Ubud has been enjoying its popularity as one of Bali’s tourist destination since 1930. This area differs greatly from other tourist spots in Bali which tend to be romantic and festive. For most travelers, Ubud is a famous retreat destination that offers peaceful and serene atmosphere. This spot is located in Bali’s most natural area whose landscape is a nice blend of lush fields and forest flanked by rivers and cliff, making Ubud the spot of Bali’s best rustic charm.
In Ubud, local and western style complete each other, creating a delightful combination of view and lifestyle that are contrasting yet harmonious. In a small road away from the main street, several minimalist-style inns stand just across galleries and cultural centers with typical Bali’s architecture. In the temples, traditional-clad locals are drawn into solemn prayer while the tourists are busy admiring the temples’ unique carving and decoration.
Yes, Ubud is transforming from completely traditional into more modern countryside retreat. In fact, Ubud offers both luxury and local wisdom. Most of hotels in Ubud are designed in eco-friendly style that makes the best use of surrounding natural beauty as the backdrop. Thus, only taking steps to balcony, you’ll fell very close to nature.
The same concept is also adopted by spa and massage centers, one of most flourishing business in Ubud. You can enjoy Bali’s traditional massage while treating yourself to green panorama and breathing fresh mountain air that are free from any kind of air pollutions. No wonder that Ubud is listed as one of best spa destinations in Asia.
Ubud has a special meaning for artists and arts lovers. They call this place a land of inspiration as it is a historical place for arts development in Bali. The image can be acquired thanks to Tjokorda Gde Agung Sukawati, the king of Ubud in those days. Together with famous painters Walter Spiece (Germany) dan Redolf Bonnet (Dutch), the king founded an arts community named Pita Maha which has brought several great artists. From this point, Ubud started to grow to be the only global-scale art village in Bali.
Tjokorda didn’t only equip his people with skills but also gave them a place to display and preserve their works. In the beginning of 1956, he established Puri Lukisan museum which is dedicated to locals’ works. In this museum, you can find some of Spiece’s and Bonnet’s paintings that mostly capture the cultural charm of Ubud.
The popularity of Ubud is not an exaggeration as it has received a number of appreciations from several parties. In 2010, Conde Nast Traveller, a United States-based travel magazine, mentioned Ubud as the best town in Asia. This title was given for the great hospitality offers by Ubud people to all its visitors.
Another tribute is given in a slightly different way. Within the same year, Ubud was chosen as a setting in the movie of “Eat, Pray, Love” starring legendary actress Julia Robert. This indirectly shows that the beauty of Ubud has been globally recognized. It may be due to the movie that more and more travelers crowd Ubud for vacation, making this area Asia’s most favorite destination based on “Travellers’s Choice Destinations TripAdvisor.”
Ubud is indeed the heart of Bali that plays a significant role in the development and preservation of Balinese arts and culture. Though it is an old tourism spot but Ubud never fails to spoil the visitors with tranquility and natural beauty.