diners and attract loyal guests due to its exceptional interplay of flavours through creative dishes by chefs Eelke Plasjmeijer and Ray Adriansyah.
The ingredient-driven menu at Locavore Restaurant highlights fresh fruits and vegetables – from organically grown vegetables to exotic fresh picks such as kemangi (lemon basil) and ‘galunggung’ wild berries used in signature drink recipes. The chefs' shared passion has also brought them closer relationships with local producers, ensuring that the menu is made up of chemical-free, seasonal produce and meat from ethically fed animals. Ideal for couples, and family and friends to share, Locavore Restaurant in Bali has a tasting menu with wine pairing, as well as five to seven-course degustation treats. If you are a rare lucky soul who got a seat without booking, last orders are at 21:00. Chef Eelke, Ray and their solid team take a whole day off on Sundays, and Mondays are for dinner only. Opening Hours: Mon – Sat, 12:00-14:30, 18:00-23:00 Location: Jalan Dewi Sita, Ubud Tel: +62 (0)361 977 733
Mozaic is an award-winning garden restaurant and lounge tucked away in a quieter part of Ubud on Jalan Raya Sanggingan, where you can enjoy fine dinners in a lush and romantic open garden setting, or in a spacious and cosy dining pavilion. Chef-owner Chris Salans presents his fresh approach to French cuisine that incorporates local, exotic Balinese ingredients through a varying menu, together with private dinner experiences.
The Mozaic Lounge, open daily, also serves signature cocktails from its modest lounge bar, such as the Mozaic-Roska made with Absolut vodka and passion fruit juice, or the Oh Jahe Ho that comprises vodka, orange and blue Curacao, and a bit of ginger to spice up your evening. When you’re ready for dinner, you proceed along a stone walkway that leads you to Mozaic’s garden where candlelit tables are surrounded with rattan chairs, fire torches glowing under an open star-lit sky. The pavilion, on the other hand, features red walls with vibrant expressionist artwork and tables with satin cloths, softened by red-purple drapery.
Mozaic's menu is a regularly changing one, some creations created by the minute, according to Chef Salans and his culinary team’s inspirations and in season fresh local ingredients, as apparent in its four 6-course tasting or ‘Discovery’ menus. This, plus the personalised touch of service by Salans together with his well-trained waiting staff, is what perhaps led to accolades for the overall dining experience. Mozaic Restaurant Gastronomique Opening Hours: 17.45 – 01:00 Location: Jalan Raya Sanggingan, Ubud Tel: +62 (0)361 975 768
La Lucciola Restaurant Bali is one among Seminyak’s most renowned beachfront dining icons, sharing the Petitenget vicinity with the namesake temple, and bordering The Samaya Bali to its south. The legendary restaurant serves brunch, lunch and dinner, offering a menu that features international fusion and Mediterranean cuisine on two airy levels of a unique thatched-roof tavern. From here your dining experience is complemented by great ocean and sunset views beyond a coconut grove and the restaurant’s own dappled green lawn.
Petitenget Temple has a wide parking area that La Lucciola Restaurant Bali also shares. From here you can easily access the restaurant by foot via an elegant wooden bridge over a creek, which is subtly lit after sunset. Another way in is simply from the beach side right off the sands of Petitenget, which is convenient for weekenders and families looking for a fine place to dine after enjoying their time out on the beautiful coast. Opening Hours: Mon-Sun, 09:00-23:00 Location: Jalan Petitenget, Seminyak (next to Petitenget Temple) Tel: +62 (0)361 730 838
Pasar Kumbasari in Denpasar and Pasar Seni (Art Market) in Sukawati sell handicrafts, local costumes, and other local specialties. Along Ubud's main road there's a traditional market catering to tourists, plus dozens of shops crammed with high-quality, inexpensive textiles (in particular, beautiful batik work), clothing, carvings, household goods, kites, chimes, paintings, and kitschy souvenirs. Craft villages with particular specialties, such as a Celuk for silver, are good destinations if you're looking for particular items of quality.
Sukawati Art Market, referred to locally as 'Pasar Seni Sukawati', is Bali’s most distinguished and long-standing art market. It is where visitors can seek and purchase distinctively Balinese art items such as paintings and sculpted wooden figures, curios, handicrafts and traditional handmade products. The two-storey Sukawati Art Market was established in the 80s and is located on the Jalan Raya Sukawati main road in Gianyar, approximately 20km northeast from the main tourism hubs of Kuta and Denpasar.
