Cycling Bali

August 25, 2011 ASEAN Backpacking

To get to know the real Bali and experience real Balinese culture, don't drive around Bali (like us on our first day in Bali), go bike!

That's what I did after my Mt. Batur climb. That's not my suggested itinerary but I recommend doing both on separate days. Anyway, after my Mt. Batur climb, I met my cycling tour guide at Penelokan (Kintamani) where the food is not so great but the view of Mt. Batur is magnificent.

After waving goodbye to Mt. Batur and finishing my breakfast, I boarded a van, which first took us to a coffee showroom then to our jump-off site, where we chose our bikes, fitted our safety gear and got safety instructions.

It was a 22-kilometer bike ride, mostly downhill at Song Landak Village, away from the regular tourist trail. Adorable Balinese children take every chance to waive hellos at us during the ride.

Our first stop was at a traditional Balinese house where we saw how a Balinese family lives. Our guide here is showing us the house of the family matriarch. 

Notice the elevation of the house? The foundation of the house denotes respect (not so friendly though for the aging member of the family).

I also took photos of the family temple where they worship God and glorify their ancestors. Each family has a temple that is usually located at the direction of Mt. Agung.

Our guide also explained to us the family's ceremonial building, which is used for weddings and other ceremonies like teeth filing, the girls' first period, etc. All members of the community are invited to these ceremonies.
The family runs a bamboo weaving business and we saw them making bamboo walls and ceilings.

The house also has four kitchens. This is one of them.

The home we visited has four families and 19 members, which is inscribed here.

After the Balinese home and another quick bike ride, we visited this plantation.

Then we rode in the middle of these rice paddies ...

then out again on the main street to this temple. 

A Balinese Village typically hosts three temples -- The Pura Puseh dedicated to both the god Vishnu and the human founders of the village, usually facing the mountain; The Pura Desa for the local spirits that protect the village; and the Pura Dalem, the temple of the dead.

This is a Pura Puseh. 

After taking photos of the temple, we stopped by another paddy where a farmer is tilling his land.

Then, we met an icon. Meet the Bob Marley tree, a gigantic Banyan tree at Padpadan Village.

We chanced upon a ceremony near the Bob Marley tree. We were allowed to take photos but not to go inside because we were not in the traditional Balinese costume. 

Most of Bali that day was in celebration because of the full moon.

After, we visited a group of women harvesting and threshing at Suwat Village. We were offered a chance to help but had to pass. After not sleeping the night before and a climb, my mind was willing but my body was not.

We finally parked our bike at Petermon. This dam and river carry the same name. Some continued biking while the rest of us opted to ride the cars to our lunch destination.

Lunch was the perfect end for the wonderful bike tour. The restaurant, called Ngajeng, was built in the middle of a rice paddy at Loc Pejeng. Food was truly delectable, as promised by the tour providers Bali Budaya Tours ( 

Vegetarian meals were also provided.

Paid 360,000 rupiah for the tour and felt it was really worth the money and the little time I have left in Bali.

We ended with our guide tracing on this map the whole stretch of our tour.

Other Good Travels