Discover the Traditional Villages in Bali- A Bali rooted deep in culture and tradition

 In Bali, Best Time to Visit, Places To Visit, Things to do, Travel, Travel Journal

Bali, a holiday destination for beach lovers and surfers, is famous for its pristine Beaches, picturesque Waterfalls in Bali and Adventures activities in Bali. It is also quite well 

known as a place to relax and unwind with an array of activities like Spas in Bali and Beach Clubs in Bali amongst numerous others.

What is mostly unknown and a hidden side of Bali is that the Culture of Bali is deep rooted in traditions and Balinese Hinduism. If you are keen to explore the unknown side of Bali, you can check some of the Bali Tour Packages and book your Bali holidays immersing yourself in Bali’s traditions and culture.

You can do so, by visiting one of the many traditional villages which will take you to a time when Bali was just another country and unexplored for its beaches and other attractions and before the tourist boom.

Visiting a traditional village in Bali can be a unique way to experience an insight into the rural life in Bali and an escape from the mundane commercial touristy spots. You can also find local crafts and art in these villages which have retained their traditional ways still intact.

Some main elements of a Balinese village are:

  • Pura: Pura’s or Temples in Bali,  are often revered in Balinese Hinduism. Each family home has its own place of worship but the community’s religious and social life often always revolves around a main temple where they go to present their offerings or Carang Sari.
  • Warung: A small family business, generally a wooden hut, that serves as a convenience store or café which can be often found along the streets of Bali and also in beaches and popular tourist destinations.
  • Wantilan: A hall for community activities and public entertainment for Balinese people in the village.
  • Bale kulkul​: A drum tower used for religious announcements in a village.

Balinese families often live in compounds surrounded by several homes comprised of multiple pavilions, such as a family shrine, a pavilion where the head of the family lives, a kitchen, a barn and a guest house. Many houses also have a plaque on the door indicating the number of people living there, as well as deceased family members.  As such, Balinese culture is a very close knit family establishment rooted deep in religion and practised as a way of life in day to day activities.

 Top 12 Traditional Villages in Bali


Balinese traditional villages are often beautiful and quite unique upholding the Balinese customs and traditions in their way of life.

The three ancient villages in Bali, which are the Tenganan Village, Trunyan Village, and Penglipuran Village are well known amongst tourists and often visited as day tours in their Bali trips.

 These unique villages are inhabited by the “Bali Mula” (mula meaning ‘initial’ or ‘original’ in Balinese) but sometimes they are also called the “Bali Aga” (the indigenous people of Bali). 

The Bali Mula were the first inhabitants to inhabit the island of Bali before the Javanese population migrated to Bali. However there are some differences between the Bali Mula and the Balinese migrants (from Java), especially in the way their death ceremony is held. Bali Mula indigenous tribe carried out the death ceremony by burying their dead whereas the Balinese migrants burn the body.

Tenganan Village


Tenganan Village or Desa Tenganan in the Balinese language is situated in Karangasem Regency, Bali. It is approximately 60 km east of Denpasar. Here you can find Balinese people following the traditional Bali Mula or the original indigenous people of Bali. The Tenganan people have some rules laid down which are usually called “awig-awig” and these need to be practised strictly by these villagers. For example, they strictly prohibit ‘polygamy’ and divorce.

However, this Balinese traditional village is very open to modern things, such as electricity, communication tools, and transportation. The children are also very encouraged to study and go for higher education. In addition, there are also rules to regulate the government system, land rights and natural resource rights, marriages, education, and traditional ceremonies. Also, the community weaves their own ‘grinning’ fabric which is only produced in this village.

Other than traditional weaves, you can also find carved wooden masks and palm leaf paintings. There are traditional ceremonies of Mekare-Kare and Perang Pandan held in this village during January, February, June, and December. However, it is to be noted that tourists are not allowed to spend the night in Tenganan Village.

Trunyan Village

Trunyan Village is another traditional village in Bali known for its ancient customs and religious beliefs. Trunyan village is well known in other countries for its funeral process. This village is located on the edge of Lake Batur, Kintamani District, Bangli Regency. To get to Trunyan village you will need to cross Lake Batur near Mount Batur in a boat. Here, the people of the village follow a unique tradition of not burying their dead and lay the body on the ground called “Sema Wayah” under an incense tree “Kemenyan”.

In the Sema Wayah Cemetery there are only 11 graves, so the bodies will be placed alternately. The community does not add tombs because there are already laid down provisions from the ancestors to be followed. If there are new bodies to be laid then old bodies or bones will be removed and replaced with the new bodies.

Even though dead bodies are laid on the grounds, it is believed that the incense tree  which is commonly called “taru menyan” has its own scent which helps neutralize the stench around the tomb.

