Singaraja, Bali - A Relaxing Slice of Paradise

Singaraja is the old colonial capital of Bali. It is the capital city of the regency of Buleleng. It is quite simply - cool. Figuratively and literally. I always think of it as much cooler physically than other areas of Bali although I have absolutely no scientific data to back up that assertion. My house is definitely cooler when the wind is blowing in off the ocean but who says we can't be relative. This is the postmodern era, correct?

Singaraja is a fairly good-sized city (which is a good way of saying that I'm not sure what the population actually is, although some friends that recently visited told me that according to a guide book it was 50,000 which is probably not counting my most recent child) with wide streets and a lot of friendly folks. They have been repairing things in Singaraja over the past few years and it definitely has a clean, open feel to it. The main shopping area is on Jalan Diponegoro and Jalan A. Yani. There is not much here in the way of tourist goods (masks, paintings, jewelry) but you can buy supplies for your stay in the north here - juice, boxed milk, diapers, toilet paper, cigarettes and beer much cheaper than if you buy them in the tourist area to the west. Singaraja has a good doctor for expats who charges rather high prices but if you're really sick and you want someone to speak English to then Dr. Gina is your woman. Friendly, good old-fashioned care.

What is it that is unique about this place, or what is it that draws me to it? Maybe it's because Singaraja isn't really all that unique - just another friendly town in Indonesia where you can bop around, find some things that you need, meet some fine folks and live your life the way that you want without interference from people that are convinced that they know how you should live your life. The new government has given folks some hope and we all expect them to continue on with repairing the economy and staying out of people's daily activities.

The Singaraja area is the home of Lovina Beach, of the well known, but as the new tourist literature proclaims, hidden treasures of Bali. In spite of the fact that my friend has this promotional material sitting in his restaurant, I happen to agree with it. That doesn't mean to come crowding up here. We wouldn't want Robert Redford to bring the Sundance here or to have Californians start building summer homes, but it is nice...

Lovina Beach is actually a collection of villages that are lumped together under the general name of Lovina which actually is a village. Other villages in the Lovina area include Kalibukbuk, Anturan, and Tukadmungga. The farther you get from Lovina on the Singaraja side, the quieter things get. While Lovina is laid back compared to Kuta, Kalibukbuk, Anturan and Tukadmungga are positively restful. Of course, it can be a bit too quiet for some staying out in Anturan or Tukadmungga so they can just take a short bemo ride or a three K walk up to Lovina to sample some of the night life.

While I have been going on about Lovina, I actually spend most of my time away from home over at Anturan or Tukadmungga. A number of homestays and small hotels have cropped up in the past few years in this area. The old popular hotel after years of being abandoned is now open under new management - it's called Villa Agung. Homestay Sri is still there after a number of years. Homestay Sri is also under new management. This Sri is also being run by foreigners. This is the big thing now in the area. The Westerners have moved in and either bought, built or leased hotels on the beach. There's getting to be less and less Balinese businesses these days.

So if you want to actually relax on your vacation to Bali, you should try visiting northern Bali. Plan on spending a week or so to get to know the place. You won’t be disappointed.

Singaraja Bali

Singaraja Sunset

Comments 12 comments

johnjmck@hotmail.com 7 years ago

looks like an interesting way to get around the city


wie bali 7 years ago

Singaraja is a fairly good-sized city

i like lovina beach its nice place


Alan 6 years ago

Yes, there are some truly wonderful places in Bali, and this is one of them. Thanks for the great article!


bruce 6 years ago

thanks alan


Svetlana 6 years ago

Dear DrBruce!I was chosen to spend 1 year studing Bahasa Indonesia at the University in Singaraja. Actually I worry a little bit, because it's not the most comfort place for living for European girl, you know. Could you clear up things relating to conditions of living in Singaraja, please. Do you still ?ive there? my e-mail: svetlanamari@rambler.ru I will be greatful for your response


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drbruce 6 years ago from Singaraja, Bali Author

Life here Svetlana is quite simple and can be comfortable for Europeans. In fact, man Europeans live in Singaraja. I'm sure you will like living here.


marta 6 years ago

Hello! Thanks for your article. Is there an international school for children in the North Bali? I'd appreciate your help.

Thanks,

Marta


drbruce 6 years ago

Hi Marta. No, there are no international schools in the north. Expat children attend local schools here.


tracy sugaitmaja 6 years ago

my husband is balinese and we have a house in a Pemaron, just back to Australia 3 weeks ago. Do you know if the school called Mapindo near Anturan is an international school, as would love tolive over for awhile so my 7year old daughter could learn indo properly, don't think she could go to local school as her indo isn't enough. My email is loling99@hotmail.com. thanks in advance


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drbruce 6 years ago from Singaraja, Bali Author

It's a tourism school. It is not an international school.


Bali Beach 5 years ago

I really enjoyed reading your hub. Nice Hub! :)


david 4 years ago

what is the site for dr Bruce blog

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