At the foot of Mount Abang, Kintamani, Bangli, Bali Island, there situates a village called Trunyan. Trunyan is a village of Bali Aga people, descendants of the first migrator to Bali that live in the mountain area. Bali Aga people in Trunyan still uphold their ancient customs. The most popular one is how people treat the deceased in the Trunyan cemetery.
In most Balinese cultures, people cremate the dead body in a ceremony called Ngaben. Some also bury them underground. Trunyan is on the other hand. The bodies are not cremated nor buried but left to decompose. Trunyan is also popular as skull-island. Since the first wave of migration until nowadays, the dead body is brought to Trunyan Cemetery. The corpses are left on the ground, near a huge, old Taru Menyan tree.
Trunyan Cemetery & Village Opening Hours
Trunyan Village has no official opening hours. However, the boats to get here are available at Kedisan dock which opens until 5 PM. And, it would be better to visit in the dry season when the beautiful scenery of Lake Batur with Mount Batur as the background is visible clearly.
|Trunyan Cemetery Opening Hours|
|Every day||08:00 – 17:00|
See: Guide To Mount Batur Volcano Sunrise Hike.
Trunyan Cemetery Entrance Fee
Tourists coming to Kintamani will have to pay a retribution fee of Rp50,000 to explore the area. Then there’s a boat ride to Trunyan Cemetary that cost Rp200,000 to Rp400,000 per person for a return trip, depending on the negotiation and boat type. Then at the cemetery, visitors are all expected to give a little donation.
|Trunyan Cemetery Entrance Fee|
See: Guide To Explore Kintamani & Lake Batur.
The Boat Ride
There is only one access to this village, crossing the Lake Batur. To witness this peculiar way of treating the deceased, people need a boat ride from Kedisan Dock. To emphasize, there is no official management that organizes the boat operation. So, tourists may experience scamming as to how much the people here will charge the ride.
However, the people are open to negotiation. But most tourists usually won’t get lower than Rp200k per person. It takes 15-20 minutes to get visitors to Trunyan Cemetery. A gate with skulls adorning each pole will welcome visitors who set foot on the land. And passing through the gate, there are human remains scattered along with tons of trash.
Trunyan Cemetery & Funeral Tradition
It is the Trunyan Cemetery. It is unlike the graveyards found elsewhere. There are no headstones, no tombs. There are only small, tent-like bamboo structures and a giant tree. Within the bamboo structures, there lie dead remains. Sometimes, tourists may witness the rotting face of the dead if there is one newly brought in.
Only married people who died naturally with no missing parts of the body are eligible for this funeral rite. Trunyanese wash the deceased using rainwater. A cloth is used to wrap the whole body except the head. The corpse is then put on the ground near a big banyan tree and left to rot. The bamboo structure holds the dead’s picture at the front.
When the cemetery is full, the dead need to wait for vacant space at home. The skull of the fully decomposed corpse is moved to a nearby stone altar. The other body remains are just left at the cemetery. This kind of funeral is known as mepasah. It is the wind that has a significant role in the process. While the putrid smell is neutralized by the tree.
Trunyan cemetery may not be appealing to be the main destination for a vacation. But this one-of-a-kind spot is worth visiting for a stop-by during the visit to Kintamani. For example, Lake Batur offers enchanting scenery with many attractions. There are natural hot spring pools that overlook the lake. To get the best view of the lake, just pick the closest one to the lake, the infinity pool.
This spot opens from 7 AM to 7 PM. And there are also some temples around Lake Batur, such as Jati Batur Temple, Ulun Danu Batur Temple, and Ulun Danu Bangli Temple. And don’t leave this place without trying the dishes. Fishing is the livelihood of most people living here. So, most restaurants have freshwater fish as the main menu with Lake and Mount Batur views. What’s more, tourists may enjoy a buffet of up to 15 dishes at only Rp80k.
See: Batur Volcano Natural Hot Spring & Ticket.
Trunyan is merely an ancient village living their traditional customs. Therefore, there are no decent facilities available on the spot. On the other hand, this place can be totally unpleasant since the dead remains just scatter along with trash. But that’s how it is. The trash used to be the dead’s favorite belongings put there by the family. The villagers clean this spot once in three years.
However, accommodations are many surrounding Lake Batur. Lodging costs start from RP200,000 per night. And, most restaurants around the lake offer affordable menus. One thing tourists need to prepare before getting here is cash. Because there is no ATM and most of the facilities don’t accept cards.
See: Tourists SIM Card, Where To Buy & Price.
How To Get To Trunyan Cemetery
The departing point to get to the cemetery is the Kedisan Dock which is reachable in no time from the Kintamani tourism area. Or, it is only about a 15-minute drive from Batur hot spring. First, head southwest and go straight for 68 meters, then turn left. After 300 meters, turn left onto Jl. Pendakian Gn. Batur for 3.3 km. Then continue onto Jl. Kedisan for 1.1 km and continue straight onto Jl. Trunyan.
Trunyan is 42.3 km or 1 hour and 26 minutes away from Ubud Art Market. To get here, take Raya Andong street, Jl. Raya Tegallalang, continue to Raya Pujung Kaja, Jl. Raya Tegal Suci, and Jl. Windu Sara to Jl. Trunyan in Kedisan. Then, follow the road to reach the dock where the boat departs.
However, tourists coming to the Kintamani area will have to pay retribution fees. There are several checking points where tourists coming with private vehicles like scooters or cars will have to pay the fee. The retribution fee to the Kintamani area for international tourists is Rp50,000.
See: Bali Airport & Transportation Guide To Tourists Staying Area.
Address & Location
Trunyan Cemetery is located in Trunyan village, Kintamani district Bangli, Bali 80652.