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Entries in Candi Dasa (4)


Bali Photo of the Day ~ Candi Dasa Reflection

The Bali Deep Culture Photography Tour ~ Oct 19-26 ~ Click here to reserve your spot today!

Today's photograph from Bali features the seaside town of Candi Dasa (also spelled Candidasa) on Bali's East coast. Candi Dasa is a nice escape from the often crowded South but the town is getting more crowded and much of the beach is eroded. This is why we prefer it's little sister town of Amed. For tips, accomodations, and other travel information on Amed, check here.

The seaside town of Candidasa is a great place to visit for the day.

That is not to say that Candi Dasa is not worth a visit and its a good place to stop for lunch as well. The Lotus group of restaurants has a spot there called Lotus Seaview and the food is quite good. The restaurant also boasts an impressive display of Chinese Antiquities, mainly Ming & Quing Dynasty porcelains and ceramics. The Lotus group also has bungalows in the area.

Candidasa is about an hour from Sanur by car. It is more relaxed than the hot spots of the South like Kuta, Seminyak, Legian, etc. One thing not to miss while visiting this area of Bali is The Bali Aga of Tenganan.  The Bali Aga are known as the original Balinese people and predate Hinduism in Bali. Please see our post on it here as there are some precautions. 

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The Bali Aga of Tenganan ~ A Photo Essay

The Bali Aga of Tenganan, Bali, Indonesia

Bali Aga girl toursA young Bali Aga girl stands amongst colorful weavings

The Bali Aga are known as the original Balinese people and predate Hinduism in Bali.  They are a unique ethnic group that lived on the island of Bali before modern civilization. These original inhabitants of Bali fled imperialistic invaders, eventually finding refuge in the solitude of Bali's remote mountains. Today, only two villages remain, which until recently, were firmly and purposfully shut off from the rest of the world. The main temple in the village dates back to the 10 century AD (833 Caka) but the village itself is said to be much older than the temple.

Two Bali Aga Pendanda (High Priests) enter the ceremonial grounds with thier sacred Kris (swords)

Located just west of Candi Dasa and Amed lie the villages of Tenganan and Trunyan. The Bali Aga produce fine baskets and weavings and a special double weave ikat, called geringsing.  These highly sought after artworks are unique to the small region and not available any where else. A true Aga Ikat can take over 5 years to create and they are primarily used in religious ceremonies.

The Tenganan’s provide a look into early Bali but the society has very strict rules.  It can be dangerous for outsiders and is not recommended without an experienced guide.  Please contact us directly for assistance when attempting to visit this interesting but possibly dangerous area.

There are only 600 Bali Aga families in Tenganan, and locals are forbidden to marry people from outside of the village. If they do, their family is banished from the village for life.   

Bali aga culture toursYoung Bali Aga girls look on in thier ceremonial dress as the ceremony is about to begin

For more on The Bali Aga please see

Bali best travel ceremonyA beautiful young Bali Aga girl smiles as she is lead to the ceremonyAlso the Bali Aga culture practices an ancient ritual known as mekare kare, which is a ritual blood sacrifice.  Stay tuned for more on this rite and photos from the fighting ceremony.

Bali eco-tour photographyAn elder Bali Aga woman watches intently from her doorwayHappy and safe travels,

The Balifornian Team


Great Insider’s Travel Tips to Amed, Bali

Great Insider’s Tips to Travel in Amed, Bali

Whoever said Amed was a small sleepy fishing town much smaller and less to do than its neighbor Candi Dasa was giving you a handful of bull honkey.  In actuality it is now a fun town sprawling approx 15 km chock full of restaurants, hotels, beach bungalos and even a nightlife.  Actually I think there is more to do and see in Amed than Candi Dasa.  Candi Dasa does have access to the Bali Aga, which, while incredibly interesting, and a look into early Bali, can be dangerous for outsiders and is not recommended without an experienced guide.  Don’t get us wrong, Candi Dasa is worth a visit and is quite charming with some great hotels and some right on the beach.  We recommend The Nirwana Resort in Candi Dasa.  It’s a bit pricey (maybe $100 per night), but it offers a great pool and it’s right on the water.  This brings us to one of the big downfalls of Candi Dasa.  While I say its right on the water, this does not mean on the beach.  In fact, there is very little beach in Candi Dasa at all, and much of it is a breakwater with very little swimmable area.  This is another reason to prefer Amed, as there is a good beach with entertaining snorkeling right in front of many of the hotels and bungalows.  The coral is not plentiful and much of it has been destroyed, but you can find some coral gardens if you know where to go.  There are however, many colorful fish that make the snorkeling worthwhile.  The waves are generally small but can reach almost a meter kicking up the sand and decreasing visibility but the beauty of it is, you can watch the conditions from the hotel pool, and walk a few steps into the ocean whenever you feel the time is right.

