Tips for Ubud
Ubud is a great place to start a Bali holiday because whilst it is quieter than Kuta or Sanur, there are still many things to do. And you get the benefit of the cooler temperatures and the great restaurants.
Ubud is the major town in the Gianyar Regency. It is a cultural area and known as the centre of arts in Bali.
There is plenty for families to do in and around Ubud ...
There are many good restaurants in Ubud , these tend to be centred on the main accommodation areas in Jalan Raya, Monkey Forest Road and Jalan Hanoman. The price of restaurants varied widely and you can normally check out the price and range of food before you go in as most restaurants have a menu on a board out the front. This can mean you can still buy a good plate on Nasi Goreng for 12 to 15,000 Rph or a fine imported steak for 120,000 Rph, depending on where you choose to eat.
The good new is that there are many places that serve a good range of foods, so that if your kids are fussy eaters they will find pizza, jaffles, toasted sandwiches and chips at many restaurants.
If you like a good coffee there are also some good cafe's opening, a favorite is Cafe Tutmak where you can get a great coffee made from beans that are roasted each morning.
Also many restaurants now show movies on a nightly basis and advertise these on boards during the day. Find a movie the kids want to see , and then you can eat in peace whilst they are entertained.
Ubud has many moneychangers, banks and now of course ATM's so getting or changing money will not be a problem.
Getting around Ubud is no the same as in the major coastal areas of Bali where metered taxis are common. In Ubud there are drivers on every street that offer transport and you need to negotiate a price. Getting in and around town is normally around 10,000 to 15,000 rupiah. There is a system of one way roads so familiarise yourself with the system, as you may have to go a long distance by car to arrive at a destination that is closeby.
Shopping in Ubud is more focussed on homewares and arts and crafts. This is in contrast to Kuta etc where there are many surf shops. You can buy copy surf gear, jewellery etc at the kuta markets on the corner of Jalan Raya and Monkey Forest Road. This market has become a bit of a mecca for day trippers ( principally Japanese and Taiwanese) and so bartering can be very difficult if there a many of these large groups around - they tend to be less skilled at getting a good price.
There are also many art galleries, where you can buy original local art.
Cultural activities abound in Ubud, at Klub Kokos and Taman Harum cottages, the kids can do many activities from wood carving to batik painting. You can do cooking lessons whilst the kids are busy! At Taman Harum , you do the lesson and then the family can sit down and enjoy the fruits of your labour as a feast.
The popular traditional dances that are regularly presented are the legong, fire and monkey dances. These can be booked from most hotels and are held at a number of venues around Ubud.
For most families Ubud is a good place to spend a few days. The pace is slower and the streets less hassled, so maybe start at Ubud , get into Bali time and then brave the more hectic south.