Temple Tour in Bali

4 September 2009

No mobile phone alarms went off during our 2nd day, as we deliberately made sure that we would wake up only as we please. The rule was that, whoever wakes up earlier will be the one to prepare first and then gets the responsibility of waking up the other afterwards.

Yep, I was the one that didn’t wake up early. It was half past eight when she woke me up. One hour to prepare and have breakfast before our scheduled pick-up. It was no problem for me as I just washed my face, changed into my walking short and I was al set.

There was buffet breakfast awaiting us at the Rosso Vivo Dine & Lounge for the next three days. The previous night, I was very excited on what would be the food like. Unfortunately it didn’t meet my expectation. The hotel prepared both Indonesian and Western breakfast; good for the western people and locals but not for Mr Whattaworld who was again longing for the Filipino breakfast; or at least something that was similar to it.

I made do with what was available and settled for toasted bread with strawberry jam together with ham & cheese omelet. This will be my food every morning for the next three days.

We were picked up at the hotel lobby just after we finished our breakfast. Agus, our driver, will be taking us to selected cultural places around the island in his brand new Toyota vehicle; it was a very comfortable ride as we had it all to ourselves.

Our first destination was Taman Ayun. Regarded as one of the most attractive temple in Bali, this family temple is located roughly an hour away from our hotel in Kuta Beach. Similar to the Angkor Wat in Cambodia, this temple is surrounded by a moat and if seen from afar, it actually looks as if the temple is floating on the surface of the water. The garden in the temple courtyard is very well kept and gives a calming effect to visitors. We accidentally entered into the inner courtyard and were politely asked to step out by the caretaker. We spent a good half hour inside the temple before leaving; it would have been nice to have stayed a bit longer in Taman Ayun and enjoy the serene environment however we have a tight schedule to follow.

sample of Balinese architecture in Taman Ayun

a sample of Balinese architecture in Taman Ayun

pathway inside Taman Ayun

pathway inside Taman Ayun

It took us around half an hour before we reached our next destination, the Ulun Danu Temple in Bedugul. The area is located in the central mountains of Bali. The winding road going up to Bedugul was something similar to the way going to Baguio City in the Philippines. It was a bit foggy when we were there and a bit cold as well. Apparently, it wasn’t sunny all the way as what was forecasted.

The Ulun Danu Temple is a beautiful Hindu Temple that is visited by many visitors daily. This unique temple is located in the shores of Lake Bratan, one of the three lakes in Bedugul. This is supposed to be one of the most photographed temples in Bali unfortunately the grey skies didn’t do much justice to its splendor.

Ulun Danu Temple in Bedugul

Ulun Danu Temple in Bedugul

Lunch came next, we decided to eat somewhere very near as we were very hungry already. We were taken into this restaurant called Mentari. It was buffet however food was horrible there. Nonetheless, I didn’t have any choice as my stomach was grumbling. Adding insult to injury, it was way OVERPRICED. They charged 96,000 IDR per head (that is almost 10 USD). Stay away from this place; you will thank me for following this advice.

We continued our tour and headed towards Tanah Lot, another famous temple, which was more than an hour drive away from Bedugul. The countryside was lovely and we managed to catch a glimpse of several rice terraces. We passed by a lot of temples as well; I later observed though that temples are integral to everyday life in Bali. Temples are found everywhere – no wonder it is called the island of the gods.

a mini rice field in Bali

a mini rice field in Bali

Tanah Lot literally means, “Land in the Middle of the Sea” in Balinese Language. The temple sits on top of a rock that has been continuously shaped by the ever changing tide the past several hundred years. In order to reach the temple though, one has to pass through stalls that sell t-shirts, foods, trinkets, and many other souvenir items. If you have the patience to look at the wares being peddled, you will be surprised at some of these items.

one of the items for sale

one of the items for sale

As it was almost late in the afternoon, hoards of tourist were beginning to arrive. Tanah Lot is the famous site in Bali for sunset photography. We didn’t get to watch the sunset here though; at 4 PM, we made our way out of the complex.

wonderful scenery in Tanah Lot

a wonderful scenery in Tanah Lot


the Tanah Lot Temple up close

Our schedule was to catch the sunset from Uluwatu and from there we shall witness the Kecak Dance. The distance between the two temples was not supposed to be very far however traffic jam worked its magic that afternoon. We arrive in the Uluwatu just a few minutes before the last rays of the sun disappeared.

The Uluwatu Temple is another famous sunset spot in Bali. This temple is perched on the edge of a steep cliff that towers above the legendary surf breaks of southern Bali. We took a few snaps before we proceed to the place where the Kecak Dance was held.

the Uluwatu Temple & the sunset at the background

the Uluwatu Temple & the sunset at the background

The Kecak Dance tells about the story of the Ramayana, a Hindu epic that is now very familiar to me thanks to our trips in Siem Reap and Yogyakarta the past month. What makes the Kecak fascinating are the men in checkered pants, numbering more than 50, who provided music in the for the story in a series of constant vocal chants which change depending on the mood of the characters. The Kecak Dance is well worth the 50,000 IDR ticket, and I highly recommend this to any visitors in Bali.

the most important characters in the Kecak Dance

the most important characters in the Kecak Dance

the burning of Hanuman

the burning of Hanuman

It was already past seven when the Kecak Dance finished. Agus was waiting for us in the parking lot, he will bring us to one more final stop where we will be having dinner before all of us will be calling it a night.

Next stop, Jimbaran Bay, home of quality seafoods in the island of Bali.

To be continued HERE

5 Responses to “Temple Tour in Bali”

  1. The pictures look great! I’m a sucker for temples and because of this I think I really should visit Indonesia. My Indonesian friend is inviting me to visit Borobodur with her at the end of the year but I’m already broke and don’t think I can afford it! Haha.

    And what an – interesting? – souvenir. Haha! 🙂

    • Hello Pinay on Tsinelas, Ehehehe!! 🙂

      If you are a sucker for temples then without a doubt you will love Bali as there are temples almost in every street (am not kidding!!). Most of these are private temples though.

      The tourist famous temples are very nice as well… Save up for next year! Allocate some of your bonus for it!!

      The item? There are lots more interesting than the one posted… 🙂

  2. nina Says:

    surely you bought that priceless piece of art?!

  3. melvin Says:

    i’d love to visit bali….sana magkaroon na ng direct flight ang cebupacific from manila to bali

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