Tenganan Bali Aga village

The original Bali

Photo of , , Candi Dasa

What we say: 3.5 stars

Tenganan is one of the few Bali Aga or original Bali villages remaining in Bali and is famous for its double ikat weaving and ancient beliefs.

Many houses in this village will open their doors for tourists to buy these traditional pieces of cloth along with an array of other handicrafts they can throw together.

In addition to their weaving prowess, the villagers are also skilled in a range of other arts and crafts such as intricately painted duck and chicken eggs, palm leaf carving and wood carving. Keen villagers will often offer to demonstrate their skills to you with the hope that you might purchase one of their artworks.

The village is laid out in a long rectangular shape with pavilions serving official village purposes in the centre and houses around the edge. Some of the houses are built from older materials such as mud and stone and some seemingly older structures are made only from wood.

In the centre of the village is a large wooden structure used by the men of the village to make decisions about important community issues — much in the same vein as a traditional Balinese banjar.

The villagers' belief system revolves around ancient animist traditions such as the worshipping of ancestors and the sacrificing of animals. In addition to this, theoretically members of the village can't marry outside of the village and as such, Tenganan is somewhat of a closed community, though on our visit, our guide, while from Tenganan, confessed to living in Sanur. Neverthless the considerable isolation here has helped the village to develop its own culture and even its own Balinese dialect.

A visit here will probably only take half an hour, or more if you negotiate with one of the guides out the front for a tour (15,000 rupiah). Entrance to the village is by donation only and 5,000 rupiah is a sufficient amount, dependent on your generosity.

More details
4km west of Bali
How to get there: The village of Tenganan is 4km from the turnoff at the western end of Candi Dasa.

Bemos occasionally ply this route (3,000 rupiah), but don't rely on them as your only means of transport. A better option is to negotiate an ojek from the turnoff in Candi Dasa for 5,000-10,000 rupiah.
Last updated: 7th April, 2011

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