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Ubud is a little magical place on earth. The nature is absolutely incredible and there is so much to see in this central area of Bali. If you are going to Bali – definitely visit Ubud. This might have been my favorite place I visited during my stay in Bali. It’s a whole different vibe compared to the coast areas and the Nusa islands. Here’s my small guide to Bali – 3 days in Ubud!
I have been in Ubud for about three days during my trip. I went from Uluwatu to Ubud and I visited the Nusa islands after Ubud. In all, I had about 2.5 days in Ubud with all the travel time between these three places. If you do not have enough time to do all of these things, just pick the ones you love. I haven’t done all these things since I had some planning issues, but these things would have been on my list if I had planned everything right during my 3 days in Ubud!
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1. Tegalalang Rice Terraces
On the first day of your 3 days in Ubud – visit the rice terraces and markets. The rice terraces are absolutely incredible, especially this one. You can walk all the way to the top of the fields to avoid the crowds. You will meet some locals on your way up asking for money. That’s because that part of the rice field is theirs. You only have to pay them a small fee to continue walking. The top of the rice fields are incredible since there aren’t as many people as down near the entrance of the fields. Definitely a must-do if you want to fully experience the rice fields and enjoy some quietness. This is the best place for some photo’s as well since not as many people can photobomb your pictures.
I’d recommend coming here in the morning before sunrise. I have heard that the sunrise is stunning and almost magical to see. So if you have the time and if you are a morning person – I think this is an amazing addition to your trip.
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2. Visit the ancient Bali
Pura Gunung Kawi is a good place for the culture and history lovers. The most amazing thing to see here are the temples and houses carved out of rocks. I haven’t been here and I wish I had! It looks amazing and I am definitely visiting this place when I am going back to Bali. The entrance is 15.000 IDR per person.
3. The Ubud market
This market is such a nice place to find typical Bali bags and ankle bracelets and so much more. I have to admit, all the stores and stalls sell pretty much the same thing. It’s good to see where you find the best things for the best price. Don’t be scared to negotiate about the price before buying it. Keep in mind that most of these people sell these items as their only job. It’s good to keep a fair price in mind rather than going as low as possible to benefit your own wallet. Negotiating goes both ways.
Read more: The Bali Diaries | Part 2
4. Monkey fun
If you haven’t spotted any monkeys during your trip through Bali and you want to – the Ubud Monkey Forest will give you all the monkeys to see. The monkey forest is located in the village Padangtegal. Besides the monkeys, there are about 186 species of trees and 12.5 hectares of forest around you. Don’t forget to look around instead of only focussing on the monkeys because there is so much to see around you! Be careful of the monkeys since they are known to be quite mean. Don’t smile at them and don’t look into their eyes. Be careful of your belongings like wallets or sunglasses. They are fast and run off with your sunglasses within seconds!
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1. Climb Mount Batur
On the second day of your 3 days in Ubud – enjoy the epic sunrises and amazing hikes. You guys. I didn’t have enough time to climb Mount Batur and I am so, so sad. This is a must-do if you are in the area of Ubud. This volcano is worth the climb because the views are absolutely stunning. If you’re lucky, you’re able to see a lot of the island. But even if it’s gloomy and clouds are in the way of your view – the sunrise is just as stunning. You can book a tour to see the sunrise on top of the mountain. It’s an early (or late?) wake up time since some of the tours pick you up at 2-3 AM at night. Some stop at a local coffee factory where you can taste beans and try the coffee before going (or after) to the mountain. Take some warm clothes with you ‘cause – as with any other mountain – it’s cold on top. The climb is told to be tricky, it’s good to wear a good pair of sneakers to climb in.
2. Balinese cooking classes and workshops
After you went back to your accommodation, take some time to catch up on your sleep and relax. I think it’s important to take the time to relax between all the exploring. Think about what you have seen and look over your pictures. See what you want to do next and what you’d like to photograph next. I always do this to avoid missing places or making double pictures.
The Balinese kitchen is amazing and I’d recommend to do a cooking class if you are into cooking, of course. Balinese people are also into making their own natural remedies!
- The introduction to Balinese culture – where you explore the local techniques and flavour
- Learn how to make an herbal medicine from Jamu.
3. Campuhan Ridge Walk
The Campuhan Ridge Walk is perfect to do on your own. This one is specifically gorgeous during sunset. The walk is located in Campuhan where two separate rivers meet in Ubud. It’s a pretty walk in nature with amazing views. It’s good for a simple walk, perhaps a run and it’s gorgeous to take pictures. The walk is completely free of charge so it’s the perfect thing to do if you are visiting Bali on a budget.
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On the third day of your 3 days in Ubud – visit the waterfalls and/or do a day tour! This central part of Bali is the perfect place for visiting waterfalls. You can combine this day with a tour or drive around with a driver the entire day. I did this on the first day and it’s so nice to have a local who knows the great spots and can drive you around.
1. Kanto Lampo
This waterfall is very popular under locals, which is why it’s busy during the weekends. However, it’s still as beautiful as whenever it’s less crowded so definitely give this one a try. You can jump in and enjoy a swim to cool off and enjoy the scenery!
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2. Tibumana Waterfall
This is another waterfall to visit. It’s not as much of a swimming spot as the last one, but definitely gorgeous to see. There is a possibility to swim, but the force of the waterfall is huge so be careful while swimming. There is another waterfall in the area of Tegalalang and that’s the Tegenungan waterfall I visited. To be honest, I did not like this one that much. It is impressive but extremely crowded and the area isn’t as pretty as some pictures may suggest. I’d recommend going for one of these two waterfalls I just mentioned.
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3. Book a day tour
If you want to have a full scheduled day to see as much as possible, think about doing a day tour. This is the ultimate way to see a lot of the area. Be aware that during those tours you’re bound to a time schedule. You don’t have as much free-time as you would driving around with a personal driver. You probably won’t have a lot of time to swim or take pictures. If that’s what you’re looking for, I do suggest looking for a driver.
Ubud is an amazing place to explore and the beauty absolutely stunned me. 3 days in Ubud is enough to explore this part of the island. It’s not easy to find the not-so-crowded-places unless you’re going very early. In places like these, tourism is very popular and we kind-off have to deal with it. We want to see the things as much as everyone else. It takes a little adjustment to get the shot we want, see the things we want to see and explore the places we want to explore. It’s definitely worth it though!
Have you been to Bali?