Penglipuran: Traditional Balinese Village

 

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      After visiting three marvelous temples in one day, we felt we just had enough. Although we arranged to visit five temples on our second day in Bali, we didn’t want to have temple-fatigue from visual overload.  So our Bali guide-cum-personal driver, Abbe, brought us to this “typical Balinese village” instead.

 

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      We visited this small village with a breathtaking view that is located far from the road to Bangli from Kintamani. It is about 700 meters above sea level so the weather there is pleasantly cool all year round. There is a traditional village called Penglipuran that belongs to the administrative regency of Kubu. There are different versions of the meaning of Penglipuran. One version says that the word Penglipuran is philologically derived from two words, pengeling, literally means remembrance and Pura, means temple. The people here migrated from the village of Bayung Gede near Kintamani. To remember their original village and beloved ancestors, they built the same temple as their own at Bayung Gede village.

 

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      The layout of this completely unique village (population, about 750) is like a housing complex where the space arrangement is neat and carefully designed. This village stretches from the north to the south following the direction of the mountain. The village temple is located on the highest point at the end of the village. Nearly all the main houses still use the traditional roof of artistic bamboo blades with walls painted in natural colors like that of soil. And each compound consistently maintains the original design of the versatile bale (pavilion). Walking along the spacious paved street in the middle of the traditional village and small garden along the telajakan (the space between the compound and the street) will give you the impression of a beautiful park. The village looks neat as there are no high rise buildings. When you see the uniform kori (entrance gate) with a bamboo roof you will be reminded that is a traditional village. This kind of structure is now widely adopted for tourist accommodation.

 

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      Although the village is “picture-perfect”, one wonders if this is still part of Bali Tourism to promote other areas of the island so that the community can benefit from the tourism windfall.  For one thing, the village charges an “entrance” fee to visit their place.  I don’t remember being charged anything when I visited the spanish colonial houses in the street in Vigan.

 

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      Here, we were also warned by Abbe about the tourist trap whereby the villagers invite you to go inside their homes.  And once inside, they will hard-sell you anything just to make some money on the side.  At least we were forewarned about this, so we didn’t bother to enter any of the homes there.  We just walked the cobbled pavemant and enjoyed the views …

 

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