Backyard Travel’s resident expert and Travel Specialist in Indonesia Andhika Putra has shared his insider tips about his beloved Ubud! Originally from Eastern Bali, Andhika knows everything worth knowing about this wonderful Indonesian island, so if you’re heading there on holiday and want some advice from a local about what to do, where to go, when to do it, and why, you should read his recommendations!
When is the best time to visit and why?
The best time of year to go to Ubud is between June and September as the weather is sunny but it’s a bit cooler in the morning and evening so it’s a pleasant time to do activities and spend time outdoors. If you’re going to Ubud to see the rice terraces, check in advance which area to visit. Each region has a different harvest season; some have two crops, while others have three! October to March is the rainy season and although some may have already been harvested you’re still likely to find one growing somewhere.
Where are the best places to stay?
For a bit of pampering and indulgence, I always go to Puri Sunia, which is approximately ten minutes’ drive from Ubud. Puri Sunia is located in quite an isolated area surrounded by greenery and paddy fields and is very relaxing. It is the perfect retreat from busy city life and ideal for couples and family travelers. The hotel also offers a very nice morning yoga class to start your day. Overall, there is an amazing range of boutique properties, luxury villas and hotels in Ubud.
Must-try Indonesian dishes?
Babi Guling is Bali’s specialty dish and is truly mouth-watering. The dish is made using spit-roasted pig stuffed with ginger, chili, garlic and herbs. My favorite place to eat is at Ibu Oka Warung on Jalan Tegal Street. When you’re in Indonesia you also have to eat lots of satay (grilled meat on sticks) and gado–gado which is a salad consisting of boiled vegetables drowned in peanut sauce dressing – delicious!
Where is a great place for dinner?
Start the night in Naughty Nuri’s, an Ubud landmark that serves some of the best BBQ and Dirty Martini’s in Bali! I really like going to Warung Enak, a Dutch colonial restaurant with a rijjstafel (which means rice table in Dutch – the Netherlands still has a strong influence in Indonesia from colonial times), and is similar to a Balinese version of Tapas. And for a special occasion, Mozaic is another favorite of mine – a fine dining restaurant in a magical candle-lit tropical garden. It’s so popular you’d better book in advance though!
Where is a good place to go or thing to do?
Drive through the back roads between the terraced rice fields to Sebatu village and take a walk along the craft-stall lined village roads to get a unique feel of Bali life. To discover some traditional arts and crafts, Nusantara Gallery showcases unique sculptures, handicrafts and weavings sourced from across the Indonesian islands.
Additional insider’s tip
Keep on the footpath – even if there isn’t one! The Balinese use every inch of road there is and tend to travel in all directions! Also, be sure to catch one of the many styles of traditional dance scheduled in the Ubud area – it’s always a colorful and unique spectacle.
What to bring home
Ubud is the soul of Bali’s arts and crafts, so head to one of the nearby craft villages and buy wooden baskets, silverware, and of course, batik or bead ware direct from the craftsman. We recently wrote a blog on gifts from Asia, which you can read here for more information!
If you want to travel to Ubud and see the city from the eyes of an insider, contact [email protected] and we’ll arrange a tailor-made tour for you! Enjoy my city!