‘Kertalangu’ offers family vacation
Kertalangu Cultural Village can be a choice of holiday destination for those wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of Denpasar. It only takes 30 minutes from Kuta to get to the family recreational area located on Jl. Bypass Ngurah Rai, Kesiman, in the eastern part of Denpasar. The establishment of this place had been inspired by agriculture, as one of the main cultural aspects of Bali, and the motivation to preserve it, said I Dewa Gede Kaler, marketing officer of Kertalangu Cultural Village.
“It started from our vision on how to keep the city green, besides creating added value for this place by making a jogging track between rice fields,” he said. The jogging track, four kilometers in length and two meters in width, has been built between rice fields belonging to the local farmers of Kertalangu. Besides being used as a sports facility for visitors, it is also used by farmers to bring in their farming tools and fertilizer.
“We also added fishing pools and other attractions for families, including a flying fox, horse riding, spa and restaurant,” he said, adding that it also had a center for the preservation of subak (the Balinese irrigation and agriculture system).
In the northern part, there is an art gallery and workshop where visitors can see the local people of Kertalangu village making statues, as well as handicrafts from ceramics, glass, candles and stones.
“We have a display space and sell their works of art. We also export these goods,” Kaler said. Since it was established in 2007 until the present day, the number of visitors continues to increase, with around 3,400 to 3,800 persons visiting per month.
“So far, domestic tourists and local people dominate the visits, but there are also some foreigners from Europe, Korea and Japan brought here by travel agents,” Kaler said.
Kertalangu Cultural Village has 100 employees to serve visitors at the art workshop, 40 employees for the entertainment center and 40 others for the shopping center selling Balinese crafts. The shopping center was started in 2009.
Kaler said that most foreigners take the “holiday package” of jogging, horse riding and seeing the subak irrigation system, which takes water from the Ayung river.
“By maintaining this irrigation system, the agriculture here is never affected by the dry season.” Visitors coming in groups can also join other interesting activities, such as catching ducks, planting paddy and enjoying Balinese traditional music. Local visitors mostly like to fish.
There are four fishing pools offering fresh water fish. The fishing rods can be rented for Rp 11,000 (US$1.15) and every kilogram of fish they catch costs between Rp 22,000 to Rp 38,000, depending on the type of fish.
They can take the fish home, or they can ask for the fish to be cooked there, paying Rp 15,000 per kilogram, and then eat it with rice and chili sauce.
In the holiday season up to 100 kilograms of fish can be sold per day. As many as 200 to 300 kilograms are provided for the pools every week. “We provide 50 fishing rods, all of them get rented out when we have a lot of visitors. But there are also some visitors that bring their own rods,” said Witari, an employee in the fishing area.
I Made Subagawirya, a 40-year-old visitor from Dalung, North Kuta, said it was his first time there. He was with his daughter, who had just finished school exams. “A friend of mine recommended this place, so I came here to bring my daughter fishing,” said the father of 10-year-old Ni Putu Rahayu Mahadewi.
He and his family came since there is no place like Kertalangu offering such complete facilities for a holiday around the family’s neighborhood.
— Photos by Zul Trio Anggono