Apologies if you’ve already seen most of these photos on Instagram, I was just going to leave them on there but then I thought I’d write up a little informational post for anyone visiting Bali and looking into this attraction as it seems to be little known and well worth a visit!
Taman Nusa is an open air museum in Gianyar near the border with Klungkung, about 30 minutes drive from Ubud. Its advertising slogan is “See Indonesia in one afternoon” – a lofty claim! but I think it’s definitely a great taster if you’d like to see some of the rest of Indonesia but you’re just in Bali.
The park is basically a little village of traditional houses from all over Indonesia laid out so you can go and walk around and inside them with locals from the various islands in traditional dress doing cultural demonstrations of handicrafts, music, etc. All the staff were super friendly (my kids were not so sure!) and it was really interesting to see different dances and music from around the county (there was a guy playing really awesome Kalimantan music, I would have been happy to stay there and listen all afternoon.
We left first thing in the morning and hadn’t eaten breakfast so we stopped in the restaurant first. I was pleasantly surprised at the food as I’m used to overpriced and rubbish food in most of the tourist attractions. While the prices here were at the high end, the portions were massive and we had some very delicious nasi campur while the kids had chicken nuggets from real chicken breast and flung rice all over the place.
First stop after pre-historic Indonesia (basically some fake caves where I may have messed up by suggesting to the kids that we’d see some dinosaurs – they’re still asking where the dinosaurs are!) and a replica of Borobudur, is Papua with these cute little houses.
Maya got a shock when this Papuan guy suddenly came out of the biggest house. I wasn’t expecting him either but he was very friendly :p the kids weren’t convinced enough to get a photo with him though and Kiran eyed him suspiciously while exploring the other houses. These creepy dolls are a replica of the Toraja cave tombs – the Torajan people in south Sulawesi bury their dead inside tombs hollowed out of limestone cliffs and these doll effigies are put in the front.
Maya decided she was tired and didn’t want to walk anymore by the time we got to Kalimantan. The lovely staff offered to send a golf cart thing round to pick us up so we could sit and get driven around but we ended up just carrying both kids – gah! I would say this is a good attraction to visit with kids as there’s plenty of space for them to run around and explore but be sure to take lots of water and a stroller or carrier if your kids are young enough for them. Also go as early as possible because it gets really hot walking around at midday!This Minangkabau house was one of the prettiest – I didn’t get to go inside because of the kids wingeing 🙁They did enjoy playing on this rocking horse on the porch of one of the Sulawesi houses though.
We had a really good morning and I think the 170,000rp each we paid was fair (KITAS and local price, kids were 120,000rp each I think). Tourist price is $29 for adults and $19 for kids, which I think is still a reasonable price if you’re interested in Indonesian architecture and culture.
If we ever build another wooden house, I’ll definitely be coming back here for some inspiration, probably without the kids so I can explore without them getting tired 🙂
See more info at taman-nusa.com