The art market’s main building is often packed with shopping holidaymakers and locals sourcing household and daily necessities. It is an alternative, inexpensive and complete shopping destination conveniently situated along most tour itineraries to the central and northern regions of the island.
Good to Know about Sukawati Art Market A rule of thumb on bargaining is to start at half the offered price, which is possibly the actual production cost of the item itself. On your first visit, better spend some time browsing through the whole market premises for similar items of interest and compare to get the general idea of the prices.
Besides the stalls, there are peddlers who actively offer their ware to visitors. Patience is needed, as it is easy to find yourself getting overwhelmed by their constant hassle.Compared to other art markets in the island’s main tourism areas in the south such as Kuta and Nusa Dua, the prices offered at the Sukawati Art Market are widely considered by the locals to be cheaper.
With the rampant openings of similar ‘souvenir centers’ referred to locally as ‘Pusat Oleh-Oleh’, the fate of traditional art markets such as Sukawati and others have been in the spotlight for quite some time. However, the public continues to favour shopping at these traditional markets as they are much more fun with bargaining and do not make commission deals with tour bus drivers as the new souvenir centres normally do.
To get a wholesale price and enjoy the fixed prices for each item, visit Pasar Pagi Sukawati (Sukawati Morning Market), a short distance west from the Sukawati Art Market, open from 07:00 to 11:00, also sells handicrafts similar to Sukawati Art Market.Sukawati Art Market Opening Hours: 08:00 – 19:00 Location: Jalan Raya Sukawati, Gianyar
How to get there: Sukawati Art Market is located along the Jalan Raya Sukawati main road 20km/12.4 miles northeast of Denpasar; 4km north from Batubulan’s performing art centres, and 10km south of Ubud.
Ubud Monkey Forest Road is the namesake route passing the famous sacred sanctuary home of the grey long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicuiaris). The one-way street follows on further south from Jalan Hanoman and turns at Ubud’s main town centre, across the road from the Puri Saren royal palace and Ubud’s famous art market.
From where Ubud Monkey Forest Road starts, rows of shops, boutiques and outlets line its sides together with many guesthouses and hotels, restaurants and small day spas. Only a short distance further down, the forest sanctuary resides under lofty shades of the entrance gate, with a small parking space just across the road.
Locally referred to as Jalan Monkey Forest, the Monkey Forest Road links the main shopping area with Ubud's famous satellite streets of Jalan Hanoman, Jalan Sugriwa, and Jalan Jembawan, which are all southeast from the town centre.
Along Ubud Monkey Forest Road, there are a variety of shops, some with clear signposts and some bearing only obscure objects and curios from behind single-glass displays. Most are art shops with selections of assorted handicrafts, antiques and alluring textiles from the archipelago and Bali.
A stroll through Ubud Monkey Forest Road and the adjacent side streets will demonstrate that this area is not similar to main tourism areas in the island’s south, say Kuta and Legian for instance. Quieter footpaths, a cooler ambience and a more relaxed shopping climate make for a pleasant Ubud side-street shopping experience.
For simple items, there is the convenience store, Delta Mart. Various shops such as Toko Lagi showcase a range of antiques and items while organic shops such as Utama Spice sell a collection of essential oils, handmade soaps and aromatherapy items.
Fashion, from men’s and women’s, to children’s wear can be found here. Just after the Ubud Monkey Forest sanctuary, a steep climb up north is where most of the fashion boutiques are found. Wardani Textiles boasts exotic and colourful sashes and sarongs as well as readymade clothing.
You will find a few internationally branded stores and famous local brands on Jalan Monkey Forest such as Uluwatu, Animale, Polo Ralph Lauren, Billabong, Volcom and other leading surf brands. The local brand of Balinese lace, Uluwatu, retails handmade women's garments, dresses, bags and accessories, bed linen, table linen, and more.
Jalan Hanoman also features rows of shops and clothing stores, with fine textiles from the archipelago and exotic forms, colours and designs. On Jalan Dewi Sita, find KOU Bali Shop, which sells homemade organic fruit jams and organic soap.
