Denpasar

Denpasar is the capital city of Bali since the end of World War II; Denpasar was still a small market town only about 25 years ago. Now, ten times the size, fuelled by prosperity from the tourism boom, with all the government institutions and buildings to match its status, its noisy, polluted urban sprawl. Rush hour last most the day, and when the traffic lights change there’s a cavalry charge of motorcycles and scooters. In the middle of it all, the better off live in traditional family compounds, extra high walls are the main concession to this kind of life.

The most prominent central landmark is a big grey statue of the four faced Hindu God or Catur Muka, looking each way on the main intersection. Denpasar has main fresh produce market called Pasar Badung and traditional market for craft and textile in Pasar Kumbasari. It has also a bird market not so far from the market. The bird market caters to the local liking for caged birds, from big hornbills to tiny songsters. Beside those areas, Denpasar still has Puputan Square (the big area of grass, site of the puputan or mass suicide in 1906 of the King of Bandung’s court). At the furthest corner of Puputan Square, you’ll find the Bali Museum (the antiqued museum of ethnography, history and art was created by Dutch in 1937). The temple adjoining the museum is Pura Jagatnata, known as the only famous and important public temple for local people in Denpasar. Art Centre, the major Bali Art Festival is held here every year June-July. The last one is Renon or the Hero Monument in the southeast.

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