Nightlife in Ubud
The nightlife in Ubud can best be described as relaxed. Most travelers will find themselves in a classy lounge or enjoying a few after drink cocktails in a restaurant. Ubud is a tranquil place that attracts people who prefer arts and culture to the party scene. Still there are things to do in Ubud after dark, including a spot of party action for those who need it.
Ubud can surprise you with world-class jazz and blues, pumping reggae, or discos to usher in the early morning hours from the dance floor. You can even go local and accept an invitation from some Balinese drinking Arak, a local spirit typically distilled from coconut milk. The key to having a pleasant evening out is to know your options.
Balinese people will tell you that Ubud takes its dances and ceremonies just that little bit more seriously than other places on the island, due to its connection to the Sukawati Royal family. Ubud has evening dance performances that are accessible to the general public and which allow a close up view of some of the best Balinese dancing.
On any given night in Ubud there is music that satisfies almost any taste. Take in some classy jazz, soak up soulfulblues, stomp your feet to folk, be amazed by Bali’s unique fusion, or dance to salsa, swing, or reggae. Remember most gigs start around 8, and use our extensive guide to make sure you catch the best shows around town.
Some Cool Bars in Ubud
The first live Jazz venue on the island Jazz Café is one of Bali’s premier live music destinations. A lively and popular club, restaurant and bar frequented by locals, expats and international travellers alike. Enjoy a meal from their excellent bistro, try one of their legendary cocktails, sit back and kick up your heels or dance the night away.
Great bands play Jazz, Blues, Latin, Funk, Soul and World Music from 7.30 to 10.30pm every night (except Mondays). Free pick up service from hotels in the Ubud area, call mobile: +62 812 383 3800.
Jazz at Siam Sally
Tune into some of the most accomplished jazz sounds in Bali every Saturday evening . Acoustic bass, vocals, sax… the artists vary from week to week, but the fun never lets up.
And leave room for some of the freshest and tastiest Thai food anywhere, lovingly prepared with veggies and herbs harvested from our own organic farm in the hills north of Ubud. Many vegan and vegetarian options round our our delicious menu. Signature cocktails include The Sally, the Khun Kao Martini, Bangkok Bling. Great wine list tailored to Asian food available too. Jazz starts at 8 pm every Saturday. Siam Sally is open for lunch and dinner, from 10 am til midnight. Jalan Hanoman, Pengosekan, Ubud, right near Yoga Barn.
BARS AND CLUBS
Ubud may be small, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up in quality. Most bars offer specialty cocktails and a classy atmosphere. Either with rice field views or an open-air setting, Ubud provides several spots to take in the fresh evening air and recap your day. There are even a few places that stay open until the patrons decide to leave.
Laughing Buddha Bar is a cosy, vibrant and fun place to share a set of tapas and a pitcher of sangria, or if you are in the mood for some local fare, try a dish from their inspired Asian menu while sipping on a lychee and lemongrass martini (buy 2 get one FREE sunset cocktails from 4 to 7pm).
The little sister of Jazz Café, the music is a treat, with great playlists to soothe the soul and live gigs on Monday with Bali’s own Blues Brothers and Thursday nights Acoustic Jam Session – from 8 to 11pm. Open all day every day. Free fast WIFI 9am to 6pm. Monkey Forest Road, Ubud
Want to try a lychee martini? This lounge bar often standing-room only on Thursday nights, when live music draws a bubbly mix of locals, expats and tourists. The upstairs fine dining restaurant is a great place to start the nightJl. Hanoman, Ubud, Ph. 0361-975 894
Dance performances in Ubud are often packaged into a kind of ‘bento box’ style, with shortened dances offering a chance to see different dances. There will be solo dances, large group performances and dances involving 3 or 4 performers at a time.
In contrast to the fancy bars, swanky lounges and exclusive clubs of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak, where International DJs spin the decks and every night offers the wilder kind of nightlife, Ubud serves up a more relaxing ambience and traditional atmosphere.
This is the place to break away from that kind of crowd. However, a few cafes, limited seat bars and performance stages cater to the Ubud night owls.
Kecak dance (usually a fire dance) is vibrant and involves a lot of loud music provided by a group of men with musical instruments and “chanting”. The dancers are usually bare-chested and only clothed with a cloth around their waists. During the dance, a fire will be set in the centre of the stage and dancers will dance vigorously with the ryhthm. The dance usually depicts the story of Ramayana, one of Hindu’s epic tales.
Personally, I like the Barong dance and music better , which is more soothing and calming. Barong is a creature (it looks like a lion with big, bright eyes) who is mischievous and playful. The dance is between the “good” and “the evil”. Barong, of course, is the good one. The evil one, in this case, is Rangda – who has long tongue dangling and battling with Barong. At the end of the show, the evil will be defeated and Barong will triumph.
This dance is more sophicated in the sense that you really need to concentrate and have some understanding of the story which they are protraying in the dance. Every body movement and finger movement tells a story.
The best places in Ubud to see a Balinese dance performance (apart from an actual ceremony) are the Ubud Palaceon Jl. Raya Ubud, the ARMA stage located at the southern end of Ubud, Padangtegal stage also is south central Ubud and Pura Dalem Puri located in Peliatan to the east of Ubud. Popular dances performed include the Barong,Legong plus scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. It is also possible to check out Balinese dances in villages close to Ubud, just ask at your hotel reception if they have any suggestions. Also the Tourist Information desk, located at the top of Monkey forest Rd. on Jl. Raya Ubud can point you to dance performances that are about to start.
Dances performances start around 7.30pm and end around 9.30pm or a little later.
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