Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
The best place for courses in Bahasa Indone-
sia is the Indonesia Australia Language Founda-
tion (IALF; Map p128;
Hotel Niki Rusdi (Map pp166-7 ;
Bhineka Jaya Café (Map pp166-7 ;
An impromptu dog market also operates
directly opposite the bird market. While you're
here, have a look at the elaborate Pura Sutriya
(Map pp166-7), just east of the market.
416397; Jl Pidada
224016; Jl Gajah
) This simple place is
located right behind the Ubung Bus Terminal
and is a good choice if you have an early or
late bus. Rooms are very clean. There are other
options nearby if this one is full.
9am-4pm) Home to Bali's
Coffee Co, this storefront sells locally grown
beans and makes a mean espresso, which you
can enjoy at the two tiny tables while watching
the bustle of Denpasar's old main drag.
Bali Bakery (Map pp166-7 ;
XIV; r 80,000-200,000Rp;
Mada 80; coffee 3000Rp;
225243;; Jl Raya
Sesetan 190) , which has a language lab, library,
and well-run four-week 40-hour course (two
hours per day Monday to Friday, costing
1,250,000Rp). Courses are available in six
levels, from beginner to advanced.
The annual Bali Arts Festival (www.baliartsfestival
.com) , based at the Taman Wedhi Budaya arts
centre (p168) in Denpasar, lasts for about a
month starting in mid-June. It's a great time
to visit Bali, and the festival is an easy way to
see a wide variety of traditional dance, music
and crafts from the island. The productions
of the Ramayana and Mahabharata ballets are
grand, and the opening ceremony and parade
in Denpasar are particularly colourful.
The festival is the main event of the year for
scores of village dance and musical groups.
Competition is fierce with local pride on the
line at each performance. To do well here sets
a village on a good course for the year. Some
events are held in a 6000-seat amphitheatre, a
venue that allows you to realise the mass ap-
peal of traditional Balinese culture. Tickets
are usually available before performances and
schedules are available throughout South Bali,
Ubud and at the Denpasar tourist office.
Denpasar has several hotels, but it's hard to
think of a compelling reason to stay here un-
less you want to be close to the bus stations
or have some other business here. At times
when many Indonesians travel (July, August,
around Christmas and Idul Fitri - November/
December), it may be wise to book a room.
Shopping Malls
Western-style shopping malls are very fash-
ionable and jammed on Sundays with locals
shopping and teens flirting. The brand-name
goods are genuine.
Most malls have a food court with stalls serv-
ing fresh Asian fare, as well as fast-food joints
(which have pleased more than one homesick
holidaying tourist tot). Some have video ar-
cades for kids and all offer plenty of parking.
Bali Mall (Map pp166-7; Jl Dipenegoro) Has the top-end
Ramayana Department Store and an A&W restaurant.
Libby Plaza (Map pp166-7; Jl Teuku Umar) Has a huge
Hero Supermarket.
Matahari (Map pp166-7; Jl Teuku Umar) Main branch of
the department store, with numerous other stores and a
Swenson's Ice Cream café.
Robinson's (Map pp166-7; Jl Teuku Umar or Jl Sudirman)
Arch-competitor of Matahari has large selection of
midrange and top-end goods.
Tiara Dewata Shopping Centre (Map pp166-7; Jl
Udayan) Low-rise place with a good food court and a
Dunkin' Donuts.
Denpasar is the hub of road transport on Bali -
you'll find buses and minibuses bound for all
corners of the island.
243147; Jl Hayam Wuruk;
Most midrange places cater to Indonesian
business travellers. There are no hotels in the
top-end category.
Hotel Taman Suci (Map pp166-7 ;
) Small branch of the
Kuta favourite. Great baked goods and small
café. Free wi-fi.
Wong Solo (Map pp166-7 ;
dishes 5000-30,000Rp;
231191; Jl Merdeka 18;
8000-20,000Rp) Part of small local chain; chicken
in myriad forms is the specialty here. Sit at an
open-air table and have it spicy and grilled or
try the ikan lele (grilled catfish).
