Denpasar covers 125,42 square kilometers of land with an elevation ranging from 12 to 75 meters above sea level. The population of Denpasar is about 360,000 people. Even though the town is relatively busy, especially its crisscrossing traffic, the atmosphere in this town remains pleasant because of the relaxed Bali influence. The average temperature in town is 28 degrees Celcius, the humidity varies between 60 and 97%.
Is built in the 13 Th Century by a holy priest namely : ” Dang hyang Dwijedra ” on a small island very close to the Benoa Harbour and Nusa Dua. Local outrigger sailing or motorized canoes can be hired from Sanur for an hour of scenic sail down the coast. Now it can be reached through a roadway in approximately 15 minutes to the east of Kuta.
JAGAT NATHA TEMPLE
One of the most beautiful temples of Denpasar is the Central Pura Jagat Natha at the Northeast corner of Puputan Square. This temple comes alive at the full moon ceremony, when worsppiers from all over the city gather to bring offerings and devotions. On the main street of Denpasar, its restful sahede and gnarled frangipani trees offer a welcome contrast to the hubbub of city traffic. Also, you’ll find the market temple, Pura Melanting, where busy vendors pause to make their offerings for a prosperous day.
On the eastern side of the historic Puputan Square in Denpasar is the Museum of Bali, built by the Ducth in 1932. The original collection was put together with the assistance of a German painter. Well apportioned exhibition halls display an excellent collection of Balinese artifacts from prehistoric to contemporary times, including weapons, dance costumes, Ming ceramic, clothes and paitings.
Just north of the Nusa Dua complex takes one on to the narrow peninsula of land which terminates in the small village of Benoa. From the concrete pier, you can see over Serangan Island lying low on the water. From this fishing village, people can depart daily by a cruise ship . Out in the bay is an anchorage for ocean-going yachts and The Bali International Yachts also has a base here.
On the Eastern coastline, sheltered by the coral reef, the waves here are much gentler than other areas of Bali. Sanur is a multitude of contrasts. As in the past fishermen still wander the beach and the colourful outrigger canoes can be hired for sailing trips along the coast and outlying island. In the last two decades the once sleepy village of Sanur has become an elite international resort with huge hotel complexes offering first class accommodations and every modern facility to visiting tourists.
WERDI BUDAYA (ART CENTER)
Was built in 1973 to the design of the prominent Balinese architect, Ida Bagus Tugur, as a showplace for Bali’s performing and fine arts. Strategically situated on Jalan Nusa Indah, Abian Kapas, Denpasar, the Art Center has three art galleries including one permanent pavilions, huge open stage and arena Ardha Chandra. Local artist, dance drama groups, and the local art school, STSI, all utilize the seminar and exhibition halls on regular basis. Since 1979, the Festival of the Arts has been instigated as an annual fixture at the Art Cente.
Denpasar is the bustling commercial heart of Bali. Jl. Gajah Mada is the main street running east-west. It changes names to Jl. Dr. Wahidin to the west and Jl. Surapati to the east. The center of commercial activity is on Jl. Diponegoro and Jl. Teuku Umar.
The airport taxi counter is outside customs, near “left luggage”. The set fare is Rp 35,000 to Denpasar. Buy a ticket at the counter for the sedan taxis. To take a bemo, walk out to the main road as far as the impressive white charioteer statue on the corner (about 1.5 km). From there, flag down a blue bemo van which will take you down to “bemo corner” in Kuta for Rp 1,500 where you can get another bemo to Denpasar. Metered taxis operate outside the airport, make sure they start the argometer before you take off.
Traffic is heavy and streets are often jammed during peak season. The four-wheeled small bemos serve the inner city, while the larger types serve the suburban terminals. Fare for a terminal to terminal journey is Rp 1,000. Bemos can also be chartered for jaunts around town, but it’s easier and more economical to take the Praja (orange, phone 289090), Pan Wirthi (green, Phone 723366) or Bali Taxi (blue Phone 701111), Kowinu Taxi (Brown 773030) metered taxis. Fare at flag fall is Rp 3,000; minimum fare for ordering by phone is Rp 6,000. Taxi-motorcycles (ojek) are available. You can hire a dokar (horse cart) for about Rp. 10,000 per km. However, the best way to get around Denpasar is on foot. The city is relatively small and you’ll want to look in the shops anyway. For tourist services see Travel Advisory.
