Blahbatuh Village Tours
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A traditional Balinese village, Blahbatuh is known for three things: the medieval hero Kebo Iwa, the Chinese temple Vihara Amurva Bhumi Blahbatuh, and the Sidha Karya Gong Foundry, which makes traditional gamelan instruments. Kebo Iwa is immortalized as a huge statue on the main Gianyar road and a baby in Pura Puseh Desa Blahbatuh temple.
There is no charge to enter Blahbatuh, which is not a common stop on the traditional tourist route. Most combine a Blahbatuh tour with a visit to one or more of the craft villages around Ubud, perhaps Mas Village, known for wood carving; Tohpati Village, known for batik; Celuk Village, known for silversmithing; or Batuan, home to generations of celebrated painters. A guide can be helpful to explain the story of Kebo Iwa and arrange entry to the gamelan workshop.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Fans of world music—and Balinese music in particular—won’t want to miss the Sidha Karya Gong Foundry.
- Bring a sarong to wear when visiting Pura Puseh Desa Blahbatuh temple, or ensure that your legs are covered to below the knee.
- You can buy instruments and traditional dance costumes to take home at the Sidha Karya Gong Foundry.
How to Get There
Blahbatuh is located about 10 miles (16 kilometers) southeast of Ubud, just off the main east coast road. There are no public transport options, so you’ll need to either charter a car and driver, join a tour, or take the risk of driving or cycling from Ubud. Most visitors typically spend only part of a day there, and many opt for a private car and driver.
When to Get There
It’s worth calling ahead to check opening times for the Sidha Karya Gong Foundry, but typically it’s wisest to visit Blahbatuh midweek, in the morning or early afternoon but not during the lunch hour. Blahbatuh is rarely crowded with either tourists or locals, and the temples are open daily.
The Gamelan Orchestra
The gamelan, an orchestra based on gongs, drums, and different types of xylophones, is the traditional soundtrack to special occasions on both Bali and neighboring Java. Its ancestry can be traced at least as far back as the eighth century, when an early ensemble orchestra is depicted on the carvings of the Hindu temple of Borobudur.
Address: Ubud, Indonesia
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