This was proven by the participants of the Explore Badung initiated by the Badung Tourism Office. “Explore Badung is a program to introduce how tourism in Badung District has continued to develop during the pandemic,” said the licensed tour guide from Kirana Bali Wisata, Gusti Arta, accompanied by Budi Liong, at the Badung Civic Center on Friday (Dec. 11).
Participants in the Explore Badung during the period of December 6 – 8, 2020 visited the destinations in the North Badung area. Participants gathering at Badung Civic Center were obliged to take a rapid test in an effort to prevent Covid-19 transmission and create a sense of security and comfort. The group then left for the Sangeh Monkey Forest and took about an hour. Like a tourist, the participants toured the forest while feeding a herd of approximately 700 monkeys. The group took a photo together in front of Candi Bentar (split gates) of Bukit Sari Temple.
Participants amounting to 18 people and 1 event organizer then headed to Tanah Wuk, destination located north of Sangeh Monkey Forest. This natural destination has a very beautiful view. There are caves originating from the Japanese colonial era, as well as very romantic places for taking selfie.
The group moved to FuramaXclusive Resort & Villas Ubud located at Bindu customary village, Mekar Bhuana village, Abiansemal. After they all got room keys then attended a briefing about the next event. All participants then walked to Banjar Bindu to have dinner. The participants visited Rumah Bali staying sustainable in the cultural village. The owner of the house, who is also chief of customary village, Gusti Suastawa, explained all the rare trees, so that the participants got knowledge about them.
After Check Out the first place to visit was Nung-Nung Waterfall. When stepping down to the location of the waterfall, the air is very cool. The natural scenery with a mountainous background looks very beautiful, so that participants do not miss the time to take pictures. The following places visited were Tukad Bangkung and had lunch at the Nangkring Restaurant resumed with the visit to the Bagus Agro Plaga Hotel to stay overnight. The dinner atmosphere was also interesting for the participants.
The ambience of Plaga village at night is so romantic. All participants mostly sat around the hotel terrace while enjoying the peaceful evening atmosphere. Especially in the morning, natural atmosphere of Plaga is so exotic. The participants took the time to do light exercise around the resort while getting to know agro plants. Having been satisfied, the group checked out from the hotel and then returned to Mangupura.
Explore Badung Trip 2 with destinations such as Sada Temple, Tanjung Benoa and Ungasan was no less interesting. Almost all the destinations visited provided captivating experience. Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, the existence of the destinations is well maintained, both in terms of cleanliness, safety and comfort. Moreover, all the destinations have implemented health protocols, so that they can provide a sense of security for every guest. Participants of the Trip 2 consisted of 30 people namely 27 general participants, 2 companions from the Badung Tourism Office and 1 event organizer.
Sada Temple is the first destinations visited by the Explore Badung participants. The tourist destination is located in Banjar Pemebetan, Kapal village, Mengwi subdistrict. It is very famous because of its very old age, so that it is designated as a cultural heritage. Approximately, it is 5 km from Mangupura and about 15 km west of Denpasar City.
Sada Temple is one of the Kahyangan Jagat (universal) temples which are the place of worship for all Balinese people. The design of the shrine building is similar to the temples in East Java estimated to have been built around 830 AD. The participants got the opportunity for about an hour to explore the Sada Temple accompanied by the local priest. The entourage also had the opportunity to pray before continuing the trip.
The group then continued the journey to Suluban Beach or better known as Blue Point Beach. It is located at Bukit Pecatu Village, South Kuta subdistrict. This beach is very unique because of being covered with a series of limestone rocks. To get there, visitors must pass through stairs and path between the rocks. This white sandy beach is very suitable for surfing because the waves are strong. Suluban Beach is also good for tea time while watching sunset. The next destinations are Gunung Payung Beach located at Kutuh Village, South Kuta subdistrict. This beach is very wonderful because visitors can see Gunung Payung Temple on the edge of an exotic cliff.
On the day two, the participants headed to Dolphin Watersport in Tanjung Benoa. Here, the participants could enjoy two attractions namely glass bottom boat and banana boat. From the boat, the participants can see coral reefs under the water through the bottom glass. Besides, they can also see small to large baby turtles. Additionally, there are birds, lizards, iguanas and snakes. The participants bought various knick-knacks related to turtles.
The last day of the Explore Badung program took place at the Bali Tropic Resort Tanjung Benoa on Saturday (Dec. 12). The event was filled with social event, entertainment as well as impressions and messages during the trip by visiting the tourist destinations in Badung district. Acting Head of the Badung Tourism Office, Cokorda Raka Darmawan, attended and closed the event which was marked by striking the gong.
The participants looked cheerful after traveling for three days to visit destinations in Badung district. “This activity invites them to witness firsthand that all the destinations we have during this pandemic are in very good condition. We also believe that the health protocols at each destination have been implemented well,” said Cok Darmawan.
Explore Badung was carried out in two stages of the trip, where each lasted for three days by involving children, groups to be invited to have excursion to enjoy all the destinations in Badung District. The trip participants then informed them through social media or their accounts to wider community, not only in Bali but also at the national and even international levels. “We hope this information can be accepted by tourists, and in the end they want to visit Bali, especially to Badung because they are sure that the destinations are in good condition and safe to visit,” said the Assistant for General Administration of the Badung Regional Secretariat.
All the destinations, hotels, restaurants and tourism villages visited by tourism agents have been verified as new normal. All of them starting from North Badung to South Badung had been touched by the familiarization trip participants. Moreover, the destinations are collaborating with the government. “Every visited hotel must implement the health protocols. Otherwise, we don’t want to promote. Moreover, the verification team carries out the verification task every day. Tourism business management that wishes to receive guests should have a certificate regarding the health protocols,” he said.
Cok Darmawan said that currently it is not time to evaluate the development of tourist visits. This happens because the activity is meant to provide confidence for visitors that all tourist destinations, hotels and restaurants in Badung have correctly implemented health protocols with complete supporting facilities. “When the information about tourist destinations in Badung is promoted and delivered by our representatives amounting to 240 people through their social media, we hope that more tourists will come, either on weekend or during the New Year,” he hoped. (BTN/015)