Singaraja is an old trading town and the former colonial administrative capital of the whole Lesser Sunda Islands. The economic growth of that particular region was mainly due to this old port and especially China had a big influence in Singaraja. The town had been trading with Chinese junk boats since the 10th century and these East Asian as well as colonial influences are still evident, not only in the local cuisine, but also in some of the buildings, such as the Chinese temples, wide and grand streets and the large gardens. Singaraja is to this day the economic center of Bali and you can still admire some of the old warehouses along the old harbor, which once housed the goods that made the town the main hub in the East Indies.
The city is best explored on foot or by rickshaw, passing along Chinese shops and through quiet, tree-lined neighborhoods. Scattered throughout the city are lively bazaars, a couple temples and two mosques. An attraction of a special kind though is the Gedong Kirtya Lontar Museum, which offers diaries from colonial times, metal plates with royal decrees from the 14th century, Balinese calendars and a palm leaf library. The palm leaf collection includes ritual books and seals, as well as historical narratives, magical formulas and future predictions.
Singaraja is located east of Lovina in northern Bali. From the Denpasar area, it takes about 4 hours to get there, Lovina is 20 minutes away and to get there from Gilimanuk takes about 2 hours. The city has three bus terminals with local bemos ferrying transfer passengers between them.