Day 2 of our Bali trip began with the Barong Kintamani day tour. The tour was booked through a travel agent in Kuta and included private transfers from the hotel in Kuta.
Barong Kintamani Day Tour – Itinerary
We got up leisurely around 7:30 AM in the morning and had a breakfast and were picked up by 8:30 AM from our hotel. The rough itinerary followed was like this:
- 08:30 – Pick up at the hotel
- 09.30 – Watching Barong and Keris Dance Performance
- 11.00 – Visit Kintamani Village to see Mount Batur Volcano and Lake Batur View
- 13.30 – Enjoy Lunch at Kintamani with view Mount Batur Volcano and Lake Batur View
- 15.00 – Visit Penglipuran village
- 16.00 – Visit Besakih temple (Mother Temple of Bali)
- 17.30 – Back to hotel
- 18.30 – Arrive at Hotel
Highlight of the day today was that I forgot my DSLR back at the hotel, as a result the photos aren’t the best quality, clicked on a Micromax/Redmi phone I think.
Barong Kintamani Day Tour – Barong Dance
Braong is a story telling dance form and narrates an ancient story of good vs evil with dance and music. Our guide had already purchased the tickets for us and we quickly joined the audience. We were also given pamphlets with details/description about each act of the story.
Barong is a panther-like creature and character in the Balinese mythology. He is the king of the spirits, and enemy of Rangda – the demon queen and mother of all spirit guarders. The battle between Barong and Rangda is featured in the Barong dance to represent the eternal battle between good and evil.
To be frank I liked the dance as a way to understand the Balinese culture, but if you are not much into mythology and culture you can give this a skip. One thing though that I really loved about performance was the hauntingly beautiful background sound. It stuck in my head for almost all 10 days of the Bali trip.
Barong Kintamani Day Tour – Kintamani Village Tour
Spice and the Coffee Shop
Next stop was a visit to a spice and coffee garden with amazing views of Mt. Batur. We were shown different spices and given a chance to grind some coffee. We also tasted like 7-8 different types of coffees and teas including the world’s most expensive coffee – Coffee Luwak. Being a coffee connoisseur I did love the dark and smokey nature of the coffee but it was too expensive for me.
Instead, we bought some other flavoured coffee and spices. The spice garden is very similar to what you would find in most parts of South India. While we weren’t forced to buy anything, we still ended up buying stuff worth ₹2000.
Mount Batur View Point
After driving for some time, we next headed to Kintamani village to get better views of Mount Batur and the Lake Batur view. Due to the eruption of Mt. Batur some weeks earlier the sunrise hike to Mt. Batur wasn’t possible and the guide told us that this is probably the closest that we could get to Mt. Batur considering the current situation.
We enjoyed the views from the viewpoint and after that had lunch Indonesian Buffet at Batur sari restaurant. The speciality of this restaurant is that you get direct and unhindered views of Mt. Batur. For us the buffet was included in the tour price, but I would not recommend anyone to come here for lunch at all. The views are wonderful, but the food leaves a lot to be desired.
For your reference, the buffet costs 100.000 IDR (₹500).
Barong Kintamani Day Tour – Penglipuran Village
After the disappointing lunch we headed to Penglipuran village. This was one of my favourite attractions of today’s tour. I got chatting with a local vendor at the village and we could understand a lot about the Balinese culture and the village from him. In fact, we ate again at his small stall as the food was cheap and delicious. The glass noodles were yummy.
Penglipuran Village is famous as one of the tourist destinations in Bali because of its society who still preserve their traditional culture in their daily lives. The architecture of buildings and land processing still follows the concept of Tri Hita Karana, the philosophy of Balinese society regarding the balance of relations between God, humans and their environment.
Penglipuran Village succeeded in building tourism that benefited all of their communities without losing their culture and traditions. After spending some time walking around the village, we visited the village temple. Soon after it started raining and we headed to the shelter of our car.
Barong Kintamani Day Tour – Besakih Temple
Besakih Temple is a pura complex in the village of Besakih on the slopes of Mount Agung. Pura in Balinese means temple. Besakih temple is the most important, the largest and holiest temple of Hindu religion in Bali, and one of a series of Balinese temples. It’s also referred as the Mother temple of Bali.
Perched nearly 1000 meters up the side of Gunung Agung, it is an extensive complex of 23 separate but related temples with the largest and most important being Pura Penataran Agung. The temple is built on six levels, terraced up the slope. The entrance is marked by a candi bentar (split gateway), and beyond it the Kori Agung is the gateway to the second courtyard.
The temple is huge and marvellous. We were dressed in Sarongs by a local lady before we could enter the temple. Luckily when we arrived, we were the only tourists in the temple, probably due to the rains I guess. The huge temple looked stunning yet ominous due to the cloudy sky. Felt like a trailer straight out of a video game.
We roamed around the temple clicked some photos and it was almost 5 PM by the time we were done. In another hour, we were dropped at our hotel.
We had decided at the beginning of the trip that we would be eating only local food throughout our 10 day trip. So most days, we would come back to the hotel, cool down in the pool for sometime and then start scouring online (Google & Tripadvisor) to decide a good place for dinner.