Rediscovering Bali in Mick Jagger’s footsteps. By Bart Hageman, GM at Khiri Travel Indonesia.
Slowly the country is opening its world-renowned attractions again to domestic tourism. This creates the opportunity for me to visit and rediscover popular destinations in Bali again, but without the crowds.
Last weekend I visited beautiful Sidemen on the east side of Bali. Sidemen is a quieter alternative to Ubud, set amidst the rice fields with the dramatic backdrop of Mount Agung.
Loved by the likes of Mick Jagger and David Bowie, this is a great destination to hike, cycle, visit nearby cultural highlights, and relax for days on end.
It was initially sad to see the impact Covid-19 has on local businesses, but the friendliness and positive attitude of the local population heralding that this situation will also pass and business will return.
It was a great time to cruise around the area over small backroads with no crowds around and take photos of the amazing jungle scenery. Mount Agung cooperated by not hiding in the clouds, as it often does.
The locals love to meet visitors and have a chat. When I tell them I’m from a travel company, they have a great pitch ready why visitors should return as soon as possible. Soon you will be able to experience the area like never before.
A good example was nearby Besakih temple. Known as the ‘mother temple of Bali, it is an extensive complex of several temples on the slope of Mount Agung. We had the place almost to ourselves; other visitors were local people praying at the temple and some dogs. Being a dog person myself, I love the Kintamani dogs (Anjing Kintamani) who call the temple their home. An indigenous breed to Bali, these dogs are renowned for their loyalty and mellow character.
After a short weekend, it was hard to leave this paradise on earth. I now understand why Mick Jagger stayed here for an extended time.
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