Ubud is the art center of Bali, a small fascinating town located about 35 km northeast of Bali, just one hour drive from Denpasar. For anyone fond of painting, wood carving, music, dance and arts, the trip to Ubud is a must if you visit Bali. A quiet rhythm guides the daily life of Ubud and you will be fascinated with the views of the terraced paddy fields, waterfalls and rural scenes along your way up towards the mountains. The town serves a traveler who prefers a quiet relaxing stay. For decades the serene beauty of this village has lured people and artists from all over the world to this unspoiled countryside.
Ubud is the center of fine arts noted for its painters. Some of world artists like Walter Spies, Arie Smit, Rudolf Bonnet and Antonio Blanco stayed and built their homes here.
Down the road at Campuan, the junction of two rivers that flow through Ubud, you will find the former residences of Walter Spies and Rudolf Bonnet who lived here during the thirties. These two painters had encouraged and inspired the Balinese artists from the traditional style and adopt European technique and modern styles. Many Balinese painters are internationally famous like the late I Gusti Nyoman Lempad, A.A. Gede Sobrat, Ida Bagus Gede Poleng and several others.
Kecak Fire Trance Dance
Ubud is famous for its traditional music and dances. You can see performances at several locations like Ubud Palace, Blanco Museum, Lotus Café and in the villages of Peliatan, Batubulan and Batuan. One of the most enchanting and amazing dance you must not miss while in Bali is to see the Kecak Fire Trance Dance. Performed by one hundred and fifty men wearing checkered cloth around their waists, sitting in a circle and chanting the “chak-a-chak’ sounds continuously while throwing up their arms. Kecak dance is a drama, also known as the Ramayana Monkey Chant illustrates a battle from the Ramayana epic. A little brochure will be distributed to the audience before the performance starts to give you a better understanding about the story.
There are many interesting places around Ubud that you can enjoy. The terraced fields and waterfalls nearby, forests, rivers and cool temperatures combined with trendy cafes and restaurants, small boutique style hotels will make many tourists leave their vehicles to walk on foot. Shopping around at the traditional market, you will find a bunch of small shops at the top of Monkey Forest road selling batiks, art and curios collections. Ubud has a lot of spiritual beauty where you can discover for yourself and refresh your daily routine after you back home.