My hotel was right smack in Denpasar city, so it was very easy to get around by foot to the attractions close by. However, this was actually an afterthought as I originally reserved the first day in Denpasar to explore the Trans Sarbagita busway routes, all 2 of them, and to hopefully publish a proper service information page similar to what I’ve done for the Trans Batam. After about 10 minutes of waiting at the closest halt to my hotel, I decided to sightsee first.
St. Joseph Catholic Church
I first walked to this part of Jl. Surapati so that I can see both sides of the road with opposing busway halts. I saw 2 people waiting there, and after spending a few minutes taking photos of this church, I saw the same 2 people still waiting at the halt.
Not your usual sight and such architecture with mixed cultures can only be seen in Bali.
Denpasar Library and Archives
I’m not 100% sure what this place is as I used Google Translate for the sign outside the building, but it looks great. Not many people passing through the gates though.
Trans Sarbagita Surapati 1 Halt
Walking back to this halt which is for Trans Sarbagita busway services towards SMAN 7 (Jl. Kamboja). Still no bus in sight, I continued my walking tour.
Puputan Badung Square
Just about a minute away from the busway halt is the Puputan Badung Monument, commemorating the 1906 Puputan Bandung massacre.
There’s also a sign with a cheer to keep Denpasar clean.
At the centre of the road, perpendicular to the monument, lies the original KM.0 for the road system across Bali island originating from Denpasar.
Aside from the monument, there isn’t much else to see in the park unless you plan to jog around it or head on to the Bali Museum.
Catur Muka Statue
The Catur Muka Statue is the centrepiece of the main roundabout in Kota Denpasar. It’s a Hindu statue depicting the Lord Brahma and facing exactly north, south, east and west of this roundabout. It’s worth to note that around 95% of the local Balinese population are Hindus.
There are also nice touristy road signs like this around Denpasar City.
Indonesian Commando Headquarters
Perpendicular from the Puputan Badung Square and Catur Muka Statue lies the Indonesian Commando Headquarters, probably for good reasons.
Kantor Walikota Denpasar
The Denpasar Mayor’s office.
Bank Mandiri Denpasar
Even the bank has a nice Balinese feel to it.
Walking along towards Kumbasari Market.
It wasn’t an easy road to cross, and the crossing system here doesn’t work like Vietnam, so you have to wait till you can find a gap in the traffic.
Kumbasari Market is one of the oldest traditional markets in Denpasar selling really local items. That being said, this place is not for you if you feel squeamish about flies around fresh food and chickens being freshly killed and drained. But I know the fresh produce sold here are really fresh as there is no rotting smell.
The market is said to contain touristy souvenir shops on the second level but I didn’t manage to find anything small and most of the shops in the small corridors are closed by the time I got there in the afternoon, so while most online information say that this market is open 24 hours, it’s probably only true to a certain extent.
Badung Market was the largest traditional market in Denpasar but it has burnt down in 2016. Since then, the stallholders has either set up stall along the roads outside Kumbasari Market or has since given up.
The only inhabitants on the grazed-down site seems to be just these two dogs.
So beware of online articles still telling you to head to Badung Market – it’s sadly gone.
When I walked back to the original Surapati Halt and the Alfamart where I saw the two people waiting for the Trans Sarbagita bus, they were still there. Considering how long they have waited, I would assume that the bus would be arriving soon, but I didn’t want to risk not getting the bus back since I do not know the operating hours, so I gave the Trans Sarbagita exploration a miss.
And I guess I have to advise you that the Trans Sarbagita bus service in inefficient and you should stick to Uber, Grab or getting your own driver in Bali, but do watch out for your safety and your driver’s safety when using Uber and Grab and only book your trip out of the banned areas (aka non-touristy areas). Failure to do this may result in injury or death, as mentioned to me by an Uber driver.