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Ubud is the artistic and cultural heart of Bali, and here you can find many hostels that mirror this in their artistic and creative decor.
Despite the bustle and crowds around the intersection of Jalan Raya Ubud and Monkey Forest Road there is still a certain sense of serenity about Ubud. At your hostel you are likely to find votive offerings to the gods, illuminated by a candle, freshly made each morning.
Nearby there will be nightly dances, gamelan performances and shadow puppet shows are complemented by the daily display of the stunning arts and crafts of the region in the town’s markets, workshops, galleries and boutiques. There are activities for everyone.
Yet, Ubud, and its hostels, are not all about arts and culture: they offer a little something for everyone.
Ubud is surrounded by picturesque rice paddies, and many visitors choose a hostel just outside the main town in nearby rural areas to enjoy the stunning views of the rice terraces. To the west of the town, around Jalan Bisma and Jalan Kejeng, there are hostels offering panoramic views that are just a short walk from central Ubud.
On the other side of the town the luxury hostels can be found nestled in the great gorges that were carved out of limestone by the Ayung and Wos rivers. These lush, dramatic valleys provide a scenic backdrop to the town’s best-equipped hostels, so head out to Campuhaun, Sanggingan, and Kedewatan areas if you are looking for a hostel with a difference.
Your hostel is likely to be decorated by the arts and crafts which typify Ubud culture. Wherever you choose to stay there will be plenty of opportunities to admire more examples of these, whether you just browse the local markets and shops or choose to head out of town to see the crafts being produced in workshops.
Take a trip out on the road to Sanur in the south and you will pass a series of small towns and villages which each specialise in producing specific arts and crafts. There is Batubulan for stone carvings, Celuk for silver jewellery, Batuan for paintings and Mas for wood carvings.
It is easy to lose yourself in the bustle and arts of the town, yet obliging Ubud makes it just as easy to find yourself again. The town is a centre of spiritual tourism and many hostels reflect this, situated close to meditation retreats, yoga centres and health spas. These hostels typically offer a quiet outside space and inside they are imbued with a sense of grace and serenity that befits your spiritual quest.
If this all sounds a little tame, then you can find hostels that are at the heart of the lively backpacker scene and can arrange excursions that allow you to live a bit more on the wild side.
The surrounding countryside is ideal for hikes and treks, river trips, wildlife spotting, challenging cycle rides and contains easy access to the northern volcanoes of the island.
Thankfully the hot springs at Tirta Empul, in Tampaksiring, will soothe away any knocks, bruises and aches you may pick up on your adventures!
However you wish to see Ubud, its collection of wonderful hostels will let you see it your way.