Our Bali day started at “Pura Taman Ayun” where there is a compound consisting of a Balinese temple and a garden with water featuring lotus and fish ponds. The temple was built circa 1634 by the ruler of the Mengwi kingdom Tjokerda Sakti Blambangan, with Chinese architectural inspirations. The paintings on the ceiling were interesting to see, and the building surrounding with lotus pond was very picturesque.
From here we drove toward “Candi Kuning Village” to have a look and purchase different fruits. There were many interesting fruits in this market and we enjoyed our exploration and ended up buying many different kinds of fruit.
Finally, we arrived in Bedugul, a place famous for the “Ulun Danu Temple”, located at the crater of an extinct volcano. The temple is amazing and seems to have risen out of Beratan Lake, 1,200 metres above sea level. There are many water sports available here such as boating, water skiing, and parasailing if you fancy exploring the lake.
After a delicious, seafood lunch we continued on to see the Twin Lake view (Lake Buyan and Lake Tambligan) and then we were are off to the “Tanah Lot Temple” to see the amazing sunset.
The Tanah Lot temple sits on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tides. It was built in the 16th century and is a holy place to worship the Balinese sea gods. According to the legend, at the base of the rocky island, venomous sea snakes are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders. So… beware…. Do not venture on your own…… but……no worry… many people wonder around down there.
Day three we visited “ the Kertagose temple” to see one of the historical building complexes built at the end of the 17th century. During the Dutch colonization (1908 – 1942), Kerta Gosa was used as a court to persecute the violators especially criminals. Now, the place has become one of the prime tourist attractions.
The woman who performed the work was very nice and chatty, she smiled a lot and we were very happy with her. She spoke Indonesian and unfortunately did not understand any of the English language.
It was interesting to see her work manually and it was a bloody hard job. First she took seawater from the ocean and poured it on to the sand on the ground and let it sit under the sun for one day.
The sand that has been saturated by the seawater is taken to the salt-making hut, then more seawater is strained to it to wash out the salt. The saltwater is then poured into a shallow trough made out of palm trees. After that, the trough is lined up along the seashore during the salt-making season. As the sun evaporates the water, the dried salt is taken and put into a basket to be packed and sold. The salt that is produced here has a very good quality which contains high iodine content that is good for one’s health. We bought one pack of salt from her out of pity, and give the salt to our driver.
The “Bat Cave” was the next destination. There was a ceremony for deceased people in the temple and we could not go inside the temple nor see the bat, so we continued to see the famous “Tirta Gangga”, which is a maze of pools and fountains surrounded by a lush garden, stone carvings and statues. The centrepiece of this place is an eleven tiered fountain. We had fun walking and hopping on the stones surrounding by water.
After taking many pictures, we continued to the “Karangasem Palace” to see its unique architecture, which is the combination of Balinese, Chinese and European styles. Balinese architecture can be found on the carving on the Hindu’s statues and the relief on the wall of the building. The European influence is seen on the style of the main building with its large veranda, while the Chinese architecture is implied on the style of the window, the door and its other ornaments.
Oh boy, this palace is really beautiful and very peaceful and not many tourists come here, so we had the place to our selves.
The “Besakih Temple” which is the mother temple and the biggest temple in Bali was our next destination. We were fortunate as a prayer procession was happening at the temple when we arrived early in the morning We could see many Balinese people carrying food and prayer items on their heads. We climbed the many staircases of this magnificent temple up to the very top to see and admire the view, and explored every nook and cranny.
Kehen temple was our next destination. This temple is a smaller version of Besakih temple.
All the temples became blurry in our mind, and it was time to go to Kintamani. We could see the Lake and Mount Batur from the Penelokan village which sit at the rim of the huge Batur caldera about 1,500m above sea level. It felt so peaceful to see the huge Lake below and my mind wondered on it is own.
Next we drove toward “Gunung Kawi Temple” where the archaeological complex is carved out of the living rock, dating back to 11th century. We had to walk about 600 meters from the parking lot to the ticket counter then walked down on approximately 315 stone steps. The monuments are shaped in relief on a solid rock hill, commonly called “candi”. They are shaped like burial towers, telling the identity of the royal personages honoured there. The fresh coconut was good to relieve our thirst, after walking around at this temple, and the expanse of rice terraces gives a tranquil, peaceful feeling.
We were exhausted after so many temple explorations and thankful we now had time on our own.
Times goes by quickly, even when we did nothing. Before we knew it, it was DAY 7 and time for our flight to Maumere Flores. And more adventures, of course.