Bali is known as cultural and nature tourist destination. The centre of cultural destination in Bali is Gianyar Regency and the heart of tourism in Gianyar is Ubud. The story of Ubud as furloughing destination perhaps as long as the history of Ubud itself. Some Balinesse ancient kings and royal families often went to Ubud to solitude and refreshing their mind. Later they build temple that soon made more often royal families visited. Some of them even stayed in Ubud.
In early 1920’s the royal family sent the best craftmen, artists, and construction builders to Ubud. They were assigned to build beautiful palace, temple and house in Ubud and teached the natives about art and craft. Some of them back to their homeground after fulfilled their task but some of them stayed in Ubud.
When the Dutch occupy Bali, the whole Bali Island including Ubud designed to become tourism destination. They promote Bali Island to all over the world, especially Europe. They also inviting famous peoples, artists, and influencers to visit Bali. Most of them also visiting Ubud. They stayed in Ubud for months even years, interacted and teached their skill to the native. The spliced between native Balinesse arts and western art delivering Ubud arts.
As the tourism industry growth bigger and bigger in Bali, especially Ubud, more people from differents background came to Ubud. Many of them are bacpackers and tourists with limited budget. As cultural tourism destination Ubud of couurse wecomed them warmly. Free and cheap tourism destinations provided for them since many years ago, including:
- in. The Ubud Palace is the landmark of Ubud. If you not visiting this palace, you can’t be considered has been visiting Ubud. The location of this palace is at the central of Ubud. Everybody that live in Ubud, knows where the palace is. If you are afraid for getting lost finding this palace, there hudred thousands people that will happily direct you the way to the palace. Ubud Palace or Puri Saren Agung might be among the oldest building in Bali. This building built by Tjokorda Putu Kandel, the ruler of Ubud at 18th century. After devastated by earthquake in 1917, the palace built again by the ruler several meters away from the original site.
Nowadays the descendants of Ubud royal and families still inhabiting that palace. They live in several private buildings in the palace that forbidden for tourists. The tourists still could visit several building that open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. No entrance ticket should be pay to entre this palace, but if you want to see traditional show in this palace you will charge with affordable price.
- Ubud Art Market. Just like the other market, you are see to get in but have to pay if you want to take any goods. I believe it is very hard to leave this market by empty hand because a lot of goods with traditional influence sold here. But you don’t have to worry this goods will drain your pocket, because the price of those remarkable goods is very affordable. This market open before the sun rising and close after the sun set. But early birds will get the better worms.
Everything is fresher, including the sellers and the goods sold, the market still quite, and your stomach still full. Ubud market also representation of all Ubud area. Anything that made around Ubud you can found in Ubud Market. By visiting this place, you don’t have to visit another cultural tourists destination in Ubud. The location of this market is right in front of the Ubud Palace. After visiting this market, you can go to the palace os vice versa.
- Pura Saraswati or Saraswati Temple. Saraswati is a science goddes. The Balinesse built this temple to worships the goddes. Around the temple you can find several ponds with lotus flowers. The ponds makes this temple also called water temple by the natives. The combination of temple and ponds is very instagramable and you don’t have to pay anything to take pictures here. Just like another worships building, it’s free to entre area around the temple. Only a few specific places that forbidden for the tourists because it’s considered as sacred area. In some area you are allowed to entre by wearing certain dress that you can borrow from the keeper.
The temple that located only few kilometres from Ubud Palace is open from 7 am to 5 pm. There are also regular traditional dances shows that held everyday. But to see these shows, you have to buy a tickets. Beside this temples, there are several temples in Ubud that also free to visit. If lucky you can see certain traditional and religious ceremony that held around the temple. Of course you don’t have to pay to see the ceremony.
- Petulu Village. This village only 2,5 km from the central of Ubud. You can go there just by foot or by bicycle. But if you feel your feet is too heavy, you can rent a motorcycle or car. The most interesting show from this village is kokokan or bangau or stork or heron. Every afternoon you can watch this white big bird back to their homes after travelling around. They are believed present good lucks, so the villagers letting them disturb by noisy squabbling. This noise also alarmed the villagers to preparing back home from their paddy field. Soon after the sun set, the village suddenly quite. The birds sleep and also the villagers. But not you. You have to go back to the centre of Ubud to continue your journey.
As I said above, Ubud is friendly for the visitors. There are many other free destinations to attends in Ubud that make your wallet save. If you have more time, you can visit another area in Ubud or Bali or Indonesia. You can also use your money to buy some memorable goods. You can put it in your living room and tell your friends, relatives, children, or grand children about the beauty of Ubud.