advertisement

Cekik & Gilmanuk

Near to Gilimanuk on the far west coast is Cekik, known as the entrance to Bali's only national park, Taman Nasional Bali Barat (West Bali National Park). People who want to start an early trek in the park have limited choices in places to stay. Try the Hotel Lestari (tel. 0365/61504) for between Rp150,000 and Rp350,000 or Hotel Sari (tel. 0365/61264) for Rp150,000. On the way to Gilimanuk, visit the Jayaprana Grave. It may be a hot hike up but the views are stunning. The grave is revered by the Balinese, who remember the sad outcome of a typical 17th-century love story here (king covets beautiful woman who loves the king's adopted son; king has son killed; beautiful woman commits suicide).

Though it is certain that Bali was populated very early in prehistoric times, few traces of these people exist. What we do have is on display at the Museum Situs Purbakala Gilimanuk (tel. 0365/61328; admission Rp5,000 donation; Mon-Fri 8am-4pm), 500m (1,640 ft.) south of the ferry port. In the 1960s, archaeological excavations nearby revealed the oldest evidence of human life on Bali with figures ranging, depending on your sources, from about 3,000 to 4,000 years old. Bronze jewelry, axes, pottery, and funerary offerings are on display. Considering their value and historic importance, this could be the best 50 cents you've ever spent.

Gilimanuk is the main port for the 24-hour ferry service to Banyuwangi in East Java. No Balinese would pass through Gilimanuk without enjoying the explosive ayam betutu chicken dish served at the famous Mem Tempe warung at the top of the steps behind the little bus terminal.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.