“Once a glorious kingdom in Balinese ancient era, Mengwi maintain its charm as an area filled with preserved traditional beauty of the island, as well as pristine natural wonders.” Located in Badung district, few kilometers from Tabanan, Mengwi is a wonderful place to visit during your holiday. Here lies some of Bali’s best-kept natural vistas and remnants from glorious distant past. One of Mengwi’s must-visit spot among others is Pura Taman Ayun. Overtaking a vast landscape of garden and water features, this royal temple built by the king of Mengwi himself is considered as one of the most sacred places of worship on the island. Its serene location creates such calm atmosphere, throughout the main areas from the outer bridge above broad, fish-filled water canals, highly ornamented outer gate, fountains, and more gardens inside. It is amazing to see how Bali can still keep this wondrous site amidst the era of international tourism and modernization.
Another area worth-visiting in Mengwi district vicinity is Sangeh. Spread across 6 hectares of land, it is a forest mainly formed from large nutmeg trees that can grow up to 40 meter above the ground. It is a sanctuary for long-tailed macaques, a species of monkey that is commonly found on the island of Bali. The primates are already used to meet with human from the constant interaction since the forest is opened as a tourism destination couple of decades ago. But still, be extra-cautious as they are extremely attracted to shiny and small objects. It is best to keep your precious accessories and unused gadget in your bags, and keep very close attention to the one that you want to use.
After get immersed in Mengwi’s natural grace and ancient wonders, you can also get more knowledge first-hand of Bali’s famous ritual by visiting Museum Ogoh-Ogoh. Established back in 2012 by I Ketut Nuanda, this museum is dedicated to keep and preserve some of the best Ogoh-Ogoh statues made by various ‘banjar’ local communities to celebrate the day of Nyepi. At first, Ogoh-Ogoh symbolized the demons inhabiting the island, thus they’re mostly made resembling the evil creature from Balinese folklore, but nowadays, they become the medium for young Balinese artist to express their ideas and creativity. At this museum, you can see some of the best Ogoh-Ogoh ever made in all shapes, sizes and colors.
Entering Mengwi feels like warping back to the days where Bali was still an unknown, exotic wonder of destination for the world. In between the sincerity of green paddy fields, you can gaze upon magnificent traditional architecture standing gallantly past the test of time.