Ubud is a conglomeration of villages positioned at the confluence of two rivers. It transports you through a stunning landscape of rice terraces and jungle, with sacred volcanoes towering in the distance.

The area has been a haven for local and foreign artists since the 1930s, and is now the island’s centre for fine arts and cultural performances, attracting art collectors, connoisseurs, writers, mystics, and people who are actively involved in anthropology, music, dance, architecture, environmentalism and alternative healing. Ubud is home to a treasure trove of art museums and galleries, featuring traditional and modern work including paintings, ceramics, carvings, sculpture, batik, jewellery, pottery, antiques, and photography. In the neighbouring villages, you can watch the island’s most accomplished painters, weavers, stonemasons, woodcarvers, mask makers and silversmiths at work.

The Royal Family palace is centrally located and open to all. There are many cultural performances staged in Ubud, in particular the famous Kecak dance, the fire dance, the monkey dance and the Legong dance. And Ubud even has its own sacred Monkey Forest.

The advent of many Ubud festivals, like the Writers & Readers now world-famous in literary circles, the Bali Spirit celebrating yoga, dance and music, or the Jazz mixing west and east bands, create a feast of events to attend.

The ricefields, mountains and river views, areas around Ubud are ideal for total mind and body relaxation, but also meditation, yoga, jungle trekking, bird watching, mountain cycling and white water rafting. Numerous trails offer memorable walks, and at the same time witness old and honoured methods of agriculture.

The markets selling foods and spices are many, and also food eating night courts. Local and International restaurants and bars are of high quality and plentiful. The majority of places close early, which allows me to go to bed, and wake up for a full day, starting by a swim in a pool overlooking ever-changing ricefields.