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Experience Authentic Bali: 6 Must-Visit Traditional Villages

Updated 28 Apr 2024

Bali isn’t just stunning beaches and volcanic mountains (although those are pretty awesome too). This Indonesian island, nicknamed the “Island of the Gods,” is all about culture. Imagine intricate dances, colorful ceremonies, and ancient temples that tell stories of their Hindu beliefs.

But to really get the Bali vibe, you gotta ditch the touristy stuff for a bit and head to a traditional village. Think friendly locals, daily life full of spirituality and culture, and a chance to see how Bali has thrived for centuries. It’s the perfect way to ditch the crowds and experience the real Bali.

Recommended Traditional Village You Should Visit While in Bali

1.Trunyan Village

Source : Pinterest – Ping Hotel Seminyak

Nestled on the eastern shores of the majestic Lake Batur in Kintamani district, Trunyan is renowned for its distinctive burial rituals. Unlike cremation or burial practices found elsewhere, the Trunyan people leave the bodies of deceased villagers under sacred “Taru Menyan” (incense trees) in the “Sema Wayah” cemetery. A boat tour across the mystical Lake Batur, a breathtaking volcanic crater lake, sets the stage for this culturally immersive experience. Remember, respectful clothing is essential when visiting the graveyard.

2. Penglipuran Village

Source : Istock – jordi magrans

Situated in the heart of Bangli Regency, Penglipuran is often dubbed the “clean village.” Here, meticulous maintenance meets traditional architecture, showcasing a way of life that’s remained remarkably unchanged for centuries. Stroll along meticulously clean lanes lined with houses built from local materials and adorned with intricate carvings. Observe villagers engaged in their daily routines, weaving baskets, tending to vegetable gardens, or preparing offerings for the temples. Walking tours and visits to traditional houses provide a window into the soul of Penglipuran. A small entrance fee contributes to the village’s preservation efforts.

Read also : 7 Ways You Can Be More Eco-Friendly While In Bali

3. Tenganan Village

Source : Istock – Leamus

Located in East Bali’s Karangasem Regency, Tenganan Village is home to the Bali Aga, the indigenous people of Bali, who have preserved their distinct customs and weaving traditions. Step back in time as you witness skilled artisans weaving the famed “gringsing” fabric, a double-ikat textile renowned for its intricate patterns and vibrant colors. Participating in weaving demonstrations or purchasing a piece of gringsing allows you to take home a tangible piece of Tenganan’s heritage. Be sure to check shop and workshop opening hours before your visit to ensure you don’t miss this cultural treasure.

4. Celuk Village

Source : Travel Triangle

In Gianyar Regency, close to Ubud, lies Celuk Village. This village pulsates with the art of silver craft and jewelry making. Witness the meticulous process of silversmithing firsthand, participate in workshops, or browse through the shops overflowing with exquisite silver jewelry. Remember, a friendly bargain is part of the experience here!

5. Nyuh Kuning Village

Source : Flokq

Escape the crowds and find serenity in Nyuh Kuning Village, located in Ubud District. As the name suggests (“Nyuh Kuning” translates to “yellow frangipani”), this village boasts a breathtaking landscape adorned with these fragrant trees. Immerse yourself in tranquility with relaxing walks through rice paddies, exploring hidden temples, or witnessing captivating traditional dance performances. Combine a visit to Nyuh Kuning with a trip to the nearby art and cultural hub of Ubud for a well-rounded experience.

6. Bongkasa Village

Source : Desa Wisata Bongkasa

Venture further south to Badung Regency and discover Bongkasa Village. This village is renowned for keeping the traditions of Barong Landung dance and mask making alive. Witness the vibrant performances of the Barong Landung, a dance featuring a powerful lion-like creature. Delve deeper by participating in mask-making workshops or taking home a handcrafted mask, a unique souvenir imbued with Balinese cultural spirit. To truly immerse yourself, consider attending a village festival where these traditions come alive in a celebratory atmosphere.

Bali’s traditional villages offer a captivating glimpse into the heart of the island, far removed from the usual tourist experiences. Here, you’ll encounter a vibrant tapestry of customs, beliefs, and a way of life passed down through generations. Whether you’re seeking to witness the unique burial rituals in Trunyan, immerse yourself in the meticulous order and traditional architecture of Penglipuran, or delve into the artistic heritage of Celuk with its exquisite silverwork, these villages offer something for every traveler.

Read more: 9 Biggest Culture Shocks For A Foreigner Visiting Bali

Exploring these villages isn’t just about ticking destinations off a list; it’s about forging connections with the Balinese people and their enduring traditions. So, ditch the crowds for a while and embrace the opportunity to wander through emerald rice paddies, witness ancient rituals, and be captivated by the magic woven into the daily lives of the Balinese people. Don’t miss out on this chance to experience the authentic soul of Bali – add a visit to a traditional village to your itinerary, and prepare to be forever enchanted.

As your Balinese adventure concludes, visit us at WOODS Bali, located in the charming Pererenan district. Our restaurant offers a rustic ambiance, the perfect complement to your exploration of traditional villages. Enjoy delicious Mediterranean cuisine prepared with fresh, local ingredients, all while listening to the smooth sounds of live jazz music. WOODS Bali provides the ideal setting to reflect on your experiences and create lasting memories of your time in Bali. Visit us and let us be the perfect ending to your unforgettable Balinese journey.

rifka arianti

rifka arianti

Journeying through life with a camera in hand, Rifka Setia Arianti is a passionate explorer of the world's diverse landscapes. Currently settled in Bali as a web designer, her lens captures the essence of her travels, weaving together a tapestry of stories that encapsulate her love for both photography and adventure.

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