Pura Luhur, Uluwatu
This temple is said to be one of nine key directional temples in Bali.
The view here is spectacular.
The temple itself is not as impressive at the others in Bali but the sunset views and the views from the cliff are spectacular. Surfing here is awesome according to surfers of course. Besides, surfers were the ones to first bring light to this place.
As always tourist is a bustle here, but as you take time to walk along the cliff edge, you can’t help but awe at the beauty.
I stood; look down, just admiring the clear waters when I spotted a turtle heading up for air before going down again. I could see schools of fish ever so clearly from that high up. That was how clear the waters are!
But if you just want to the visit the temple, the entrance fee is about Rp.30,000.
Having said that, if you don’t want a guide make sure you make it clear as sometimes they would walk with you and have small chat before you realize it, you have ‘hired’ them as a guide and would demand tips. It happened to me on my first visit and, man, is was a bit of a dampener on the evening.
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Bedugul
This is the other temple that has been photographed a lot and appears on many brochures across the world that promotes Bali.
(translation: we are almost there)
With one eye open I scanned the view out my window. The first thing I saw was street vendors selling strawberries. Strawberries, yes in Bali, as it was in the highlands where the temperature is ever so cool, they grow strawberries.
Mental note: Get some on the way down.
Having said all that, it is a beautiful temple. The grounds are pretty and the temple itself look majestic. Compared to all the other temples I’ve been too and seen here, I have to say, the shrine on the lake is beautiful. The high multi-tiered roof stands out the most. As much as it looks the same as the all the other temples, it is still unique. There is this feeling when you are there, by the lake, that I find hard to explain other than a sense of being at peace; as if nothing matters and everything is going to be alright.
The temple is built to worship Ida Batara Dewi Ulun Danu, goddess of the lake. I was in a bit of luck as there was a festival going on at the temple and I chanced at taking pictures of locals dressed in full traditional attire.
His dad caught me taking pictures of him and tapped him to pose for me. This is the result! A not-so-happy little camper.
What’s interesting about the town here is that it is one of the very few places in Bali with a high concentration of Muslims on the island. This place has a mosque and it’s the only one I’ve seen so far on the island.
There is a little tourist trap, which I think is a complete waste of money unless you are a professional photographer on a mission, that is close to the temple. It’s a boat ride on the lake; correction, SPEED boat ride. I do not see the point of taking the boat out as the driver doesn’t stop close to the temple, the lake isn’t that big that you can’t use a pair of binoculars and the pictures taken…have so may tourist in the background that it’s almost an ugly picture. Plus your camera is sure to be splash by water so really… its not advisable.
Sit. Savour the view, breath the fresh air and pay attention to the locals. You’ll have a richer experience. You’ll be able to tell a story or see beauty that the camera could and never can justify.
So take time out and enjoy this view and on a day like this where there are locals, I found it to be a complete joy to watch. Kids fishing, little ones being extremely curious to everything, teenagers looking as if they were forced to go along while the older generation took this opportunity to sit and catch up with each other. Feels like the whole town has gathered here.
Stopped by at a café down from the temple that faces the rice terraces, but nothing can beat Jatiluweh. I remember on my firs visit, coming up here with Fab on a scooter. It’s really peaceful up there and just serene.
Now to the next adventure!