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Things to do in Ubud Indonesia you probably didn't know about

 By Sarah Shahzad

Famously known as Bali’s ultimate cultural hub, Ubud is an amazing mesh of old and new with something to offer to everyone. Visiting alone or with family, Ubud is a one-stop tourist attraction that promises a wide range of activities for everyone within a small distance!

From temple-hopping to yoga retreats, and even learning a new art – get ready to be spoiled for choices in this magnificent town that never fails to entertain. In addition to the breathtaking beaches and glorious sunsets, there are always hidden gems tucked away in surprising places, reserved for those of us looking for an off-beat experience. So get set to uncover Ubud’s amazing (less commonly known) going-ons!

Watch your own jewellery being made – John Hardy Workshop and Showroom


Have you always wanted to watch your own jewellery being crafted in front of your very eyes?

You can do so at the John Hardy workshop, where local artisans conceive and create pieces of traditional luxury jewelry for you.

Take the opportunity to explore the organic farm and visit Kapal Bambu – a majestic bamboo structure in the middle of race paddy fields – where you’ll be able to see and purchase from beautiful displays of handcrafted jewelry.


Stay here and have the swing ride of your life with panoramic views of Ayung River – Zen Hideaway


Located in a traditional Balinese village about 20 minutes from the center of Ubud, Zen Hideaway is a stay that offers an unparalleled experience that is exquisitely Ubud.

As far as the eye can see, across Ayung River, a mini waterfall, rice fields and Mount Agung – you will find the most spectacular thing you will not find anywhere else. A swing hanging between coconut trees, high atop a hill.

Both thrilling and addictive, the swing ride of your life is almost guaranteed – at such a height, and with sweeping views of the jungle, Ayung River, and even a mini waterfall!

Once you’re done swinging, you may want to make full use of the private access, and walk down to the river or waterfall for a relaxing swim.

Made from 150-year-old teak wood, Zen Hideaway is intentionally designed for those looking for serenity and peace. The rooms are semi-open, which enables you to have a hearty dose of fresh Ubud countryside air.

And since it’s in a local village, feel free to interact with the locals if you’d like to experience authentic daily activities, such as farming, dance, or traditional ceremonies (if available while you’re here).


Ride the river and visit a village! – Bali Adventure Rafting


The mighty Ayung River is the lifesource of Bali – and for most, getting up close and personal with this spectacular river is truly unforgettable.

Keep a lookout for wildlife and spectacular waterfalls whilst drifting through the untouched Balinese rainforest. It’s like travelling through a long lost world with monkeys playing in the trees and thousands of different birdsongs.

Photo via: Morning Bali Tour

If you love an adrenaline rush, then the 45 rapids of the Ayung will be more than enough to keep you entertained.

No need to be nervous at taking on this challenge.  You will receive a full health and safety brief, helmets and life jackets; the brilliant guides will also be with you for the whole trip.

After 9.6km of exciting rafting, you will end the approximately 2-hour journey with hot showers, clean towels and changing rooms. After that, look forward to a hearty gourmet buffet at Bali Adventure Rafting’s private restaurant overlooking majestic mountains and gloriously serene paddy fields.

Excited yet? Bring along your waterproof camera case and get set to have a splashing good time!


Dive into the infamous waterfall – Tegenungan waterfall


Among all the dazzlingly refreshing retreats found in Bali, Tegenungan waterfall is one of our absolute favourites. The rich green surroundings and perfectly flowing fresh water will make a pretty sight for all.

Situated on a plane landscape and measured at only 15 meters high, some adventurous ones will jump into the waterfall in order to get an experience of a lifetime! (it could be very dangerous though, do not attempt!)

Photo via: Visit Bali Tour

And if you want more, there is even a temple nearby for curious visitors, and a bathing spot for you to relax the day away.


Stay in a rustic Joglo and shower under the stars – Bambu Indah


A stunning variety of themed antique teak homes set in the tropical gardens of the resort, are available for your picking at Bambu Indah.

Photo via: bambuindah

Photo via: Sarahcatelli, Shecooksshegardens

Bambu Indah is sympathetic to the environment and avoids anything harmful to the local wildlife. For example, the water from the natural swimming pool is filtered through a vegetation regeneration zone and layers of lava rock. The result? A sparkling, clean, refreshing pool with no nasty chemicals.


One of our favourites is the Udang House (shrimp house). It has a glass floor that allows you to see straight into the shrimp pond below, and a semi-outdoor bathroom that allows you to shower under the stars. (Just pretend you are under a waterfall!)

Photo via: bambuindah

Photo via: bambuindah

You can even climb up to a tree house in the compound that overlooks the valley!

Finish off a fantastic day watching the sun set from the Africa deck – life doesn’t get much better than this!

An eco retreat no longer means insect-infested huts with no water or basic furnishings. Thanks to Bambu Indah, being green now means guilt-free luxury.


Become a yogi and take up an ecstatic dance class – Yoga Barn


Opting for a yoga retreat is the key to ease all your nerves and to refresh and rejuvenate yourself for the journey ahead. Ubud is characterised as one of the top 10 meditation retreat havens in the world.

Photo via: Kaity Widmyer, Marigorelikova, Courtenay

The spiritual atmosphere, healthy cafes and surrounding rice fields give Ubud’s yoga centers, such as Yoga Barn, an intensely good feel to live in.

This artistically crafted studio captures the essence of the island. Dedicated to healing and renewal, Yoga Barn offers daily classes, workshops as well as access to your personal meditation style – one that particularly matches your personality and fitness goals.


Get Happy and Enlightened – Eat, Pray, Love


Elizabeth Gilbert put Bali on the map and gave everyone that warm fuzzy feeling with her bestseller ‘Eat, pray, love’. After eating her way through Italy and seeking the divine spirit in India, it was in Bali that Elizabeth found love (although we think Bali is also perfect for eating and praying too).

We can’t promise you a whirlwind romance with a Brazilian businessman (read the book!) but you too can enjoy all the other highlights of her trip.

Feel the wind in your hair and sun on your face as you ride a bicycle through the paddy fields of Ubud – just like Julia Roberts in the film version of Eat, Pray, Love.

Photo via: terraceatkuta

Visit Ketut Lier, the same local medicine man that Elizabeth Gilbert spent many happy and enlightening hours with. Why not get a reading and see what your future holds, just for the fun of it!


The best way to enjoy all of these things is with the Eat, Pray, Love package at the beautiful Kamandalu Hotel in Ubud. The package includes a bike tour, visit to Ketut Liyer, a romantic meal for two and discount spa treatments in this luxury hotel with spectacular views.


Extract from 20 Amazing things to do in Ubud you probably didn’t know about



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