Ubud is much bigger than what you see on the map and definitely offers a lot more than what you can read in the guide books. Here are the coolest things to do in Ubud that are not mentioned in travel books:
The coolest things to do in Ubud are not always in the center of Ubud!
Don’t make the trip to Ubud exclusively about Ubud. You might think this contradicts what the article is about but it doesn’t, and I put this as my first advice for a reason. Don’t be afraid to escape the touristic streets and go an extra mile, Ubud is surrounded by so many beautiful things and this is, in my opinion, what makes Ubud very special.
The rice terraces, but not the ones you are thinking of..
There are so many beautiful rice terraces in Ubud but the once in the center of the Ubud are made to look nice for tourists and are not how the rice terraces traditionally look like. On top of that, the roads are crowded by sellers, shops, and restaurants (next to the crowds of tourists and their selfie sticks) and they will NOT let you walk down the small path in peace. Rent a scooter and drive in any direction outside Ubud and you’ll encounter a lot of beautiful fields where you can see the real deal.
Go see a Kecak dance
Also known as the Ramayana Monkey Chant, a beautiful trance ritual with male chorus, fire and a lot of cool stuff. Definitely one of the coolest things to do in Ubud.
Take some time and learn the art of making good coffee in Seniman Coffee Studio. A lot of workshops about different techniques from Cupping, Roasting Demonstration to learning how to correctly steam milk to texturize, sweeten, stretch, and mast the milk and latte art.
Sacred Monkey Forest
The trip to the sacred monkey forest was a fascinating experience for me as I have never been able to get this close to monkeys that have not been captured or trained before. Very recommended to all animal lovers. You can read my review and see pictures of the beautiful monkeys here.
Finally, Get a Balinese Massage
With a lot of spas and massage centers almost on every corner, a good Balinese massage would be a good way to end your day in Ubud and rest your soul. The techniques and feelings here are totally different from any other massage.