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  • Writer's pictureMonica Beth

Best Things to do in Ubud: Museum Radana

Exploring ubud

Well it was Christmas Day and rainy so what did we decide to do? Go to a museum. Being in Ubud is amazing it may not have a beach (in the case of a rainy day a beach is not a fun place to be anyway.) But it is the cultural center of Bali which means we had a plethora of museums to choose from. The Balinese culture is deeply centered around art and we were really excited to see what that really means. Of course walking through the market you see beautiful hand woven baskets, wood carvings, and many paintings available for sale, but it's not quite the same.

The doors to Museum Rudana

So, in our efforts to further Explore Ubud, we decided to go to the Museum Rudana. We were slightly chilled and a little wet as we drove into the museum entrance- a large courtyard acting as a quiet oasis that seemed to take us miles from the bustling city that sat right outside the entrance. The only other people around seemed to be a few construction workers and one bored museum employee sitting in front of the museums ornately carved and painted doors. We paid, and he entered ahead of us to start turning lights on and we realized we were the only guests!

As we viewed the many pieces of art we discovered a fair amount of the plaques were written in Bahasa or there were no plaques at all. The ones in English gave great descriptions of the Hindu myths being depicted in each work of art.

A Balinese Painting and two wood carved paintings

As we finished the first level, the museum employee motioned to the stairs and up we went. The way the museum was curated did not seem intentional or obvious as modern art was interwoven with pieces from the 14th century. One of the modern artists that really stood out to me was Made Wianta his use of color and shape and his ability to create texture with thickly layered paint really stood out to me.

A Made Wianta Original piece of art

After we finished the second floor the museum employee motioned to steps leading down and we were delighted to find there was a third floor! We read more snippets from the epic of Ramayana, took in the breathtaking colors of dancing nymphs and closely examined fine details of timeworn shadow puppets. The clerk waited patiently.

We finished and just was we thought that was that, the man guided us out a side door and through a garden to another building.

The Garden outside Museum Rudana

"This is the gallery" he explained. "You may take pictures and you may buy." This place was way better than any museum gift shop I've ever experienced. It again was about 5 rooms full of more paintings and intricate wood carvings that one couldn't help, but be impressed by.

If you ever find yourself in Bali The Museum Rudana is heavily underrated and a great place to escape the masses. 100% best things do in Ubud.

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