Bali has a wide variety of attractions and I try to cover as many of them as possible.
Recently Tracey in Melbourne suggested I check out the Butterfly Park in Tabanan so today I jumped on my motorbike and rode off.
Tabanan is one of the 8 kabupaten (districts ) of Bali and its main town is also called Tabanan. It lies NW of Denpasar along the main road to the port of Gilimanuk and Java. I hate that main road because of its heavy traffic so took a much quieter route from Kerobokan to Tanah Lot, then crossed the main road at Tabanan and headed north to the Butterfly Park. The ride takes about an hour from Kuta.
The Taman Kupu Kupu (no Barrie that’s not Taman Kupu Kupu Malam ) Butterfly Park is located in the village of Wanasari which is 5kms north of Tabanan. I must say I hate one way systems and like Denpasar, Tabanan has one. Once I navigated onto the right road I was fine. Stopping at a small road side place for a drink I snapped this lady who was making ‘lawar’ a Balinese dish of rice, pork, fat, salt, pepper, spices and other bits and pieces for this lady and her child. They asked if I had already eaten and I said “yes Javanese food” which of course brought the response “You should try this its Balinese food.”
The museum I located 50 meters off the road but is Easy to find due to the massive sign outside. The neat grounds and parking lot lead into the souvenir shop and ticket office. These keysrings had a bug attached, the perfect gift for those relatives you hate. I was surprised that the cost of admission was 40,000rp. That’s a bit steep for Bali.
The entrance to the museum was close by and after passing through a couple of doors and a set of hanging chains I was into the net covered garden. Immediately I saw large yellow and black butterflies and wandered around looking for more. It’s a strange hobby if you aren’t used to it as these little creatures like to hide and it’s not like walking through the monkey forest. At least a butterfly won’t try to steal my water bottle.
In the center of the garden is a section that contains cages with a variety of butterflies and insects including this stick insect and leaf insect (those are my scientific terms). This guy showed me some and kept pointing out the interesting ones.
While I strolled round there were no other guests. The gardens contain ponds and a variety of bushes and plants. I’d say you could check the place out in a hour max and be out of there if you’re not an expert on insects or plants. My thoughts were that I’d come here if I was driving by but wouldn’t come from Kuta just to see this place. I think they need to tap into the entertainment aspect a bit more like Discovery Channel and find some ‘flesh eating butterflies’ or a ‘rogues gallery’ of other insects, butterflies are just pretty.
Riding home my phone went off in Tabanan but I waited until I was on the road to Tanah Lot to stop and read the message. It took about 30 seconds before Komang came over to ask where I was going. She was taking care of the gardens of a school. Although she spoke no English she told me she has 7 brothers and sisiters and 2 kids of her own. Her husband has passed away. I asked if she was looking for another ‘swami’ and she said yes. Too bad I only stopped for a couple of minutes otherwise she might of told me some secrets.
Riding home I was thinking how every time I get out of the Kuta-Legian-Seminyak area I rarely see other tourists. Maybe other visitors should try this too.