For those of you who feel like getting around Bali, this is your chance to get out and see the sights. The following pages let you know where to go and how to get there. So if you need a break from the beach, start reading…
TEMPLES – COASTAL
Tanah Lot – Southwest Bali, Tabanan regency. Built on a large rock and cut off from the mainland at high tide, this is one of Bali’s most spectacular sunset sights and enduring images.
Uluwatu – South Bali on Bukit Badung. This cliff-top temple, dedicated to the spirits of the sea, has spectacular views and is popular for viewing sunsets. During the Galungan festival, people from all over the island travel here to worship.
Pura Jayaprana – Northwest Bali. Superb views of Menjangan island. The surrounding coral reefs can be seen from this temple.
Pura Rambut Siwi – Southwest Bali, (10km from Medewi), Another cliff-top temple with views of Java and on a clear day, Mt. Bromo. Steps down the cliff from the temple lead to a black sand beach where one can swim.
TEMPLES – INLAND
Pura Besakih – Besakih, Karangasem regency Northeast Bali. Bali’s most important temple with over 80 shrines to the various gods and spirits.
Pura Luhur Batukaru – Tabanan, South Bali. Dedicated to the god of Mt. Batukaru, this temple is a small haven for flower and bird lovers.
Pura Ulun Danu Batur – Near Batur village, this is the second most important temple after Besakih, housing more than 90 shrines. Worth visiting at any time of year but especially during the Odalan Festival (usually in March but depending on the full moon), which is dedicated to the goddess of the crater lake and said to control the irrigation systems for the entire island.
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan – This temple has several shrines which are located on both the lake’s shore and on various small islets. The temple complex is located on the shores of Lake Bratan in the mountains near Bedugul.
The following three temples are between Seribatu and Tampaksiring, north of Ubud;
Pura Yeh Gangga – near Mengwi, Tabanan. Pura Ulun Danu Batur near Batur village. The second most important temple after Besakih, housing more than 90 shrines. Worth visiting at any time of year but especially during the Odalan Festival (usually in March but depending on the full moon), which is dedicated to the goddess of the crater lake and said to control the irrigation systems for the entire island. Pura Ulun Danu Bratan near Bedugul. This temple has several shrines which are located on both the lake’s shore and on various small islets. The following three temples are between Seribatu and Tampaksiring, north of Ubud;
Pura Gunung Kawi – Set in a ravine in Tampaksiring, the temples Candi’s are carved into the rock face. There are five Royal Tombs at the rear of the temple complex.
Pura Tirta Gunung Kawi – A water temple dedicated to the Rice Goddess. Near the temple grounds is a small spring-fed lake with sacred goldfish, which are said to be the guardians of the Spirit of the spring.
Pura Tirtha Empul – Considered the holiest spring in Bali, this temple is frequently visited by Balinese seeking mental cleansing and physical healing.
Brahma Vihara Ashrama Buddhist Monastery – Near Lovina. The Largest Buddhist monastery in Bali, set in beautiful surroundings. (combine with a visit to Banjar Tega Hot Springs).
Goa Gajah or Elephant Cave – near Teges, Gianyar regency. Dating from the 11th century, there are conflicting opinions as to whether this cave was originally of Buddhist or a Hindu heritage. Although not very large, it boasts some interesting carvings.
Goa Lawah or Bat Cave – Klungkung regency. Famous for the thousands of fruits bat that live here, this can be an interesting, if pungent, experience.
Goa Karang Sari – on Nusa Penida Island, Southeast of Bali. This cave extends over 200 meters into the hillside and during the Galungan festival hosts a torchlight procession and various ceremonies.
Puri Semarapura – Klungkung. A palace dedicated to the God of Love, this palace was home to the Kings of Klungkung. Although only two pavilions and the entrances gate remain, the hall of justice, Bale Kerta Gosa, is worth seeing for its beautifully painted ceiling and carved pillars.
Taman Ujung Water Palaces – near Amlapura, East Bali. Set in a beautifully landscaped park, the ruins of this palaces are a tribute to the slightly eccentric designs of King Anak Agung Ngurah.
Puri Agung Kanginan Karangasem – Amlapura. Built from a mix of different styles, including Chinese, European and Javanese, this palace is fascinating architecturally; a monument to Balinese ability to blend outside influences into their own culture.
Tirtha Gangga Royal Bathing Pools – near Amlapura, Karangasem regency. Great views of both Mt. Agung and the Lombok Strait. This palace was damaged during the 1963 eruption of Mt. Agung, but the pools still function and can be enjoyed for a small fee.
Asak – near Amlapura, East Bali – Traditional costumes, stone carvings and woven crafts.
Bungaya – near Amlapura, East Bali – As in Asak, this village specializes in traditional arts and crafts.
Krambitan near Tabanan – Specializes in bamboo instruments and music.
Negara West Bali – Famous for bull races.
Sawan (near Singaraja), North Central Bali – A picturesque village where Gamelan instruments are made.
Tenganan – A Bali Aga village renowned as a centre for weaving. The only place in Indonesia where ‘geringsing’ cloth is made. (see Arts & Artists/ ‘Textiles’).
Trunyan – on the shores of Lake Batur, Northeast Bali – An original Bali Aga village set in a fantastic landscape.
Lake Batur – Mt. Batur, Bangli regency. The largest lake in Bali and home to the goddess Danu. This lake lies within the crater of Mt. Batur.
Lake Bratan – Located beneath Mt. Catur near Bedugul and home of the superb Ulun Danu Temple, this lake offers both superb scenery and watersports such as jet-skiing for the more adventurous.
Lakes Buyan and Tamblingan – Below Mt. Lesong in the Buleleng province. Less visited, these lakes offer great walks and the chance of a little solitude for those wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of the tourist scene.