From the book "Bali Island", part 2 "Central part", episode 11.
A small town in the center of the island. It takes about an hour get to the beach. Along the road - there are shrines, luxury villas, all kind of shops and restaurants, exhibition and marketse of stone products.. Let's look at :-)
Ubud is not a town in the conventional sense, buildings are interspersed with rice fields, very rural.
Workshop, where they make batik (manually painted fabric) and sew clothes from it. Balinese people willingly wearing batik and tourists sometime buy something of this kind, so the market is working. And the most valuable works are implemented in the form of paintings.
Here is our short video from Ubud - view on the town from the car window and workshop of batik..
The towm is surrounded by hills covered with jungle.
In these forests you can find many coffee farms where they grow coffee, cocoa and other tropical fruits and spices. That's the fruit of cacao, or chocolate tree. White pulp covers the seeds, the cocoa beans, from which they make cocoa powder and cocoa butter, and then our favorite chocolate..
Coffee beans are roasted in a dry pot over embers, stirring constantly – they must not burn, otherwise the drink will be bitter.
Only here you can taste the famous and very expensive coffee "Luwak". Musangs (Malay palm martens) live in the surrounding forests, and they produce a valuable product. How? Swallow the coffee fruits. Martens can't digest it, so after a while grains will be excreted from the body naturally. But during his stay in the stomach of the animal fruits are fermented, getting unique smell. People pick it up, fry and, voila, we get a unique product. As for me, it doesn't taste as good, especially when aware of the details of production, but many people highly evaluate it :-) Here is a description of the process in a free translation from Bali to Russian language:
Coffee, cocoa and all sorts of combinations of exotic teas you can try and buy at prices for tourists, but it is better to do this in conventional stores on island – much cheaper :-)
They produce here also quite alcoholic drinks, so a trip to a coffee farm can be enjoyable :-)
Also there are many jewelry shops in Ubud. The largest of these ones, founded by John Harby, employs more than 700 people. Bali has always been famous for masters of silver goods and contemporary artists continue their tradition - all jewelry are made by hand.
Ubud is famous for its craftsmen of wood carving. The quality is surprising: thin clear ornaments, chiseled figures and expressive faces of the gods and fairy-tale characters, figurines of animals.. The best material for this is sandal, but it is expensive, as imported, it is almost disforested on the island, so they often use local varieties of wood.
And let me introduce our escorts. Driver Tommy to my left and tour guide Johnny to the right.
Johnny spent whole his life on Bali. He is a Hindu like most of the island's population. He is friendly and sociable, speak English purely and fluently and knows about his homeland almost all than favorably with any guide-foreigner. Hi, Johnny! :-)
By the way, he told us a story about volcanic activity in Bali: there were two eruptions, the first in 1963, next one in 1967, after which the island was shaking for another 10 years, until 1977. It was a very hungry period, volcanic ashes filled all fields and tropical gardens. Only stunted corn grew on the ash plains and potatoes in some places, and people really had little to eat. Johnny was born in 1967. He says he remembers (frim his 3 years old) how his family literally lived from hand to mouth, and it lasted 15 years.. But, according to his story, people began to look for a way out, they took to process river sandstones to create a magnificent handmade sculptures for sale. As a result a whole complex of art workshops appears in the area of Ubud: carving stone and wood, batik, jewelry.. And then, after 1977, nature has changed its temper justice to mercy. It turned out that volcanic ash is an excellent fertilizer, and the local soil began to bear fruit abundantly. That's the story...
Today Ubud is a few villages in Central Bali, where every step you meet the art gallery, museums, trade exhibitions and factories, and all of this is structured with numerous restaurants, hotels and well-organized transport service for tourists. Also ancient shrines and modern 'antique style' buildings. Rich people from the West who wishing to end his life in the beauty and quiet, without the noise and problems of large cities, they buy a home here. And even Mick Jagger, the leader of the Rolling Stones band, celebrated his wedding here. So, Ubud – one of the corners of heaven on earth..