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Insiders tip West Bali: the island’s hidden gem

March 5, 2019 Headline News, Visit ASEAN No Comments Email Email

Bali is one of the most popular islands in the Indonesian archipelago with its 17,000 islands. It is easy to explore, and probably also one of the most beautiful islands: locals keep saying that heaven looks like Bali. The tropical island is characterized by an incredible variety: colorful coral reefs, white and black sandy beaches, wide rice fields, and jungles. Buddhist temples line the street as well as mosques. Especially in the west, the most sparsely populated region, one can find vast, untouched landscapes showing the real face of the island – far away from the crowded beaches and temples.

An unappreciated beauty

Some say on Bali’s Western coast most can be discovered; yet this part is far less visited than the rest of the island – although it accounts for a third of the island’s total area. When travelers head west, the journey often ends in the city of Medewi. Despite of the fact that the exciting, “wild” part of the island is starting right behind the city. Therefore, only few enjoy the breathtaking landscapes and original regions of the west. Thus, searching for unspoiled landscapes and authentic experiences, travelers can hardly omit Bali’s west coast.

The former home of the tigers

The West Bali National Park stretches over 700 km2 and occupies a huge part of Bali’s west. It was founded in 1941 aiming to protect the habitat of the endangered tigers. However, preserving the species failed, why people assume the tigers were already extinct before the appointment of the national park today. Nevertheless, the park is worthwhile a visit: there are no roads in the dense forest, which runs across hills and valleys in various shades of green – a blessing for the monkeys, deer, civets, and 160 bird species living there unimpaired. Among them is the Bali starling, one of the rarest birds in the world. Probably less than 20 of these starlings live in the wild. Due to their white dress and bright blue eyes they are popular objects for illegal animal trade.

The pursuit of harmony

The west is the ideal place to experience the Balinese philosophy of Tri Hita Karana because of its diversity and authenticity. It is based on three pillars: Harmony with the gods, harmony with nature and harmony among the people. It becomes evident by the interaction with others, but also by the appreciation of nature. One chance to experience the authentic charm of the island is on the guided eco-tours of the sustainable resort Puri Dajuma Cottages & Spa. The renovated fisherman’s cottages in the resort speak of the traditional fishing culture of the West. Located directly at the beach, Puri Dajuma regularly organizes beach clean-ups – for a pleasant beach holiday and a clean environment alike.

Puri Dajuma’s Eco-Tours

Puri Dajuma’s guests can choose between nine different tours. The closeness to nature is central to all of the tours, as it is to the green west. All tours support the local people, and participants make extraordinary and authentic experiences at the same time. Besides the visits of sacred temples, hot springs, waterfalls and plantations, and others, visitors can also explore the underwater world of Menjangan. For hotel manager Louis Balme, one tour is exceptional to learn more about the local culture. His personal tip: slip into the life of a rice farmer for a day.

Be a rice farmer once

During the tour “Rice Farming in Outback West Bali” guests take part in the life of the locals in Medewi for one day. After a visit to the school and a short walk through the rice fields, participants practice the original cultivation of rice. During the unforgettable experience they plough the field with the help of two cattle and then plant new rice. With a breathtaking view over the seemingly endless rice fields, the participants enjoy traditional Balinese dishes after work!

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