The Subak Guliang Village Rural Experience
The Subak Guliang Village
A total immersion of an authentic Balinese lifestyle, totally away from it all.
WHY THIS TOUR?
Babbling brooks, inundated views of an agricultural landscape and finding yourself face to face with farm animals, forming an essential part of a local family. Bali’s Bangli Regency encapsulates the essence of the purity beyond the kaleidoscope of beaches, boulevards and restaurants further along the island’s bustling coastline.
A 2-day away from the comfort of an air-conditioned hotel room brings out the best examples of the traditional side of the Island of Gods. Joining you on this exploratory venture in around Subak Guliang will be a local expert of the region whose Balinese values are deeply engrained in his stories and tales. Once you had a taste of the countryside, your views of Bali will never be the same.
Day 1 | Departure Southern Bali ¬– Subak Guliang [D]
Your journey into the adventurous side of Bali commences with a warm welcome by your guide and driver at your south Bali accommodation. The beach region with its tropical allures will soon make way for a charming, subdued environment, filled with traditions and heritage of what the authentic side of Bali really entails. Subak Guliang is an excellent example of village life in its purest form. Following the principles of Hinduism in the set-up of the village from its early days (called ‘Tri Hita Karana’); this small settlement is constructed in finding a balance between man, nature and the higher spirits. The villagers are some of the friendliest people around, guided by the foundations of this belief. They have created an environment, filled with natural attractions and local encounters for those interested.
Breathing the fresh, rural air will be a welcoming signal once you open your vehicle door and be greeted with refreshments at one of the village’s houses. It is here one will blend in immediately with what is said to be the pinnacle of local life, unaltered and respected in line with the Tri Hita Karana. You quickly will feel like house guests and accompanied by the hosting family, you will be escorted to your basic room.
No time to waste when exploration of the local kind needs to be ticked off from your bucket list. Using local transport, you will head into the countryside for an introduction on the rural way of living (and working) of these hospitable people, particularly at Bemo Village. The leisurely stroll through the green fields, with hardly any modern sight at the horizon, ends at an Indonesian Warung, called Warung Guliang. It is here where we reserve time for a relaxing break, comprising of a freshly-brewed cup of tea and a 15-minute foot massage. The way back to your overnight address follows right after having experienced the soothing effects of kneading hands where you freshen up for a local dinner at your overnight address. Bear in mind that the simple, basic huts do not have air-conditioning, hot running water and that bathroom facilities are shared. The location in the heart of the village (garden/compound views) is constructed and set up in the same way as the villagers have lived for generations.
Dinner and overnight at Subak Guliang Homestay
Day 2 | Subak Guliang – Arrival Southern Bali [B, L]
There is actually no need to set an alarm. With the arrival of the first sunrays and slowly hearing nature waking up, it is also your time to leave the comfort of your mattress and head out into village life. Part of the experience is experiencing village life through the eyes of your hosts and their neighbours.
Primarily self-dependent, no waste goes to waste, and nature forms almost the most essential supplier of creating basic requirements for personal use and for making a living: one of these specialities of Subak Guliang is the creation of coconut oil. After breakfast, you join the host family into their simple kitchen where you will get a demonstration on how coconut oil is squeezed out of these palm fruits. Nearby, you may be interested in settling yourself next to a hat and mat making master, using nothing but leaves and his skills in turning Pandanus leaves into reusable objects. Old skills like creating iron tools without the use of modern equipment, too, are practised still here the old fashioned way and seeing blackened hands keeping the fire hot to make durable tools is one of these experiences one will not forget.
Depending on the day of the week (closed during weekends, school holidays and public holidays), meeting the pupils at one of the few elementary schools gives joy and pleasure to all. If allowed, you can enter the classroom and practice the English these students have learned during their semester. To close off this morning of fun and learning, the communal farm of Subak Guliang is an example of how many hands make light work and maximize crop harvesting. Particular rice farming is one of the agricultural products that do well in this tropical climate. Depending on the season, you will be showing the ropes on how proper planting and harvesting techniques have been transferred from generation to generation.
Lunch will be included at a local restaurant in the rice field.
Sadly, it is time to say goodbye to the people of Subak Guliang and thank them for their incredible hospitality and showcasing their way of life. We leave the village ground by air-conditioned vehicle and transfer back to your accommodation in Southern Bali or to Bali’s International Airport for your connecting flight to your next destination.