edit

Introduction

Anyone who travels overland from Java to Bali enters the island at the ferry port of Gilimanuk. When heading for Denpasar or Ubud, they then drive the length of Jembrana regency without deigning it a stop. Therefore, if you want to experience Bali as it was before the advent of mass tourism, Jembrana is the region to seek out. You’ll find here everything that made Bali famous, except the crowds and adventure parks that came later: temples and colourful ceremonies, dances, rice fields, beaches and surf, rivers with waterfalls, and friendly people. The name Jembrana derives from Jimbar-wana, meaning forest, where the king of snakes, Naga-raja, was supposed to live.

Top

edit

Geography

With an area or 842 km2 or almost 15% of Bali’s surface and a population of 323,000 (2017) it is the least densely populated regency. That translates to a large uninhabited area: 333 km2 consists of protected forest inside and outside West Bali National Park. Runoff from from Jembrana’s highest mountain, Mount Merbuk (1346 m), has created a fluvial plain where we find the capital Negara. On the coast of this plain lies Pengambengan town, with the biggest and most important fishing port of Bali.

Top

edit

History

The archaeological museum in Gilimanuk shows proof that this location was already inhabited before the Christian era. But for a long time Jembrana remained sparsely populated. Only early in the 17th century I Gusti Made Yasa founded a kingdom, his palace was named Puri Gede Jembrana. Two centuries later raja I Gusti Gede Seloka had his palace built in the present capital Negara. The palace still exists as Puri Agung Negara. On 30 June 1849 king I Goesti Poetoe Ngoerah Djembrana signed a friendship treaty with the Dutch colonial government. From that date until the independence of Indonesia the kings of Jembrana reigned essentially as vassals of the Dutch. In 1958 Jembrana was made a regency (kabupaten of Bali.

Top

edit

Towns

  • Gilimanuk - the ferry port to Java
  • Negara - the capital
  • Pengambengan - with Bali's main fishing port

Top

edit

Villages

  • Blimbingsari - For a long time the colonial government prevented missionaries from coming to Bali. When at last they were allowed, their success was meagre. The Balinese who converted to Christianity, Protestant or Catholic, were ostracised from their communities. That’s how the villages Blimbingsari and Palasari were established in the then wilderness of Jembrana: as refuges for those exiled from civilised Bali. But nowadays Blimbingsari is culturally hardly distinguishable form the rest of Bali, although with a different creed. The church is built with the architecture of a Hindu temple, people attend service in their best Balinese attire, and the liturgies are accompanied with gamelan music. Blimbingsari has also preserved famous Balinese hospitality. More so, in 2017 it was awarded the national award for best community-based tourism village.
  • Palasari - Palasari is the catholic twin of protestant Blimbingsari. Its main feature is the dam by which a lake of one square kilometre and eight million cubic metres was created. Construction of the dam took 3,5 years.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

Culture

  • Museum Manusia Purba - Excavations in 1963 have revealed a necropolis or burial site of 15 ha, one of the largest in Indonesia. Numerous sarcophagi have been found here and at least 100 complete human skeletons. Some of these are on display in the museum together with pottery and other artefacts. They are said to date back to 600 B.C. The museum is located on 7 ha of the excavation site itself, while the remaining area has not been cleared yet from modern occupation. Address: Jalan Rajawali, Gilimanuk (700 metres from the harbour), Phone: +62.365.61328, Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-6pm, Sat-Sun closed, Price: IDR 6000
  • Taman Siwa – A recreational park bordering Gilimanuk Bay with a giant (10 metres) statue of Siwa, the four-armed God of Destruction.

Beaches

  • Pantai Candikusuma– Just 20 kilometres south of Gilimanuk the Gilimanuk-Denpasar road runs less than 100 metres from the coast. Here is a rest area, and walking south along the black sand beach one encounters mangroves in the estuary of two rivers. If you like enjoy the sunset on this quiet beach, you can stay over in a beach villa.
  • Pantai Medewi - Medewi is a small village 24 kilometres south of Negara and 83 kilometres from Ngurah Rai airport. Surfers who find Kuta too crowded may find this their preferred beach. The beach is strewn with boulders, but the waves are good year round early morning. The price of accommodation is higher the closer to the beach one stays
  • Pantai Baluk Rening – A stony beach patronized by Indonesians. They say that the sea water helps curing rheumatism, better still to bury yourself in the sand. To find the latter head north across the estuary for a black sandy beach with calm waves.
  • Secret Bay – Diving and snorkelling spot in the enclosed bay east of Gilimanuk, with rich sea flora and fauna.

