Places of Interest in Ubud, Bali

Ubud is Bali's cultural heart. This area is located in the cool
mountains, just one hour's drive north of the airport and the resorts of
southern Bali, this traditional country town is the home of the
Balinese Royal family and a flourishing arts centre. Most of Bali's
museums and galleries are centered in Ubud, but culture and history rich
Bali is peppered with museums and galleries. These museums and
galleries offer paintings, woodcarvings, textiles and all kinds of
souvenirs for viewing and also purchase. Puri Lukisan Museum in centre
of Ubud, Neka Museum in Campuhan, Seniwati Gallery and Agung Rai Museum
in Pengosekan is a must, to see the difference between creative art and
more commercial products.


Inspired by vibrant green rice paddies, mountains and colorful
Balinese festivals, the elite artistic colony that began in the 1930's
with eminent European painters, writers and musicians has now grown into
a thriving arts centre, drawing increasing numbers of visitors. Ubud is
also a flourishing crafts centre. Around Ubud the surrounding villages
like Camphuan, Penestanan, Peliatan and Batuan specializing in crafts
and woodcarving which are sold all over the island. There are hundreds
of shops selling antiques, woodcarvings, crafts, textiles, paintings and
jewelry as well as some of the best art museums in the country, dozens
of art studios, an excellent local craft market, and galleries selling
local and international art.


Ubud's role as the epicenter of Balinese culture makes it the
perfect place to see traditional Balinese dance and drama. From the
early 1920's the royal family ensured that most talented teachers of
dance, music and drama were brought to Ubud to entertain the King and
pass on their knowledge. Dances like Legong, Ramayana, Baris, Kecak and
Sanghyang (the fire dance) are performed nightly in Bona village, just
15 minutes drive from Ubud. Bali's most accomplished dancers, musicians,
painters and carvers live in just 10 square kilometers.


Balinese Hinduism remains stronger in Ubud than elsewhere in
Bali, cremation ceremony or celebration of some kind. Balinese Hinduism
is distinct from that of India and has absorbed the animism of Bali's
pre-Hindu ancestors - inspired by the extraordinary beauty of Bali's
landscapes - rice fields, mountains, river gorges, villages and ancient
temples.


Visit Ubud Monkey Forest, a natural forest reserve popular with
both locals and tourists. Inhabited by wild monkeys who will steal the
camera, bananas, handbags, toupees, etc. These mischievous monkeys
provide lots of entertainment. Interesting meandering paths lead to
charming places like the bathing temple surrounded by lush remnants of
ancient forest. Just off the main square a lovely arched stone bridge
leads to the Hindu elephant-headed Lord Ganesh overlooking a small,
square, moss-covered pool where several koi swim at his feet.

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