If you come to Bali and stay in tourist areas like Kuta, Legian or Seminyak you may just get stuck filling your days with shopping, spa treatments and sunset cocktails. Nothing wrong with that of course, but if you're after something a bit more authentic then why not hire a driver and head to one of Bali's traditional villages.
Penglipuran is one such village, located in the Bangli regency of central Bali. Although it's just 30 minutes' drive from bustling Gianyar it feels worlds away, and that's exactly why we love it.
At an altitude of 700m above sea level, Penglipuran is just 6km north of Bangli town which is perhaps most well-known for its large temple, Pura Kehen.
Although there are thousands of villages scattered across Bali, peaceful Penglipuran is unique in that it has managed to retain much of its traditional charm. It's also spotlessly clean, thanks to waste management and landscaping regulations known as awig-awig.
Another unique feature of Penglipuran are the entrance gates to each home which are all very similar in style. With walls made of mud and the roof from bamboo, this gives the village a very neat appearance.
At the entrance to each home is also a sign displaying the family's name, address and family members (number of males and females), so you know exactly who lives there.
At the northern end of the village is the all-important temple where religious ceremonies are often held. Running down from the temple is a central paved street, with houses on either side. The village is home to just under 750 people, many of whom have lived there their whole lives.
An especially good time to visit Penglipuran if you can is around Galungan, one of the most important religious ceremonies in Bali. The celebration is held roughly twice a year, every 210 days according to the Balinese calendar.
During this 10-day period, decorative bamboo "penjor" are placed outside local homes and nowhere is this more striking than in Penglipuran.
Many ceremonies are also held around Galungan time, when you can see villagers walking up to the temple to pray. Women wearing brightly colored kebaya carefully balance offerings of fruit and flowers on their head while managing not to trip over sleeping dogs and children playing.
No accommodation is available in Penglipuran for visitors to stay at, however the friendly locals will be more than happy to invite you into their family homes and show you around.
A visit to this traditional village is a unique experience and a chance to get away from the "modern" Bali - although it's never really too far away!
|Opening Time||9am - 5pm|
|Entrance Fee||Rp. 10,000 per person|
|Access||Approximately 2 hours' drive from the southern resort areas / 30 min from Gianyar|
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