Most people’s first stop in Bali is the beach. My first stop was an abandoned and allegedly highly-haunted theme park, Taman Festival. Taman Festival is located on the east side of Bali, somewhere between Denpasar and the old beach resort town of Sanur. The park cost over $100 million to build, but unfortunately its doors never opened.
Set within the dense woods/jungle, the park is not only abandoned and graffittied, but overgrown. As we entered the thicket, my sister offered me the [poisonous] bug spray with Deet. “I don’t need that,” I exclaimed, “Malaria isn’t real!” About 30 seconds later I was covered in hundreds of mosquitoes. I quickly tried to apply the spray and cover my body with a sweatshirt. Too late. I got hundreds of bites (which I kind of deserved), although I did not get malaria.
Among the abandoned buildings are the remnants of a massive roller coaster, a wedding chapel, several restaurants and some buildings which clearly once held bathrooms. There is also some sort of water-based ride which kind of resembles a log flume. Another blogger reports the park was set to include a 3D cinema, swimming pool and very exciting laser show prior to its failure to open.
It is pretty dilapidated at this point, although none of the buildings we entered felt too structurally unsound. The internet tells me the park never opened due to money issues (what else), a dispute over land use, or because it was struck by lightening which caused damage the owners couldn’t afford to repair (so, money issues). Like some other ill-fated parks, probably a combination of these factors.
Weirdly, we thought the crumbling bathroom sinks and stalls were the most interesting part of the entire park! Entering the park was easy, we walked right in, although I guess sometimes people may materialize at the entrance and demand a small “fee.”