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Ubud in Photos

Garuda Standing Guard
A colorful Garuda statue stands guard in a traditional Balinese house-turned-art-gallery in Ubud. Garuda is a giant mythical bird and the national symbol of Indonesia.

The Goddess Awaits
Flowers and offering to the Gods are everywhere in Ubud, Bali - a peaceful, beautiful and simply lovely place.

In Bali you cannot help but make local friends in Bali. The Balinese are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet.

Deliciousness on a Stick
Satay is a dish eaten all over Indonesia and Malaysia, and is made often made for ceremonies in Bali. One of my favorite variations of Balinese satay is lilit, a mixture of pork, chicken or fish with lots of lemongrass, galangal, garlic, ginger, chilies and other spices as well as a good measure of coconut milk. This dish is pure Bali to me. Many restaurants make satay lilit now, but if you want the real deal head to Lebih in Karangasem to eat where the locals eat in one of the many fish warungs on the coast road just before Padang Bai.

Get Fruity
In Bali there are fruit stands packed with weird and wonderful fruits you may not have seen ever before. So many of these are such unique tastes you've got to try them. Mangosteens, rambutans, durian, jackfruit, snakefruit, duku, wani, kelengkeng, dragonfruit and starfruit are just a few of the treats you will be able to find at most roadside stalls, depending on the time of year. Many fruits grow best in the rainy season so are abundant from around September through April. Of course everything grows year round in Bali so although there might be less, you will always be able to buy a huge variety of fruit.

Ubud and Mas

Ubud is known as a center for Balinese painting, which can be viewed at art markets and galleries throughout the city. Contemporary paintings are displayed in the Neka Art Museum, while you'll find more traditional ones at the Museum Puri Lukisan. To see the best Balinese wood carvings, head to Mas, a village six kilometers (four miles) south of Ubud. At the Bali Wood Carving Center, you can watch artisans carving unique works of art. It's also a good place to shop for souvenirs.

Holy Bali Matrimony
There is no truer testament to a destination’s romantic gravitas than the number of weddings held there, and on this front, Bali scores again. Although hotels and resorts offer compelling wedding packages, the best option is to rent a villa in Ubud or the Bukit, where the couple and immediate family can base, and the ceremony held outside with a view. Some couples choose to be adorned, Balinese Hindu style, with silks and headdresses and linked by an authentic Hindu priest. Others import their own ministers (pagan, Christian, or otherwise) and dress up fancy for the occasion, which typically rage deep into the starry night. Destination weddings in somewhere as remote (for Americans) as Bali, keep the guest numbers down, but offer a terrific value for intimate yet unforgettable parties. Several Bali-based event businesses can happily organize your dream wedding.

Nasi Goreng
Our friend Caroline has lived in Bali for 25 years. On the second morning of our visit, she cooked up some nasi goreng. It entered the breakfast hall of fame and was without a doubt the best fried rice I've ever had.

Jet-Lagged Morning
Our first morning in Bali we woke up around 4am. Jet lag will easily do that to you. It did, however, allow us to witness a glorious sunrise over the rice fields that were just across a river from our cabana. It was an epic way to start our visit.

Levitating Children
Little boys dressed in the traditional Balinese clothing, pakian adat, race around before a temple procession. Two future men of the village practice their levitating skills as the sun sets and the gamelan gathers.

The Many-Handed Farmer
In doing research about the threatened agricultural economy in Bali, I came across Bapak Gendil. The grandfather of one of my friends, I had meant to interview him about his family's ricefields. When I arrived, however, he was busy making hands.

Bapak Gendil, like many Balinese, is not just a farmer. He is also an artist. In this case, he is the third generation of woodcarvers, and wooden hands are his family's specialty.

Monkey forest skyline
looking up

Mother and Child
The mothers are very protective of their babies.... be very careful not to get too close

laying around
they dont seem to be bothered at all by all the visitors....

Tiny little thing
they're just so cute...

spring water pool
possibly might of been used before for bathing before... but now full of fish and other little critters

monkey forest stream
one of the many streams that run through the bottom of monkey forest

His favorite color!
Chris and Made (our amazing guide)

Balinese woman
hard at work to finish her daily offerings

Balinese women
The people of this village live as one... they live together, work together and pray together....

its an art form!!!!
amazing how they construct these things out of nothing but leaves and twigs!!!

amazing places off the beaten path
We loved visiting this local temple... no tourists around... and experiencing the local culture in its raw form.

Local Balinese Woman
i believe she's grinding raw palm sugar...but i could be wrong

Balance is key!
I dont know how they do it but balinese woman carry towering loads of fruit and other goods on their heads!!! Holy Moly !!!!

