I like temples, there is plenty of temples in Bali, so obviously, I like Bali. You might think, once I visit one, I’ve seen them all. How mistaken you are.
Each temple is special, sure, they usually are built in a similar architecture, but they will be located in different areas. Some are surrounded by rice paddies, some are just part of the street, some are in the mountains and some have holy baths attached to them.
My favourite ones are:
Yeh Pulu – my very first temple that I’ve visited here. Surrounded by the rice paddies, I arrived early, so there were no other visitors there, only the locals taking their morning bath. My companion turned out to be a little dog, but as I am scared of loosely running dogs, I kept my safe distance. I also didn’t need to pay the entrance fee of 15 000 Rupiah.
Taman Kertha Gosa – a temple in a village called Klungkung that I was surprised to find so easily. It’s a beautiful temple on the water, making it ideal for pictures. Klungkung village used to be very important in the colonial age, there is a very tiny museum about it attached to the temple grounds. Again, the entrance fee was 15 000 Rupiah and I had paid this one.
Pura Goa Lawah – I hired a local for guiding me through the area of this temple, Maru, for 30 000 IDR (he offered to guide me for 50 000 IDR at the beginning, but I haggle the price down). He was very nice, although I had trouble understanding what he’d said sometimes, so I kept asking to repeat things to me. Entrance fee is 10 000 IDR and I got lent a sarong to wear as a symbol of respect, so don’t be fooled by many people trying to sell you a sarong beforehand with words ‘You must wear a sarong there, buy it here’. You indeed must, but you get it for free.
Pura Gunung Kawi in Tampaksiring – I liked this temple a lot, it’s completely surrounded by rice fields and the temple grounds are spread around the mountain. Entrance fee is 15 000 IDR and you get a sarong too. I spent a good amount of time wandering around in the surrounding area and taking pictures of the jungle, tropical fruits and some hidden caves; I also saw local farmers working on their field. Be sure you bring a bottle of water with you – it’s not fun to climb all the stairs being thirsty.
Pura Tirta Empul – also known as Holy Baths. I should’ve brought my swimsuit and own sarong – I got one at the entrance, but I wasn’t allowed to go into the water with that one. People come here to clean themselves spiritually; they follow some kind of procedure and advance from one tap to other. Some fill their bottles with a splash of the holy water from each tap. It costs 15 000 IDR to enter the springs and there is also a beautiful temple adjacent to the springs, where you can see people praying.