Charms of Ubud, the Inner Bali

While Ubud seems to outsiders like one small town with 14 villages, each run by its own banjar (the land-owning married men's association; in effect the local government).

It's clear that Ubud has grown rapidly and some central parts are coping less well with tourists than in previous years (although the drop in visitors following 9/11 and the Kuta bombings slowed development)

Central Ubud has three main streets, Jl. Raya Ubud (the "Main Road" of Ubud), Jl. Monkey Forest and Jl. Hanoman. At the intersection of Jl. Raya and Jl. Monkey Forest is the Ubud Market, the Ubud Palace and the main bemo (public transport) stops.

The area is sometimes referred to as the "craft villages" of Bali, though the area is a bit more built-up and congested than one might infer from the term "village." The whole scene has become rather commercialized. But still it's the best area to see a wide variety of the best Balinese craftwork in a short period of time.

Tirta Empul, Tampaksiring, 20 km northeast from Ubud. One of the holiest temples on Bali, built around hot springs that now bubble eerily in the central courtyard. Between Sanur and Ubud The road to Ubud from the south passes a series of small towns which specialize in the production of particular arts and crafts, including Batubulan (stone carving), Celuk (jewelry), Batuan (painting), and Mas (wood carving). The area has many large showrooms where arts and crafts in the Balinese style are offered for sale.

The 2008 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival will take place from the 14-19 October. The theme of this year's Festival is Tri Hita Karana - the Balinese concept of balancing Man, Nature, God.

This annual celebration of international and Asian literature is centred in the small hill town of Ubud in Bali, Indonesia. Ubud is generally recognised as being one of the most important artistic and cultural centres in Indonesia.

Things not to miss: going to spas, wellness centres incl yoga places, stay at some of the locals' owned homestay, go to Antonio Blanco's gallery, see dance performances.

We'll see you in Ubud...

Search other hotels in Bali : 
Bali Kuta Resort by Swiss-Belhotel, Uma Sari Hotel Ubud