Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Even before Elizabeth Gilbert drew global attention to Bali’s cultural heartland in her bestselling autobiography Eat, Pray, Love, the one-time farming village swarmed with enlightenment-seekers, including A-listers Mick Jagger, Julia Roberts and Donna Karan. These days, this bustling town’s charm is increasingly felt on its fringes – stroll through the jaw-dropping rural landscapes, explore the shaded jungle and witness the serene Balinese at work and play.

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When to go

Ubud’s higher elevation may take the edge off the equatorial swelter, but the annual average rainfall is higher here, too. July to September is high season, when the climate is most appealing, but August is also the busiest time of year.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    Touch down at Ngurah Rai International Airport (www.baliairport.com), just south of capital Denpasar.
  • Automobiles

    The 30km drive north to Ubud will cost you about RP195,000 in an official airport taxi, but if you’re feeling feisty you can haggle with one of the loitering cabbies beyond the airport perimeter. For a hassle-free transfer, however, organise a car ahead of time through your hotel.