Touring Bali: The Barong and the Rangda


Balinese culture, Bali, indonesia

The black and white checked cloth is ubiquitous in Bali. This scene greets incoming visitors at the aiport in Depensar.

Enjoying a day out and about in Bali with Bali Bliss Tour, I learned quite a lot about Bali’s culture and history. First, the majority of Balinese are Hindu, and there are temples and offerings everywhere…in that, it reminds me of Thailand. In Bali, deities and shrines are covered in material of black and white checks, and offerings of food are covered by a small ornate umbrellas. Both the good and bad spirits are honored. Good is white, Black is evil. Perhaps this is because the day is light and the night is dark….the Balinese believe you can’t have one without the other, and the evil must be honored in order to keep it at bay. So fascinating!

Bali Bliss Tour is a tour company dedicated to private and personal tours. My guide for the day, Nyomen, was so knowledgeable! Our first stop was to see the traditional Balinese dance of the Barong and the Rangda, the never ending fight between good and evil. The Barong, a mythical creature resembling a lion or tiger,  is the protective spirit of good. In the dance we first see the arrival of the protector, the Barong, with accompanying monkeys. Later the arrival of the bad spirit, Rangda, brings havoc, and a lot more dancing! The battle between good and evil is never ending.

Barong, Rangda, Bali

Enter the Protector Spirit of the Barong

Barong, Rangda, Bali

The Mythical Barong.

Barong, Rangda, Bali

The Barong is often accompanied by monkeys in the tradition.

balinese culture, rangda, barong

The evil spirit, Rangda.

bali culture, rangda, barong

The drama of the dance is undeniable. One doesn’t need to know the story…the pageantry is enough.

bali, bali culture, barong

bali, bali culture, barong

The Barong and the Rangda meet.

Barong, Rangda, Bali

Fighters of the Good. Notice the black and white checks.

I loved the dance!

Afterward, Nyomen took me to a family run coffee plantation for a tasting. The coffee was delicious!

bali culture, barong

Ganesh, a Hindu and Buddhist Deity widely worshipped, greeted me at the coffee plantation.

bali culture

The tasting, and yes, I bought a lot of coffee…and tea…and cocoa!

I will pick up on the tour for Fab Photos Friday!

bali, bali culture

Thank you, Nyomen of Bali Bliss Tours!



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About the Author ()

I am an avid scuba diver, underwater photographer, amateur historian; interested in all people and cultures. For me, the unexpected is usually the norm! My motto? I am an Empty Nester who likes to Renew, Revamp, and Reinvent Life! Contact me at

Comments (4)

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  1. barbara free says:

    That tour looked so entertaining. I bet the coffee, tea, cocoa were amazing.
    Have fun,

  2. Roz Warren says:

    Bali is actually one of the few out-of-the-way-ish places I’ve been. This post brought back some great memories.

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