Biking to Bali’s Idyllic East Coast
Situated between Java to the west and Lombok to the east, the island of Bali has long been a favorite among visitors to Indonesia, drawn by its magical culture, stunning beaches, exotic food and vibrant nightlife. However, if you’re looking to learn more about its people and local culture, one of the best ways to explore this beautiful island idyll is by bicycle.
Our cycling tour begins with a ride through rural banana plantations and coconut groves to Klungkung Palace renowned for its ancient classical Balinese frescos that tell the tale of such Hindu epics as Mahabharata and Ramayana. Home of the old Balinese rajas, their approaches to music, drama and painting are today a fundamental part of Bali’s culture.
We then stop off for lunch at the home of a local Balinese family. The lady of the house is an excellent cook who prepares for us her specialty dish ayam betutu, a highly seasoned steamed or roasted chicken dish with mixed spices. After our nutritious meal, we continue on our journey to the village of Tenganan Pegringsingan on the east side of the island, home of the Bali Aga, the island’s indigenous population known for their Gamelan music and double ikat ‘flaming’ cloth, made through an intricate dyeing and weaving process that uses a resist dyeing technique.
The next stop is Amed, an area that is home to a series of fishing villages on Bali’s quiet eastern shore. Every day the fishermen put ashore in their colorful boats on the black-sand beaches of this beautiful coastal area. In the dry season a part of the beach is used to extract salt from the seawater and snorkeling is also popular in this part of Bali, where it is possible to observe numerous species of fish in the shallow reef waters. Behind the beaches on the inland slopes lie the luscious archetypal terrace rice fields of Bali, with spectacular views of Mount Agung to the west – a fitting place to end our bicycle tour of this island paradise.
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