What to do in Ubud, Bali Indonesia (Besides Yoga Classes and Vegan Food)

What to do in Ubud, Bali Indonesia (Besides Yoga Classes and Vegan Food)

Before visiting Ubud, I continued to hear about the amazing yoga and vegan inspired town in Central Bali.  While I pretended to be stoked, I was honestly a little nervous.  To be blunt, I hate yoga and am the farthest thing from a vegan.  If you’re a yogi and a die-hard vegan, more power to you, but that’s just not me.  Needless to say, I was questioning my decision to visit a town that is basically known for these two things.  However, Ubud ended up being, hands down, my favorite place I visited in Bali.  While the yoga lifestyle is definitely a prevalent part of the culture in Ubud, I didn’t feel as if I was missing out on anything by not participating in a single yoga class or eating at any vegan café’s.  Here is what to do in Ubud, Bali Indonesia that has nothing to do with the downward dog or veggie burgers:

1. Monkey Forest

If you’ve ever wanted to feed, touch, or hang out with a monkey, this is the place to go.  There are hundreds of wild monkeys just roaming all over the forest, and before you know it, there might even be one sitting (or peeing) on your head!  Monkeys are incredibly interesting creatures and I think I could stay in this forest for hours just observing them.

What to do in Ubud, Bali Indonesia? Visit the monkey forest! This is a picture of a baby monkey and its mom!Pro Tip #1: The big monkeys are very protective over the babies, so don’t get too close!

What to do in Ubud, Bali Indonesia? Visit the monkey forest! This is a picture of a monkey trying to attack meFound that one out the hard way

What to do in Ubud, Bali Indonesia? Visit the monkey forest! This is a picture of a monkey sitting on my shoulder.

2. Hike Mount Batur

This hike requires a 2 am wake-up call in order to make it to the peak by sunrise, but is absolutely worth it.  The company will pick you up from your hotel at 2 am, drive you the two hours to the start of the hike, feed you breakfast, and lead you up the steep hill that is actually an active volcano.  This hike definitely gave my previous favorite hike in Malaysia a run for its money.  I think I’d have to say I have a new favorite!

What to do in Ubud, Bali Indonesia? Hike Mount Batur!What to do in Ubud, Bali Indonesia? Hike Mount Batur! Beautiful view from the peak!What to do in Ubud, Bali Indonesia? Hike Mount Batur! It's a little cold at the top!Pro Tip #2: Bring a jacket or else you’ll have to rent one of these cool, blue fleece ones bc freezing at the peak

3. Water Temples/Cleansing

This was one of the coolest things I did while in Ubud.  When you arrive to the water cleansing area, I would definitely suggest talking to a local guide before engaging in the cleansing.  The local guide will explain what each station is and what it all means, which is great, because otherwise you’re just rinsing in water in public.  I would also recommend going early in order to beat the crowds of tourists that gather at this place.

What to do in Ubud, Bali Indonesia? Visit the water cleansing temples!What to do in Ubud, Bali Indonesia? Meditate at the water cleansing temples!Meditating before our water cleansing (except I accidentally went before which is why I’m soaking wet lol)

4. Tegalalang Rice Fields

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a greener place in my life.  The rice fields are huge and you are able to explore all of them for just a small donation.  This can be done in 30 minutes or 3 hours, depending on how much time you want to spend walking through the fields.  We were there for about an hour and I think it was the perfect amount of time to see what we wanted to see.

What to do in Ubud, Bali Indonesia? Check out the green rice fields.

5. Coffee Tasting

There are coffee tasting places all over Ubud that allow you to try the many different coffees for free.  Ubud is known for their ­­­­­luwak coffee that is actually made from an animal’s poop!  While it is free to try every other coffee, you are required to pay ­­­about 67,000 Rupiah (about $6) to try the luwak coffee.  Once you see how much time and effort goes into making this coffee, you won’t mind spending the few dollars to give it a try.  We’re all aware about my love for coffee so this place was essentially my own personal heaven

What to do in Ubud, Bali Indonesia? Go coffee tasting!Like I said, HEAVEN

What to do in Ubud, Bali Indonesia? Go coffee tasting! Beans from the luwak coffeeThis is the animals poop!

What to do in Ubud, Bali Indonesia? Coffee tasting! More beans from the luwak coffeeWhich is then peeled

What to do in Ubud, Bali Indonesia? Coffee tasting, here's a lady grinding the coffee beans!And finally, grinded down by hand!

6. Tegenungan Waterfall

Nothing I love more than a good waterfall.  While you are usually allowed to swim in the waterfall, unfortunately it was closed for swimming when we were there.  Since we couldn’t swim we only spent a small amount of time here, but it is definitely worth checking out!

