Exploring Temples in Ubud

Ubud is all about peace and love. Not only because it has become an important yoga destination but also because its people are very religious and spiritual. It’s beautiful. There are many temples close to Ubud to soak in the spirituality. If you’re not into this as much, there are also lots of adventurous activities like treks to the volcano or waterfalls. 

No matter your choice of activities, Ubud has a special something that will captivate you and you will not want to leave. 

We only had 1.5 days, which is very tight, I recommend you give Ubud as much time as you can. This is what we managed to do in the time we had:

Day 1

We arrived to Ubud from a very early morning flight from Bangkok. It’s about an hour away (a bit more due to traffic) from Denpasar airport so we got in around 2pm. We were extremely tired so we used part of the afternoon to rest and admire the view of the rice fields from our room. 


Around 5pm we decided to take the shuttle from our hotel into town and take a walk. The town is small but very busy and has about everything you need. There are many different kind of restaurants and shops. The atmosphere is very much around yoga, meditation, art, etc. We had dinner at a very cute restaurant called Cafe Lotus that had a terrace overlooking a temple and were lucky enough to enjoy a traditional dance that took place there. 

Day 2

We rented scooters, the best decision ever. Without a scooter you will rely on taxis or a tour. The nice thing about the scooter is that you are completely free to explore whatever your heart desires. We decided to go a bit up north of Ubud to visit 2 temples: Gunung Kawi Temple and Pura Tirta Empul. 

Gunung Kawi Temple:

To go into the temples, you have to wear a sarong. At the entry, there will be lots of stores trying to sell you the sarong, you don’t have to buy one unless you want to. With the entry fee, they let you borrow a sarong to go in. Make sure you read the signs in order to respect the religion. For example, in some areas of the temple, women have to tie their hair up as a symbol of humbleness and to avoid hair falling inside the temple. 

Another thing is that in Indonesia, it’s hot, all the time. Take comfortable clothes and be prepared to be sweaty and sticky all day. That’s another reason why if you can take it slow, you will enjoy your trip more because you can do tourism in the mornings and relax by the pool in the afternoons. 

After walking around these temples, we wanted to visit the elephant temple, a little bit south of Ubud town so we decided to go into Ubud for lunch and then continue exploring. 

Elephant Temple:

We stopped at Kafe, which had been highly recommended to us, and now we know why. The food is amazing, it has a variety of local plates as well as western dishes but the presentation is beautiful and the ingredients are organic and local. 
It’s worth trying out if you are in Ubud.

 
With our energy recharged and a break from the strong heat, we continued toward elephant temple. This temple is nice but not as impressive as the other two, so make sure you start with the other two. 

We met some friends for dinner at the BintangBali Warung (warungs are local restaurants). We highly recommend this place, everything was delicious. We had pork ribs, chicken curry and roasted duck. They have vegetarian options as well. 

This was our Ubud experience. If possible, I would add at least one or two more days because there are more temples or if you get tired of temples there are many treks around Ubud that are supposed to be amazing. With so little time there, we fell in love with this place and its people. 

Travel Tips

Hotel

  • Kubu Bali Baik Villa & Spa: it’s a bit out of town but you have to rent a scooter anyway so it’s not a problem. It’s nice that it’s away from the town. They also have a free shuttle into town, a very nice pool and massage service. 

Restaurants

  • Bintang Bali Warung
  • Lotus Cafe
  • Kafe
  • Gelato secrets for ice cream

Temples

  • Gurung Kawi Temple
  • Pura Tirta Empul
  • Goa Gajah (Elephant Temple)
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