Solo Travel Destination: Places to Go Near Ubud, Bali

This week Janice is offering the Solo Travel Destination Post. Usually it’s contributed by a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!

Solo travel rating: 1.5 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)

Languages spoken: Indonesian, Javanese, Balinese. Many people and especially children speak English. 

The Plataran Hotel & Resort.

The Plataran Hotel & Resort.

Reasons to Go

The town of Ubud plays an important role in central Bali. Known as the locus of culture on the island, it is a very popular destination. You can read a destination post about Ubud here. But there is much to see outside of Ubud as well. This post will give you some idea of things to do in the surrounding area while using Ubud as your base.

I was in Bali as the guest of Overseas Adventure Travel. Our Balinese guide took our small group of 15 to many places on the island. We stayed in Ubud three nights and spent one day in Ubud and the other two days outside. (You can read more about this trip in the list of posts at the end of this story.)

Easy hikes

Immediately south of Ubud (so close that it’s almost part of the town) is the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary which is known simply as the Monkey Forest. It’s home to about 600 cheeky Macaque monkeys who are always keen to grab any food you might be carrying. Within the forest is the Holy Spring Bathing Temple.

Walk out of the bustle of Ubud and go for a gentle hike along Tjampuhan Hill. The trail starts at Ubud’s large bridge across the Wos River. There’s a steep grade down to the river on one side of you and fields of various kinds on the other. It is quite beautiful and true to what one expects from Ubud, peaceful.

Monkey Forest

Monkey Forest – the photo is blurry due to the humidity in the forest.

In the Monkey Forest is the Holly Spring Temple.

This bridge in the Monkey Forest goes to the Holy Spring Bathing Temple.

Volcanos and Ancient Villages

A bus ride north of the city will take you to the Bangli area with its volcanos, hot springs, Lake Batur and the Trunyan Village. You get to the latter by boat from the village of Kedisan. Trunyan is known as home to the Bali Aga ethnic group, considered to be the first people of Bali. A walk about this small village will show you many old traditions at work. Just a bit farther by boat, you can visit their unusual Kuburan (cemetery, see below). Lunch in Kedisan by the lake provides views of the Batur volcano.

Children swimming at Kuburan Teruny.

Children swimming in Lake Batur in the village of Trunyan.

Man making a fishing net in Terunyan Village.

Man making a fishing net in Trunyan Village.

Life in Trunyan Village.

Life in Trunyan Village.

Burial ground near Kuburan Terunyan

Burial ground (Kuburan) Trunyan. People are buried in these wooden cage-like structures above the ground together with some worldly goods.

On the way back to Ubud, stop into a coffee plantation and try Luwak Coffee which is made from coffee berries that have been selected, eaten, digested and defecated by the Civet, a cat-like animal. Sounds horrible. The result is excellent, though expensive, coffee.

Coffee Beans Cantik Agriculture Luwak Coffee

Coffee Beans at the Cantik Agriculture Luwak Coffee plantation.

Luwak Civet Cat napping during the day.

A Civet that, um, processes the beans.

Luwak Coffee

Luwak Coffee, dark, strong and very smooth.

Artisan Villages

The villages around Ubud each have their own specialty craft. Mas Village is known for wood carving. Celuk Village is known for gold and silver crafting. Batubulan is known for stone carvings of gods and animals. The market in Ubud is filled with mass-produced products. If you’re in a mood to shop, go to one of the villages or, in Ubud, go to Threads of Life which a non-profit organization that helps traditional weavers from all over Bali by bringing their products to their store in the city. 

Threads of Life in Ubud.

Threads of Life in Ubud.


 More Posts on Java and Bali

The Magnificent UNESCO Temples of Java: walk with me

Jostling Through Java by Train

From the Frenzy of Jakarta to the Calm of Bogor’s Botanical Gardens – in Photos

Into Homes, Schools and Villages in Java and Bali

More Behind the Scenes in Java and Bali

Pic of the Week: Ganesha in Bali

Giving Space to All Life – of travelers and cockroaches

A Solo Vacation: stimulation, education and relaxation

Solo Travel Destination Rating System

Safety – 1 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)

Language – 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)

Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)

Culture – 2 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)

Average Rating – 1.5 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult)

  • carine

    That’s the same for me, it gives me courage to go solo travelling : my first solo travel is coming as solo this time, and I can’t wait :) thanks

  • Janice Waugh

    And thank you for your recommendation.

  • Leigh Broadfoot

    Love Bali, heading back for my 3rd solo trip in the past 4 yrs. You must check out OneWorld Retreats in Ubud, absolutely amazing and a wonderful trip for those traveling solo!!
    Thanks Janice for your great articles!

  • Indah Jelita

    Nice post and pictures!

    You have to explore more places in Indonesia to get inspirations.

    Keep writing and goodluck. 😉

  • patty peh

    janice, thanks for your blog really make me feeling bold to go anywhere. i was travelling alone to malaysia, singapore, hong kong, macao, thailand and now preparing to vietnam!!! thats coz i’ve read ur blog and makes me feeling okay to be solo traveller!!! thanks a lot!!

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  • Janice Waugh

    Thanks for letting me know. It’s fixed now.

  • Shetan Noir

    The link for overseas travel adventure does not work. Otherwise an excellent article.