Bali’s western coastline is more than just the stunning beaches, fabulous sunsets around Tanah Lot and a plethora of overnight opportunities that cater for all budgets. More inlands and you will find a brand-new, rural side of Bali where nature dominates and villages as old as the island itself are depicting Bali from many moons ago.
An early morning arrival from your hotel is included and this is quite a special one. Bali still has a few old Volkswagen cabriolets available (so-called Kuebelwagen) which brightens up the traffic with its look and nostalgic feeling. Void of any air-condition, the best way to drive around is with the roof down and see Bali without the reflection of windows. From your hotel in either southern Bali or Ubud, we try to stay off the main roads and head via narrow, small back roads in the direction of Tabanan City via small communities such as Desa Munggu and Kaba-Kaba. Tabanan is the capital town of the regency of Bali with the same name and with its close proximity to Denpasar, a favourite to find a great market place to see how trade goes on like in the old days.
After strolling around the market, we head up the slopes of Mount Batukaru (passing yet another traditional Balinese settlement – Rejasa) before we reach our next stop of the day- Tambuwaras. This town is the gateway to the famous rice terraces but also is home to a beautiful and hardly visited temple – the latter is quite a surprise, located at the edge of the rainforest and a haven to pray for a healthy life. Often not accessible, we do have contacts to get inside the temple compounds. When so close to the rice terraces at Jatiluwih, one cannot not make a stop here and take in the stunning landscape. As we pass Desa Tegalinggah we soon stop for a lunch break at a local restaurant, offering breath-taking views over the surrounding rice fields.
As we try again to avoid the main roads, our well-thought out route passes again local settlements such as Desa Apuan (where we stop to give you an insight in how life goes on in a Balinese compound where philosophy and learning are the cornerstone for this ancient community) and Desa Tua (an example of another village that continues to keep western influences as much as possible outside its town doors. Here, we get the chance to make a short walk where the elaborate work needed to be done to get rice from grain to final product. The region also offers other sources of agricultural income for its residents such as coffee, cacao, cloves and vanilla. The day slowly comes to an end and we head back to your hotel in southern Bali or Ubud.