Ubud is a town north of Denpasar, close to the center of the island. It’s known as an artist’s village. I went there by shuttle, motorcycle, and finally a bemo (a minivan with benches in the back) all to myself. Ubud is a quiet village with none of the hustle of Kuta. It’s very green and all the houses are low and unassuming. They are all either souvenir shops selling locally made trinkets, or galleries for paintings or wood sculptures, which amounts to the same thing. A few are tourist restaurants but I found an Indonesian one. They have a market too, which is a labyrinth of souvenir stalls. But the town is so nice and pleasant to walk in that I’ll forgive it for the rampant souvenir racket.
They have a Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary at the edge of Ubud. True to its name, lots of monkeys sit on trees and on the paths, and some were enjoying themselves by jumping into a small pool to the delight of the tourists. There is a temple as well, and a number of very scenic paths leading to a river through the jungle. Lots of Banyan trees here; they have big bundles of vine-like roots instead of a trunk. The bridge, stones, and the many statues and sculptures in the park are overgrown with moss. The park feels like a Tomb Raider set.
There are trails south of the park that pass through a few villages and rice fields, but the rice fields here look pretty much like the rice fields on Java, so after a couple of hours walking I return to the hotel by motorcycle. The driver doesn’t know it and I don’t have the address so I navigate him with my GPS receiver.