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6 Must See Places in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

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The Full-Day Best of Ubud Private Tour hosted by Bali Tours allowed us to maximize our day in Ubud. 

Traditional Balinese Home

Our first stop is a traditional Balinese home. Each home is built using 4 cardinal directions: the Mount Agung (North), to the sea (South), the rising of the sun (East), and the setting of the sun (West). The sea is North and Mount Agung is South to Northern Bali. 

Traditional Painters Home in Bali Indonesia

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The homes consist of several pavilions inside of a stone wall. Each pavilion serves a specific purpose, similar to rooms in homes in the United States. Only the sleeping pavilion has 4 walls, other rooms have only a roof for protection against the elements. The family shrine is always located in the most positive corner of the home, the North East. 

Outside the painter's home in Ubud

Mount Batur

One of Bali’s remaining active volcanoes, Mount Batur or Kintamani Volcano, last erupted in 2000. Near the volcano is Lake Batur. It is the main source of Bali’s irrigation water and breeding of fresh water fish, surrounded by 6 villages. The Kintamani area is Bali’s largest producer of bamboo and one of the top growers of fruits and vegetables. 

Kintanmi Volcano

Tegalalang Rice Terrace

The Tegalalang Rice Terrace is one of the famous rice terraces in Bali, known for the winding rice fields along the hill. There are many shops across the road from photo opportunities and restaurants overlooking the terraces. Several staircases lead visitors down the mountain to trails winding through the rice fields including a swing trek.

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Tegalalang Rice Terrace

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Goa Gajah, Elephant Cave Temple

Goa Gajah, known to tourists as the Elephant Cave Temple is located in a crevasse between the Pangkung River and Petanu River, creating a magical energy. The cave was originally built for spiritual meditation and prayers. No more than an hour is needed to explore the cave, unless browsing the the many shopping stalls near the parking lot.

Welcome to the Elephant Cave Goa Gajaj

Us at the Elephant Cave Entrance Goa Gajaj

Sarongs are available at the entrance and required to be worn by both males and females. In all Bali temples, women menstruating are forbidden to enter.

Entrance to the Elephant Cave Goa Gajaj

Faces are carved into the stone surrounding the temple to ward off evil spirits. It is unknown if the cave is named after the stone statue inside of the Hindu god, Ganesh, with an elephant head, god of good luck, wisdom, and success or the elephant face carved above the cave entrance.

Ganesh in elephant cave
The statue of Ganesh inside the cave is wrapped with black, gold, white, and yellow fabrics.
stone idols in elephant cave
3 stone idols inside the Elephant Cave

Hindu Angels Pouring Water at the Elephant Cave

Hindu Angels at the Elephant Cave Goa Gajaj in Bali
Water pours from 6 vases held by Hindu Angels.

Elephant Cave Original Rock Foundation

Preparing Ceremonial Food at the Goa Gajaj
Women prepare offerings and plates of food for the upcoming festival.

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Luwak Coffee Plantation

The most expensive coffee produced at Luwak Coffee Plantation and one of the most expensive coffees in the world, is harvested from the poo of luwaks. These cats have exquisite taste and only eat the best fruit of the coffee plants, causing an endless battle between the cats and the growers. As the fruit digests, the coffee beans remain whole and in their shell.

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A cup of luwak coffee. We preferred the stronger Bali Coffee, with bolder flavors. 

Coffee beans at Lukwak Plantation

Each morning, the village people set out to collect luwak poo, resembling a PayDay, from the 10 acre forest floor. The beans are rinsed of poo, removed from their shells, and medium roasted to maintain the complex flavors. Luwak coffee is very mild with lower levels of caffeine and does not taste like poo.

Luwak Cats

Cocoa and Coffee Plants at Luwak Plantation
Cocoa beans (pictured left) and coffee beans (pictured right)

Coffee and cocoa are harvested twice a year. It takes about 3 months for the coffee plant berries to turn from yellow to a ready to harvest red, unlike the cocoa beans that turn yellow when ready for harvesting. There are male and female coffee beans. Male coffee beans have higher levels of caffeine than female.

Luwak Plantation

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Our complimentary tea and coffee flight includes: Bali Coffee, Bali Cocoa, Ginger Coffee, Lemongrass Tea, Coconut Coffee, Ginger Tea, Vanilla Coffee, Rosella Tea, Bali Coffee and Cocoa, Mangosteen Tea, Ginger Coffee, and Turmeric Tea.

Coffee in our sampler is mixed with coconut sugar and other natural flavors. Since tea leaves are not grown in Bali, tea is made from various parts of fruits and coconut sugar. Learn more about coconut sugar during our trip to the Coconut Family Plantation in Thailand here.

Monkey Forest

Located in the Padangtegal village, Ubud Monkey Forestis a sanctuary to more than 200 macaque monkeys. The forest is maintained and owned by the village. 3 times a day villagers feed the monkeys. Sweet potatoes are the staple of the macaques’ diet, but the monkeys are also fed bananas, papayas, corn, cucumbers, coconuts, and other fruit. The food is placed in cages to fulfill the monkey’s mischievous nature and attempt of keep them from visiting the nearby village. 

Ubud Monkey Forest Sign

Monkey Forest in Ubud

Entrance to the Monkey Cave

walls of monkey cave

Statues at the Monkey Cave
The statues throughout the monkey forest symbolize energies found within the 3 sacred temples in the Monkey Forest.

Monkeys at the Ubud Monkey Forest

The monkeys are divided into 6 territories. Most active during the day, visitors can frequently see macaques fighting unwelcome guests entering their territory in search of food, water, or to cause mischief. Males live up to 15 years while females have a life span of 20 years.

Ubud Monkey Forest Bridge

Us on Ubud Monkey Forest Bridge

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Use caution around the macaques. Bananas are available for visitors to purchase and feed to the macaques. When feeding bananas, never revoke an offered banana or attempt to hide it after the banana has already been seen. This can provoke the monkeys and result in aggressive behavior. The village asks that visitors do not feed the monkeys human food and make sure all bags and purses are securely closed. 

Women carrying food in the Ubud Monkey Forest

Siva Temple in the Monkey Forest

There are 3 sacred temples inside the Ubud Monkey Forest, but visitors are prohibited from entering them. At the main temple, Pura Dalem Agung, the Hindu god, Shiva, is worshiped. Shiva is the transformer, destroyer, and protector of the universe. The holy water temple, Pura Beiji, is a bath house of purification and worshiping of the Goddess Ganga. The cremation temple, Pura Prajapati, is across from the cemetery. Every 5 years a mass cremation is held. 

Monkeys grooming Each Other in Monkey Forest

After a long day of eating and harassing visitors, the monkeys relax with grooming and some intimate parasite removal.

September 2018



4 responses to “6 Must See Places in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia”

  1. bmochinsky Avatar

    Watching these monkeys in action was so much fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. a world of destinations Avatar

    Great post! I’ll visit Bali this summer and I’m super excited!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Traveling Gingerbread Avatar

      Have an amazing trip! We loved our time in Bali.


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