Eating out in Denpasar
Denpasar is a great place for all styles of Indonesian and Chinese food. Prices are very reasonable. Many good restaurants can be found on Jl. Teuku Umar, Jl. Sumatra and on Jl. Veteran, near Satria bird market. Also check out the night markets and food centers.
- Ayam Bakar Taliwang JI. Teuku Umar. Spicy hot Sasak (Lombok) style cuisine. Specialties: plecingkangkung(swamp spinach) and grilled chicken.
- Bundo Kanduang JI. Diponegoro 112 A, near Kerta Wjaya Shopping Center. Best Padang food in town, open 24 hrs.
- Rumah Makan Sumatra is another Padang option, JI. Teuku Umar 88X.
- Hong-Kong Restaurant JI. Gajah Mada 99. The local favorite for Chinese food.
- Rasa Sayang on JI. Teuku Umar, a popular place for great Chinese fare, including seafood.
- Kak Man JI. Teuku Umar. Authentic Balinese food in a Bali kitch setting.
- Gula Lunak, JI. Teuku Umar 120, for Balinese food in a nice atmosphere and outdoor seating option.
- Balinese chicken is a specialty at Warung Satria, Jl. Kedondong 11A, Phone 235993, and JI. Tunjung Sari 65. They open at 9am and 10am respectively.
- Or, try the suckling pig at Warung Nasi Gemah Ripah, JI. Supratman 118.
- Ikan Bakar Rica on JI. Teuku Umar is known for its seafood and Manadonese menu.
- Mie Ayam Jakarta JI. Veteran. Famous for its Chinese mie (noodles) and bakwan (meatball) soups.
- Prambanan Restaurant JI. Hayam Wuruk 30XX, next to the RRI radio station. Great Javanese food in a beautiful wooden building.
- Soto Ayam Suroboyo JI. Veteran, near Satria bird market. Specializes in soto (chicken soup) and other East Javanese dishes, such as ayam kampung goreng and ayam kampung bakar (free range fried and grilled chicken). And go to Warung
- Sate Muslim on JI. Thamrin for the best sate in town.
- There are three good restaurants on Jalan Sumatra (near the Corsica newsstand). Betty, at no. 56, serves Indonesian favorites such as mie goreng and frogs legs for a couple of dollars.
- Mie 88, at no. 88, has delicious Chinese meat balls and the Depot Kikel at no. 40-42, has good Javanese soto soup.
Night Markets and Food Centers
For an authentic local experience check out one of Denpasar’s night markets (pasar senggol), where you sit out under the stars and eat at small food stalls. Open from sunset to 10 pm. The biggest is at Kereneng terminal, another is outside the Kumbasari shopping center. The food is mostly Javanese and Balinese.
For the whole range of local food in a cleaner, if less exotic, environment try the food centers, located in the city’s supermarkets.
Shopping in Denpasar
Denpasar is where Balinese villagers come for all their day-to-day necessities. Most shops close at 1 pm, re-open 6 pm-10 pm.
Markets and Supermarket
Pasar Badung is Bali’s biggest traditional market. Located on the eastern bank of the Badung river, it is in the heart of the city. The first floor has fresh produce, flower offerings and spice vendors. The third floor has textiles, dance costumes and traditional accessories. At Denpasar’s supermarkets and department stores prices are fixed and cheap, and quality is high. The main ones are: Tiara Dewata, Ramayana at Bali Mall, Matahari, Libi, Siwa, Kerta Wijaya, Atfa, Dharma, and Nu Dewata Ayu.
For a good one-stop-shop, visit the Indonesian Export Gallery on the 3rd floor of Bali Mall Ramayana on JI. Diponegoro for paintings, handicrafts, home furnishings, batik and souvenirs.
Modem textiles. Kampung Arab, JI. Sulawesi; or Toko Yadnya, JI. Gajah Mada. Tailored clothes at Alus, JI. Gajah Mada; or Adhie, JI. Sumatra.
Traditional textiles. Lestari on the ground floor of the Lokitasari shopping center, JI. Thamrin, sells traditional songket fabric directly from the loom. Danar Hadi, at the same shopping center, sells fashionable batiks from Java. Take a look at Surya Jaya, JI. Gajah Mada 128, for ikat. Kumbasari market, on the west bank of the river, also has a wide variety of songket and batik materials.
