Bali’s capital, Denpasar, despite being home to a population of over 400,000 is a distinctly low-rise affair and is more often visited by tourists for day or shopping trips rather than as a tourist base, but is nevertheless a pleasant enough and interesting place.  

At its centre, the eight-armed statue of Catur Muka declares Bali’s Hindu heritage, uniquely distinct against the backdrop of Indonesia's Islamic culture, and sits in the central square of Alun-alun Puputan, a green space featuring the Bajra Sandhi monument, commemorating the struggle for independence and the mass suicide, in 1906, of many Balinese people during the Dutch occupation.

Bajra Sandhi Monument, Denpasar, Bali

Among the city’s sights, the Bali Museum, laid out in four halls reflecting historical architectural styles, provides an informative window on the local culture and history, always so important in understanding the culture within which one travels. Taman Budaya Cultural Centre complements this insight with an exploration and celebration of Bali’s world famous art and craft skills, both historic and contemporary.  

The covered Balinese Market, Pasar Badung, is a bustling 24-hour local trading hall, with foodstuffs on the main level and crafts upstairs, and gives a real sense of contemporary Balinese life.

 

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