Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 5:55 PM
Labels: 04. Villages
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Ubud is also a flourishing crafts centre. Around Ubud the surrounding villages like Camphuan, Penestanan, Peliatan and Batuan specialising in crafts and woodcarving which are sold all over the island. There are hundreds of shops selling antiques, woodcarvings, crafts, textiles, paintings and jewellry 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 epicentre 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 the Legong, Ramayana, Baris, Kecak and Sanghyang (the fire dance) are performed nightly in the village of Bona, just 15 minutes drive from Ubud. Bali's most accomplished dancers, musicians, painters and carvers live in just 10 square kilometres.
Balinese Hinduism remains stronger in Ubud than elsewhere in Bali so it's highly likely you will come across a festival, cremation ceremony or celebration of some kind during your stay. 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.
WHERE TO STAY IN UBUD
The outskirts of Ubud has some excellent five star hotels and luxury villas in stunning locations like the stylish Maya Resort on the river Ayung with its riverside Spa, and Alila Ubud in Payangan. Smaller local hotels and guest houses can be found discreetly situated around the town, enabling Ubud to retain its local charming atmosphere.
Visit the Ubud Monkey Forest - a natural forest reserve popular with both locals and tourists. Inhabited by wild monkeys (don't even think about petting them) who will steal your camera, bananas, handbags, toupes, 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.
Go whitewater rafting down the breathtaking Agung Gorge about half an hour outside Ubud centre.
Ubud is an easy place to walk around. The main streets are lined with local shops and restaurants, studios, gift shops and galleries. Browse the art shops and take a leisurely stroll around the town.
Peliatan: Located between Ubud and Mas, Peliatan is the traditional centre of music, and dance.
Batubulan: A small town on the road to Ubud famous for its excellent stone carvers. Workshops are located all along the roadside and visitors are welcome to see the carvers at work. Local legend states that all the men from teenagers to old men are accomplished carvers.
Ubud is one of the best places to see traditional dance and drama accompanied by superb traditional orchestras. For information on performances, transport schedules, temple festivals, and special activities, inquire at the Ubud Tourist Information Center, across from the Pura Desa (village temple).
Image Source: http://santorinibalitours.com; http://pchanez.club.fr/
Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 7:07 PM
Labels: 03. Temples
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Monday, May 25, 2009 at 10:46 PM
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Labels: 02. Beaches