Bayan Ancient Tree In Bali: Kayu Putih Giant Kapok Tree
Kayu Putih is the name of a giant Kapok 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 ‘Bayan Ancient Tree’ (Bayan is the neighborhood), and that nickname has probably confused some people into thinking it’s a Banyan tree, 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!
Facts & History
The name Kayu Putih means ‘White Wood’ in Bahasa Indonesia and it comes from the color of the huge tree trunk.
Some people have called this a great Banyan tree, but I think it’s actually a giant Kapok tree (scientific name Ceiba pentandra), which is pretty rare in Bali. The Banyan confusion may come from people misreading the nickname ‘Bayan Ancient Tree’ in Instagram posts.
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.
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)!
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 road leading all the way to the tree.
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
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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