Ubud News


First up, get moving quickly for your Early Bird pass to this year’s Ubud Village Jazz Festival.

Lock in the dates – Friday and Saturday, August 16 – 17 – and dust off your dancing shoes!

We’ll have more info on this year’s line up of world class Indonesian and international jazzsters in future Ubud News columns.

For now, go to Ubudvillagejazzfestival.com to whet your appetite and book those early bird tickets!



Next, drive safely people, please!

For everyone, driving conditions in Bali are different from a few years ago – either as a guest or relatively new resident in a different country with different rules and customary behaviours, or as a local navigating around the hugely increased traffic on Bali roads. And for non-driving Balinese residents who live in the little villages around Ubud, it’s all a bit nightmarish!

When I first came to Ubud in 1990, “my” street – Jalan Tirta Tawar – was a little dirt lane, with two tiny villages on the way to my home in Junjungan. People sat and had a chat on the side of the road – sometimes literally on the road – and they put out great sheets of tarpaulin to dry their rice.

For many of them – and, wake up, it’s THEIR home – we’ve made major thoroughfares where those safe, quiet paths past their front doors used to be.

International toad traffic standards tell you to stay one vehicle length behind the person in front of you, for every 10km/ hour you are travelling. If that seems impossible in Ubud traffic, SLOW DOWN and keep your eyes tracking everywhere!

And if your path to your destination is challenged by other drivers, do us all a favour and – courteously – ask them or their organisations to drive safely too. Traffic is busier every month it seems; it’s up to road users to help keep it safe for everyone.



If you haven’t already, make the 15-20 minute trip out to Akasha resort in Keliki (just north of Ubud) and take part in one of the many community events they sponsor each month. You’re sure to enjoy the visit, whatever the occasion, if only because Akasha offers a truly spectacular setting.

A recent Akasha film night screened Long Saan, celebrating the rainforests of Borneo and the indigenous Dayak people who have lived there for thousands of years.

Dayak speakers, singers and musicians came from West Borneo to share their stories and music. Producer David Metcalf also shared some truly mesmerising slides from his photographic expeditions to indigenous groups across the archipelago. Ticket money supported indigenous filmmakers in Borneo. (More info: www.ranuwelum.org)



These superb quality Indigenous film nights – showing across the island from Akasha resort, to Paradiso in Ubud and Potato Head in Seminyak – are part of the lead-up to the second international Indigenous Film Festival, which will roll out in Ubud this coming May.

Each film, whether from somewhere in Indonesia or an indigenous community in another part of the Asia Pacific region, offers powerful and provocative insight into the lives, cultures and concerns of our neighbours.

The Bali Indigenous Film Festival 2019 will run from May 10-12. As well as a series of fine films, the festival features talks by their writers and film producers, exclusive “industry only” sessions that contribute to the professional development of those working in the industry, guest speakers who were the stars or the inspiration behind some of the films, and some superb indigenous dance and music performances. Find more information on the festival’s Facebook page.

In fact, don’t miss any of these events – each one so much more than just the film on show! Contact David Metcalf’s website to sign up for his regular newsletter on all these and other related activity around Bali. W: www.davidmetcalfphotography.com.



Interested in gardening with richer soils or moving towards serious organic farming?

Renowned New Zealand regenerative farmer and vegetable grower Jodi Roebuck is back in Bali this July, with another great set of techniques and tools for growing an abundance of nutritious food whilst creating fertile soils.

He’s an excellent teacher, so it doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner gardener wanting to kickstart in serious organic food production or an experienced food grower looking for some fine-tuning for your gardens, he’ll make the days worthwhile for you.

The workshop, from July 19 – 21, will be held at Kul-Kul Farm, just 30 minutes south of Ubud in Abiansemal village near Green School. More info: kulkulfarmbali.com.



There’s nothing more powerful than people coming together with knowledge, passion and the belief that they can work together to improve their lives and our planet.

Bali’s Sustainable Solutions eco-festival this coming May is a three-day educational event bringing together solution providers from all backgrounds – NGOs, schools, social businesses, start-ups and teachers.

Hosted by Green School just half an hour south of Ubud, the annual event offers a welcoming and inspirational environment, so come to add your questions, answers and provocations to the mix! It’s one of those events where it’s as much fun to be an active participant as a fascinated observer; both are welcome and encouraged!

The festival runs from May 2- 4; more info from www.sustainablesolutions.greenschool.org.



Oh my, but doesn’t a picture tell a thousand words! This precious little specimen was badly neglected and mange-ridden, to the point that most of us would have thought there was very little hope.

It’s thanks to the work of Bali non-profit BAWA (Bali Animal Rescue Association) that he’s alive, well and has a happy, permanent and safe home. Not surprisingly, his name is Handsome. ☺ (I simply had to put a smiley face here!) W: www.bawabali.com.