Good to Know about Monkey Forest Road
There are actually three different roads that interlink to form the sidewalk shopping experience that is Ubud Monkey Forest Road. Interestingly, all of these roads’ names signify a monkey-related theme.
Ubud Monkey Forest Road is obvious, while the Jalan Hanoman preceding it is named after a Hindu monkey deity, also a protagonist in the Hindu epic, Ramayana. Jalan Sugriwa, a road east of Jalan Hanoman, is also named after a character from the Ramayana epic – Sugriwa being related to Hanoman, king of the monkey kingdom.
Again to the east, Jalan Jembawan is named after a bear who together with the ‘Wanara’ monkey troops aided Rama in finding his kidnapped wife, Sita. All roads interconnect at one point, although only Jalan Monkey Forest has one-way traffic. Monkey Forest Road and Jalan Hanoman are connected by Jalan Dewi Sita, which also has several art and painting galleries as well as textiles and clothing outlets.
The Ubud Art Market, locally referred to as 'Pasar Seni Ubud' is located opposite the the Puri Saren Royal Ubud Palace and is open daily. Here you can find beautiful silk scarves, lightweight shirts, handmade woven bags, baskets or hats; statues, kites and many other hand-crafted goods.
Most of the goods found at the Ubud Market are made in the neighbouring villages of Pengosekan, Tegallalang, Payangan and Peliatan. The location of the Ubud Art Market which is centred among the art producing villages, and being just opposite the royal palace which is a centre point to Ubud itself, make it a strategic shopping place for Balinese handicrafts and souvenirs.
The Ubud market also serves as a setting for the Hollywood movie Eat Pray Love, which shows a scene where actress Julia Roberts opposite a male character strolling through the stalls which are frequently visited by foreign and domestic visitors in real life. Naturally, bargaining is essential.
A holiday in Bali always calls for some sort of shopping for souvenirs or memorabilia of the trip, and the best place to make the search would be in the artistic central region of the island, namely Ubud and its Ubud Art Market.
Bali art markets in general are always on itinerary lists especially as the various items sold are typically Balinese, unique and some unavailable elsewhere. In Ubud’s case, most visitors’ favourite leisure includes easy strolls to the heart of the town, made possible by footpaths that virtually pass every aspect of Balinese culture and life. Ubud Art Market is one among the laid-back strolls, reachable from the Wanara Wana Monkey Forest Sanctuary just down south, an approximate kilometre from the market.
‘Shopping’ here is not always about an actual purchase. Viewing the various items on display from one stall to another is a highlight on its own, showing the craftsmanship and the artistry of the Balinese. Admiring all the shops and stalls usually cannot be accomplished in one day. So if you spot an item of your interest, you might come back another day to bargain or settle the deal.
Compared to art markets in Bali’s other main tourism destinations such as Kuta, the Ubud Art Market can be considered to feature higher quality items and a larger mixture. Although beach cloths and shirts printer with “Bali” on them, and ikat woven skirts, Balinese style paintings, woodcarvings and woven baskets can be found almost everywhere on the island, items ranging from quadruple-coloured bohemian skirts of satin, Moroccan-style oil lamps, quilt-stitched batik camisoles and brass Buddha statuettes, are somewhat the staple, typical Ubud Art Market curios.
Good to Know about Ubud Market. The Ubud market offers not only exemplary Balinese items, but rather a universal and international assortment, catering to visitors of all tastes. The items found here also tend to of a higher artistic value compared to other art markets such as Kuta.
Prices vary, depending on your bargaining skills. Haggling is expected and indeed encouraged as part of the fun of shopping, but do so politely and with a smile. It is often helpful to decide upon the most you want to pay for an item before you start bargaining.
Unlike the various shops aligning the Monkey Forest road, most stalls at the Ubud Art Market bear no barcode or set price, so start bargaining which is a customary. Start at about half the asking price and go up till a compromise is reached. Refrain from buying anything if it is the first day of your holiday. Do a little survey while you’re enjoying your first day and get accustomed with the prices. The market is open daily from 08:00 to 18:00, and some of the stalls are even open until late at night. The market is divided into two main allotments. The western block is the main art market, and an eastern block is a traditional market serving daily groceries and necessities.

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