On our recent trip to Bali, we asked our driver if we could check out Taman Festival in Sanur-an abandoned theme park rumored to have crocodiles running wild (abandoned there with the park) and to be haunted by ghosts.
"Are you sure?" Wayan our driver asked. "I know the place, I have been before but not with tourists."
We were sure. When we pulled up "security" bargained $2 out of us for entry and just like that we were in. Past the old ticket booths guarded by wild chickens and into the massive complex.
We spent over an hour exploring. (Make sure to bring mozzie spray!) the place was falling apart. We were the only westerners there. A few skateboarders hung around the main area and watched us with interest.
The place is absolutely huge and very quickly being regained by the jungle. Its very different to abandoned places here in Australia-there was no vandalism in regards to statues or things appearing to have been stolen. Even the graffiti was nicer with many beautiful artworks. And even here in this crumpling mess, offerings were carefully left by the local people who otherwise avoided the place.
There are lots of rumours about what went wrong with Taman Festival. But the most commen seems to be that it was aboanded due to financial failure. Instead of being sold or knocked down, its simply been left to rot.
We found the old Crocodile enclosures but alas, no wild crocs to be seen. There were plenty of ineresting spaces and building to explore. Many were falling apart and in others the jungle was slowly creeping in with vines and foliage growing throughout. The mosequitos though were awful-after being eaten alive for over an hour, we decided to give up. If only we had remembered our bug spray we might have stayed longer at this awesome spot!