Bali is a place that offers the worst and best of everything. It has it all from the pollution to paradise. Generally, the areas of Kuta and Seminyak are the most visited places in Bali. That also means they’re the most crowded and modern. Sometimes, culture and tradition fades with that, so to experience them in Bali is to visit the town of Ubud.
Barong and Kris Dance
Most tours of Ubud starts here since performances are in the morning. For me, it was not a worth it experience, but it was definitely interesting to see the traditional Balinese storytelling.
Admission fee: 100,000/person
Legong Fine art of Batik
As you enter, an usher welcomes you and leads you to each step they acted in creating a batik. It was very rehearsed and unconvincing. If I really want to learn about batik, I would go to an actual non-touristy factory. But I doubt they’re open for everyone. It’s free anyway and you get to see an overview of their process. The usher actually just leads you to their store so you could buy what they’re selling.
Painting Village at Batuan
Same as the batik experience, it was rehearsed as well. But here, you can visit their gallery and see paintings made by locals, even purchase one.
This is a small temple complex showcasing Balineses Hindu architecture. It’s maintained by local villagers so that you can donate to before entering the temple. Wearing a sarong is required just like any other Indonesian temple.
Admission fee is by donation
Luwak Coffee Plantation
It seems like every cultural experience in Bali that shows some kind of process is just showing a rehearsed fake presentation. Just like the batik and painting village, they didn’t bring us to the actual plantation but just small booths in line showing the process of coffee making. After that is the coffee and tea tasting where they give you a dozen tiny cups, each with a different type of hot drink. An optional activity (which I think is where they get most of their profit) is the giant swing. It’s that swing on a cliff that you often see on Instagram. For a few minutes of thrill, it’ll cost you IDR 200,000.00. I’m good with the free drinks and chips.
Free admission w/ coffee, tea, & ube chips
Giant Swing: IDR 200,000.00
Tegallalang Rice Terraces
A major attraction of Ubud is its own rice terraces. Sadly I haven’t seen any other rice terraces in the Philippines or Vietnam. So I can’t have comparisons, but based on what I think, this is smaller than the one in Banaue. It’s still a great place, and if you forgot to take a giant swing in the other place, there are a lot more here (I’m just not sure about the prices).
Tampak Siring Temple
Finally, an actual cultural experience. This temple is built with a spring around it. The spring is believed to be a soul and mind purifier. So this place is perfect after a night out of drinks and bars.
Admission Fee: IDR 15,000.00/person
Gunung Kawi Temple
This is a temple complex that has ancient shrine reliefs sculpted on the side of the cliffs. It’s the most interesting place I visited in Ubud. Also, there’s not a lot of tourists so you get to enjoy the sights on your own. Definitely a must!
Admission fee: IDR 15,000.00/person
A nice waterfall with beautiful scenery. It gets crowded in the afternoon, so maybe better to go there early if you wanna swim. There’s a long flight of stairs on the way down to the falls so be ready to take some exercise. Also, there are restaurants and souvenir stores right at the entrance so you could take a rest or shop after your visit.
Admission fee: IDR 15,000.00/person