the least populated and most peripheral of Bali's eight regencies, has
been whimsically hailed as the island's "Wild West". A rugged
strip of land bounded on one side by "Bali Barat National
Park" (see the chapter on Buleleng) and on the other by the
crashing surf of the Indian Ocean,
Jembrana is despite being well off
the beaten track, an important agricultural area and a busy conduit for
overland traffic to and from Java.
Some of Bali's oldest remains of prehistoric humans have been found in the
Jembrana regency. Legend tells that sparsely populated West Bali got
that way because its early in habitants were cursed invisibility for
having violated the daughter of a powerful priest.
A ruling family related to the Gelgel house was established here in the mid 1400s, but a
dispute among its two founders led to civil war and a destruction of the
court. For a while the area was considered to be marginal part of the
Badung Kingdom, and a prince from Sulawesi set himself up as ruler
during the 17th century with little problem. Most of Jembrana includes
the forests, mountain, and coasts of the west Bali National Park and Reserve.
Visitors must obtain the necessary permit and guide at the park headquarters in
"Cekik". You might be lucky to see the rare white Bali
starling bird, or maybe hear the roar of the Balinese tiger, long
thought to be extinct. Excellent diving and snorkeling can be found
around "Pulau Menjangan"(Menjangan Island), with the
"Banyu Wedang" hot springs nearby on the coast.
Catch a ferry to Java Island at "Gilimanuk" port. Close to the district
capital of "Negara" is the temple of "Gede Prancak"
near a waiver, while further east the "Rambut Siwi Complex"
has magnificent ocean views, and there is an excellent surfing beach at
"Madewi", tourist area, visitors may have a night in Madewi
Beach Cottages, a standard accommodation with swimming pool and other
style of cheaper accommodation as home-stay are available. In the
capital town of Negara, many accommodation are available too.
Bigger is better in Jembrana : huge bamboo xylophone of the gamelan jegog
accompanies martial arts and dances. "Kendang Mebarung"
competitions of large oversized drums are sometimes held. Exciting
makepung bull races take place in the village of "Banyu Biru"
(blue water) and "Delod Brawah" during the dry season. "Joged
bumbung groups" with flirtatious dancers accompanied by smaller
bamboo instruments are popular around "Tegal Cangkring".