Ubud, Bali

8° 29’ S, 115° 15’ W

Like interlaced fingers of clasped hands, water and land merge and wind through the lush green heartland of Ubud, Bali, in Indonesia.

Over the centuries, these earthly elements have been shaped and stacked into rice terraces to create a cooperative irrigation system known as Subak. Those in neighboring Tegallalang are considered some of the most beautiful in Southeast Asia. To visit here is to lose yourself in a primal seclusion, one where paved roads and footpaths are rarely allowed to intrude into the majesty of the ordered hillsides.

Yet Ubud is also a cultural and artistic center of Bali, helped by its status as home to one of the country’s royal families. The Puri Saren Royal Palace hosts nightly dance performances while the Agung Rai Museum of Art, inside and out, provides stunning visual canvases.

To truly experience the wild in Ubud, step into the sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal, where long-tailed macaques cavort in leafy canopies around ancient temples.

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