Two km east of Pujung, take the
road opposite the road to Taro. On the way, stop
and see the Duckman, the first Balinese sculptor
to carve ducks on a commercial scale-he's quite
famous now. The Sebatu area is the best place on
Bali to buy small wooden crafts. There's a cluster
of shops in the countryside selling painted wooden
suns, moons, stars, flying goddesses and animals.
See the huge elephants at the shop Sedana Yogya.
In Telepud, Wayan Astika carves fanciful suns and
moons in natural browns and black stains, as well
as stools in the shape of striped cats. He and other
carvers create made-to-order work as well.
When the road goes down, turn right toward Sebatu.
In a small valley before the village is the Pura
Gunung Kawi, a bathing place with stone statues
of maidens spouting water, carved stone 'naga',
sacred golden carp and lichen-covered ancient walls.
The temple is in an exceptionally pretty spot against
a backdrop of rich green foliage. At dusk small
bats fill the air. Discreetly, have a look at the
people having 'mandi', but don't take photos. The
rectangular bathing place is separated into men's
and women's sections.
Sebatu is a village of woodcarvers and musicians.
In front of the temple are a few shops displaying
a mass of wooden crafts. Look for sensual figures
and exquisitely carved 'garuda' statuary. Note the
difference between the masks of Mas and those of
Sebatu. The lines and colors of masks from Mas are
pure, while those of Sebatu are more exuberant.
Mas makes god's masks, Sebatu devil's masks. Every
three days the village 'pasar' takes place in the
area in front of the temple.
From the temple, the road continues to the peaceful
village itself, which few tourists ever visit. It
consists mainly of one street of houses decorated
with plants and flowers. The village is very active
in dance and music, renowned as much as Peliatan.
It's home to a noted dance troupe that once toured
the world. Ask to see the photos of Balinese in
fur coats in London.
Incredibly, this small village possesses three
orchestras. Rehearsals take place at 2000 every
night, except during harvest. This is an opportunity
to see people performing without enduring the clicking
of cameras and flashes. Travelers without their
own transportation should be aware that 'bemo' back
to Ubud stop running around 1600 or 1700. From Sebatu,
a small road before the temple leads to Tampaksiring
and on to Gunung Batur.