What to do in Tabanan: Guide to Bali’s Hidden Gem
In the heart of Bali, Tabanan is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Its lush landscapes, rich culture, and unique attractions make it an enchanting destination for travellers seeking a more authentic experience of Bali. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through Tabanan, showcasing the top things to do, places to visit, and what to do in Tabanan. If you are planning to visit Gili Islands read our travel guide on How to get from Canggu to Gili Islands.
Where is Tabanan?
Where is Tabanan?
Tabanan is located in the central western part of Bali, Indonesia. It is situated along the southwestern coast of the island and is a short ride from popular areas in neighbouring regency Badung, such as Canggu and Pererenan.
Our Tabanan Day Trip
Beach Relaxation in Tabanan
Tabanan’s coastline is a hidden gem, distinguished by its volcanic black sand beaches. However, two spots stand out for beachgoers seeking relaxation and sun:
Yeh Gangga Beach: Yeh Gangga Beach is an unspoiled haven with golden sands, offering a serene escape from the crowds. It’s perfect for sunbathing and swimming. Plus, you’ll find a selection of local eateries, where you can savor authentic Balinese dishes while enjoying the coastal breeze.
Kedungu Beach: Kedungu Beach stands apart with its light-colored sands, providing a unique contrast to the predominantly black sand beaches. It’s an ideal spot for surfers of all levels due to consistent waves throughout the year. Whether you’re looking to catch waves or unwind on a softer shoreline, Kedungu Beach offers the perfect setting for your beach getaway.
Day Clubs and Beach Clubs in Tabanan
In Tabanan, you can elevate your beach experience with two distinct options:
Bali Beach Glamping: This spot offers a touch of luxury. It’s a gorgeous location often chosen for weddings, and it’s perfect for those willing to spend a bit more. The food is exquisite, sunbeds are comfortable, and the service is impeccable.
Yeh Gangga Beach Club: For a more laid-back and affordable experience, head to Yeh Gangga Beach Club. It’s the place to unwind in a casual and easygoing atmosphere, all while enjoying the beautiful Yeh Gangga Beach.
Best Restaurants to Explore in Tabanan
Tabanan offers a range of dining experiences to enhance your visit:
Passo: The top choice for a complete dining experience, offering delicious food, cocktails, reasonable prices, and a versatile atmosphere.
Joshua District: Enjoy good food with a stunning view of Tabanan’s iconic rice fields, making it a picturesque place to dine.
Mirai Sushi: For sushi lovers, this nearby option serves up delectable Japanese cuisine.
Afrokana Kitchen: A diverse menu that caters to various tastes and a solid choice for those looking for variety in their meal.
Rice Field Exploration Adventures
Tabanan is renowned for its stunning rice terraces, offering a chance to immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Bali’s lush landscapes. Here are some notable rice field locations in Tabanan:
Jatiluwih Rice Terraces: Jatiluwih is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most famous rice terraces in Bali. It’s a vast expanse of emerald-green rice paddies surrounded by majestic mountains. The terraces are beautifully sculpted and provide a serene environment for a leisurely stroll or hike.
Belimbing Rice Terraces: Belimbing offers a more secluded and less touristy rice terrace experience. It’s a hidden gem with cascading rice fields surrounded by tropical forests. The terraces here offer an unspoiled, natural charm.
Pupuan Rice Fields: Pupuan is known for its terraces set against a backdrop of dramatic hills. The terraces create a captivating patchwork of green and gold that’s perfect for exploring on foot or by bike.
Jatituih Village: This lesser-known gem is located in the western part of Tabanan. It’s a peaceful spot to admire rice terraces and a traditional Balinese village. You can wander through the fields and take in the beauty of the rural landscape.
Tegallalang Rice Terraces: While Tegallalang is located more to the north of Tabanan, it’s worth a mention due to its iconic, tiered rice terraces. The landscape is a work of art, offering incredible photo opportunities and a chance to learn about traditional rice farming.
Discover the Bali Butterfly Park
The Bali Butterfly Park is a charming destination for nature enthusiasts. It’s a haven for butterflies of various colors and patterns. The park’s layout mimics natural habitats, giving you a chance to see these delicate creatures up close.
As you explore the park, you’ll encounter a diverse collection of butterfly species, each with its unique characteristics. The knowledgeable staff is eager to share interesting insights about these winged wonders.
A trip to the Bali Butterfly Park offers a visual treat and a chance to learn about the life cycles and behaviors of these insects. It’s an ideal spot for families, nature lovers, and photographers to immerse themselves in the vibrant butterfly world.
This sanctuary provides a peaceful and educational experience, allowing you to appreciate the beauty of butterflies amidst Tabanan’s natural charm.
