- An endless rice fields terrain
- Extraordinary temples
- Natural attractions
- Black-sand beaches
- History and Culture
- Traditional villages
- Adventurous activities
- Eco-friendly accommodations
The Future of Bali’s Tourism
Tabanan is both a city and a regency. Many of the people who work in South Bali are actually from this part of the island. Tabanan itself is a typical busy Indonesian city, with some markets and warungs that may be of interest. Still, travellers are more likely to move on to other parts of Tabanan Regency, which is home to some peaceful black sand beaches and important, picturesque temples Tanah Lot.
Further north, there is Jatiluwih; the largest rice field area spans more than 53,000 hectares in the central of Bali. There are still so many potentials hidden in Tabanan soon to be discovered; especially when we see the pattern of the development of Bali’s tourism areas which always moving up to north from Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and now Canggu. Tabanan can be the next big thing in Bali.
There are several eco-lodges and mid-range hotels that focus on environmental-friendly and local culture in the Tabanan area. Some more luxurious hotels can be found on secluded beaches, and a few well-appointed villas are also located in this area. Accommodation are relatively centred in tourism areas like Tanah Lot, Jatiluwih, and Bedugul. It is also very common tourists visiting Tabanan for a day-tour then staying in other areas like Canggu or Seminyak.
The city of Tabanan has some great local warungs. Look for crowds or ask around to find them. The market is a good place to start for adventurous travellers, especially at night. Most people who stay in Tabanan are likely to eat at the restaurants that are attached to their hotels for special occasions. Tourists areas like Tanah Lot and Jatiluwih have some basic local food options, as well as some decent restaurants. Expect prices here to be slightly higher than elsewhere.
Tabanan is not a centre of nightlife; most of the areas is quite soon after sunset. The youngsters are usually hanging out in night bars or clubs in Canggu.
Tabanan is the home of Tanah Lot, a temple perched on a rock in the ocean. It is perhaps Bali’s most beautiful temple and is also a popular tourist spot, so be prepared for crowds, especially at sunrise and sunset. Pura Batukaru is another very important temple for the Balinese; it is perched on the slope of Mount Batukaru. Families will find the Bali Butterfly Park pleasant, and kids may like to see and touch the friendly butterflies and exotic insects. Alas Kedaton Monkey Forest is home to the typical naughty groups of Balinese macaques, and may make for an interesting trip, as long as you keep a tight hold on your belongings!
For the past few years, the local government of Tabanan has started several unique tour programs by setting up traditional tourism villages offering varies of interesting activities with locals involved. Nyambu, Salak, Pinge and Tista villages are some of the popular destinations for this type of tours.
Tabanan was quite undeveloped until recently but has been a highly-populated area for some time; many of the residents are immigrant from Java island. Tabanan was also the site of the famous Balinese puputan, in which Balinese soldiers fought to the death in a battle against the Dutch, led by their officer, I Gusti Ngurah Rai, who is now considered a local hero.
Further back to the 16th century, Tanah Lot is one of Bali’s directional temples and is situated on a rock in the ocean, just offshore. It is said to be centuries old, having been built on the recommendation of an important Hindu priest, and is an important site for pilgrimages. The rock, the temple sits on has been eroded by the ocean and now is undergoing a restoration process.
Tabanan is a good place to take tours of temples and look around the countryside. There are several black sand beaches, although most are not good for surfing and can be dangerous for swimmers. Some hotels in the area offer horse riding tours. Keen and experienced hikers can also climb the rainy mountainside of Mount Batukaru, an extinct volcano, which should be done with one of the many available local guides.
If you are an adventurous traveller, you may go on a Quad-ATV and Dirty Motocross.
Public transportation is very limited in Tabanan, mostly only reached main streets in city areas. Taxis are rarely be found in Tabanan. The best way to get around the area is certainly by renting a scooter, but if you don’t have any experience of riding two-wheelers before then, you must hire a car rental with a driver.
Many beaches along the Tabanan have black sands and moderate waves. Some of the beaches are unique, as we can see the view of the ocean in the west and relaxing rice fields in the east. Good access roads have been built, only a few beaches like Nyanyi and Pig Stones have a small road that only motorbikes can pass by.
Kedungu and beach are good for beginner to intermediate surfers with predictable fat waves. Best surfed at mid-rise. Avoid very low tide, especially on the inside cause there’s rocky bottom. They are usually less crowded than Canggu peaks.