Lucky Chicken
Official greeter of the local store:)

Balinese Rice Paddies
If you are in Ubud have the opportunity to talk a medicinal or herbal walk through the fields don't miss it. There are an amazing variety of herbs growing along the paths.

Magic Destination
Ubud is located in the middle of Bali. It is known for its fine arts, dance and music.
Mystery behind Balinese culture is a strong reason to return to this island.

Rice Terraces Near Ubud Bali
While staying at the Villa Semana outside of Ubud, Bali, I was treated to this zen-like view of the rice terraces. I also took a Bali Bird Walk through the rice fields. A beautiful, peaceful area to vacation. Ubud is culturally rich. Taking advantage of that, I took a batik class which as with most things is difficult to master.

We are more alike than different!
The most valuable thing we learn as travelers is how much more we are alike than different. This photo was taken in Ubud, Bali. At the time I was participating in an immersive arts program, studying traditional Balinese Dancing and Shadow Puppetry, but I have to admit that I frequently indulged in the exceptional massage skills of the Balinese! Taking time away from my studies, I came across these amazing creatures who charmed me, made me laugh, and completely reinforced the fact that creatures are as much of a culture as it’s people. I came away from the experience with a great love for the spirituality, artistry, and many great memories of the canine, feline, aves, primate, and human friends I made.

When in Bali, There’s Always a Festival - Galungan
I was in Bali to witness Galungan, a celebration of good over evil. It’s a time when ancient ancestors visit the earth.

First, I noticed penjor lining the road. A penjor is a tall, curving bamboo pole, with curved bamboo strips and flowers hanging off. The poles are placed in front of homes and businesses, and seem to scrape the clouds in their height. On some streets, you could see so many they seemed to form an arch over the street.

One the day of the festival, I was not sure what to expect. I asked around and learned that families leave their house together and head to the temple to make offerings. I imagined a large procession of extended family similar to a Balinese funeral procession.

Instead, individual families, many on motorbikes, zoomed around town, often stopping at more than one temple to make an offering of incense, flowers, fruits, and more.
Women were precariously balancing baskets on their heads, and entire families dressed in the traditional Balinese sarong and floral sash. Men wore simple white button down shirts, and scarves around their heads, and women wore ornate lace blouses. Even the children were dressed - like miniature versions of their parents. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood, saying hello as we passed.

If your schedule brings you to Bali on a day other than Galungan - ask around - there's always a festival to be experienced. The Balinese Hindu calendar is full of them.

Balinese kecak fire and trance dance.
The Balinese Trance Dance involves a choir of men chanting in unison, lulling one man into a trance. The man proceeds to dance on piles of flaming coconut husks. Over. And over. And over again.

Nasi Goreng
A ubiquitous dish throughout Bali if not all of Indonesia, nasi goreng combines vegetables and meat (or seafood or a combination of both) in a quick and satisfying stir fry. Topped with a sunny side up egg and eaten with a fiery sambal on the side it makes for a cheap and satisfying meal. Vegetarian versions are also easily available.

Taman Ayun Temple is situated in Mengwi Village of Badung District, around 18 km to the west of Denpasar. It is a very beautiful temple, as the name tells (Taman Ayun means temple in a beautiful garden). In addition to its beauty, Taman Ayun Temple is also considered to have historical values, which makes the regional government of Bali suggests the UNESCO in 2002 that this temple is included in World Heritage List.

Walking the rice patty trail outside of Ubud, Bali in Indonesia
Although Ubud has become a pretty developed town and lacks the desired natural landscape one would expect to find in Bali, a few minutes by foot outside of the town is a long looping path that takes walkers through the surrounding rice fields of Ubud. You pass men selling coconuts, painters, and rice workers in the open area, before the path narrows and you enter a jungle setting. Reemerging on the other side of the jungle, the path once again enters the rice fields and heads back towards town, passing by some small restaurants and homestays.

Experience the home made Batik of Ubud, Bali
Traveling from Uluwatu to Ubud, there are many incredible cultural stops to make along the way. It's best to hire a driver/guide who knows the places and see everything in one day. Different parts of the surrounding area are dedicated to different crafts such as stone, wood work, silver, batik and more. My favorite stop was a batik making facility. We were able to see the women hand painting the cloth and the men dying the cloth. Inside we saw all the products that had been made from the materials and I was able to buy some pieces to take home. There are clothing and household products on the ground floor and an art gallery with cloth pieces upstairs. The paintings look similar to canvases from far away but are simple clothes that can be folded for transport and later ironed and hung up.

Working on the rice field
Working on the rice field

Experiencing Indonesian Cuisine
Most people don't know how delicious the food in Indonesia is. I ate my way through Bali, loving every second of the mei goren, delicious roasted suckling pig, and spicy tofu.