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Ubud, Gianyar

Ubud is only 30 kilometers north from Denpasar and has a population of about 30,000 people. This is, undoubtedly, the cultural center of Bali.

Balinese traditionalists like to be far from the ocean. This way they managed to preserve a more authentic way of life. Ubud is in the heart of the region and from here you can travel to all Bali destinations.

The name Ubud means medicine, and it is named for grass that grows on the river bank of the Campuhan River close by. Traditional medicine men enjoy great respect among locals and usually come from the higher social circle.

Ubud became known in the past by the western world, by painters and other art colonies. Today, it is best known by luxury hotels located in the rainforest or at rice fields. In addition to these glorious hotels, many other restaurants exist, and they all offer local and international cuisine.

This town once was a quiet village surrounded by rice fields and chicken and pigs on the streets. Today, it is modern and well developed city. In contrast to noisy Kuta, Ubud is still a charming and calm city attracting art lovers from all over the world. You can enjoy a “no pressure” shopping in many galleries, shops, boutiques, and on the market where salespeople are discrete and relaxed.

Ubud is the center of painting, sculpture, batik textiles, and carving arts. Wealthy European and American artists started arriving in 1920. Since 1927, German musician and painter Walter Spiess calls Bali his home and from time to time musician and painter Vicky Baum visits. She is the author of the famous novel "Love and Death in Bali." Dutch painter Rudolf Bonnet spent most of his life in Ubud.

The Palace Puri Saren is one of the attractions. You can also visit the house of famous painter Don Antonio Blanko, who died in 1999. His paintings are displayed at „The Blanko Renaissance Museum“ established by his daughter.

„Monkey Forest“ is the most interesting spot for kids: a small area populated by tamed, but bothersome monkeys. At the same forest you will find the small spring for bathing and the altar dedicated to the goddess Dewi Beji. One of the paths from the temple leads to the "holly monkeys" next to the temple Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal. Descendants of the legendary monkey king Hanoman live on the trees. These monkeys are spoiled and are used to be fed. If you have nothing to offer, they will pull your hair and your clothes, and they will yell at you.

For people enjoying sports, rafting is available at the canyon of the river Sayan or the bali cycling tour in the surrounding area.

At times when the Dutch ruled the island, Ubud was the capitol of Balinese feudal princes from Tjokordas dynasty. Their political role was tightly controlled by the colonialists. Tradition is still strong in Ubud, and many performances regularly take place, including dances, music, and shadow Puppets theatre. These performances are organized for the locals as well as for the tourists.

There is a saying that we all agree with, and it goes: "To understand Bali is to visit Ubud".

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