Come for love, stay for life
Voted one of the top 10 cities in Asia by ‘Condé Nast Traveler’ along with being the place Julia Robert’s character finds love and happiness in ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, it’s no wonder Ubud in central Bali is a sought-out destination for travellers worldwide. Ubud is the place for spiritual rejuvenation in the form of Balinese massage, world-class spa facilities and yoga retreats up the wazoo. There’s also plenty of sightseeing to be done while not in warrior pose. Roam through the region’s famous rice terraces, hang with macaques at the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, restore your chi at one of the many divine temples, and enjoy Ubud’s lush botanic gardens.
Ubud is also known as the culture capital of Bali and home to many artist types, in fact, it could be argued that art is bigger here than yoga. If galleries and museums are your thing, your greatest challenge might be getting around to them all; from fine to modern art from various countries and periods, there’s plenty on show.
Ubud also caters for the bohemian lifestyle with streets lined with cafes and restaurants. You’ll enjoy the good life in abundance with the discovery of cheap local dishes with highlights including suckling pig and authentic satay. After you’re caffeinated and fed, you can shop for Ubud’s locally produced organic soaps or procure spices, silks, and leather and rattan goods. Be sure to eat plenty of the local fruit too; mangosteen will help with your Ubud transformation - it’s a superfruit packed with antioxidants.
For transport, renting a scooter is a great way to get out and explore the rural side of Ubud, and you’ll also see the locals going about their everyday lives. Take an eco bike ride tour or go whitewater rafting on the Ayung River. Just make sure you spend at least a few days in Ubud or even longer - this place has a habit of acquiring expats.