What to do in Ubud, Bali Indonesia? Tegenungan WaterfallWhat to do in Ubud, Bali Indonesia? Tegenungan WaterfallIt just rained, which is why it’s brown haha

Also while in Ubud:

Got peed on by a monkey, fell into a rice paddie (which is actually much muddier and deeper than one might think), broke another pair of sandals, tried an espresso martini for the first time (best thing ever), and celebrated my friend’s birthday with one too many espresso martinis’.

What to do in Ubud, Bali Indonesia? DON'T fall in the rice paddies!

If you’re not a yogi or a vegan, don’t let that deter you from visiting Ubud.  It is an absolutely stunning part of Bali that should not be missed on your trip to Indonesia.

What to do in Ubud, Bali Indonesia?  This was my trip in a nutshell!  Do you have anything to add?!  Let me know in the comments below!



69 thoughts on “What to do in Ubud, Bali Indonesia (Besides Yoga Classes and Vegan Food)”

  • Talk about making me want to go somewhere! This looks beautiful and fun!! Wish I would have been there to witness the accidental cleansing before the cleansing! Haha As always, you made me feel as if I was right there with you enjoying and exploring your most recent destination. You are quite a writer Tarah Jean!! Can’t wait to see you in a few short weeks…..24 days and counting!

  • Nice Tarah I enjoyed the journey with you. Keep writing your very interesting journal. Don’t keep breaking your sandals you may run out. Ha ha. Love you honey

  • First of all, the rice fields are the sole reason I want to see Ubud…is that strange? Wonder which is the weather to see them in their full green glory. And, second, coffee tasting…that’s right up my alley. Do they have many varieties of coffee?

    • Not strange at all because they are absolutely amazing! That’s a good question though, they were extremely green when I went so maybe this is the best time! Definitely something to look into. Yes there were like ten different types of coffee and you have the option to purchase some after if you really fall in love with one

  • Now you wanting me to book tickets for Ubud. This looks totally amazing and love the fact you can also coffee taste there. I didn’t know that about Indonesia.

    • I definitely suggest booking a ticket immediately haha but yes the coffee tasting was a highlight for me, as well

  • OH love this – I love the monkey temple, and most the coffee tasting YUM I love coffee. The cleaning temples look gorgeous and a great place to relax! Super ideas to do and see in Bali!

    • Haha I know I found that on my camera after and was actually happy that scene was documented! I’m already trying to plan my trip back too so I feel your pain!

  • Heya Tarah,
    I was in Bali 6 months ago and I must admit that it wasn’t my favourite destination in Indonesia… but still, Bali has something very singular to it, that you can’t find in any other place! I also tried the luwak coffee, and bought some, but then I heard about the horrible treatment of those civet cats and I promised myself never ever to drink that kind of coffe again.
    I absolutely love your pics of Mt Batur, that must have been a great hike! Also, how did you manage to get peed on by a monkey??? This made me laugh so much! Love your post 🙂

    • Oh my gosh I wasn’t aware about the treatment of the civet cats. I’ll have to look into that because I don’t want to be supporting something like that. Glad you liked the pictures of Mt Batur, though. It was an amazing hike, my favorite yet! I have no idea, the monkey just started peeing on me haha such a weird experience!

  • I think it’s great you got involved in the water cleansing and tried the luwak coffee. I’m not sure about touching the monkeys in monkey forest though, hopefully tourists don’t exploit them too much so they can live in their natural habitat in peace.

    • For the most part it was really just monkeys running around until one climbed on me when I was sitting down, so I do think they are able to live in their habitat pretty naturally. That is a good point though and something to look into

  • So much to see and do. You got peed on by a monkey?! I don’t think I’ll put that on my itinerary but the monkeys do look so cute! I’ve heard of that coffee before it sounds intriguing. Great there is so much to do even if you are not a vegan yogi!

    • Haha well that wasn’t exactly on the itinerary, but seemeed to have happened anyways. Oh well, the monkeys were still awesome!

  • Ubud looks wonderful! I regret not going there whilst I was in Bali. I decided to spend time on the Gili Islands and Flores instead which I loved. The monkey forest looks great.

    • Ahh Gilli Islands was on my list of places to go, but I didn’t quite have time. I’ll just have to make a trip back I guess!

  • Ahhh! That brings back memories of my visit to ubud when I was your age. Good grief!!! I sound like an old person!!!! Your post inspired me to pull out my photos. I agree.. it is a beautiful place .

    • Where all did you go when you visited?! I’m sure looking at old photos brought back a lot of memories, that’s awesome!

