The fame of the Island of the Gods, Bali, is beyond doubt. Bali is a tourist destination that always attracts many visitors, both domestic and foreign tourists. Not a few of us are interested in the beauty of the beaches, or in the cuisine.
However, it seems that there are still few visitors who are really interested in Balinese culture, even though without us realizing it, Balinese culture is one of the big magnets that attract tourists to visit.
Here are some cultural attractions on the Island of the Gods that are worth visiting with the family:
1. Bali Cultural Center
This place is a representation of all Balinese culture. It is located in Nyuh Kuning, Mas Village, Ubud District, Gianyar Regency. Upon entering, you will be greeted at the reception desk. And after paying a levy of approximately Rp. 100 thousand rupiahs, you will be greeted with a Welcome Dance.
A guide will come to you and accompany your journey at the Bali Cultural Center which is often called “Bali Mini”. During your visit, you will be treated to dozens of kinds of Balinese dances while listening to all the stories behind the dances and their symbols. There are also demonstrations and explanations of various traditional ceremonies in Bali, such as tooth fillings, land decent ceremonies, burning of ogoh-ogoh, and others.
In the back area, you can see Balinese women making Canang for offerings, men making wayang, and how local people process rice and make oil from coconuts. And at the end of the trip, you will be invited to sit in a staging area to watch the pride of Balinese culture, namely the Cendrawasih Dance, and are allowed to dance with the dancers.
This trip to the Bali Cultural Center is a trace of Balinese culture being shown before our eyes. The guides are very familiar with all the ‘materials’ they tell and are quick to answer any questions. And what makes me take my hat off is, even though I came alone, they still held all the dances and demonstrations in their entirety.
Unfortunately, this place is very quiet visited by domestic tourists, especially children, and our young generation. In fact, an explanation of Balinese culture can deepen our love for Mother Earth.
2. Tenganan Village
The village, which is located in the Candidasa area, East Bali region, is one of the villages that still maintain the lifestyle and customs of the ancient Balinese people. Tenganan Village is inhabited by the Bali Aga Tribe whose livelihoods vary, ranging from selling food, making rattan furniture, to making woven fabrics that can be sold at very high prices.
There is a bale-bale or village traditional meeting place surrounded by houses that tend to be uniform. Apart from living their daily lives, their house is also used for selling. In this village, we can find typical handicrafts, such as carvings and brightly colored roosters. The residents are very friendly and willing to answer some of the visitors’ questions.
3. Tirta Gangga
Tirta Gangga may be familiar to tourists. But try to visit there occasionally accompanied by a local guide who knows its history.
In addition to its charming appearance, this sacred pool contains a million stories that are no less beautiful. This water park covering more than 1 hectare has a swimming pool, fish pond, and a beautiful fountain. Dozens of large koi fish swim in the pond equipped with hexagonal-shaped stepping s, often used as a place for selfie visitors.
The name Tirta Gangga means water (tirta) taken from the Ganges River, a sacred river for Hindus. Tirta Gangga is also believed to be a holy spring. Besides being believed to heal when used for bathing or consumption, the water is also often used for traditional religious ceremonies in Bali.
Founded in 1946 during the reign of King Ida Anak Agung Anglurah Ketut Karangasem, this place was completely destroyed by the eruption of Mount Agung in 1963. After that, this place was restored and rebuilt.
4. Ujung Park
Its original name is Taman Sukasada, but because of its location in Banjar Ujung (and actually on the far right of the island of Bali), people often call it Taman Ujung. This place was originally used as a resting place for the Karangasem royal family and was often used to entertain visiting royal guests.
Info from the local guide who took me stated that this park was once a pond that was built in 1900. But 10 years later, the King of Karangasem at that time decided to build a palace as a development of the pond. Just like Tirta Gangga, this water palace was built during the reign of King Ida Anak Agung Anglurah Ketut Karanga. The entire area and build lace are designed by Dutch architect, Mr. Van Den Hentz, and Chinese architect, Loto Ang.
Planning to visit Bali soon? Find out more about Bali and Indonesia by visiting Wonderful Indonesia.