Bali travel tips amedThree Brother's Hotel's infinity pool overlooking the ocean and Mount Agung Volcano

The guidebooks and travel sites will tell you ‘Life in Amed’ Restaurant is the best in town but that is highly inaccurate.  Our meal there was fairly tasteless but the presentation and alang-alang roof covered dining area is quite nice.

For some confusing reason, several businesses in Amed share the same name but are different entities. For example there are 3 different ‘3 Brother’s Hotel’ and a couple Wa Wa We We’s, so you need to know which one is better.  Wa Wa We We 1 is the bar and WWWW2 is the hotel and restaurant.  #1 is fun on most nights and currently has live music on Wednesday and Saturday nights.  You will find many local expats here, mainly from the diving community along with some true locals as well as tourists.  It’s a good mix and for a town that is supposed to be small and sleepy, it can really be a good time.  As for the 3 ‘3 Brothers’ locations, they are right next to each other and choose the one with the pool (the northern most location).  It hosts a small but quite nice infinity pool over looking the ocean.  It can’t quite accommodate all the guests of the hotel at once but that’s rarely a problem as some are sure to be out snorkeling, diving or elsewhere in town.  While the staff is not overly welcoming, we found the hotel to be a good value.  It’s inexpensive at about $30 per night (including AC and hot shower) with a small breakfast (the egg jaffels are tasty).  The best room is most likely the 2nd closest to the pool/ocean as it’s a bit more private than the one overlooking the pool and ocean. The 3 rooms in the back offer a second floor with 2 additional beds for families or those traveling with a driver. While we like 3 Brothers, we think Kembali Bungalos right next door is an even better place to stay. Its still inexpensve but just a bit nicer, the staff is much friendlier and the snorkeling right out front is even better. Head straight out and then to your left for wonderful coral gardens and lots of big colorful fish.

3 Brothers- a good choice for accommodation in Amed, Bali

As an aside, don't try to translate 3 brothers into Bahasa Indonesia (tiga suadara) as surprisingly; none of the local Balinese seemed to know what this referred to.  There is no Wi-Fi at 3 Brothers but we would simply walk 2 doors down to the Amed Café, order a Bintang, overlook the ocean and use theirs.  The Amed Café also offers more beach chairs by the ocean if the pool at 3 Brother’s is at capacity (which it never was while we were there ever during full occupancy.

The main reason for the change from sleepy fishing town to Amed’s current state is the diving industry.  There are several good dive spots in the area including two shipwrecks.  The Japanese sunk the SS Liberty about 7 km north of town in Tulamben, and the US returned the favor about a half hour catamaran ride south of town.  Both are quite shallow and can be enjoyed snorkeling,.  You can see the cannons, the deck and the splayed open hull.  But to get the full feel a good scuba company can get you inside the wrecks.  We recommend Diving Concepts and if you are lucky enough to get Miki as your guide, you will be stoked. But all the instructors and guides are highly trained and speak several languages well.

 Bali villas hotels tips amedAmed's black sand beach provides spectacular views of Mt Agung Volcano and BOTH sunrise AND sunset!

For a real local traditional experience head to Culik Market in Amed. The food is excellent and crazy cheap.  We got a truckload of nasi bungkus, fish satay, lawar, and other super tasty treats for about $4 USD.  It’s quite a deal and a great experience too considering we spent over $30 USD at Life in Amed and the food was nowhere near as tasty as the market.


One last note that makes Amed a really special place is that you can view both the sunrise and the sunset from the same beach!  Both illuminate massive Gunung Agung volcano, the anchor of Balinese tradition and houses Bali’s Gods.


Amed has earned its place into our regular tour itineraries and we look forward to visiting again.  For more information on Amed, Candi Dasa, accommodations and other tips and tricks, just contact us at

We hope these tips help and make your holiday in Bali even more rewarding.  We share the very best secrets with our tour participants and Balifornian members, but we are happy to share these.  Want more?  That’s easy.  Read our blog regularly, Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and if you want the very best tips, email us at to become a Balifornian. Get the best travel deals, time saving tips and much more. We will never, ever give, sell or transmit your information in anyway, to anyone.  Email us today and benefit right away.


Thanks and happy travels from all of us at Balifornian Villas, Tours and Travel Blog


Tenganan and The Bali Aga- The real old school Bali

This blog post on Tenganan has been moved.  Please click here to see

The Bali Aga of Tenganan ~ A Photo Essay