  • Lovely monkeys forest 🙂 The cleaning temples look beautiful and probably they are a great place to relax ! I definitively appreciate a good cup of coffee too, so thank you for sharing your experience into Balinese coffee !

    • The cleaning temples were amazing! Glad you can relate on the coffee front, I’m sure you’d love it there as much as I did!

  • This looks like an amazing experience! I don’t think I’ve ever had coffee made using poop, but I’m kinda intrigued now 🙂 And I’ve always wondered how someone originally thought to make coffee from animal poop!!

  • We had breakfast facing Mount Batur which was an amazing view. It must be even more beautiful from the mountain itself though don’t think I’m ready for the hike any time soon 🙂

  • Finally! A travel blogger who is not pushing yoga classes and vegan food. I actually have no trouble with either one, but it’s the rare blogger who goes to Bali without involving themselves in something at least vaguelly defined as spiritual. Even you couldn’t help but meditate when there. The other activities looked great and Indonesia in general is so pretty that you can’t help but enjoy it.

    • Haha no problem with either activity either, just would prefer to spend my time doing other things! Such a beautiful place though and definitely worth a visit!

  • I enjoyed my visit to Ubud a few years ago. I didn’t try the luwak coffee or go to the monkey forest. I did enjoy eating Babi Guling (Spit roasted chilli pork), relaxing in the hotel, getting massages, and taking a restorative yoga class. I like yoga for the stretch and calm meditation but dislike all the trendiness of yoga and the cult-like business of it all.

  • I did somewhat like that hike on Mount Batur. Maybe I had a bad day, but it was super crowded! For me hiking is all about nature and quietness!
    Where there many people when you went there?

    • It was pretty crowded when I was there, as well. It didn’t bother me all too much, but I can see how it could be off putting for some. At least everyone there is getting to experience the beauty that is Ubud!

  • The monkey forest really looks crazy. Were you not scared to be scratched by them? The coffee making process is really fascinating and I feel it will taste good too. The cleansing temple will be relaxing too. Very beautiful pictures Tarah.

    • A little bit at first, but if you don’t bother them they won’t bother you! Just to go and see them roaming around was an experience I’ll never forget! Thanks so much 🙂

  • I could totally relate with you about not being a yoga person. Thanks for giving me lots of ideas of things to do in Bali. I would love to try everything on your list, except the Monkey Forest, I think. Touching animals is not my thing. Hehe!

    • Seems like we are the only ones these days that aren’t into yoga haha I hope you enjoy your trip to Bali!

  • Good call on putting this post together! I feel like there was a legitimate need for a post like this! I’ve been to Ubud and I loved it, but I imagine I could have loved it ever more if a post like this had been around prior to me going!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Maybe you’ll be able to make your way back and try out a few of the things on this list 🙂

  • Oh, I missed the waterfall, I did not know about it when in Ubud! I did not want to do the monkeys forest because they look aggressive . . . and you confirm my theory with your picture!

  • i have been to bali seven times already and gearing up for the 8th time now.. I can’t get enough of Bali and especially Ubud.
    Such a peaceful and tranquil place away from the bustling beaches of Kuta. You’re right about the Monkeys, I too found out the hard way.

    • Oh my goodness, I can only hope to make it there 8 times in my life. There is so much to see and I don’t think it could be done in less than 8 trips honestly!

  • One of my friend recently visited Ubud and couldn’t stop raving about it! And now you’re doing a post on Ubud! Its really really tempting me to plan my trip. Of it all I guess the Monkey forest and the terrace farming look the most charming! And being a coffee addict, I guess I’d totally enjoy this!

    • I would definitely suggest booking your trip, you’ll fall in love with it! I’m a coffee addict, as well and was in heaven

  • You know, as a barista,bartender I have to say I am impressed that you had the chance to taste this kind of coffee. I think it is one of the more expensive coffee in the world, and of course is unique! I am jealous of you right now! Nice photos!

    • I have hear that is the most expensive coffee in the world, as well. Since you are a barista, I hope you have the chance to try it because I think you’d really appreciate it!

  • This blog is absolutely amazing! The pictures are so surreal, I cannot wait to head to Ubud now! I’m so excited, such a great post!
    Love the reality things that happened to you (such as fell in mud, etc…) Most people hate writing about stuff like that, and make posts boring and unrealistic. Spot on!

    • Thank you so much, I appreciate that more than you know! Haha I feel like those are the things that make a trip unique! Thanks again for the kind words, xx

    • It was absolutely amazing! I definitely plan on returning at some point so I will keep that in mind, thanks!

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