One of Bali’s largest off-the-beaten-path attractions is not for everybody. Visitors to the 9-hectare site have to brave dirt, broken glass, as well as dense foliage and plenty of cobwebs. It’s a far cry from what its original developers had in mind, a 100-million-dollar Disneyland-style extravaganza of family-friendly entertainment.
Today, the complex — known as Taman Festival Bali — is slowly being swallowed by the jungle, with vines creeping through the cracks in the walls of long-abandoned buildings and twisting through derelict game stands.
Don’t expect Taman Festival Bali to appear on most guesthouse attraction lists — many Balinese believe that abandoned sites are home to lost spirits — nor a queue at the front gate. All that remains at the entrance to the park are deserted ticket booths and a few abandoned cafeterias. A slew of self-proclaimed security guards stands at the ready to collect a 10,000 Rupiah entrance fee. As the facilities are no longer maintained, it is up to each visitor whether they want to hand over the cash, although the park’s so-called guardians may be insistent. Another alternative is to enter the park via a path from the beach — simply park at the end of the street, walk left along the beach, and then head inland.