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About Ubud


Ubud lies only 36 km from the resorts on the southern coast. The name for this royal village is derived from the Balinese word ubad { medicine }, the moniker of an herb with healing properties which grows along the nearby Oos River . If you aren’t interested in tourist hype but want comfortable accommodations at good prices, a central location, and all the facilities in a less hurried rural environment than the south, the Ubud area is for you. Even with the bumper to bumper traffic and thousands of tourists during Bali’s peak tourist seasons, when it’s difficult to find a parking space, Ubud still shows glimpses of its basically rural character.

However, this may not be your first impression. When you first arrive, you might get the feeling there are more visitors here than Balinese. With Its hundreds of art galleries, studios, and souvenir shops, and the flurry and congestion around the two story market on the main road , Ubud looks like a big commercial scene totally disenchanting. A monster, Sarinah style department store, with crafts from all over Indonesia, has gone up on Monkey Forest Road. Development is so frenetic now that shops, home stay, hotels, and restaurants ring the soccer field. The Menara has been taken down the end of the era- and a Kuta style glitzy restaurant put up its place.
The village now seems to be moving toward Padang Tegal, with new businesses always opening. The newest area to develop is JL.Sukma. some years ago it was just a sleepy dirt road with homes and a few losmen and shops, But now it’s paved all the way from the main road to the junction with the highway to Gianyar, cluttered with scores of accommodations, shops, and new restaurants.
The air here is pungent it smell of earth, river, and rain forest. Ubud is higher an cooler than the south, with delightful fresh air and fewer flies and mosquitoes . The stars over Ubud almost crowd out the sky they’re so bright, and during the day the heavens are crowned with fluffy cumulus and wispy cirrus clouds. Wandering around in the crisp night air is pleasant and safe.

The royal village of Ubud grew to prosperity in the fertile land between rivers in the 19th century, ruled by feudal lords who paid allegiance to the King of Gianyar . Foremost among them were greatly respect ed Sukawatis, who at one time controlled most of the surrounding districts. The Sukawatis learned to work within the Dutch colonial system through their membership in the Volksraad , the People’s Council base in Batavia,and they became politically powerful on Bali by intermarrying with the aristocratic families of Mengwi and Gianyar. The eldest son of the king, Cokorda Gede Sukawati, was an ultraconservative who worked closely with the Dutch.

The price was one of the earliest sponsors of such Western artists as Walter Spies, who arrived on Bali in 1925 with a letter of introduction from his former patron, the sultan of Yogyakarta. Ubud thus established its reputation as the flourishing cultural center of Bali, and image virtually guaranteed by the arrival of the artistic genius I Gusti Nyoman Lempad, who fled Bedulu in 1890 to escape the wrath of an oppressive lord. In the 1930s and ‘40s, Ubud’s role as the epicenter of Balinese culture was further enhanced by the arrival of foreign painters, anthropologists, writers, and musicologists, and the rise of Balinese painters, sculptors, architects, lontar experts, and literati. In the early days,when tourist in Ubud commissioned a dance troupe from an other area, it made the locals so agitated they quickly learned the dance and music them selves. Mass tourism became, in effect, a new kind of patronage, a powerful incentive for performers to try out new ideas. The tiny village received electricity in 1976 and a Telephone system in 1987


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