If you are interested in the cultural aspect of Bali, then Ubud is the place for you. There are so many temples here (with stricter dress codes - sarong and covered shoulders necessary) and many local craftsmen. Ubud market itself has now become a toursit-oriented market and sells the usual trinkets that you can buy anywhere else, but there are places around Ubud that specialize in various crafts. Celuk, for gold and silver; Sukawati & Mengwi for Balinese parasols; Tagallalang for woodwork, Batubulan for stonework and Penestanan for paintings.

Because the traffic in and around Ubud is absolutely crazy (it took us 40 minutes to go about 10 meters), if you interested in an extensive visit of the area, I recommend getting a hotel and setting aside a couple of days there. Just getting there for a day trip will wipe you out completely!

If you need a break from all the walking around, head to the Lotus Cafe right by Pura Saraswati (pictured above). You can relax right on the edge of the lotus pool, in the shade, with a view of this gorgeous temple. It is obviously expensive and usually crowded, but the setting trumps everything.

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