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Gianyar is the very heart of Bali a modern and prosperous center of the arts with a history dating back a thousand years. Most of the cultural activities relating to tourism on the island from painting and woodcarving to dance and music are focused here, as is a broad range of agricultural activities.
Gianyar is the second most densely populated district of Bali (after Badung), with the majority of its 340,000 people relying upon tourism for their income. Nevertheless, the region is quite diverse, economically as well as geographically.
The old harbors of Ketewel and Kramas down on the coast are still fishing villages, while up in the mountainous plateau above Ubud, vanilla, coffee and cloves are grown. The rich volcanic soils in between are fed by two of Bali’s major rivers the Ayung and the Petanu and from these soils grows some of Bali’s best rice.
When Majapahit established a line of kings in Bali in the 14th century, their first capital was Samprangan now a sleepy village just outside of present day Gianyar town.
Later, in the 18th century, the village of Sukawati established itself as a separate court center and members of the Sukawati royal family settled between the Ayung and Petanu rivers, with branches in Peliatan and Tegalalang up in the mountains.
In 1884 the royal family of Negara. from the Sukawati line, overthrew the kings of Gianyar and plunged the region into turmoil. The conflict was finally resolved only ten years later, when a prince from Ubud, also of the Sukawati line, took the side of the Gianyar family and suppressed the rebels. There are still other important aristocratic families in Gianyar, however ”” foremost of which are the Gustis of Blahbatuh, whose palace was a major 19th-century power.
In more recent times, Ubud and Gianyar have been the twin centers of the region. Ubud now has the reputation of being Bali’s cultural center, thanks especially to a group of expatriate western artists who made their homes here in the 1930s, but Gianyar has provided most of the political and administrative leadership. Bali’s most important politician on the national stage, Anak Agung Gede Agung, diplomat and former foreign minister of Indonesia, is from the Gianyar royal family, and has retired to the palace of Gianyar to serve in the now-ceremonial role of king.
Most of accommodation are located in Ubud, Sayan and today start spreading to Saba area which has beach view. Ubud’s accommodations have gone dramatically upmarket recently hot water, AC, telephones and swimming pools are now readily available. Two of Bali’s most exclusive hotels, Amandari and Four Seasons are also found here.
Decide on the area you want, then look around. Small hotels in the intermediate range line JI. Raya Ubud and Jl. Monkey Forest and offer lovely bungalows set in gardens with swimming pools for $20””$50/night. Balinese style homestays provide charming rooms with private bathroom, fan and hot water for $5””$15. Artists invite people into their homes to study or just to experience Balinese hospitality. All are easily reached on foot from the town center.
Travel out of Ubud in almost any direction and you’ll find little homestays and bungalows tucked in among the ricefields, some with dramatic vistas. If you stay out in the rice paddies, it’s handy to take along a mosquito net and flashlight.
Sayan and Kedewatan, further to the west, offer luxury rooms with great views up to the volcanoes and down the Ayung River to the coast. Saba, on the coast south of Blahbatuh, Andong on the road north to Tampaksiring and Goa Gajah also boast hotels fo rthe more affluent traveller.
Most rooms have private bathrooms and rates include breakfast. Budget hotels offer toast, coffee/tea and fruit salad for breakfast.
DiningUbud has an incredible variety of places to eat. The simple warungs serving nasi campur and satay are still around, but so is everything else. Today Ubud offers a choice ranging from American hamburgers and steaks, country-style Japanese, and sophisticated Italian pastas all the way to haute cuisine with worldwide acclaim. A few restaurants stand heads and shoulders above the crowd for the quality and the originality of their food. Those on a budget can find the local warungs, although they’re fast being replaced by more upscale eateries.The following is a sampler of the area’s better restaurants
ShoppingUbud offers a surprisingly sophisticated range of shopping opportunities. Take your time and browse in a leisurely fashion.
Bali Beachfront Resorts
Location : Sanur
Sanur today is a golden mile of Baliesque hotels that has attracted millions of paradise seeking globetrotters. And yet, within the very grounds of the 11story The Grand Bali Beach Hotel, a war-reparation gift from the Japanese, nestles the sacred and spikey temple of Ratu Ayu of Singgi, the much feared spirit consort of Sanur’s fabled Black Barong.more Bali hotel area details