Nature

  • Bunut Bolong Tree – An ancient, giant banyan tree that has grown in such a way that cars can pass under it like through a tunnel. Located in a forested region, eight kilometres uphill on the road from Pekutatan on the south coast to Bubunan on the north coast of Bali.
  • Bali Barat National Park – West Bali National Park lies partly in Buleleng regency north of the watershed and partly in Jembrana regency south of the watershed. While the comparatively arid northern part attracts most visitors, pristine rain forest is only found in the southern part. Here access is in Blimbingsari village, six kilometres from the Gilimanuk-Denpasar road at Melaya village.
  • Kurma Asih Turtle Conservation Centre - Located in Perancak village, on a cape of the fluvial plane 10 kilometres south of Negara town. Since 1997 the locals, who used to hunt the turtles, are now helping to preserve them. If you can't go out of your way to Sukamade Turtle Beach in East Java, pay this centre a visit.
  • Batu Belah Waterfall – In Dewasana hamlet, Pendem village, about 5 kilometres north of Negara, is this still rarely visited waterfall. After a steep and slippery walk down of 200 metres one reaches a cool pool between vertical rocks.
  • Juwuk Manis Waterfall – A popular twin fall at eight kilometres from the Gilimanuk-Denpasar road at Pangyangan village. Be prepared to walk down and up a lot of steps. Address: Juwuk Manis hamlet, Manggissari village, Pekutatan district. As the crow flies close to Bunut Bolong Tree, but on a different ridge.
  • Gelar River Bridge – A hanging bridge over a wild-water river in green environment. Directions: Gelar Sari hamlet, Batuagung village, Jembrana district, ten kilometres uphill from Negara town.

Temples

  • Pura Gede Perancak
  • Pura Jati Baluk
  • Pura Rambut Siwi – This temple was founded by the same priest, Dang Hyang Nirartha, who also had Tanah Lot temple built. In 1546, on his way from Java to the king at Gelgel (near Ubud), he found that an epidemic ravaged the locality. Through meditation and prayer he succeeded in stopping it. Rambut Siwi Temple is located on a cliff overlooking a black sand beach on one side and rice fields on the other, half way between Negara and Mediwi. Balinese passing by invariably make a stop here, to pray for a safe journey.

Top

edit

Events and Festivals

  • Water Buffalo Races – The water buffalo races of Jembrana (makepung in Balinese) are analogous to but different from the bull races (kerapan sapi) of Madura. For one thing, the heavy kerbau that in Bali work the rice fields, are a different species from the Madurese bulls. For another, the race course in Jembrana is typically four kilometres long; in Madura it is only 100 metres. And lastly, the ornamentation of the animals and the plough carts is a main element of the show. At the end of the harvest season, generally between mid July and mid November, numerous races are held at several circuits in Jembrana regency. The winner of the season receives the 'Regent's Cup'. Some of the main circuits are in Tuwed village, Melaya district, in Kaliakah village, Negara district and in Delod Berawah village, Mendoyo district.

Top

edit

Eat

  • Warung Jepun - In a garden setting near the Makepung Circuit. Address: Delod Berawah village, Mendoyo district, Hours: 8am-10pm
  • Warung Taman Tuwed - Eat fish in a gazebo over a pond. Located near the Makepung Circuit. Address: Tuwed village, Melaya district, Hours: 8am-10pm
  • Warung Tegal Dadong - Gazebo's with pond view or under palm trees. Eclectic menu. Address: Pendem village, Jembrana district, Hours: 8am-10pm

Top

edit

Sleep

Blimbingsari

There are numerous homestays in Blimbingsari. No need to book, but if you prefer to do so, try contacting Komite Pariwisata Blimbingsari, phone +62.857-9223-8242 or +62.815-4724-0571 (talk to Wayan).

Top

Contributors

Jembrana Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Jembrana

This is version 39. Last edited at 16:34 on May 3, 20 by theo1006. 1 article links to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License