Ubud Village is one of my favourite places in Bali. I spent two years growing up here as a child and have fond memories of running through rice fields and playing with the fireflies with the local children. Over the years I’ve been back to Bali on numerous occasions and always find myself visiting Ubud.

However these days there are no fireflies and the rice paddies are slowly disappearing and new and spectacular villas are appearing but in saying that it is still a magical place and there is something very special about Ubud.

Known as the cultural center of Bali, Ubud Village is famous for it’s arts and crafts. Driving to Ubud from the Ngurah Rai, Bali’s international airport is approximately a one-hour drive. Entering Ubud is a lovely drive through small villages with stunning views of the rice fields.

Ubud Village is located 300 meters above sea level in the foothills of the central mountain range; this gives it a fresher, cooler climate than the southern coastal regions so make sure you bring a cardigan during the wet season.

The pretty nearby villages are set amongst the rice fields and are filled with communities of talented artists, painters, workshops, dancers, musicians and wood carvers galore. Each village will specialise in one particular craft, which has been taught for generations.

Getting a Driver

You can hire a driver for the day for as little as $30 from Seminyak who will be more than happy to stop at the larger galleries and showrooms as you drive through the villages. The galleries can be expensive depending where you go but the product will be that of a higher quality.

The driver usually also gets a commission if you buy something so sometimes they will only select showrooms to stop at based on this. However you will have the opportunity at the larger galleries to see how their products are made by hand and can be well worth pulling over for 10 minutes to see the process.

I love stopping at the smaller stalls on the side of the road to pick up a bargain and have found many pieces of unique art, furniture and gorgeous baskets this way.

Ubud Village Markets

Once you arrive in Ubud the numerous art galleries feature traditional and modern work and the shops and the market stalls sell handicrafts, jewellery, woodcarvings, textiles, paintings and baskets from the local villages. The Ubud market used to be an old traditional market and most of the stalls were outside, but in 2012 they built and opened a new building, which has cleaned up the market considerably.

You can still stroll through the market and find a bargain but make sure you arrive early and you are ready to negotiate. I always buy silver from the numerous stalls and make sure you venture upstairs to buy the cotton fisherman pants hidden on the racks.

This remarkable town of Ubud encompassed by magnificent terraced rice fields, rivers, traditional villages, art and craft communities, ancient temples and palaces is a must on any Bali travel itinerary.