Indonesia – Bali

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Introduction :
Ubud is a town located in the central of Bali, which is one of the islands of Indonesia. It is the culture centre of Bali and has a spiritual feel to the temples located within and nearby with remarkable architectures left along the course of its history. Bali is also famous for its friendly people and relaxing atmospheric spas which is coupled with their trademark Zen music and traditional balinese massage which can be found all over the town at a relatively cheap price.

Scenic view at the Uluwatu
Scenic view at the Uluwatu
Image attribution to shanghaidaddy @ Flickr

The famous Tanah Lot temple in Bali
The famous Tanah Lot temple in Bali built of a rock formation
Image attribution to doliveck @ Flickr

Main attractions and activities :

Water Palace – Also known as the Puri Saren Agung and was built in the 11th century. It was a palace for the kings of Ubud till the 1940s

Ayung River water rafting : Take a water raft down the Ayung river and enjoy the coolness of the river water together with the green surroundings, small waterfalls along the way and ancient stone cravings along the river with a specially planned route that is almost risk free

Gunung Kawi – Ancient burial complex from the 11th century believe to be of King Anak Wungsu and wives with stone cravings on the sides of a steep river valley

Tanah Lot Temple – Believed to be built in the 15th century of the rock formation at the sea side. This temple is one of the main landmarks of Bali and worth a look although it is not really located in Ubud itself. Tanah lot is famous for its sun set view and the best timing to reach there would be slightly earlier before evening to view the sun set together with the temple.

Elephant cave – Also known as Goa Gajah and built in the 9th century. Added to the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1995. This place does not have elephants but instead enter the cave through the mouth of a stone craved demon and it was believe to have been built to ward off evil spirits

Spas and Massage parlors – All over the town there are signature Balinese spas and massage parlors at a relatively cheap price to enjoy a relaxing and traditional massage.

Kecak Dance at Uluwatu – A traditional Kecak fire Dance at the scenic temple of Uluwatu that is located off the cliff face of the Indian Ocean

Guning Kawi – An 11th century temple complex in Tampaksiring located northeast of Ubud that consist of rock cravings of shrines built into the cliff face.

Gunung Kawi - Ancient burial complex built in the 11th century
Gunung Kawi – Ancient burial complex built in the 11th century

Gunung Kawi - Entrace through the mouth of a stone craved demon into the Elephant Cave
Entrace through the mouth of a stone craved demon into the Elephant Cave

Natural surroundings for a spa treatment at Bali
Natural surroundings for a spa treatment at Bali
Image attribution to doliveck @ Flickr

History :
A 300 BC relic drum known as the Moon of Pejeng was found near Ubud and was thought to be the first inhabitants of the area. The known history in Ubud started as early as the 8th century with the Gunung Lebah Temple founded on the valley floor. The town was also an important source of medical herbs in Bali and gets it name from Ubad which means medicine. Tourism in the area boomed since the 1960s and the town of Ubud is the cultural centre in Bali.

The Ubud Water Palace
The Ubud Water Palace

Kecak fire dance in action at Uluwatu
Kecak fire dance in action at Uluwatu

Water rafting down the Ayung River
Water rafting down the Ayung River

Getting there :
The nearest international airport to Ubud in Bali is in Denpasar known as the Ngurah Rai International Airport and is around 18 km from Ubud

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