During my stay at Bali, I got the opportunity to try some free excursions of the company ‘Bali Rural Commune‘ (BRC). First, I was very excited about the free excursions, but when I finished the excursions, I also realised how beautiful the business concept (cooperation with the local community) of this company is. I would like to tell you shortly about the company and what kind of excursions it provides.
Bali Rural Commune (BRC) is a community-based rural tourism company which is located in Guliang Kangin Bangli regency. The company supports and participates in nature and environment conservation and also provides free education to the children in the village, but most important, the company tries to preserve the traditional and authentic Balinese lifestyle. BRC uses the economic power of the tourism sector in Bali to improve the life of the villagers by providing many employment opportunities. All of the activities are undertaken by workers and craftsmen from the village. Rather than hiring qualified staff from outside of the village, all staff have been hired and trained from within the village. The local community will introduce the visitors to their traditions, culture, and lifestyle. They are also welcomed to stay for a few nights, explore more and get engaged in the daily activities.
Bali Rural Commune is located in the village of Guliang Kangin, which is in the Regency of Bangli in the middle of Bali as known is one of regencies in Bali province do not have sea area.
Bali Culinary Experience
This activity was really fun and I learned a lot about the Balinese cuisine! In the morning, we went to the local market to buy the fresh ingredients for our cooking class including; spices, fruits, meat, seafood and vegetables. The chef joined us and explained about all the different types of fruits and vegetables. Very interesting! After the market, we went to the cooking school. This was located in the middle of the rice paddy fields. The surrounding was amazing! Before we started the cooking class, we got some coffee, tea, locally made cakes and some fresh fruits. The cooking class took around two hours. The chef could speak really good English and explained everything very well. After the cooking class, we had dinner and ate our own prepared Balinese food! Delicious. We prepared:Next to this, every Sunday, BRC provides free English lessons to children at an early age and seminars to youngsters in regards to sustainable environment and tourism. This will develop the English of the children at an early age and will equip the youngsters with knowledge and ideas on the importance of preserving traditions and promoting tourism.
* Sate Lilit Ayam (Grilled minced chicken skewer on a lemongrass stick)
* Tuna Ayam (Steamed spiced chicken wrapped in a banana leaf)
* Ikan Tongkol (Balinese grilled marinated tuna with melinjo crackers and sambal matah)
* Dadar Guliang (caramelized young coconut crepes with mango)
* Nasi Putih (white rice)
During this excursion you will see the authentic atmosphere of the countryside. We did some hiking close to the Sansang river and visited some holy water springs. It is very nice to do the hiking. First you hike a bit through the village and then you suddenly have the feeling that you are hiking in the jungle! The nature is amazing! During this excursion, we got a local breakfast, some fruits, locally prepared Balinese cakes and a lunch.
Rural Bali cycling
This was a very nice excursion. You do not really have to be sportive to do this activity. You cycle downhill very often. In the morning, we got welcomed with some local breakfast in the Balinese housing compound and got some safety instructions. The quality of the bikes are really good. They look like new! We also got the opportunity to use a safety helmet. The cycling was very nice. We went through impressive landscapes, rural villages, lots of rice paddy fields and many other fields with tropical fruits or spices. During the cycling, I saw many local people working in the rice paddy fields or at different places. This was very impressive. After the cycling, we got lunch served in the amazing restaurant in the middle of the rice paddy fields, where I told you earlier about.
A day with Balinese
This excursion was very nice as well. You will get to know a lot about the traditional way of life of the Balinese. In the morning, I got some coffee, tea, locally made cakes and some fresh fruits. After this, I got the opportunity to take a look around in the Balinese housing compound and to interact with the local people. I met a lady who was weaving a mat of pandanus tectorius leaves and a lady who was preparing the local offers with flowers. I did this tour on a Sunday and during this day, the children at an early age and the youngsters got free English lessons and seminars. I sang some songs with them, taught them some new English sentences and they practised their English with me. It was fun to do and it gave a great feeling to help these children with improving their English. After looking around in the Balinese housing compound, we continued our tour in the village. During this tour, we visited a hat maker, the local smith and a traditional coconut wine crafter. After this, we had the chance to plant rice in a rice paddy field and to involve in the rice farm cultivation by using the traditional tools. Awesome!
Balinese Purification Blessing
Bali is well known for its very traditional Hindu believe. BRC would like to let you experience a purification blessing. Balinese participate in water blessings regularly and believe that these blessings clean the body on the physical, emotional and spiritual levels. Also with this tour, you will start at the Balinese housing compound with coffee, tea and some locally made cakes. After this, you will learn about the local offerings and how to make them. This was very interesting! Then we took a bath at the eleven holy waterfalls (Pancuran 11). At this waterfall, you have to walk from the left to the right and take a shower under every waterfall. If you do it like this, you will be blessed. After the eleven holy waterfalls we visited a temple and got a blessing in a religious pavilion by the priest. If you are really interested in the religion of the Balinese, this excursion is very interesting to do.
Stay with the locals. Bali Rural Commune offers the possibility to experience the real local Balinese life. You will sleep in one of the compounds of the traditional Balinese house. The rooms are simple, but have everything you need during your stay: a bed, closet, hot shower, breakfast and your own patio. The rooms are big and very clean. Moreover, during your stay you can experience two activities namely; a day with Balinese activity including lunch and the Balinese culinary experience including lunch. I have stayed at different home stays during my time at Bali, but this one was really nice.
These are the main excursions and activities of Bali Rural Commune. As you probably have read, this company provides some really nice excursions, but also has a very interesting business concept and way of cooperating with the local community.
Please have a look at the website of BRC and maybe you will experience an authentic and traditional excursion during our next stay at Bali.
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