Handicrafts and Antiques
Pasar Kumbasari and Pasar Badung have all sorts of Balinese crafts for reasonable prices. Satria Art Market specializes in handicrafts. Also try the craft shops on JI. Sulawesi and JI. Gajah Mada. For genuine antiques, visit Arts of Asia, behind Lokitasari shopping center, JI. Thamrin 27-37 .
Gold and Silver
JI. Hasanuddin and JI. Sulawesi are full of gold shops. Prices are comparable to Singapore or Hong Kong; the gold is 22-24 carat. Check out the Balinese jewelry made of beaten gold on the second floor of the Kumbasari market. Mega Art shop, JI. Gajah Mada 36-38, has silver jewelry.
Balinese coffee makes a great souvenir. Toko Bhinneka Jaya, JI. Gajah Mada 80, is the biggest producer and distributor of coffee in Bali. $3 per kilo for robusta; $4 per kilo for arabica.
These banks process advances against your credit card for 5% commission. Take your passport. Bank Central Asia (MasterCard), JI. Hasanuddin 58, Phone 431012; Bank International Indonesia is the Western Union agent, Jl. Dewi Sartika (Phone 234306).
Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs). These machines are abundant and found in front of nearly every bank. Shopping centers typically have several different banks’ machines. Most accept banking cards linked to international networks.
The Balinese swarm to Denpasar for cultural attractions, so be prepared to be caught in a big crowd of locals. On the eve of the Nyepi day (Balinese new year), usually in March, hundreds of ogoh-ogoh papier mach monsters are carried along the streets of the city. This extraordinary torchlit cavalcade is reminiscent of a small scale South American carnival.
Bali’s annual arts festival is held from mid June to mid-July at the Art Center off J1. Hayam Wuruk. A month of dance, discussions and exhibitions. The Art Center also holds daily kecak dances at 6:30 pm. Barong performances at Kesiman at 9:30 pm.
Beautiful collections of terracotta, carvings, painting and ceremonial costumes are found at the Bali Museum (Phone 222680), on the eastern side of Puputan Square. Open Mon-Thurs 7:30 am-2 pm, Fri till 11 am, Sat until 12:30 pm. Closed Sunday.
Hospitals – Medical
Sanglah General Hospital, JI. Kesehatan Selatan 1, Sanglah, Denpasar. Switchboard / Emergency, Phone 227911/5. Kasih Ibu, JI. Teuku Umar 120 Phone 223036. Surya Husada, JI. Pulau Serangan 13 Phone 233787. These smaller hospitals are a little less daunting than the enormous general hospital and tend to provide a quicker, more personal service.
Apotik Kimia Farma, JI. Diponegoro 123-125, Phone 227811.
International Optical, J1. Gajah Mada 133, Phone 426294; Lily Kasoem, JI. Teuku Umar 74XX, Phone 238405; Optik Seis, JI. Thamrin 52, Phone 437467; Tiara Optical, JI. Mayjen Sutoyo 55 at Tiara Dewata shopping center, Phone 235733.
The central post office is on A. Raya Puputan, Renon. Open 8 am-8 pm. Other post offices: JI. Diponegoro, near Teuku Umar crossroads; Jl. Kamboja, near Kereneng terminal; JI. Supratman.
The main telecommunications (telkom) office is at JI. Teuku Umar 6. Open 8 am-8 pm. Other telkom offices: JI. Raya Puputan in Renon and JI. Kaliasem, near Puputan square. Smaller wartels are scattered throughout the city.
Masseurs in Denpasar are more professional than those at Kuta. Sari Ayu, JI. Nusa kambangan 35XX is a traditional salon.
Movies and Nightlife
Wisata Cineplex, JI. Thamrin (Phone 423024) has 5 screens. Galeria cinema 21 , phone 0361 767021 for the most up to date movies playing. Check out their web site with movie schedules, you will love the midnight movies -playing saturday nights.. I just love to watch Midnight in this cinema – click here
There’s also the Kumbasari, J1. Gajah Mada. Check the Bali Post for details. The Citra discotheque is on the top floor of the Kumbasari building. Filled with local youth.
Tati Photo at JI. Sumatra and Fuji Image Plaza at J1. Thamrin are quite professional. Have your portrait taken wearing a Balinese outfit at Tati or Fuji Professional Photo, JI. Diponegoro 89 (Phone 226965), which is also the best slide processor on the island, with one-day service.
The Bali Times, Jakarta Post and Indonesian Observer are widely available local English language dailies.
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