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Home » Environment & Nature, Guides

Sibetan: Home of Snake Fruit  

by on Monday, 14 May 20072 Comments | 4,656 views

One and half-hour drive from Denpasar to Sibetan village is not a waste time. The winding road to Sibetan through palm-leafed fenced terraced rice fields offers breathtaking sceneries. Rows of the rice fields perch on the slopes of the hills border here and there with bamboo and snake fruit plants create a stunning view to behold that makes one and half-hour drive seems to last only a few moments.

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Situated on the foot of the majestic and still active Mt Agung, Sibetan is a quiet and traditional village, with cool temperature, and clean air. This village is well known among the Balinese as the “Home of Salak (snake fruit),” Thousands of salak trees from 14 species grow here due to the agreeable climate and extreme fertility of the soil. The Sibetan village owes this extreme soil fertility and abundance of salak plants to the Mount Agung that erupted in 1963, blanketing the village farmlands sending volcanic dust and rocks, making a return to normal agriculture impossible.

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One of the few crops that were able to survive in these new conditions, however, was salak – the snake fruit, already present in the area for hundreds of years. Thus, the farmers of Sibetan became ‘seed-savers’ and have worked to make their diversity of salak species their specialty.

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Strolling through the village road will give you a unique view, instead of seeing rows of houses you will find rows of neat and carefully tended salak garden riddled with tiny paths that lead deep into the gardens. The farmers there is more than happy to take you around the garden, giving valuable information on this plant and you can also pick a few salak, taste them while enjoying the story of the life of a salak farmer.

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Out from the salak garden you can take a walk into the heart of the village this is a unique opportunity to learn the daily life of Sibetan village, the villager will happily share the information about the unique aspects of Dukuh Sibetan history and culture. You can also get a chance to learn about the natural resource management issues in the village, and explore the village temple. When there is a preparation of ceremony going on in the village you can also participate in this activity, join the local gamelan groups or dance troupe in their rehearsal.

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Sibetan also offer a lush forest garden to explore, you can learn about the variety of plants you see on the way – some of which are medicinal, some ceremonial, and some that have special cultural beliefs attached to them. At the end of the road you can enjoy and incredible view of southeastern coast of Bali afforded by the altitude of the village.

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Don’t worries about food when you are here, the villagers will more than happy to share their abundance salak (snake fruit), blackcurrant and you can also taste traditional Balinese cuisine with their ingredients are taken fresh from the trees, no fertilizer is used here.

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The village of Sibetan now organized their own ecotourism project in collaboration with Starling Kencana Tours and Wisnu Foundation. The local people manage this ecotourism project and the profit goes back to them, to be used in culture and environment conservation project.

Editor’s Note:
Book Sibetan Village Day Trips

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