Warung Bendega (Map pp166-7 ;
484445; www; Jl Imam Bonjol 45; r from 225,000-275,000Rp;
) A good choice for business travellers,
this modern, multifloor 45-room hotel insu-
lates you from the hubbub outside from the
minute you enter its air-con lobby.
Inna Bali (Map pp166-7 ;
225112; Jl Cok Agung
Tresna 37A; dishes 7000-25,000Rp) Walled off from street
noise, this lovely and stylish open-air oasis hums
to the rhythm of Balinese pop music at dinner.
Creatively spiced seafood is the specialty.
Cianjur (Map pp166-7 ;
Jl Veteran 3; s from 375,000-415,000Rp;
) A govern-
ment-owned hotel, the Inna Bali has simple
gardens and retains a certain nostalgic charm
from its early days as a Dutch outpost built in
1927. Room interiors are standard, but many
make up for this with deeply shaded veran-
das. The hotel is a good base for the Ngrupuk
parades that take place the day before Nyepi
(see the boxed text, p338), as they pass right
by the front of the hotel.
You can eat very well in Denpasar. Most places
cater to locals and Indonesian visitors, so they
offer tasty authentic food at good prices. At
the Pasar Malam Kereneng (Kereneng Night
Market; Map pp166-7) dozens of vendors
dish up food till dawn. A number of places
along Jl Teuku Umar and in Renon cater to
more affluent locals while all the shopping
malls have food-court options.
Café Merdeka (Map pp166-7 ;
230015; Jl Cok Agung Tresna;
) Big, airy and cool, this
upmarket place has Balinese seafood in an
array of preparations (crispy, grilled, steamed
or wrapped in a banana leaf ). Hugely popular
with families and groups of bureaucrats.
Local goods can be found in the markets and
at the large shopping malls south of the centre,
which are all the rage locally.
dishes 8000-25,000Rp;
The Pasar Badung (Map pp166-7) is busy in
the morning and evening, and is a great place
to browse and bargain. You'll find produce
and food from all over the island as well as
easy-to-assemble temple offerings that are
popular with working women. Deals in-
clude a half-kilo of saffron for 250,000Rp.
Ignore guides who may offer their services.
Across the river, Pasar Kumbasari (Map
pp166-7) has handicrafts, a plethora of vi-
brant fabrics and costumes decorated with
gold. It's a modern, multi-level building of
shops and stalls and you should just plunge at
random into the canyons of colour.
Kampung Arab (Map pp166-7 ) has jewellery
and precious metal stores. North on Jl Veteran,
Pasar Burung (Map pp166-7) is a bird market
with hundreds of caged birds and small ani-
Sometimes called 'Denpasar' in airline sched-
ules, Bali's Ngurah Rai international airport is
south of Kuta. See p350 for details.
The city has several bemo terminals - if you're
travelling independently around Bali you'll
often have to go via Denpasar, and transfer
from one terminal to another. The terminals
for transport around Bali are Ubung, Batu-
bulan and Tegal, while the Gunung Agung,
Kereneng and Sanglah terminals serve desti-
nations in and around Denpasar. Each termi-
nal has regular bemo connections to the other
terminals in Denpasar for 5000Rp.
Bemo and minibuses cover shorter routes
244784; Jl Teuku Umar
240; baked goods from 500Rp) Delightful Balinese
bakery with a wide range of sweet and savoury
baked goods you choose yourself and can take
away or enjoy at the outside tables.
Warung Satria (Map pp166-7; Jl Kedondong; dishes 4000-
10,000Rp) A long-running warung on a quiet
street; try the wonderful seafood satay served
with a shallot sambal. Otherwise, choose from
the immaculate displays of what's fresh.
Nasi Uduk (Map pp166-7; Jl Teuku Umar; 5000-12,000Rp)
Open to the street, this spotless little stall has
Adi Yasa (Map pp166-7 ;
222679; Jl Nakula 23B;
s/d 40,000/60,000Rp) Budget travellers have crashed
here since the 1970s. It's centrally located and
friendly; the nine rooms are very basic.
Nakula Familar Inn (Map pp166-7 ;
226446; Jl
Nakula 4; s/d 50,000/80,000Rp) Across the road and
100m west from the Adi Yasa, the eight rooms
here are decent (cold-water showers only) and
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