Touring to Kintamani village to see the Mount Batur has become the most popular tour for visitors coming to Bali. This is a tour where you can have a taste a bit of every thing: art, culture, scenery, rice terraces, and temples. So, what do you actually experience in this introductory tour? Let's have a look.
Your first destination is at Batu Bulan Village to witness Barong Dance. It is as a story of an eternal fight of Barong (a mythical lion representing good) against Rangda (an evil witch). First, two Balinese man underneath Barong costume appear on the stage along with some monkeys depicting a scene in the forest. Next, two Balinese beautiful girls dance accompanied with the sounds of gamelan (Balinese traditional musical instrument played by a group of people usually man). The story continues with the scene in a palace where the prince Sahadewa is expelled by his mother (the mother is under the spell of Rangda that she becomes evil), his trip to forest, the meeting with Civa, and his fight against Rangda the root of all his problems, and his transformation into Barong. Well, I think you should see this by yourself.
The village we go next is the centre of gold and silver works in Bali called Celuk village.( Silver is the biggest export of Bali this first semester of this year reaching approximately eighteen million USD.) Here you can see hundred of artisans at work if you visit silver factory. Well, you can learn how to make necklace, earring, ring, that you do this at home in your spare time. But if you want to buy something, it is better to visit gallery to factory since they have more collections.
The Village of Mas, the wood carvers village, is our next stop. The skill of carving has been possessed long time and passed down from generation to the next generation. At the beginning, wood carving or any other skill such as stone carving, and painting were all dedicated to temple with the spirit of devotion. The work that you see, instance in temple, are considered belong to the society that you will not know who carved it. Only at the beginning of the twentieth century, Balinese begin to extended their skill, not merely for temple works, but for the sake of art or commercial, especially when tourist began coming to our island.
The Tegalalang rice terraces is the place we head next. Here, you can take picture of the grand scenery of terraces just like the one you see in the post card for sale in Bali. I have talked a lot about rice field in my previous post... this is the good thing about blogging.. :)
The Holy Spring of Sebatu Temple is another beautiful temple to visit. The legend says this temple was created by Lord Vishnu when there was a war between Maya Denawa (an evil King) with Rudra (the war god). There were many innocent villagers wounded because of this war. The Holy Spring temple was the place where all these people were healed. Nowadays you can still see the spring, but there is another special thing you will see. There are lots of coins at the bottom of the pond where the water flows. This is not a Balinese culture where people throwing coins into the pond and make a wish, maybe it is a western thing, I haven't Google it. But if I can make a wish, I hope those people making good wishes here, well get their wishes fulfilled.
Next, our highlight of this tour, is Kintamani village. A village located 1100 m above sea level that has cool climate. From this village you can enjoy the spectacular view of Mount Batur. There are many restaurants here you can stop while enjoying the view. Try the local dish, nasi campur, chicken sate, and black rice pudding. For Mount Batur, you can read more in my previous post here: The Magnificent Mount Batur.
The Goa Gajah or the elephant cave, our next stop, is where you can become Indiana Jones or Lara Croft. Why is that? Well, you can also see it my previous post here: A Tour to Sacred Elephant Cave.
Our tour is concluded by a visit to painting village in Peliatan or Lod Tunduh in district of Ubud. Here you will see painters at work. See how they do it and compare the Balinese traditional style and more modern style. The traditional style has only two dimensions and has religious theme. The contemporary style depicts every day life and already in 3D.
You can contact me if you are interested in this tour when you are in Bali.