Ubud is a small town in Bali with about 30.000 inhabitants, which are mostly Hindus. It is located just 30 kilometers northeast from Denpasar and is considered the cultural center of Bali.
The main roads in Ubud are the east-west running Jalan Raya Ubud, the north-south running Jalan Wana Wana (also known as monkey forest road) and Jalan Hanoman.
The main attractions in Ubud are the Puri Saren Palace and the sacred monkey forest, where more than 200 monkeys (mainly macaques) live. Also in Ubud is the house of the painter Don Antonio Blanco, who died in 1999. His daughter turned the house into The Blanco Renaissance Museum where his paintings are exhibited.
Ubud was formerly popular for its small and cheap hostels and pensions, especially among backpackers. But nowadays, more and more hotel facilities are being built to meet the requirements of holidaymakers. Ubud also offers a range of restaurants with Balinese and international dishes.
There are small buses, so-called Bemos, that drive in all directions, also to Denpasar. From the bus station there are buses to Candi Dasa, Kuta, Padang Bai, Lovina and many other popular locations in Bali, as well as the airport in Denpasar.
Ubud is the artistic capital of Bali. Especially paintings and textile arts, as well as traditional wood carvings are cultivated in Ubud. The place has been known as the artistic capital of Bali since the 1920s, when many European and American artists came here. Among others, the musician and painter Walter Spies lived in Ubud since 1927, and his guest, the musician and writer Vicky Baum, who wrote her famous novel Love and Death in Bali in Ubud. Another famous artist who lived in Ubud was the Dutch painter Rudolf Bonnet.
In pre-colonial times, Ubud was the seat of the Balinese feudal prince, called Tjorkadas. During the Dutch colonial rule, the political importance of the Tjorkadas got destroyed. However, the members of the former feudal family still have a social significance in all areas of Bali.