Explore the Balian area

We've explored the area around Balian to scout out interesting places to go, things to do that are away from the crowds. For yoga, surfing and other things to do "in town", please click here.

Soka rice terraces

 
Soka rice terraces Pemuteran.JPG
THE ESSENTIALS

• Keep in mind that the rice paddies are private property and should be treated with respect. If you see anyone working in the paddies, ask for permission before you walk through the paddies or take photos. 

• The life cycle of the paddies is fast paced and you're likely to see some lying fallow while others are newly planted, while others still are growing well.

Rice terraces

Some of the most beautiful – and little known, in terms of tourists – rice terraces can be seen from the road around Pantai Soka, which is on the Denpasar-Gilimanuk road. Travel this road in the early morning, when the sky is less hazy, and you're likely to be rewarded with views of Batukaru mountain in the distance, behind the sprawling stretches of paddies.

Where to find them

 

As you travel from Canggu towards Balian on the main Denpasar-Gilimanuk road, the road will suddenly turn 90-degrees, towards the coastline. As you drive down this road keep looking to your right, and vistas of the paddies will soon open up. Take a look at the satellite view on Google Maps to see the extent of these paddies; if you're on a scooter, you'll find it easy to turn off onto some of the narrow tracks to explore further.

Goa Maria Selabih

 
THE ESSENTIALS

• You can visit the church grounds at any time, but the church itself is open only on Sundays.

• There is no charge to visit here, but donations are gratefully accepted.

Goa Maria Selabih

The hillside area of Selabih, just a few kilometres west of Balian, is one of Bali's few Catholic enclaves. Up here, there is a tiny church set in a pretty garden – and a carefully tended shrine of the Virgin Mary standing in an artificial "cave", which has stunning views across West Bali.  

The church

 

The small, simple church is open only on Sundays, but you are welcome to visit the grounds at any time. It is an intriguing combination of Western Christian architecture with Balinese trimmings, and inside the church is filled with rows of wooden pews. Walk behind the church and you'll see a path that leads to the Goa ("cave") Maria, where a statue of the Virgin Mary stands a few metres above the ground in a manmade "rock face". It's pretty up here, shaded by tall palm trees and shrouded in tropical plants. Turn around so that you have the same view as the Virgin Mary – and you'll have a spectacular lookout across West Bali.

The road

From the main Denpasar-Gilimanuk road look out for the sign to "Goa Maria Selabih". The road, which is unnamed (but accurately marked on the map here) winds steeply up and up for about two kilometres. It'll take you through plantations of what Indonesians call sawo – sapodilla plum – as well as clove and cacao groves, too. It's a scenic drive.

Goa Maria Selabih Balian
Goa Maria Selabih Balian
Goa Maria Selabih Balian
Goa Maria Selabih Balian
Goa Maria Selabih Balian
Goa Maria Selabih Balian
Goa Maria Selabih Balian
Goa Maria Selabih Balian
Goa Maria Selabih Balian
Goa Maria Selabih Balian

Organic Farming & Gardening Workshops

 
Temuku organic farm.jpg
THE ESSENTIALS

• The workshop lasts from five to six hours, including a break for lunch (which is vegetables from the farm, and is included in the price).

• The rate for the workshop varies depending on how many people partake. If there are two people, it costs Rp650,000 per person; for three to five people it's Rp550,000 per person; six people or more is Rp450,000 per person.

• To book, contact Simon on +62-822-4703-2580.

Organic Farming & Gardening Workshops

In the hills that clamber north from Balian, the days and nights are a little cooler than on the coast. Up here, where the soils are rich well suited to growing all sorts of vegetables, there is a wonderful organic farm called Temuku Pupuan – and the family that has run this farm for more than three decades offers offers a one-day organic gardening and farming workshops.

What's covered in Temuku Pupuan's workshops

 

The practical workshops can be adjusted depending on who's attending – for example if you're travelling with children  it can be tailored for families – and generally they cover the following:​

* How to germinate seeds successfully 
* How to care for germinated seeds
* How to move seedlings and how to care for seedlings
* How plant seedlings and how to care for the plants
* How to maintain soil health
* How to compost 
* How to make worm farms

How to reach the farm

 

Temuku is in an area called Pupuan, and the road that leads up here from Balian is spectacular – and well worth travelling for the drive alone. It'll take around an hour to reach here from Balian; from Medewi if you drive up via Bunut Bulung it should take around 90 minutes. The views are spectacular along the way, and the villages are lovely – it really is well worth driving to the farm on one road, and heading home on another. 

Stay a little longer

 

The family that owns the farm has opened up their family home as a guesthouse, and it's beautiful there. The three-bedroom home is a wonderful place for a gathering of friends or family. Read more about it here.

Temuku farm workshop Balian
Temuku farm workshop Balian
Temuku farm workshop Balian
Temuku farm workshop Balian
Temuku farm workshop Balian
Temuku farm workshop Balian
Temuku farm workshop Balian
Temuku farm workshop Balian
Temuku farm workshop Balian
Temuku farm workshop Balian

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