We have already recommended a handful of cozy restaurants to celebrate Lunar New Year. But, surely you can’t eat all the time.
So is there anything else you can do in Bali beside going to those restaurants to embrace the advent of the Earth Pig Year? Yes, there is.
Visiting Klenteng Caow Eng Bio
Hundreds of years ago there was a group of Hainan traders sailing through Malacca Strait. They were attacked by a hoard of pirates. Some of them are killed. But the survivors continued their journey through the archipelago. After a heroic adventure, guided by Baruna, the divinity of the sea, they eventually landed on the shore of Bali.
Feeling grateful for their fate, as a way to pay their debt to the divinity as well as commemorating their heroic adventure, the band of traders built a temple (or klenteng)—which turned out to be the first Chinese temple in Bali—on the northern part of Tanjung Benoa. An afternoon walk around Klenteng Cao Eng Bio (Jalan Segara Ening No. 14, Tanjung Benoa) will make your first day of the Earth Pig Year more memorable.
Going to Vihara Satya Dharma
Compared to Cao Eng Bio, this temple is not so old. After six years of construction, the temple was inaugurated in 2012 and has been open as a house of worship for three religious beliefs—Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism.
Besides its authentic Chinese architecture, what makes this temple exceptional is the presence of two Balinese-Hindu altars on the front yard, which emanates the thick ambiance of the unpretentious local cultural-harmony. And during Lunar New Year’s celebration, Vihara Satya Darma (Jalan Raya Pelabuhan Benoa) will be decorated with countless red Chinese lanterns.
Strolling around Ling Gwan Kiong Temple
If you are looking for a more tranquil Lunar New Year experience, ride up north to Buleleng Regency to visit a beautiful temple near the old port of Singaraja: Ling Gwang Kiong Temple (Jalan Erlangga No. 65, Singaraja). This house of worship is pretty old as it was built around 1873 A.D.
After strolling around the temple, you can take a walk through the alleys, the old quarter of Singaraja, on which several Dutch-styled old buildings are still standing as if they were just built yesterday.
Enjoying Batur Festival 2019
Batur Festival seems nice, with the beautiful crater-rim and Lake Batur scenery and all. But, really, is it relevant to celebrate Lunar New Year by going to Batur Festival? Yes, it is.
The region of Batur has since long established relations with Chinese. Once upon a time, there was a Balingkang king who took a Chinese merchant’s daughter as a wife. Since then, the two culture have been interacting peacefully, creating lovely cultural products such as “barong landung.” Batur Festival from 6 February to 7 March 2019 will give you a deeper understanding of the intertwining of the Balinese and Chinese culture in Bali.
So no worries. There are plenty of things you can do in Bali to celebrate the arrival of the Earth Pig Year.