Sibetan Village in Bali


Sibetan is a popular village in Bali since it has the island’s largest salak plantations. The salak is a sweet-tasting fruit with a brown skin resembling that of a snake. Salak afficionados agree that the taste of the Sibetan salak is incomparable, and the village is famed throughout the nation.

The village lies in the Bebandem district, Karangasem, East Bali, on a well-known tourism route which takes in Putung Village (good for its scenic rice terraces), Candidasa, Tirtagangga and Tulamben (famous for its marine park). Driving for around two hours to the east from Denpasar you immediately feel the atmosphere of traditional Bali and enjoy the area’s scenic beauty of terraced rice-fields and valleys between green hills. Because the land rises to around five hundreds meters above sea level in the region, Sibetan Village is geographically fortunate in enjoying fertile soil and refreshingly cool air.

Most villagers make a living by farming salak, an occupation which requires great perseverance and good cultivation skills. They need to tend their plants everyday, keeping the soil around them loose, removing dried leaves, pulling out weeds, wrapping leaves around the growing fruit and making sure the trees have sufficient water.

Many villagers have other skills as well as those necessary for working on the salak plantations. Where there is an oversupply of salak fruit, they turn this into a range of products derived from the fruit, such as toffee, sweets, syrup or asinan salak (salted salak). In this village there are also weavers of traditional songket cloth, wood craftsmen and goldsmiths.

The Balinese Hindu religion lies at the core of their traditional culture and religious activities form an everyday part of their lives. During the Tumpek Pengatag or Tumpek Uduh ceremony, the villagers give thanks to God and pray for the success of their plantations so that the plants grow well and keep free from disease and bear a lot of fruit. In addition, they also perform traditional Balinese dances like the rejang dance, topeng dance and pendet dance which are accompanied by gamelan music.

The village of Sibetan is now preparing to welcome visitors to witness their excellent fruit and superb scenery. Signs have been posted in strategic places to make it easy to reach from Candidasa, following the route to Amlapura and turning left towards Bebandem on arrival at Subagan village.

Alternatively, you can take the road from Klungkung to Besakih. Several kilometers before arriving at Besaki Village, turn into the road which leads to the Selat District and eventually you arrive at Sibetan.

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