10 Most Photographed Places in Ubud

Where to Take the Best Photos in Ubud

Here’s where to take the best photos in Ubud, the heartland of Bali, where you’ll find a good mix of historical, cultural and artistic sights. Most of the time, it can be hard to single out a distinguishable landmark in this village town, but this popular highland destination undoubtedly has several wonderful spots, either hidden behind the rows of shops and guesthouses or simply in plain sight, just waiting to be captured by your lens. ‘Selfies’ are welcome!

Whenever you bring your professional camera or nifty smartphone to these notable places in and around Ubud, you can choose from capturing sweeping green valley landscapes, majestic palaces or eerie temples guarded by moss-covered statues from up close. This list of the most photographed places in Ubud will help you in finding the best angles of the most popular places in town.

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    Although Ubud is famous for its beautiful rice paddies, which you can find virtually in any corner of this highland region, the scenic outlook at Tegallalang stands out best. Several minutes northeast from Ubud central, this sculpted valley spreads down from the roadside and to the opposite hills across a deep valley. The cool and breezy spot is a popular stopover for visitors, particularly for refreshments, souvenirs and photos.

    Where to Shoot:
    Just about any length of the Tegallalang roadside offers you good shots, with the clearest being around the middle where most of the art shops and restaurants are. Arrive early morning, the rising sun’s rays will add dramatic backlit effect to the coconut groves and terraces. In the afternoon, you’ll have blue sky and the best natural lighting over the paddies. You can access some flights of stairs down the slope for closer foreground angles. Read More...

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    This central landmark in Ubud is a stopover by default whenever you visit town, and it is conveniently just across the road from three other great highlights of Ubud: the Ubud Art Market, the Ubud community hall, and Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka that sells the local favourite babi guling roast pork. Built during the lordship of the late Ida Tjokorda Putu Kandel (1800-1823), the palace is well-kept by the royal family, and is a great place to see up close classical Balinese architecture.

    Where to Shoot:
    The front of the palace with its ornately carved walls and towering gates are good for those on a short visit. Otherwise, you can step right in as the front section is open to the public. At night, the performance stage comes to life with regular showcases of traditional dance performances, complete with gamelan orchestras. Tickets apply to see nightly shows, but can provide you with memorable photos with the dancers. Read More...

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    The most famous animal attraction in the region, the Ubud Monkey Forest, or the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal, offers a lot for photographers. Not only are the hordes of grey long-tailed macaques fun to watch and capture through the lens as they go about their antics, deep in the forest dwells several temple complexes that are as mysterious as they are majestic.

    Where to Shoot:
    The monkeys are most active in the afternoon when temperatures cool down during the day, and you can find most of them around the entrance and further inside along the forest trails. They play around the ground and swing through nutmeg canopies. Go deeper and you’ll discover the beautiful ancient shrines, temple complexes and stone dragon bridges with guardian statues covered in moss or old banyan roots. Read More...

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    No, even though its name translates as ‘Elephant Cave’, you won’t find any of the gentle giants at Goa Gajah. What you will discover is an expansive archaeological site filled with ancient stone relics. The main attraction is the cave surrounded by rock-wall carvings, which was primarily a meditational site, and in the middle of the main courtyard is an exotic bathing pool with fountains.

    Where to Shoot:
    The 11th century temple complex on its own offers much to shoot, but if you’re game you can head further back through a forest trail that follows down a stream, where even more mysterious stone relics can be found. Read More...

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    One of the best spots for panoramic green valley shots up in Ubud is the Campuhan Ridge. Getting there is a free and easy nature trek, with the majestic Gunung Lebah Temple welcoming you before the main pathways. Midway along the full nine-kilometre hill track, you can find vast views where you can easily snap away from the savannah-esque hills. Being on the peak of the ridge provides you with 360-degree possibilities for the perfect panoramic shot.

    Where to Shoot: Halfway up the length of the route and facing north, the unique hilly terrain and lone palms along the track add great features to your shots.
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    This beautiful water temple is located in central Ubud, and you can enter it from Jalan Kajeng off the main Ubud road, or simply step inside Café Lotus for a scenic spot overlooking the temple’s lotus ponds and amphitheatre. It’s another great place in Ubud where you can see classical Balinese temple architecture, and depending on season the ponds bloom with pink lotuses, otherwise, the temple’s reflection over the water surface add to its photogenic appeal.

    Where to Shoot:
    Entering the temple is free and you can get nice close up pics of the architectural details. However, for the money shot, Café Lotus offers the best angle (a minimum cover charge applies). Read More...

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    Although there are two ‘Gunung Kawi’ temples in the highland area and which are equally visually appealing, we’ll refer to the most popular and accessible site in the village of Tampaksiring. The Gunung Kawi Temple complex is another of Bali’s most unique archaeological sites. Getting down to the Pakerisan river valley is quite a task, but once you get there you’re rewarded with a collection of ancient shrine reliefs carved into the face of a rock cliff.

    Where to Shoot:
    The main site overlooks the sacred Pakerisan River, with lush forested surroundings. Across the river from the ancient reliefs is a temple courtyard featuring old Hindu shrines in a more contemporary architectural style, which is attended by pilgrims especially during its ‘piodalan’ temple anniversaries.
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    This temple site in the upland village area of Tampaksiring is where you’ll find the best holy spring temple on the island. The 10th century temple has a set of purification bathing pools and fountains fed by a holy spring. The spring also feeds attractive fish ponds surrounding the temple complex’s outer perimeter, before flowing into the Pakerisan River.

    Where to Shoot:
    The whole temple complex offers wonderful angles with its classical Balinese architecture and gold-painted carvings. However, you must not miss out on the centrepiece fountain pool that features a purification pool lined with stone fountains. Read More...

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    Tegenungan Waterfall is for nature lovers who happen to be staying in Ubud or have neighbouring Sukawati and the Goa Gajah temple within their tour itineraries. The falls are conveniently located halfway between Ubud and Bali’s provincial capital of Denpasar, and is considered the closest natural attraction of its kind that you can reach within only a half-hour transfer southeast from Ubud town. Getting to the falls is a pleasant drive down paved village roads lined with stretches of green rice fields on both sides.

    Where to Shoot:
    You can get a wide shot of the waterfall, its top greenery and stony base from before the trail down. At the base, don't get too close unless you're camera's weather sealed. Read More...

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    Perhaps the most immersive nature experience in Ubud would be down in one of its green valleys. And one of the best ways to do so is to cruise down the island’s longest and most popular waterway for rafting, the Ayung River. Along the ride, you’ll get to capture parts of ‘real Bali’, ranging from exotic birds and wildlife, green panoramas, small but exotic waterfalls and crystal-clear freshwater pools, and your own rafting action.

    Where to Shoot:
    Before and after your rafting adventure, mainly for the sweeping panoramas, and all along the river for the nature and action shots. Better bring an action cam or waterproof housing. Read More...

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