Ubud, just an hour away from the airport in Bali, is most people’s favorite place to base themselves on a trip to Bali. However, it can be very easy to heed the call of “transport?” and get caught up in leaving Ubud every day. While, I highly recommend seeing the sights around Ubud, you’re missing out if you don’t take at least a few days to explore this cultural heart of Bali. Spending time in Ubud instead of doing a tour every day is also a great way to make sure you come back from your vacation rested and relaxed rather than feeling like you spent every day in a car getting out of Ubud (the Bali traffic can be daunting.) Here are some unique things to do in Ubud that you will want to make sure that you experience.
Unique Things To Do In Ubud, Bali
1. Visit Tukies, The Coconut Shop
I was glad to discover Tukies early on in my trip. Their coconut ice cream was the best coconut ice cream I’ve ever had in my life, and I ate it every day that I was in Ubud. You can get it served in a cup or in half of a young coconut. Tukies only sells coconut products, and they are all amazing. I also enjoyed the Balinese crepe made with pandan and filled when coconut sugar syrup and shredded coconut. I even bought some of their coconut bowls to use at home, I loved this store so much. And the coconut butter. Definitely buy the coconut butter. There are also different coconut drinks you can try, but I never got around to them because I was so smitten by the ice cream.
2. Cool Off At Folk Pool And Gardens
Folk Pool & Gardens definitely gets the award for being the most refreshing and relaxing of things to do in Ubud. I actually ate my lunch sitting at a table in the pool!! Oh yeah. Bring your swimsuit. Other folks will appreciate that. Talk about a perfect way to spend a hot and sweaty day in Ubud. I went here on my second day when my jet lag was kicking in. This got me reenergized for the rest of the day.
I had the softshell crab sandwich and sugarcane juice which also gave me the perfect sugary, salty lift to revive me. I may have had a mojito or two as well! Folk Pools serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so you could easily spend an entire day here. There’s also a swim-up bar and a seasonal twilight cinema. Make reservations for the private daybeds and teepees which there is a charge for. The poolside chairs and sofas are free, but best to still book in advance.
3. Drink Bali’s Herbal Tonic At Jamu Sehati
Jamu (old spelling Djamu) is a traditional medicine from Indonesia. It is predominantly a herbal medicine made from natural materials, such as roots, bark, flowers, seeds, leaves and fruits. Jamu Sehati is a wonderful stand right in the center of Ubud which makes many varieties for you to either sip at the stand or take with you. What I really loved is that they also offered a powdered version of each kind which I bought to take home to the US with me. The main ingredients of each one are turmeric or red or white ginger. It can be sipped hot or cold, and is a wonderful tonic for building your immune system.
4. Go On An Offering Walk
One of my favorite things to do in Ubud is to set out with no destination and to just wander the quaint streets to look at the offerings that are set out. It’s best to do this in the morning right after they are set out and before it gets too hot, but it’s a lovely thing to do to view this rich aspect of Balinese culture.
5. Visit The Bali Wellness Store, Djamoekoe
Granted, there are many Bali wellness stores, but my absolute favorite was Djamoekoe. They make several different types of Jamu here along with kombucha, ginger beer, and my favorite drink from them which was a coconut water, aloe, mint, pandan leaf Jamu. It was so refreshing on the hot days. They also sell wild honey collected by traditional honey men in the jungle, activated charcoal, essential oils, and beauty products. It’s a great store, and I visited it a few times during my stay.
6. Visit A Balian, A Balinese Traditional Healer
While visiting Djamoekoe, I saw Teja’s card, and the store called him and made an appointment with him for me. He was a wonderful healer and used massage techniques along with energy healing. He also took me to the water temple for a healing ritual, the following day. I’ve visited many of the Balinese healers during my visits, and you can read more about them in my article on Balinese healers. I also strongly recommend Pak Man, who I’ve visited several times during my travels in Ubud. You must make an appointment to see Pak Man, and you just have to keep trying to call. The phone will have a recording saying it’s out of order, but it’s not. His wife makes the bookings and she only keeps the phone on after ten in the morning, so be patient, and keep calling. It’s a powerful healing experience, so make sure you are prepared.
7. Eat Indonesian Culinary Delights At Hujan Locale