Bayan Ancient Tree In Bali: Kayu Putih Giant Tree

by David & Intan

Kayu Putih is the name of a giant tree in central Bali that’s believed to be one of Bali’s oldest and biggest trees. It’s a magnificent tree with a ‘fairy tale’ feel to it, like many other places in Bali.

On some websites it’s also known as the ‘Kapok tree’ or ‘Bayan ancient tree’ (Bayan is the neighborhood), and that nickname has probably confused some people about the exact species, since Bali does have a lot of great Banyan trees!

I’m sure this tree will become a popular Instagram spot before too long, because it’s perfect for photos and not hard to reach from Ubud and the other touristy areas of Bali.

This travel guide will explain how to get there, and everything you need to know before you go!

Kayu Putih Giant Kapok Tree In Bali       Kayu Putih Giant Kapok Tree In Bali

Facts & History

The name Kayu Putih means ‘White Wood’ in Bahasa Indonesia and it comes from the color of the huge tree trunk.

The tree is nicknamed ‘Bayan Ancient Tree’ in Instagram posts, causing some people to simply call it a great banyan tree, but determining the actual species may be a bit more complicated than that. My first guess was a Kapok tree, but I think the scientific name for this tree is actually Ficus albipila, which is a pretty rare type in Bali, although it may be considered a type of Banyan.

The local villagers say the tree is more than 50 meters tall and 700 years old, which would mean it was a baby back when some of Bali’s famous temples were being built.

Kayu Putih: What To Expect

This is a fascinating tree and probably one of our favorites in Southeast Asia. The photography potential is amazing.

A small Balinese temple sits next to the Kayu Putih tree, but in this case you don’t need to wear a sarong to walk around the outside of the tree.

However, I wouldn’t recommend taking inappropriate photos here or you might get in trouble (i.e. keep your clothes on). Please try to be respectful since the tree is considered sacred by the locals.

Kayu Putih Giant Kapok Tree In Bali

Kayu Putih Giant Kapok Tree In Bali       Kayu Putih Giant Kapok Tree In Bali
All in all, it’s a great place to visit in combination with Taman Ayun Temple and the Sangeh Monkey Forest, which are both nearby.
There are so many great photo spots here and you really need a wide angle camera lens to do the tree justice because it’s just so massive.
We spent like an hour circling the tree and taking pictures. The trunk even has a little secret ‘window’ you can look through (pic below)!
Giant tree trunk in Bali

Giant tree trunk in Bali

Entrance Fee

Kayu Putih Bali is FREE as of 2020.

There’s no entrance fee for seeing the tree, although they have a donation box where you’re expected to give a small tip. We gave a 10k Rupiah tip and they were okay with that.

If you ask one of the locals to take pictures for you standing by the tree, I’m sure an extra tip for that would also be much appreciated and goes a long way.

How To Get There

The Kayu Putih tree is located in the Bayan Banjar, in Bali’s Tabanan regency. It’s been listed on Google Maps as ‘Bayan Ancient Tree’ or ‘Wisata Kayu Putih.’

The tree and village is a 1 hour drive north from Ubud or Canggu, and there’s a good paved road leading all the way to the tree.

The best way to get there is to rent a scooter or hire a private car and driver (both of these can be booked online).

Giant Kapok tree in Bali       Giant Kapok tree in Bali

Kayu Putih Giant Kapok Tree In Bali

Giant Kapok tree in Bali

More Bali Trees

If you want to see more spectacular trees, check out the Bunut Bolong tree, which is an ancient Banyan tree with a hollow trunk you can drive through in west Bali.

There’s also the Bali Botanical Garden at Bedugul, in the north part of Bali. This 160-hectare park has thousands of different species of tropical plants and trees, including a twisted giant Banyan tree that looks like one of the walking tree ents from Lord of the Rings.

It’s easy to combine a visit to this park with other sights in north Bali, like the famous Pura Ulun Danu Bratan lake temple.

Read More: Bedugul Botanical Garden

Bali Botanical Garden Bedugul

These roots are all from one tree!


More Bali Travel Tips

Thanks for looking! I hope you enjoyed these tips for visiting the photogenic Kayu Putih Bali tree.

Don’t forget to check out my complete Bali Travel Guide for more tips, photos, and blog updates!

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If you want to explore Bali in the comfort and safety of a private car with an English speaking driver, my top recommendation would be GetYourGuide.

Their price is 650k Rupiah ($45 USD) for a full day of driving and sightseeing in Bali (up to 10 hours) for 1-5 passengers. That's the total price for the whole car + driver + petrol! It's a great deal. They also offer affordable hotel transfers from the airport.

If you'd rather travel by motorbike, they have that too. Their scooter rentals start at 140k Rupiah (~$9) and include a helmet, rain coat, and free delivery in the south Bali area.

We've used GetYourGuide for lots of tours and activities around the world, and they're great! Highly recommended.

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Jared February 17, 2023 - 8:51 am

Hi David, my botanist friends and I believe this tree is actually Ficus albipila, a rare fig species, so indeed a “banyan” although it lacks the aerial roots of other species in the genus. Of course similar in appearance to kapok so not a bad guess! The locals aren’t really sure what it is either. What’s important is how majestic it is. Took some great photos on a visit last year.

Nice site and photos, keep up the good work! I live in Bali as well, maybe I’ll see you around sometime.


David & Intan February 17, 2023 - 6:48 pm

Thanks Jared! I’ll add a note about that. I’m not an expert on trees, so that’s helpful. Sure, maybe we’ll see you around! Regards


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