As I cover a lot of environmentally conscious and ethical tourism for the website Travel Wire Asia, I thought I’d post a bit about Bali cultural tourism options away from the beach.
In fact, Bali cultural tourism is nearly as well known as its surf scene, beaches, resorts and crowded nightclubs. OK, maybe it isn’t. How about “almost nearly as well known”? Not exactly Pulitzer Prize stuff, I realize, but hear me out.
Bali cultural tourism revolves chiefly around the island’s unique form of Hinduism, which differentiates itself from the Hinduism practiced on the Indian subcontinent, partly by throwing a little Buddhism into the mix. Religion and culture also set Bali apart from the rest of Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim country. Read my previous post on Balinese Hinduism for more. For a more in-depth look at the changing residential, touristic religious demographics in Bali, check out this piece in the Canberra Times.
Another article in the Philippines Business Mirror, is less anthropological and seems to have an inordinately large portion dedicated to where to find snow globes on Bali. Nonetheless, it’s a long article and has plenty to contribute to our understanding of Bali cultural tourism. From the article’s substantial rundown of Bali’s Hindu temples:
Built in 1663, the Hindu temple complex is on the shores of Lake Bratan in the mountains near Bedugul. It is used for offerings ceremony to the Balinese water, lake and river goddess Dewi Danu, because Lake Bratan is a main source of irrigation in central Bali. The lake is also known as the Lake of Holy Mountain due to the fertility of this area, which is located 1200-meter above sea level.
Sounds really nice, right? I recommend the entire temple section of the article, which includes a bit about a Jesuit church and thankfully doesn’t mention snow globes.
Of course, any piece on Bali cultural tourism would be incomplete without a mention of Uluwatu Temple. There, I’ve done it. Click the link for more. Oh, and here is another post on (mostly modern) culture in Bali. Don’t you feel more sophisticated now?