Pure Bali Culture - Traditional Village in Bali You Must Visit

September 18, 2023

Bali has long become a worldwide destination for many international tourists. From year to year there are more and more visitors entering the island of the gods. Many come for the party scenes on the coast and the surfer culture. But many also want to experience true Balinese life. One of the best ways to experience this is to visit the traditional villages that have still preserved their customs and lifestyle. Here we have compiled some traditional villages that you should definitely visit in Bali:


Penglipuran Village


When you enter Penglipuran, you feel as if you're in a quiet, rustic paradise. It's located at the foot of Mount Batur, in Bangli regency. Located high up in the mountains, the air is as fresh as can be. The name Penglipuran itself tells a story; it comes from "pengeling pura"," which means "sacred place to honor the ancestors".


Penglipuran Village isn't a typical tourist destination, but a place that has made waves both locally and globally. In 2016, it was named the third cleanest village in the world by the Green Destinations Foundation, behind only Mawlynnong in India and Giethoorn in the Netherlands.



Penglipuran village is one of the cleanest villages in the world.

Photo by Indonesia Travel


But what makes Penglipuran so special isn't just its perfect landscape. It's, above all, the heartwarming culture of the Bali Mula people, who have called this place home for generations. They're dedicated to preserving their traditions and live by the wonderful philosophy of Tri Hita Karana, which harmoniously unites the spiritual world, humanity and nature.


And here's the kicker: you can't only visit Penglipuran, but also experience it. There are homestays where you can experience the customs and culture of Penglipuran. It's like experiencing the essence of Bali in the most authentic way. 

Tigawasa Village


Tigawasa village is located in Banjar district of Buleleng regency. It's a traditional village that is home to another Bali Mula community and is located at an altitude of about 500-700 meters above sea level. This altitude provides a pleasantly cool and quiet atmosphere.



Bamboo tower in Tigawasa village.

Photo by Bali Tribune


When exploring Tigawasa, you'll come across sprawling plantations and rice fields that stretch as far as the eye can see. In addition, you'll have the opportunity to taste Robusta coffee freshly harvested by local farmers.


A unique aspect of this village, which is one of the oldest in Buleleng, is the special tradition of using batik cloth for burial. This practice is different from the usual Balinese tradition of ngaben where the deceased are cremated.


Sidatapa Village


Sidatapa Village is another of these centuries-old villages in the Banjar District of Buleleng Regency. What makes Sidatapa Village special is its traditional house known as "Bale Gajah Tumpang Salu" which has been standing since about 785 AD.



Sunrise in Sidatapa village.

Photo by Sidetapa village website


This ancient house consists of different sections, one of which is called "Tri Mandala" and is used for worship. Built of earth and supported by 12 wooden pillars, the building faces away from the road. If you visit Sidatapa village, you can see the craftsmanship of bamboo weaving and witness the unique dances and rituals that are part of its cultural heritage.

Tenganan Village


When you visit Tenganan village, you have the opportunity to explore traditional houses that have stood since ancient times. The people of Tenganan cherish their local customs, known as "awig-awig"," which have existed since the 11th century and were confirmed in 1842.



Tenganan village.

Photo by Indonesia Travel


The environment in Tenganan village is still very pristine with its lush rice fields and numerous trees. Tenganan is known for the production of woven "Gringsing" cloth. Tenganan village is located in the Manggis district of the Karangasem region.


Cempaga Village


The next village you should definitely visit is the village of Cempaga. It's hidden in the Banjar district of the Buleleng regency. This village, one of the oldest in Buleleng, is proud of a collection of sacred dances that have been preserved for generations. Some of these sacred dances are "tari jangkang"," "tari baris"," "tari pendet" and "tari rejang".



Traditional dance in Cempaga village.

Photo by Cempaga village website


You can experience these captivating dances at the village temple of Cempaga known as "Pura Desa Cempaga" Visitors also have the special opportunity to witness the "Upacara Mecacar"," a ceremony that takes place at 01:00 am on important Balinese festivals such as Galungan, Kuningan and Karya Agung Muayon. 

Trunyan Village


Trunyan may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is indeed a unique experience that must be had at least once when in Bali.



You reach Trunyan village by crossing the lake.

Photo by KSM Tour


Trunyan village is a well-known traditional village in Bali, even beyond the borders of the country. What makes Trunyan truly unique is the fascinating tradition of not burying or cremating the deceased, but instead laying them on the ground. The place where these bodies rest is called "Sema Wayah" and is located under the fragrant "Kemenyan" tree, also known as Taru Menyan. Remarkably, despite the scattered bones, there is no unpleasant smell or foul odor. Locals believe that the Kemenyan tree exudes an aroma that neutralizes unpleasant odors around the graves.


The village is located on the shores of Lake Batur in the Kintamani district of Bangli regency. To reach this village, visitors must take a boat across Lake Batur.


Nyuh Kuning Village


This traditional Bali village is located in Ubud district in Gianyar regency and is known for its rural charm and rich culture. As you meander through Nyuh Kuning village, you'll be greeted by frangipani trees lining the streets. No wonder, 5,000 frangipani trees have been planted in Nyuh Kuning village as part of a remarkable program.



Nyuh Kuning village in Ubud.

Photo by Kompasiana


And that's not all: visitors to Nyuh Kuning village can also experience traditional Balinese dance performances in the village's temples. These traditional dance performances are given a special reverence as they take place in a village that is deeply rooted in its customs and traditions. It's an experience that will immerse you in the sacred and cultural heart of Bali.

And these are the traditional villages in Bali that you must visit. You will find that these traditional villages are scattered all over the island and you will not be able to visit them all in a few days. For a better experience, you can consider these rental villas during your visit.

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Pure Bali Culture - Traditional Village in Bali You Must Visit

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