Most tourists wouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit Goa Gajah (known as the Elephant Cave) while in Ubud, so whilst in the area make a detour to Setia Darma House of Masks and Puppets. The house is only 5 min drive from Goa Gajah and 15 min from central Ubud.
Setia Darma House of Masks and Puppets isn’t just a regular museum, it is collection of nine traditional Javanese houses displaying masks and puppets from Indonesia and around the world. The displays are extensive and according to their brochure there are approximately 1,300 masks and 5,700 puppets!
The houses are surrounded by gorgeous gardens with outdoor sculptures and rice fields. Our driver also surprised us by playing on some traditional bamboo instruments (called rindik and are like a bamboo xylophone) that were available for anyone to play near the car-park!
The houses are set up with different styles and ages of masks and there are plenty of labels and information. Tour guides are also available if you want a tour, or if you just want to ask a few questions.
There is NOTHING electronic in terms of displays or interactive information ….and I LOVE this!
Cost is by donation. Lonely Planet suggests 35,000, but we gave around 40,000 each, although I can’t remember exactly what we donated, I loved it so gave a bit extra…so maybe it was 50,000 (AUD$5)? Just be kind in your donation!
Tips for Visiting with Children
Children might find some of the masks and puppets scary. Our 7-year-old wouldn’t go into some of the houses so we took turns with one of us looking in the houses, while the other went with Noodle to look for butterflies and lizards in the garden. Worked out fine!
Extend Your Visit
Combine a trip to Setia Darma House of Masks and Puppets with a visit to Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave) and Yeh Pulu (a carved cliff face).
- Central Ubud to Setia Darma 15 mins
- Setia Darm to Goa Gajah 5 mins
- Goa Gajah to Yeh Pulu 5min
- Setia Darma to Yeh Pulu 10min