Solo Travel Destination: Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Gina, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Gina is from the United States and submitted the following report about Ubud. 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: 2 (1 is easiest, 4 is most difficult. Please see chart below)

Languages spoken: Indonesian, English

photo, image, elephant cave

The formidable entrance to the Elephant Temple.

Reasons to go:  The small village of Ubud in Bali may currently be best known from the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and the subsequent movie starring Julia Roberts. Yet, even with its newfound popularity, there is still something magical that draws you in the moment you walk among the rice terraces and beautiful temples. It’s a place that will heal your soul – even the name Ubud means “medicine” in Balinese (the native language of the island).

I spent my nights sleeping in an open air traditional Jogolo villa with 100- year-old carved wood ceilings. I fell asleep to the sound of frogs chirping and friendly geckos scampering under a perfect starry night. I felt completely safe and at peace in this tiny piece of heaven.

The center of Ubud is full of scrumptious traditional Balinese food. Make sure to try Nasi Kuning (yellow rice served topped with a fried egg) or Satay (skewered chicken or pork grilled in peanut sauce). Also, the fresh papaya was the best I’d ever tasted.

While in the center of town, take some time to relax at one of the many yoga studios and spas. You can have an entire day of pampering at a beautiful spa for less then $40 USD: massage, facial, mani/pedi, and a beautiful flower bath soak.

Once you’ve been properly pampered, it’s time to explore the heart of the Balinese Culture. There are two fantastic temples right outside of Ubud: Goa Gajah (Elephant Temple) and Pura Tirta Empul (the Water Temple). Goa Gajak was built in the 11th century and was used by both ancient Buddhists and Hindus. It’s been wonderfully preserved and an entire afternoon can be spent walking the grounds. Pura Tirta Empul was built in 926 AD and is a series of deep fountains that you may walk underneath and leave offerings of flowers and incense. My Balinese friend stated that when a person has a nightmare, they come to this temple to have the evil spirits washed away, and when they emerge from the water, the dreams stop. Just make sure that you bring a Sari (or purchase one outside the temple), because it’s required to wear over your clothing before entering the holy water. You can also carry a small glass or plastic bottle to bring some of the healing water back home with you.

To learn more of the day-to-day rituals and culture, attend a Balinese dancing show or Shadow Puppet Theater (Wayang). The puppet shows date back to around 930 BC and include a local orchestra. For those not faint of heart, take a walk through the Monkey Forest, where hundreds of monkeys will greet and walk right up to you (make sure you have nothing loose on your body or food, they will pull it from you). And if you are very, very brave, you can try the most expensive coffee in the world, Kopi Luwak, made from the droppings of the Civet cat.

The most amazing thing about Bali is the people. It’s been said that everyone on the island is born from either royalty or an artist or a poet, and that shines through in every person that you meet. While English is their second language, they will try their hardest to share their culture, their lives, and even their homes with you. The traditional Balinese home is built as a compound housing both immediate and distant family, with an ornate temple in the center. It’s amazing to see a mini-temple in front of every home.

The town of Ubud is even more magical than any book, movie, or even this article could describe. You’ll leave the island with a renewed spirit not only for life, but for humanity.

photo, image, flower bath

A hot water soak with essential oils and fresh flowers, plus tea and fruit to snack on.

photo, image, bed, bali

The beautiful traditional Villa I stayed at in Ubud.

photo, image, water temple

The healing waters of Bali, said to remove nightmares and insomnia.

Solo Travel Destination Rating System

Safety – 2 (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 – 2 (1 is easiest, 4 is most difficult)


  • Anggi Restiana

    Great blog, i love it 😀

  • Honey David

    I agree with you Sherm! The Ubud is a magical place in Indonesia. I visited there one time before chinatown gate san francisco trip with my Cousins. It is a beautiful town in Indonesia. We see attractive and historical places there. The Blanco Renaissance Museum and Ubud Palace are my favorite places in this destination.

  • Rebecca Wissink

    great article. I was in Bali for a month this past spring and fell in love with it, Ubud being one of my favourite places. It brings back great memories to read your article and see your photos.

  • Working Nomad

    Love Ubud but it’s as tourist focus as anywhere on Bali, even the southern beaches.

  • Nomad’s Wind

    I have been in Ubud last week for the first time and I miss it alredy! I feel in love with the colors, culture, food, people…everything!

  • Swetha Reddy

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  • Pingback: Share your Best Bali Experiences with us | Cherish your Solitude()

  • Clariza | Allianz SG

    The photos are very stunning and magical. It makes me want to go to Bali like right now! I have been contemplating to go to Indonesia few months ago and I have chose Bali over Yogyakarta. Although both have their own magical sceneries, I would love to try Bali first then the later would be the next.
    I am planning to go to Bali on September 1 to 8. Your tips would be very helpful to me since I am also traveling alone.

  • JW

    I had traveled to Bali with my boyfriend on this January.This is the first time we tried to travel ourselves to an oversea island. And what can I say after traveling there? Yes! It is suitable for you to travel solo there. Bali is a cultural and historical place. For me, Bali people are the best part of their culture. It is because, they are nice, kind and passionate. You can walked on the street even in the midnight.
    I love Bali undoubtedly. And I sure you will like the place once you have traveled there, just like me.


  • breena

    i am travelling to ubud on 17 – 21 jan and am wondering if it is safe for a woman to travel solo there. What is the safest mode of transportation to get around in Ubud/ Taxis”

  • noodles

    The pictures here are amazing. Ubud is really amazing. I have traveled back and forth in Ubud for 14 years

  • Adriana/Tete Lacerda

    This is beautiful! It was great to meet you at WTM, I’m Adriana, brazilian travel blogger 😉 safe and fun travels!

  • Christian Rene Friborg

    I think this is a perfect place to celebrate our 10th anniversary with my wife!

  • noodles rivers

    Ubud really is a lovely place

  • sherm

    We have been traveling to Ubud solo for 14 years. It is the most magical place we have found on this earth (and we have covered a lot of this earth).

  • travellingbag

    I too travelled to Ubud solo and absolutely loved it.