Spending a lot of time around the busy tourist areas of Bali can sometimes mean losing out on a dose of real Balinese culture. Don’t get us wrong, shopping up a storm round Seminyak or sinking your teeth into the vibrant international dining scene is positively encouraged, but occasionally it’s good to immerse yourself in some of the things that make this island so enchanting.
Last week the 360 Bali team did just that, paying a visit to the Taman Werdhi Budaya Arts Centre in Denpasar – the island’s biggest cultural complex and the epicentre of all things Balinese. Running from the middle of June thru til July 8th, the centre is currently playing host to the 39th Bali Art Festival; a vibrant smorgasbord of events that include Legong and Barong dances, colourful art and sculpture exhibits, traditional music performances, Wayang Kulit shadow puppet shows and our favourite – the fabulous ‘kuliner’ food court section. This being an exclusively Balinese affair, foodies can expect some of the most authentic local dishes around like sizzling pork sate, shredded ayam (chicken) betutu and chunks of suckling pig to name but a few, so make sure to arrive with an appetite.
On regular days, a visit to the Denpasar Art Centre is still a worthwhile outing, but throughout the festival it comes alive with gorgeous lanterns hanging from the trees, as well as bamboo and coconut leaf decorations and banners. The festival plays host to hundreds of artisans from all around the island, who come to perform for the masses and showcase their talents. Crowds gather in front of the open stages, auditoriums and outdoor pavilions to enjoy the magic of Bali, so don’t forget to bring the camera and enjoy a wonderful day out for the whole family.
Denpasar Arts Centre (Taman Werdhi Budaya), Jalan Nusa Indah, Denpasar
Tel: +62 (0)361 245 294