During our five days in Ubud we did quite a bit of walking around (me more than Eric as he opted to sit by the pool on one of my longer afternoon excursions) and while I found the doorways and alleys enchanting, I was underwhelmed by the shopping options and taxi touts. There are people EVERYWHERE with taxi signs and if you tell them no, they will always reply “tomorrow tour? maybe?” It was a bit tiring saying “no thank you” all the time but we did see a few creative options including “SEXY TAXI.” At least he was trying to be different! At one point we even got out of a taxi and walked across the street only to be asked by another man if we wanted a taxi. ARGH!
Sidewalks are present but dangerous as there are frequent holes (sometimes 2 or 3 feet deep) and bad edges, so you need to be mindful where you step. One of the women in my cooking class mentioned her friend had to miss the class because she tripped on a sidewalk in town and broke her nose! Ubud is also bigger than it looked on our Google map. It took 30 minutes to walk from our hotel to the main north road and it was frequently over 90 degrees. Thankfully, cold bottle water is fairly cheap, about 40 cents for the 330ML size.
We did do a bit of shopping including a pink elephant candle holder for the deck and a gift for my sister. I also picked up a few wood sculptures (after some hard-core bargaining) and a workout top with a lotus on it. I found most of the prices to be expensive, compared to better deals in Thailand and even Spain. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it far enough out of the city to find some reasonably-priced large wooden items / furniture. Maybe next time!
One of the highlights of our wandering was the Puri Lukisan Museum filled with some great miniature art – crazy details and some works by teenagers! The 75000 entrance fee (~$6.50 US) included a cold drink at the cafe. The mostly open air museum was outfitted with indoor fans and some shady places to sit… a very pretty setting and worth a visit.
The one large temple right in town,, is also worth a visit. It wasn’t open while we were there and a groundskeeper kept muttering ‘sarong!’ to us under his breath but it was still a nice visit with lots of water lilies and lotuses.
I’m not sure we would spend a lot of time in Ubud city on a future visit, but there are certainly enough activities available from there to keep anyone busy for several days.