Exploring the cultural and artistic center of Ubud and the surrounding area is a definite "must do" when you come to Bali. The town was originally important as a source of medicinal herbs and plants; in fact Ubud gets its name from the Balinese word ubad which means medicine. The road to Ubud is lined with things to do and see; Tohpati village, famous for Batik painting, the village of Celuk for gold and silverworks, the village of Mas for woodcarving and of course Ubud, home to local and international artists, temple ceremonies and a vibrant culture.
The sacred Monkey Forest in the center of Ubud, contains at least 115 different species of trees and is home to troupes of crab eating macaque monkeys the Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal temple and a "Holy Spring" bathing temple.
Every trip to Ubud must include a visit to the Royal Palace, built in the 16th century and owned by the Tjokorda Royal Family. The palace is functional and active and it is not unusual to see members of the royal family and their household. It's also a great place to catch a traditional Wayang performance in the grounds of the palace itself. Other nearby attractions are Gunung Lebah Temple in Campuan where an 8th century legend tells of a Javanese priest, Rsi Markendya, who meditated at the confluence of two rivers (an auspicious site for Hindus) at a place called Campuan in Ubud. Here he founded the Gunung Lebah Temple on the valley floor and the site still remains as a destination for pilgrims today.