The Old and Historic Harbour of Singaraja
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Bali is an island that everyone dreams of visiting one day. The second-largest city on the island is Singaraja, a place which cannot be called anything other than paradise. Singaraja is a treasure-chest of colonial buildings, pleasant gardens, cultural monuments and wide avenues where the flowers perfume the air.
It is home to over 100,000 people, with a broad range of religions, who live together peacefully to create a wonderfully diverse destination. Walking around the old harbor area you will come across an atmosphere and architectural features reminiscent from the old trading areas. Each area you visit in Singaraja has its own unique feel, making it truly wonderful to explore.
Singaraja’s choices of accommodation are not that great since there are relatively few sights for you to explore. Most tourists visit here as a day trip from Lovina but if you want to stay overnight then there are a few hotels and guesthouses which will be comfortable enough. As soon as you arrive, you will want to head east, as this is where most of the cultural monuments and sites are located, including Pura Meduwe Karang, Sangsit and Jagaraga.
When you go on holiday the last thing you think you’ll do is visit a library, but the Gedong Kirtya is one that should not be missed out on. The biggest tourist attraction in Singaraja, it is the only library in the world which is home to lontar manuscripts. Lontar manuscripts are works of literature recorded on palm leaves from the rontal tree. There are over 6,000 texts on a wide variety of topics including, religion, folklore, customs, astrology, black magic, philosophy, astrology, and medicine. Each one is written in Balinese, Indonesian, Old Javanese, English, Dutch or German. The library was established in 1928 by L.J.J. Caron, known as the Dutch Resident of Bali.
Puri Agung Singaraja
The Royal Palace of Puri Agung Singaraja, better known as Puri Gede Buleleng, is a fantastic place to visit. It was once the home of the royal family of Buleleng who are now no longer in power. It had sadly been damaged but in the early 20th century, it was lovingly and painstakingly restored to its original glory. Inside, you will be amazed at the wonderful displays and photographs of the former royal family.
The Museum Buleleng
The Museum Buleleng can be located at the front of the palace where there are many interesting displays of ancient artefacts which have been discovered in and around the palace, as well as paintings and other antiques. Another interesting place to visit is Puri Sinar Nadi Putri, a small workshop attached to the palace which continues to produce weft ikat cloth.
The last Raja of Buleleng was Anak Agung Panji Tisna (1908 – 78). He founded Lovina and was a celebrated novelist who converted to Christianity. During World War II, when the Japanese army invaded the island he only just managed to escape execution. His family continues to live in the palace right to this very day.
How to get there
You can arrive in Singaraja by bus and bemo services, of which there are three. Sukasada (better known as Sangket) can be found in the south of Singaraja and serves Denpasar (the Ubung terminal), Gitgit and Bedugul. To the west, you will find the Banyusari terminal which goes to Lovina, Seririt, and Gilimanuk. In the eastern part of town, the Penarukan terminal will take you to Amlapura via Tulamben, as well as Kintamani, Penelokan, and Denpasar.
The small bemos can also transport you (for Rp5000) around Singaraja and links the Benyuasri and Penarukan terminals and the Sukasada and Banyuasri terminals together (handy if you find yourself at the wrong terminal!). Please be advised that there are no metered taxis in Singaraja.
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