Singaraja is the capital and chief port of the Buleleng Regency, which stretches along the whole northern coast in Bali. It’s Bali’s second largest city, the formal capital and it has a couple of interesting tourism sights you can visit. The name Singaraja means Lion King and is a reminder of the powerful King Gusti Panji Sakti who exported Balinese slaves to Java island in exchange for gold and opium in the 17th century. The trade increased and a wealthy city in northern Bali was born. It attracted Chinese, Indians, Arabs, Malay and Javanese. Because of the its prosperous harbour and route to the spice islands of Maluccu the Dutch colonial power conquered the city and the northern district of Buleleng in 1849 and made her the capital of Bali. The harbour was also the gateway for foreigners to the beautiful island of Bali. Every traveller arrived by boat in Singaraja first before he continued his journey over the mountains to the south.
After World War II the Dutch had to give up Bali and the new Indonesian government moved to Denpasar. The harbour was also moved but this time 40 km west of Singaraja to Celukanbawang. Even though the Dutch had to leave the city there are still architectural reminders of their influence, especially near the former harbor. Here you can still see the old coffee and tobacco warehouses, the antique bridge, the white colonial houses and the statue of freedom fighter I Longtong, who points with his finger to sea.
After World War II the Dutch tried to get their island back and planted their flag in the harbour of Buleleng, where a Balinese man called I Longtong removed it with the Indonesian flag. After he came down from the flag pole the Dutch shot him and he was killed.
Now the only colourful building in the area is the Chinese temple where Confucian businessmen honour their ancestors. On the western side of the city you can find the Chinese cemetery with colourful decorated graves.
If you love old books, you should try to visit the small historical library, Gedong Kertya, which was founded by the Dutch to preserve the Balinese culture in 1928.
It has more than 3000 books made out of lontar palm about religion, medical science, literature, history, mythology, magic formula and folklore of Bali and Lombok. The books from Lombok were stolen from the palace in Mataram during a military expedition in 1894.
It is said the Balinese are afraid to enter the library out of fear of being cursed by the spirits of the holly books. There are also “presastis”, small metal plates with old-Balinese inscriptions from the Pejeng-Bedulu dynasty in the 14th century. They belong to the oldest written documents on Bali.
Near the library there are three other interesting sights; two royal temples and the symbol of the city, the winged lion.
Singaraja or as we knew it as “City of Science and Education” is a place where many students from different regions arround Bali come to this regency to get the finest education. If you plan to carry on your study here, you can choose where to live such as, you can rent a house, living in a renting house with landlord in it, or living in a lodging house with your friends. Around the campus, there are so many accomodations that you can choose with reasonable prices and facilities. If you choose accomodations near the center of Singaraja city, approximately it takes at about 5-10 minutes to reach the campus.
In this city also, you will simply find the logistic for your daily living. There are many stores along the street where you can easily have your meal. Dispite those benefits, there are also some place destination that you could find when you’re living here, one of the kind is Lovina Beach that is located in western part of Singaraja, 9 kilometer from Singaraja; in this beach you could find refreshment from your daily activities and see dolphins at dawn. There are also Pulaki Temple (temple with hundreds of monkey) where people usually pray-worshipping the God, and held their ceremony, the amazing Gitgit waterfall, Banjar natural hotspring, and Vihara Budhist temple (the biggest in the South East Asia).
With its strategic location, business, and trade ranging from home scale into national level are part of this daily breath. In this regency, hospitality service and education grow simultaneously. The difference in culture, religion or intention does not make people in Singaraja lost their hospitality. A warm welcome, without doubt, will be extended as you arrive, and it does not take long to be familiar with a friendly and easy going life in Singaraja. Thus, be part of a colorful life experiences as you study in Ganesha University of Education.