Ubud, a traditional Balinese town about an hour's drive north east from Denpasar, has a lot to offer families travelling with children. Ubud is Bali's creative hub, with many wood carvers, painters, sculptors, musicians and healers living in the area. It's laid back location in the rice paddies, is a welcome alternative to the hustle and hassles of Sanur or Kuta. Here are our top picks from a recent trip.
A major attraction in Ubud is The Sacred Monkey Forest, which is home to hundreds of Long Tailed Macaque monkeys who protect the Hindu Temples. Big and little children will love watching the antics of these very bold creatures - just make sure they keep their hands to themselves and it's advisable not to carry anything, because these monkeys are wild and do bite. Practice caution and the monkey forest will be lots of fun.
Sorting raw cacao nibs at the Bamboo Chocolate Factory
Calling all chocolate lovers and Willy Wonka fans - this is the place to learn how chocolate is made. The Bamboo Chocolate Factory is South East Asia's first "bean to bar" factory and you can watch as the cacao seeds are pulped and turned into delicious treats. The Bamboo Chocolate Cathedral is also the world's largest commercial bamboo building and an impressive structure itself. Visit The Wonder Choc Cafe while you're there and enjoy samples of hot chocolate.
This day trip can even be undertaken with small children as they have baby seats on the back of the bikes. Older children, riding their own bikes are well looked after by super attentive guides. The mini van picks you up from your hotel and first stop is breakfast overlooking Mt Batur Volcano. Next stop is a Tropical Fruit Plantation with unusual fruit tastings and then you begin cycling.
As you roll through the villages, local children wave and smile. We stopped to visit a local family which was a great way for kids to see how other people live. The ride continues past sacred temples, over rivers and ends up with a delicious home made buffet lunch (around 2pm).
A Multicultural learning center which offers many children's workshops - from Indonesian language classes to Gamelan music to Balinese dancing to basket weaving. Located just next to the Football field in Central Ubud, drop in to make bookings.
All those jungle adventure dreams come true as you spend several hours floating and churning down these tropical waters. Only an hour from Ubud, a rafting trip along the Ayung River is action packed and exciting. The boats/equipment are very safe and the guides all experienced - make sure you ask them to take pictures as you go through the rapids.