Denpasar offers a different type of scene to that found in the Kuta area. Not a tourist center, or even a party center, Denpasar is home to locals, Balinese from othe parts of the island, who work in Kuta, and other Indonesians who have moved here. It offers cheap accomodation, street food, cheap locally made goods and a nightmare traffic system. There are some highlights and my LP guide book points out a route that can be done on foot.
Starting point – Denpasar Tourist Office, located a Jl. Surapati #7 (open 7.30am-3.30pm Mon-Thurs, 8am-1pm Fri), head south to Pura Jagatnatha, the state temple, which also has a museum. Puputan Square, the most famous landmark in Denpasar, is directly across from there. Puputan Square celebrates the Balinese struggle against the Dutch, culminating the ritual puputan (group suicide), in 1906, by the royal court.
From Jl. Surapati, you can head to the junction with Jl. Veteran and see the Catur Muka statue. This is the statue of the 8 armed, 4 faced Batara Guru, lord of the 4 directions.
Head west from the Catur Muka statue, to Jl. Gajah Mada. Keeping heading west over the bridge, where you will see the famous Pasar Badung market (fruit, veg, meat, fish, spices) on one side and Pasar Kumbasari (nick nacks and textiles). Just a stroll around the outside of Pasar Badung will take 20 minutes and gives you a look at how a busy Balinese market runs.
Keep going over the bridge to the intersection, head north to Jl. Sutomo, then go left at the narrow gang (alley) that leads to the temple at Pura Maospahit. This temple was built by the Majapahit empire in the 14th century. Check out the statues of the giant Batara Bayu and Garuda.
Head back in the same direction, then head south along Jl. Thamrin, to Jl. Hasanudin. At this junction is Puri Pemecutan (para = temple, puri = palace). It has been renovated as a hotel, and you can check it out if you feel like it.
Heading east on Jl. Hasanudin, you’ll come to Jl. Sulawesi. That area is known as Kampung Arab, as are many jewelry stores, open to the street. This is were Ika and I shopped for wedding rings. These places are owned predominantly by Muslims, and you’ll be able to pick up that vibe.
You can keep heading north past Pasar Badung market and return to Jl. Gajah Mada. This walk will take 2-3 hours and longer if you spend time exploring all the sights.