Besides Sema Wayah, there are two other cemeteries namely Sema Muda and Sema Bantas. Sema Wayah is a cemetery for people who die naturally, have been married, are single, and have small children whose milk teeth have fallen. Sema Muda is specifically for babies who die and are buried. While the Sema Bantas are for people who died in accidents and must be buried.

Around the Trunyan Cemetery, there is a Pura Dalem (Dalem Temple) which is located on the edge of the lake and is often visited by the locals and tourists to offer prayers.

Penglipuran Village


Penglipuran Village is a traditional Balinese Village located in the Bangli Regency, Central Bali, about half an hour’s drive from Gianyar and around 45 km from Denpasar. Situated about 700 m above sea level, visiting this village is a refreshing break from the island heat. It is a very beautiful quaint Balinese village. 

Unlike the two previous ancient villages, the Tenganan and Trunyan, Penglipuran Village has its own charm. Here all villagers’ homes have a similar facade. The villagers of Penglipuran believe in the concept of Tri Hita Karana which implies maintaining harmony in humanity, nature and the spiritual world.

This island was named as one of the cleanest villages in the world recently alongside Giethoorn in the Netherlands and Mawlynnong in India. The best time to visit is around the Galungan Festival in Bali, when rows of penjors (bamboo poles with weaving of coconut leaves and offerings suspended at the end) are lined up and the village is decorated in a grand way.

Celuk Village

Celuk Village in Bali is known for its silver jewelry. Most of the villagers here are gold and silversmiths. You can not only shop for high-quality jewellery but you can also learn to make and craft them yourselves. Celuk Village or Desa Celuk is easy to reach and located near Sukawati, Gianyar, Bali. Tourists often cover this village as a stop in their Kintamani-Sukawati itinerary.

BatuBulan Village


Batubulan Village is a tourism village in Sukawati, Gianyar which is popular as one of the most artistic and creative villages in Bali. Here, many types of traditional Dances of Bali are performed such as the Barong dance, Kecak dance, Legong dance, etc that enthral tourists and left mesmerised. 

You can also experience wood and stone carvers in action creating some of Bali’s famous statues and pieces of art. It is often believed that the ones made in this village are said to have some magical powers. To reach this village, you need to head towards Ubud, Gianyar from Denpasar.

Mas Village

Another popular tourist village in Bali is Mas village. It is popular for its high-quality wood carvings that make Balinese art famous around the world. Located about 6 km south of Ubud, you will be able to visit the workshops where these wood carvings are made and also buy some unique wood carvings and art here. This village is definitely a must-visit for art aficionados.

Batuan Village


One of the traditional villages you can visit in the Ubud area is Batuan Village, which is famous for traditional painting. It is also a center for wood carving and dancing. This is a place where Balinese fine art is found in its truest form, with no influence from western or any other artistic style and hence preserves the authentic Balinese art forms and culture.

Sidemen Village

Sidemen is a village located in eastern Bali and is known for its lush green rice terraces and the traditional way of  Balinese life in the villages. Visitors often take a guided tour of the village to get a glimpse of the traditional way of Balinese life.



Kertalangu is a village located in the southeastern part of Bali and is known for its traditional farming practices. Visitors can learn about rice cultivation and other traditional agricultural practices.


Kintamani is a mountainous region in Bali that is known for its scenic views and traditional villages. Visitors can explore traditional Balinese architecture and see how locals live in harmony with nature.



This village is known for its tropical landscapes, lush green rice paddy fields, flowing rivers meandering through the village, and its hidden gem – The Tibumana Waterfall. Tibumana Waterfall is located in Bali’s central region known as Gianyar. 

From Ubud, it is approximately a 45-minute drive to Gianyar, and from Canggu or Kuta, it’s approximately a 1.5-hour drive. The warm villagers, unspoiled beauty of the surroundings of this village make it an ideal place for those looking for Bali’s natural splendour and rich culture.

Tegallalang Village

The village of Tegallalang showcases the traditional way of Balinese life. Surrounded by beautiful mountains, lush green terraced rice cultivations cascading through is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the popular places for viewing Sunsets in Bali and Swings in Bali.

What are some famous traditional villages in Bali?

Some famous traditional villages in Bali are Tegallalang Village, Peglipuran, Mas Village, Celuk Village, Batuan Village, Sideman Village, etc.

Are there guided tours available for exploring traditional villages?

Yes, you can find guided tours to explore some of the traditional villages in Bali.

Are there any homestay accommodations available in traditional villages?

There are some homestay accommodations available in Penglipuran Village. However, there is no facility to spend nights at Tanganan or Trunyan Village.

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