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Ubud is the cultural heart of Bali. When you’re in Ubud, you really feel you’re in Bali as ceremonial processions often stop traffic, temples seem to be on every corner, and you’re surrounded by Balinese artisans. Balinese painters, sculptors, furniture-makers, musicians, dancers—they all seem to draw inspiration from the mystical jungle town. And let’s talk about the landscape, which is simply stunning. Breathtaking subak (terraced rice paddies) and leafy forests make Ubud so fresh. While it’s become a “must” on the Bali tourist trail, Ubud seems to have retained its Balinese identity in a much stronger way than a lot of other zones popular with sightseers. That’s even despite all the added fame it got from being the place of self-discovery for Elizabeth Gilbert in her memoir “Eat Pray Love”, which was later turned into a film starring Julia Roberts. But be warned, new wave chakra readers, yogis, and extreme diet-loving folks (it goes further than veganism) have also migrated to the town, so increasingly, only non-conformists fit in.


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