Cockfighting is illegal in Bali, but the authorities turn a blind eye during the full moon celebrations. I stumbled into one that was going on right next to a temple I was visiting. I asked Nyoman to escort me into the crowd of men and make sure it was ok for me to take some pictures.

100s of motorbikes a proud cock handler another handler

Nyoman told me that something like 2 million Rupiah (about US $200) changes hands during a typical cockfight, through all the wagers that get made. I couldn’t really figure out how the betting process worked, but there were large sheets of paper on the ground in one building that seemed to list the fighting animals and their key stats. As a fight is about to get underway, the men start yelling all at once and waving money at each other – trying, I assume, to find a willing wagerer. You can hear some of it in this video (8 MB .mpg) I captured (Don’t worry, I stopped recording before the animals actually started fighting)