kecak dance – uluwatu, bali

the kecak dance is easily my favorite indonesian dance. unlike most traditional performances the kecak isn’t accompanied by a gamelan orchestra, but instead by the chanting of 70 men. the trancelike chorus of men in black and white checkered sarongs is beautiful and mesmerizing, and did i mention a gorgeous fire scene towards the end. the kecak features the story of the ramayana, and they give you a print out when you enter so you can follow the story.

uluwatu temple is on the bukit peninsula in the south of bali. here you watch the kecak dance during sunset, high on a cliff above the crashing ocean, overlooking the temple. it’s definitely a tourist attraction but the view really can’t be beat. the performance starts around 6pm and lasts an hour. buy your tickets inside the temple grounds, but arrive a bit early to give yourself time to walk around the temple and visit with the monkeys (beware though, they’ll steal things right off you body: hats, glasses, dangly jewelry!) the show ends just in time for dinner and i recommend heading over to nearby jimbaran bay.

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