Coming in from the east and passing the Dutch bridge and the Old Harbour, it is difficult to imagine just how important this port was in the centuries under Dutch colonialism. Just along from the large freedom fighter monument between the bridge and the harbor, the recently renovated Klenteng Ling Gwan Kiong Chinese Temple is well worth a visit. All the white-painted rows of shops in this old part of town were built in the early 1900s and have delicately carved Art Deco friezes.
Puri Kawan & Puri Kanginan Palace -- Follow the tree-lined Jalan Ngurah Rai -- with a few remaining colonial villas on each side -- south towards the statue of the winged lion symbol of Buleleng. Turn left to find Jalan Veteran 20 and the famous Gedong Kirtya (free admission; Mon-Thurs 7:30am-3:30pm, Fri 7am-12:30pm, weekends and public holidays closed). This very special library has more than 3,000 ancient texts written in Javanese kawi and old Balinese script, inscribed on lontar palm leaves. Founded by the Dutch, in what must have been a state of guilty conscience, the library opened in 1928. The other collection of prasasti inscriptions on bronze are the oldest examples of writing on the island. The library is part of the old Puri Kawan and Puri Agung palace complex. Just across the road, peer through the imposing gates of the Puri Kanginan Palace. Sometimes you can get lucky and you are invited in to have a look and see what life must have been like for royalty in centuries gone by.
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.