Tanah Lot Temple: A Sacred Marvel
Tanah Lot Temple in Tabanan, Bali, is a unique blend of history, beauty, and spirituality. This seaside temple is perched on a rocky outcrop and holds significant importance in Balinese Hinduism.
Cultural and Historical Significance: Built in the 16th century to honor sea gods, Tanah Lot’s name, “Land in the Sea,” perfectly captures its location. It’s a place of devotion and pilgrimage, providing a glimpse into Bali’s spiritual heart.
Sunset Views: Tanah Lot offers captivating sunset views. Arriving in the late afternoon allows you to witness the temple against the backdrop of a stunning sunset, a must-see for those who want to capture Bali’s natural beauty.
Fire Dance at Sunset: During sunset, you can enjoy the mesmerizing Kecak dance, known as the “Fire Dance,” which tells stories from Hindu mythology. It’s a fantastic way to explore Bali’s rich heritage.
Art, Sculptures, and Local Cuisine: Around the temple, you’ll find art, sculptures, and local crafts for souvenirs. There are also local eateries where you can savor Balinese cuisine while enjoying a view of the temple, making it an ideal place to stop for lunch or a snack.
Explore Subak Museum in Tabanan
The Subak Museum in Tabanan, Bali, is a small but informative museum dedicated to the “Subak” system, which is the traditional Balinese rice terrace irrigation. It offers a brief and insightful look into the vital role of the Subak system in Bali’s agriculture and culture. The museum showcases artifacts, photographs, and exhibits related to rice cultivation and the unique irrigation practices that sustain Bali’s rice terraces. It’s a place to gain a better understanding of Bali’s agricultural heritage and the intricate Subak system that has helped shape the island’s landscape and culture.
Horse Stables: Horse Riding Escapade
Tabanan boasts some incredible opportunities for horse riding, and one standout choice is Salty Cowboy Horse Stables. These stables offer an exceptional horse riding experience in the heart of Tabanan’s natural beauty.
Salty Cowboy Stables is one of the premier destinations for horse riding in Tabanan, offering well-trained horses and expert guides. What makes this experience truly special is the fact that their horses are all rescues horses!
Riding Bikes on Volcanic Beach Trails
Several companies in Tabanan offer bike rentals and guided tours, making it easy for you to embark on a biking journey along the volcanic beaches. These guided tours often provide well-maintained and sturdy off-road bikes, ensuring you have the right equipment to navigate the challenging terrain. Experienced guides will lead you through the best routes, providing valuable insights into the area’s geography and culture.
For those who prefer a more independent biking experience, you can opt to swap your bike’s tires for off-road ones and venture out on your own. However, it’s essential to use suitable bikes for this terrain, as scooters or automatic bikes are not recommended for the rugged volcanic beaches.
Tabanan Nightlife: Pretty Poison Skatepark
Pretty Poison is not just a skatepark; it’s a vibrant cultural hub nestled in the heart of Tabanan, Bali. It seamlessly combines the thrill of skateboarding with a lively bar and event space, creating a unique atmosphere that draws both local residents and visitors.
This eclectic establishment features a well-constructed concrete skatepark that attracts skaters from around the region. It’s a place for enthusiasts to practice their tricks and connect with like-minded individuals. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or a beginner, Pretty Poison provides an inclusive space for everyone to enjoy.
In the evenings, Pretty Poison transforms into a lively social hotspot. The bar area comes to life with a variety of drinks and cocktails, making it a perfect spot to unwind, socialize, and enjoy some quality time with friends. The venue frequently hosts events, from live music performances to DJ nights, ensuring there’s always something exciting happening.
This place is extremely recommended especially for a Thursday, as people from all over the island come to enjoy the skatepark and live music into the late hours of the night.
As our journey through Tabanan comes to an end, we can’t help but share our enthusiasm for this extraordinary destination. From the serene beachfronts to the heart-pounding adventures, the delectable cuisine, and the vibrant nightlife, our days here were nothing short of amazing. We wholeheartedly recommend all the activities and places we’ve explored, and we genuinely hope you enjoy your time in Tabanan just as much as we did. If you find yourself in Uluwatu, check our our Full Uluwatu Nightlife Guide alternatively if you are going to Seminyak region and wondering about Is Seminyak Walkable? We have you covered.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is Tabanan famous for?
Tabanan is best known for is vast and stunning rice terraces.
Is Tabanan a good place to live?
Tabanan is a good option for people wanting to live in quiet and relaxing traditional balinese areas, whilst still being close by to the popular areas in Canggu and Seminyak.
What is best to see in Tabanan?
The most famous sight in Tabanan is the Tanah Lot Temple.