As community-based tourism is growing fast, more and more villages in Bali are now gearing up to build facilities to welcome guests into their homes.
One of these is Penglipuran traditional village in Bangli regency, around 45 kilometers west of Denpasar, which is launching three guesthouses to accommodate the rising number of visitors to the village.
Developed as a tourist village since 1992, Penglipuran is located over 700 meters above sea level with stunning views of rice fields and plantations. Due to its ongoing efforts, Penglipuran has become one of the island’s iconic village tourist destinations.
Derived from the words pengeling pura, literarily meaning “to remember your ancestors”, the village is rich in agrarian culture. Other historical records also state that the name of the village means “entertainer”, a place where royals spent their leisure time.
“Penglipuran residents warmly invite visitors to stay with us in this 122-hectare village with its unique customs and traditions,” I Nengah Moneng, head of the village’s tourism board, said.
Moneng said around 150 to 200 people came to the village every day.
The residential areas of the village have a very particular look that is unique to the area and aesthetically pleasing, with rows of very small, but tall, traditionally built houses that are very decorative and have thatched roofs.
One guesthouse in the village was built by the then-culture and tourism ministry as a prototype village tourist facility. “But this building was not properly cared for,” he said.
Two of the new guesthouses were built with support from Bangli regional administration. “Penglipuran villagers were responsible for procuring the furniture and maintaining the three facilities,” Moneng added.
Decorated with bamboo ornaments, wood and limestone, the three buildings still represent the old Penglipuran houses. In anticipation of more visitors, Penglipuran village is also ready with six lodgings prepared as tourist accommodation.
“This community-based tourism is expected to improve the living conditions of our residents without having to change our traditions and the surrounding nature,” he said.
Together with members of the village board, Moneng decided to set room rates at Rp 500,000 (US$51.80) per night for foreign visitors. “For domestic visitors, we can adjust the rates,” he added.