Bali's Cultural & Natural Heritage Tour
The day will start with a fascinating performance of Barong Dance. In Balinese mythology Barong is a lion-like creature and King of the Spirits and this colourful dance depicts the eternal struggle between good and evil as he battles (and eventually defeats) his arch enemy, the demon queen Rangda.
Continue to Tohpati, where the batik fabrics for which Bali is famous are painstakingly created by hand using traditional techniques. Then explore the Balinese arts with a stop at two villages near Ubud known for their arts and crafts. Your first stop is at Mas, which s renowned for its intricate wood carvings. Next visit the village of Celuk, a centre for Balinese silver and goldsmiths where both traditional and modern methods of crafting ornaments and jewellery can be observed.
Visit Gunung Kawi, a fascinating Hindu temple complex north-east of Ubud which comprises of ten rock-cut shrines (candi) carved into the cliff face. The surrounding countryside is extremely lush and the footpath leading down to the temple passes through some beautifully terraced rice fields
Then proceed to the village of Kintamani, the best spot, weather permitting, for views of Mount Batur, an active volcano which sits alongside Lake Batur. Scanning the horizon from left to right, you will observe that Kintamani sits on the caldera rim of a huge volcano, and Mount Batur, directly in front of you, is merely a ‘small’ mountain that has been created by thousands of years of volcanic activity. Enjoy a buffet lunch served in a local restaurant overlooking the volcano while you ponder on the mighty forces of Mother Nature that created this vista.
On the return journey, stop at Goa Gajah in Bedulu near Ubud. Often referred to as the Elephant Cave, it was established in the 9th century as a sanctuary for Buddhist monks. The facade of the cave is noted for its interesting carvings and ornate relief.