We arranged for a driver to take us around to see the sites. This is easy to do as there is a "travel agent" every few feet along the main drag in town!
We paid 400,000 RM which seems to be the going rate. We leave at 9AM and return at 6PM.
Our driver spoke good English and we had a wonderful day stopping at all the "tourist spots" and villages along the way.
Our first stop was to see the Barong Dance in Batubulan Village
This dance is very different than I had expected. It is not a song and dance show but a play. Many residents of Batubulan are performers and although there are many shows , they all seem to have a similar theme.
The play was basically about the struggle between good and evil . The dancers are dressed in costumes of ancient style depicting mythical gods and creatures .
We sat outside on raised benches. The hour long performance was over all too quickly. It is a must do . The admission is $9.00.
Batubulan – which means ‘moonstone’is perhaps even more famous for its stone carvings. Situated about eight kilometers northeast of Batubulan has streets lined with statues, Buddha figures, demons and other mythical figures, all carved in stone. I guess people buy these amazing works and ship them home . A little out of reach for me but I saw many works that I would have loved to have.
Next on our agenda was a stop at Celuk , known for its gold and silver works. We visited three of the seemingly hundreds of manufacturers/shops.
For years Celuk was known as the place where craftsmen made bowls for religious ceremony in silver leave called " bokoran " It wasn’t however until the 1930s when gold and silversmiths arrived in Celuk.
The work they do is wonderful. Many of the designs are truly unique. The prices listed are automatically reduced by 50% and a bit more can be had with a bit of haggling .
I bought a silver and pearl set of earrings with a beautiful intricate design for $28.00. My favorite shop was Semadi Gold and Silver.