Insider Guide: Ubud, Bali

Ben Katzaman shares what you need to know before visiting Ubud, Bali

Photography by Shayna Pitch

Northwood Villager Ben Katzaman first visited Ubud on the Indonesian island of Bali in 2014 to apprentice under furniture designer Walker Zabriskie. It was during one of his afternoon motorbike rides, lost in the rice terraces, that Katzaman met a group of carvers and the idea for Wanderer Bracelets was born. Today his social enterprise employs 150 artisans in that same village, and Katzaman spends two to six months each year at his home in Tampaksiring. Apart from work, Katzaman’s Bali days—which usually begin watching the sunrise over Mount Batur with Luna and Susu, his rescue dogs—are spent enjoying the slower pace. “Popularized by movies like Eat, Pray, Love and nearly every influencer on Instagram, Bali’s magic is no longer a secret,” says Katzaman, “but there is still plenty to be found—you just have to venture off the main roads.”

VIBE Artful, creative, serene

FASHION ESSENTIALS FOR DAY A Buck Mason curved-hem tee, Yoga Crow shorts, and OluKai sandals

FASHION ESSENTIALS FOR NIGHT A Kenny Flowers long-sleeve button-down, which are made locally in Bali but available online in the U.S. Also, a Faherty sweater poncho because the nighttime can be chilly.

BEST WAY TO START THE DAY With a morning walk through the village and rice terraces. Everyone is out collecting food for the pigs and cows, harvesting coffee or cacao, or sweeping out the courtyards in their family compounds.

HOW TO SPEND A FREE MORNING Hiking the Campuhan Ridge Walk, having breakfast at Clear Café), and taking a yoga class at the Yoga Barn.

WHERE TO EAT Nusantara by Locavore. The pepes ikan kemangi (local fresh snapper) and sate gempol babi (pork) are amazing.

WHEN TO GO September. The summer vacation crowds are gone, so there’s less traffic, and the weather is amazing—lower temperatures and humidity, and infrequent rain.

WHERE TO SHOP Ikat Batik for hand-dyed tapestries; Gaya Ceramic for textured pieces that feel like a traditional Balinese Tenganan basket; and Cloth by Medina for amazing pillows and textiles.

BEST SEAT IN TOWN Dinner at Bambu Indah Resort. Have a cocktail while watching the sunset over the ridge.

A CULTURAL EXCURSION Attend an evening Balinese dance performance at Ubud Palace.

AN ALFRESCO ACTIVITY Swim in the freshwater pool at the Sebatu Sanctuary Eco-Resort, which is filled with 250 fish. It’s also an amazing place to stay, with African-inspired safari tents, white-washed wooden houses, and a treehouse.

Facebook Comments