Just go! There are many wonderful walks in every direction from Ubud, through villages, rice terraces, jungle gorges, and grassy hilltops. Don't be afraid. Just strike out in any direction. You can walk anywhere you like, without "trespassing." Don't be shy, just be courteous. The best of the Ubud area is off the roads, so grab a map, or just go rambling without one, Often the best discoveries are purely coincidental and can't be found in any guidebook. If you prefer to follow a good leader, day treks are offered by adventure guides like
(Tel - 287059), Ayung (Tel - 238759) and Adventure Products (tel - Vayatours 285555). Sobek's itineraries include the Bali Bird Walk, and if it's plants your after, call Lilir (t - 974865) to join a Bali Herb Walk, and learn about the many fragrant, edible and medicinal plants that surround you. Vayatours also leads walking tours in the Ubud area, focusing on historic Pejeng, and the hills and villages North of Campuan.
Biking Bicycling is a great way to see the Ubud area, and to stay fit. The early morning hours are best, when it's still cool. You can peddle sedately along backroads, or take a mountain bike and bash your way down precipitous gorges, along slippery rice terrace dikes, or through rough village byways pocked with craters. A truly glorious ride is to slog all the way up to Kintamani on the crater of Mt. Batur then glide effortlessly back downhill to Ubud through a chain of traditional villages dotted with craft studios and cafes. For the lazy, you can find a car and driver in the middle of Ubud, put your bikes in and just do the downhill bit. Rent a bike in Monkey Forest Road, grab a Bali map, then find a driver in front of the tourist information office at Ubud Corner, and you're on your way. Another way to go is to call adventure guides like
Sobek (Tel 287059) or Ayung (Tel 238759) who lead biking tours suitable for the whole family, with every little detail provided.
Rental Bikes are available for about 5,000 rupiah per day from many places in Monkey Forest Road and elsewhere. Once you're on your way, try hard to avoid the main roads because traffic is horrendous, except at the crack of dawn. All of the back roads are negotiable by bicycle and are only steep where they cross a river gorge (east to west). Otherwise, they generally run uphill gently from south to north. We recommend you ride north first, until you've had enough, then coast back downhill, and eat ---- bigtime. Adventure guides like
Sobek (287059) and Ayung (238759) also offer day trips.
Hashing (Crosscountry Running, Trotting and Strolling) The Hash House Harriers is a world-wide organization of people who like to trot cross-country together, then sit back and have a good laugh afterwards. The Bali chapter runs on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Weekly Has sheets are supposedly available at the Beggar's Bush in Ubud (Tel - 975009).
The rivers around Ubud provide pleasant rafting conditions year round --- with enough rapids to make the ride fun, but still mild enough for those who tend to be timid when it comes to whitewater. Rafting also provides an unrivalled way to check out the natural scenery, wildlife and exotic plants of Bali, while sitting happily on your rear end! And it's a good way to cool off if the tropical heat gets oppressive. Call Sobek (Tel - 287059) , Ayung (Tel - 238759) or Bali Adventure Rafting (Tel - 721480) and they will take care of everything for you, including transportation, equipment and food. Your hotel can book rafting for you, if you don't feel like phoning. Prices for a half day river trip are about US$60.
Kayaking Ayung (Tel - 238759) offers kayaking in easy to handle inflatable boats on the scenic Ayung River. No prior experience required, just a healthy body and a willing attitude.
Sobek now organises the famous "Bali Bird Walks", which are light-hearted explorations of the Ubud area, seeking ornithological oddities. The program was started by Victor Mason, a famous local character and the former publican at the Beggar's Bush in Campuan. (Tel - 287059).
Elephant Trekking is now available in the village of Taro, twenty minutes north of Ubud. You can ride an elephant, then feed it and give it a bath. Open 9 to 4 every day, no reservations necessary, just show up in Taro with $27 and choose your mount.
Badminton Indonesians as a rule are keen on badminton. Ubudians are no exception. Most afternoons, around 5:00 or so, men get together to play in the bale banjar in every community in the area. Foreigners have often joined in, and been welcome to do so. The standard of play is generally quite high.
Volleyball Volleyball is popular in Indonesia. There are community courts, often near bale banjars, and men get together to play, usually in the afternoon. Listen for shouting, and see if they can rotate you in.
There are a number of temporary and permanent teams that play around Ubud. Some of the less formal ones are Bebek United (headquartered at the Bebek Bengil Restaurant) and the Sai-Sai Team (headquartered at the bar of the same name). Masses of people congregate to kick a ball around the Ubud field in the afternoons if there's not a game or an organized practice. Foreigners often join in. The situation may be similar at other fields in the area, too. In general, throughout the world, a good player, or a good-natured one is always a welcome addition.
Swimming Ubud has no public pool, but many hotels let non-guests have a swim for a small fee. Hotel pools are generally too small for a serious workout, though. You can swim in the Wos and Ayung Rivers. Just find a good place and go for it.
Fishing Eel-fishing in the rice fields at night is a popular pastime. Fishing for shrimp, freshwater crab, and small fingerlings in the rivers upstream from Ubud is also popular. Ask some local fellows if you can join them. Times are usually chosen in relation to the cycle of rice crops, the phases of the moon, and the Balinese calendar.
Workouts There's no aerobics studio or gym in Ubud. Yet. Occasionally teachers pass through town. Some of the banjars, for example Nyuh Kuning, have aerobics workouts in their bale banjar. Dress is modest, and routines are very straightforward and not too strenuous. Ask a local about this, or check at the bale banjar to see if there's a schedule up. At the crack of dawn large groups gather in football fields for mass calisthenics. It's a patriotic thing. We know nothing specific about this at time of writing, but check out the Ubud field around 6:30 or 7:00. There is apparently a community exercise hall in Peliatan that offers classes, but no details at time of writing.
Golf, Tennis No golf yet, but there are rumours of a golf course development in the Kedewatan area, north of Sayan. The only tennis court we know about in the area is at the Hotel Tjampuan.
Nightlife in Ubud
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