7 places that you can visit near Ubud

When I travelled to Bali a couple of years ago and stayed in Ubud area; my friend and I decided to rent a car with a driver to bring us around. I have listed several places that we were going to visit in one day. Typically the logic was to visit as many places as we could in one day as we didn’t have much time during the holiday. Well, making a plan was not taking much energy, but when I did it as plan and even more, I realized that I was not a ‘fast traveler’ but a ‘slow traveler’ … Means, I’m the one that want to enjoy the place as long as I can, no matter I had already made the list and didn’t visit places as many as possible. The important thing is to enjoy the time. Haha!


A beautiful scenery of paddy field beside the stairs to Candi Gunung Kawi (Bali – Indonesia)

Well anyway … Here is the list of places that I visited in one day, and all are located at the central part of Bali. You might surprise that I visited all of these in one day, or perhaps you are not 🙂

7 Places to visit near Ubud, Bali

Candi Gunung Kawi

One thing that made me went to this place is the unique temple that was made by carving the wall of stone, which is not ordinary. It’s not only one temple, but there are several temples in this complex. Apparently the name Candi Gunung Kawi is actually translated to ‘Gunung’ which is mountain, and ‘Kawi’ which is carving.


The temples in the eastern side of Candi Gunung Kawi area (Bali – Indonesia)


An artist carving the coconut fruit – At Candi Gunung Kawi complex (Bali – Indonesia)

From the entrance to the temple complex, we needed to walk down around more than 300 stairs. Walking down is easy, so imagine walking 300 stairs up! But don’t worry, you will enjoy the view of the paddy field while you walk on the stairs 😉

In this area, I also found an art workshop where the artist use the coconut fruit and carved it. Looks really good … !

(Also read: Candi Gunung Kawi in pictures …)

Tirta Empul

Do you know that Pakerisan River that flows through Candi Gunung Kawi is actually coming from this spring, called Tirta Empul?

Balinese sees this spring as the sacred spring where they can cleanse themselves, and there’s also a myth that this water can cure illness.


People ‘cleansing’ themselves in this holy spring at Tirta Empul (Bali – Indonesia)


The spring in Tirta Empul (Bali – Indonesia)


Praying time at Tirta Empul with Istana Tampaksiring at the background (Bali – Indonesia)

This holy spring was created around in 900AD where god Indra struck his weapon to the ground and then the water emerged from the earth. A reason why god Indra did this as his soldiers were all dead because drinking the water from the spring that was already poisoned by king Mayadenawa. With this water, then god Indra could revive all of his dead soldiers.

In this area, you will also see the palace – Istana Tampaksiring, that was used by the first president of Republic Indonesia, President Soekarno.

Lunch at Kintamani area

Nowadays, this area has a lot of places to eat, where most of them will locate themselves facing the Lake Batur. If I could remember, most of them will offer the same buffet style for the food, so just pick one, and enjoy the view. If not, there’s also some restaurants that offer a la carte menu as well. (Check Kintamani Lakeview Restaurant post by Astrid).


The wonderful view of Lake and Mount Batur from Kintamani (Bali – Indonesia)

Penglipuran village

Penglipuran village (desa Penglipuran in Bahasa Indonesia) that located in Bangli area, is a traditional village where no motorcycle or even car is allowed to enter, which makes this place less polluted. The place also looks very organized and clean where the road is made from stone. Every house will has similar design which each houses have a small temple and the ‘Balinese entrance gate’ design.


The clean and peaceful atmosphere in Penglipuran Village (Bali – Indonesia)

Bamboo forest near Penglipuran Village [Bali – Indonesia]

Bamboo forest near Penglipuran Village (Bali – Indonesia)

When I visited the place, I saw some signs of ‘guest house‘. I thought this kind of ‘traditional village’ is restricted to non-villagers to spend a night there. And I think it’s a great idea to have guest houses in a traditional village like this, as it will give a chance for people to feel on how to live in a village. I would definitely want to stay in one the guest houses someday! 🙂

Oh, by the way. check out the bamboo forest near the village too!

Yeh Pulu Relief

Yeh Pulu is another stone carving art that you can find in Bali, after the temple on the wall of the stone in Candi Gunung Kawi. The difference is the relief in Yeh Pulu describes the life of the people. The place itself was found in 1920s.


The pathway to Yeh Pulu Relief (Bali – Indonesia)

The 25 meters-long relief of Yeh Pulu [Bali – Indonesia]

The 25 meters-long relief of Yeh Pulu (Bali – Indonesia)


A closer look to the relief in Yeh Pulu (Bali – Indonesia)

This is another place in Bali that you only see few people visiting this place. The place is actually very calm and peaceful. On the right side of the walking pathway is a paddy field, and on the left side is the relief that stretched to 25 meters long.

If you want to know more about the relief, I have found a good website that provides some knowledge about the relief >> Yeh Pulu.

Goa Gajah

The main attraction to this place is the Goa Gajah itself, or the Elephant Cave, where the entrance to the stone cave was carved just like we’re entering a demon mouth. Some said that people are entering the underworld as the cave was quite dark. Inside you will see the stone that carved into three lingams which are the symbols of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Besides that, you will also find a statue of Ganesha.


The entrance to Goa Gajah (Bali – Indonesia)


The Ganesha statue inside the Goa Gajah (Bali – Indonesia)

Indonesia - Bali - Goa Gajah - The ruins from above (2)

The ruins in the Goa Gajah complex (Bali – Indonesia)


Tegalalang is a famous rice terrace in Bali. It’s like a must place to visit if you’re visiting Ubud area. Why it’s famous? Well, it’s simple. The place has a beautiful landscape of a rice terrace that set on a cliff. It’s a good material for your photo too! 🙂

Indonesia - Bali - Goa Gajah - Tegalalang rice terrace (02)

The famous Tegalalang rice teraces (Bali – Indonesia)

And last thing as the bonus is …

Bird watching at Kokokan

We just drove to a street where there are a few tall trees on the side of the road that were full with Jalak Bali.There’s actually nothing else besides doing bird watching, but when I look at the tickets, I saw a promo about ‘cycling in Kokokan.’ So you could try this activity and share the experience with me 🙂


Birds watching in Bali – Indonesia


A closer look to Jalak Bali (Bali – Indonesia)

It’s a long list to visit in one day, right? Well, for me the answer is yes. Even during the visit to Yeh Pulu Relief, I found a small café, and I really really wanted to stop and relaxed a bit before we continued. But, it seemed my friend and the driver didn’t want to waste the time. And so we walked pass the café 😐

I think I was running out of energy when we’re at Tegalalang. It’s quite unfortunate, as I did really want to explore the paddy field. But too tired already to explore! Haha.

So this is my list, so what’s your favourite place to visit when you stay in Ubud?


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