Penglipuran traditional village, Bali

The Best Cultural Tours and Cooking Classes for Your Next Bali Trip

It’s no secret that a memorable Bali experience has these elements in it: white-sand beaches, temples, rice fields, volcanoes, lakes, surfing and shopping till you drop. That said, more and more holiday makers to this island are now seeking authentic experiences exploring cultural traditions. How would you like to be transported back into the ‘old’ Bali and see things as they were? Now if this very idea of getting a deeper understanding of a traditional Balinese way of life raises your level of interest then be sure to lock in a few days to do some cultural tours around the Island of Gods!

Here are a couple of ideas for your itinerary for a day tour jam-packed with all things Balinese:

Visiting A Traditional Village

Bali has many traditional villages which welcome visitors into their lounge rooms, literally. Many of these villages still go about their lives like it was in the distant past, trapped in time and relatively unspoiled by the ravage of time and commercialism. The traditional houses with ancestral architecture still stand tall, all without doors ready to welcome any visitors to drop in and check out the inside of the house as well as having a good old yarn with the home owners. If you’re lucky, you might even get to see an authentic religious celebration taking place during your visit, and that would be a real treat! Each village also has its own signature arts and crafts, from paintings, sculptures, jewelries to traditional weaving. Yes of course you may purchase them.

Here are the top five traditional villages that we recommend:

1. Penglipuran (in Bangli)

Visit here during Galungan period to see the towering and colourful penjors lining the village. It truly is a sight to behold.

2. Tenganan (in Karangasem)

Tenganan probably offers the most unique village layout and architecture. Much of the arts and craftsmen use the house front wall as the display panel to showcase their works. Here is also where you can find the traditional weaving of double-ikat.

3. Celuk (in Gianyar)

Celuk is a haven of wood and stone carvers. Some of them even promise that the art pieces sold here contain magical powers!

4. Batu Bulan (in Gianyar)

Different from Celuk, visit Batu Bulan for high quality gold and silver jewelries.

5. Trunyan (by Lake Batur)

Famous for an age-old custom of burying the dead above the ground, covered with only cloth and bamboo canopies and left to decompose. Access to Trunyan is strictly by boat only.

Cooking Classes

This is definitely a fun activity for all! No you do not require prior cooking experience to enjoy this. Cooking classes are offered in every destination district all over Bali.

A typical day starts with an early pick-up from your hotel and drop-off at the cooking school. A trip to the local market follows immediately. Here you get to discover and learn the wide variety of local produce and spices used to make authentic Balinese dishes – from satay lilit (made from fish, minced meat, grated coconut and special spices), urab (traditional Balinese salad) and of course, sambal matah (chili sauce Balinese style) among others. On the way home, you may even do a quick pit stop at the school’s herb garden to get all your fresh herbs. Then it’s off to the kitchen where the learning and cooking begin with a mixture of interactive fun and informative exchange. The best part, you all get to eat each other’s food at the end. Now who would not enjoy a day of great food resulted from your very own labor of love?

Now that you have the above ideas for your itinerary, you can consult our villa staff to organize a cultural tour for you when you stay at one of the Nakula Villas. Didn’t book a villa yet? Discover our full range of luxury villas here.

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