Benoa (Denpasar), Bali, Indonesia
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Approximately 4½ Hours
Like any bustling city, Denpasar boasts department stores, restaurants, markets, and a thriving art scene.
One of the many sites you'll visit is the Bali Museum. Although it may look like an ancient royal palace, the museum and its gazebos, garden courtyards, and carved stone entrance were actually built in 1931. Nearby is the Jagatnatha Temple, one of 20,000 temples scattered throughout Bali. Dedicated to the supreme Hindu god, Sanghyang Widi Wasa, the temple features a prominent padmasana -- a seven-tiered carved limestone throne of lotus blossoms; atop the throne sits a golden statue of the Vishnu deity. Proceed to the Pasar Kreneng Market, a great cultural experience. You can buy everything from clothes to fruit and vegetables as well as local food and limited items of silver, gold and other items in the surrounding markets, each with a different atmosphere. Don't miss the tukang sun -- women carrying baskets on their heads. If you wish, you can engage their services as a market guide (at your own expense) or decline if you prefer to explore on your own. Your last stop is at Jero Kuta Palace in Denpasar -- once the home of a noble family and a study in unique Balinese architecture.