Bali 2010 - Around Ubud and Monkey Forest Road

To me one of the nicest areas in Bali is Ubud and the surroundings. The famous valleys of Ayung River, Campuhan River and its many tributaries, and the beautiful rice fields in the Ubud countryside provide an attractive and perfect natural setting. Add in the villages nearby which produce beautiful handicrafts such as wood carvings, stone carvings, furniture and silver jewelry, and the many artists who have set up residences and galleries in the area, and you have an unbeatable combination of nature, culture and people which all contribute to the irresistable charm of Ubud.

Though the Ubud area is quite big and stretches into Kedewatan in the North and Padang Tegal in the South, the main centre of activity is in Monkey Forest Road. Here you will find endless fashion boutiques, art galleries, cafes, restaurants, boutique hotels, craft shops, etc. The road actually starts off as Jalan Hanoman at the T-junction with Jalan Raya Ubud which is the main Ubud thoroughfare. It then loops around and turn back as Jalan Monkey Forest, completing a u-shaped loop which must be some of the most well-trampled grounds in Bali.

Early morning in Ubud Town Centre.

Along Monkey Forest Road.

Lots of interesting shops and places to explore.

No trip to Ubud would be complete without a trek through this charming neighbourhood. Due to the constant arrival of tourists which provide the ready market, and the entrepreneurial spirit of Bali locals as well as expats, there is always something new to discover even if you have been here many times before.

Some of the notable outposts to check out are:

Pusaka, Monkey Forest Road - purveyor of understated chic apparels in interesting natural fabrics. Prices are high by Balinese standards, but the quality and unique designs make up for it.

Calico Home, Monkey Forest Road - very high quality Balinese handicrafts, home ware and antiques.

Bead 'n' Bali, Monkey Forest Road - a huge collection of beads of all kinds. Buy some to make your own bead necklace or bracelet.

Oasis Bali, Hanoman Road - tastefully designed clothes for the ladies.


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